Among scientists climate change is well understood, however policy makers in the United States continue to make policy ignoring the scientific view of this issue. This week we asked students, why do you think climate change is under debate?
“I think there’s some studies that are saying that we should look at it more and some studies saying we should look at it less. I think there just needs to be more research done on it. The reason we are debating on it is we don’t know enough to reach a definite conclusion.” -Davida Drvenkar, psychology, freshman Photo credit: Maximilian Erickson
“I guess maybe lack of education. I mean, it’s a fact, but a lot of people who ignore it were probably not taught about it as much or at all when they were young, so it's just kind of been part of their mindset that it isn’t real and its difficult for people to accept when they’re wrong on both sides. It’s a pretty serious concern that a lot of our politicians are completely ignorant on the science.” -Hale Wilkinson, undeclared, freshman Photo credit: Maximilian Erickson
“I think its under debate because there’s a lot of money in the fossil fuel industry; that’s probably a big part of it. I mean I don’t think theres any debate about it among an educated communit. There’s not much of a question, it’s pretty accepted but people are bought off.” -Michael Galusha, civil engineering, junior Photo credit: Maximilian Erickson
“You know I have no idea. It shouldn’t be a debate because it is factual: every single aspect of science relies, almost, on the study of climate to do its job. When we launch rockets into the atmosphere and send UAF satellites up into the atmosphere it has to be at specific temperatures and specific requirements and we know because we have this data being given to us. We know that climate change is real. It's obviously a debate because of oil companies and I think its primarily abusing middle American socioeconomics. If middle America relies on coal and oil, those jobs will be gone, as we have a finite supply. It’s a complicated issue, but climate change is real.” -Mirin Morris-Ward, electrical engineering, freshman Photo credit: Maximilian Erickson
“I suppose because acting against climate change is going to cost money. Doing what we’ve been doing is probably the cheapest route compared to relying more on other sources of energy. Overall, I think they just don’t want to spend money or increase taxes.” -Mitchell Hay, mechanical engineering, freshman Photo credit: Maximilian Erickson
“Essentially the actual changes that are occurring with respect to the climate are happening over such a long, long period of time. And over that long period of time the measurements that are being taken, and the record keeping that is being practiced as well as the individuals who are practicing the record keeping are constantly switching hands. Data is being lost. Stuff like that, so it's essentially statistical issues with the way we are trying to quantify this phenomena that’s causing doubt with respect to people who make policy. 'Cause if you’re going to pass policy you have to make sure the policy you’re passing is standing on some kind of really solid foundation of logic." -Sid Huhndorf, petroleum engineering, senior Photo credit: Maximilian Erickson