Students say university should do more to prepare undergrads for the future impact of climate change

As the impact of climate change becomes more obvious, many students say the university should do more to educate those enrolled here about the issue.

“PNW should address climate change because it’s important that we understand how the climate is changing, so that we can prepare for the future,” said graduate student Amanda Logan, who is studying Industrial Engineering Technology. “Knowing the facts can eliminate the anxiety of an issue that is frequently mentioned.” 

Brittney Vroom, senior Physics major, agreed.

“It affects our future as well as every career we could possibly enter into,” she said. “I think that most disciplines are capable of incorporating climate change into their curriculum in some way, shape or form.”

The issue has been prominent this year as historic climate events have affected most of the world – from floods in Australia, Pakistan and the western United States, to extreme heatwaves in this country, India, the Horn of Africa, China and Europe. 

Two reports issued in the past month suggest climate change is a serious and fast-growing problem. 

An analysis by the non-profit group Climate Central found that up to 4.4 million acres of U.S. property is likely to be under water by 2150. It estimates that at least $108 billion in real estate is at risk from rising sea levels.

The UN also issued a report from the World Meteorological Organization that found the past seven years were the warmest on record and greenhouse gas concentrations are reaching record highs.

While several students acknowledged the university does work the topic into classes, some said more can be done.

 “I feel like I’m not as informed as I should be,” said Rylie Camp, senior Finance major.

Some students said the university’s focus should be on what people can do to address the issue.

“PNW should educate its students about the matter and how we as a community can help reduce and help combat climate change,” said Isaiah Cole, Computer Science senior.

David Bolton, Communication junior, agreed.

“PNW needs to ensure students understand the impact they have on climate change,” he said. “By encouraging recycling, fuel efficiency and non-harmful products, we will have a smaller footprint in our society.”

Quisean Owens, a junior Computer Science major, said he would like the university to go even further. 

PNW should consider changing its source of energy,” he said. “If our heat or whatever comes from oil, coal or gas, we need to switch to renewable energy, such as wind or solar.”