In light of former Vice President Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmental campaign and speculation that the recent California wildfires may be tied to global warming, UH students have conflicting attitudes on climate change.
"Yes, global warming is a threat to the world," biochemistry senior Angelica Torres said.
Torres, like other UH students, has her views on the issue of global warming.
Torres said that she has noticed environmental changes rom personal experience.
"If you notice, some winters are hotter than others," she said. "There was this one Christmas where I went to Mexico, and it was so hot we actually went to the swimming pool. Global warming is messing up the cycle of nature."
Business junior Jeanne McMaster said that while terrorism and crime are important, she believes global warming is a bigger threat.
"Over the last two decades, (global warming) has been put to the side to be dealt with later, and therefore it has become out of control," she said.
Some students, such as architecture senior Maria Gonzalez, are thinking of how their education and career choices might be affected by global warming.
"About 40 percent of man-made pollution is caused by constructions and buildings," she said. "So more and more architects are becoming ‘green’ architects. They engage in construction that is environmentally friendly, like creating ‘green roofs’ which cool houses during summer."
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System sets a level of standards that buildings can adapt to emphasize environmental sustainability, regulate water-usage efficiency and encourage environmentally friendly business competition, according to the U.S. Green Building Council Web site.
Gonzalez also said she believes anyone can help by "going green."
"We can recycle and reuse something, use wind energy as power or look into hydroelectricity and green roofs," she said. "What we do will affect our own future and our planet."
Unless the public view on the issue is corrected, no serious change in our behavior and its outcome will occur, biochemistry freshman Thomas Shide said.
"Global warming goes hand-in-hand with a lot of the pollution we cause," Shide said. "Excessive carbon emissions lead to pollution, which eventually leads to many health issues. Global warming can destroy the ozone layer and let in more UV light, which will cause great damage to us and our planet."
In February, the United Nations released a report that said that global warming was "very likely" caused by human activity over the past 50 years, The New York Times reported in February.
While reports have stated humans have an effect on global warming, civil engineering junior Anthony Niblack and political science sophomore Rav Khinda are not convinced.
"No, I don’t know," Niblack said. "I think the rate at which the greenhouse gasses are accumulating are not statistically significant."
For Khinda, the global warming theories don’t add up.
"Global warming is not a threat because I believe it is caused by sun cycles. It’s a little ridiculous. The science behind it is just not convincing," Khinda said.
Like Khinda, mechanical engineering senior Iffat Gallani said she doesn’t believe the planet is heating.
"I’m actually not even sure global warming exists," Gallani said. "A lot of my teachers say temperature changes on Earth have existed before we were even here. Who’s to say that (it’s) because of pollution?"
Gallani said she didn’t think Gore deserved the Peace Prize.
"I believe other people deserve it more than him. He didn’t do anything substantial, like eliminate what he calls ‘global warming,’" Gallani said.
Others believe that global warming is real but isn’t something that will affect people living today.
"I think eventually it will be (a threat)," biology junior Alina Batool said. "If we’re going to go down, we’re all going to go down together."
Batool said she doesn’t know very much about global warming and that the government should have more programs to inform people about its effects.
She also said that the arguments against the reality of global warming are confusing and might be the reason why people aren’t taking it seriously.
"If they knew more about it and could see how it would affect them, then maybe they would care," Batool said. "Of course the government has disregarded this issue. They are way behind on what needs to be done, and I think they have forgotten how much of a priority this issue is becoming."
Additional reporting by Tim Burggraf, Bayan Raji, Cristy Villarreal and Lauren Tucker