Students react to UN report on climate change, consequences of increasing global temperatures

Featured photo courtesy of Jarod Carruthers / Flickr

Photos and story by Staff

A new report on the advancement of global warning was issued Monday by the United Nations. The report offers a more critical look at the consequences of climate change and how quickly it will affect the daily lives of the world’s citizens through food shortages, increased number of wildfires and rising sea levels.

According to the report, issued by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, major effects will be experienced as early as 2040, just as many current Middle Tennessee State University students will reach middle age.

“I think we are to blame for a lot,” said Addy Young, 18, a sophomore chemistry major. “We thought the world was ours and that we could do whatever we want to it, and we can already see how bad it has affected the Earth. I think we should look more into renewable resources like solar power.”

“I think we are to blame for a lot,” says MTSU Sophomore Addy Young when discussing her views on climate change in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Staff / MTSU Sidelines)

Many of the students interviewed had not heard about the UN’s report but did believe that the world’s temperature was rising, and they accept there will be consequences unless preventive actions are taken.

According to the report, scientists previously believed that the worst effects of global warming would occur with a 3.6-degree Fahrenheit increase. The new report offered a look at the the consequences of a 2.7 degree rise. This led to the prediction that the world will begin to see the worst effects of the global warming by 2040.

Students and faculty at MTSU reacted to the news primarily with alarm.

“I’m really scared,” said Mariah Biggs, a criminal justice major, as she walked to the campus library. “The world we live in won’t be here as long if we don’t take care of it as we’re supposed to.”

Students said the report makes them question their future.

“I’m worried for kids and grandkids,” says MTSU Sophomore Samantha Campbell when discussing her views on climate change in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Staff / MTSU Sidelines)

“I am worried for kids and grandkids, and this just shows the things we can all do that affect our children and grandchildren,” said Samantha Campbell, 20, a sophomore who is studying commercial songwriting.

She remains hopeful the world will become a greener place and save humanity from a global disaster.

Delaney Chandler, 21, an international relations major, said more needs to be done.

“I thought we were trying to solve the problem, but at the same time, I don’t see much of a change trying to fix that,” Chandler said. “So, it’s not too surprising that it’s happening sooner.”

“I think we’re feeling the effects right now,” added Wilma McLean, a library assistant.

According to the scientists who authored the report, the impact on such a scale as predicted could come with as high as a $54 trillion price tag. To prevent the world’s thermometer from rising, the report suggests it would take a change in business practices at a level with “not documented historic precedent.”

President Donald Trump, according to a New York Times report, did not mention the new report when he visited Florida on Monday afternoon. Florida is a state that is expected to be heavily affected by rising sea levels expected with global warming.

Tina Simmons, a cashier at the POD in the College of Media and Entertainment, is also not ready to blame global warming.

“Honestly I won’t believe it (global warming) until I see it for myself,” Simmons said. “Like, they said the world would end in 2000. I’ll believe it when it happens.”

Contributing to this report were: Ebonee Anderson, Alec Baynes, Camdon Gathwright, Allison Goldtrap, Lauren Hennessee, Imani Joyner, Mamie Lomax, Kaylie Plemens, J.R. Smith, Austin Thompson, Kyla Tillis, Chandler Whittaker, Terryca Williams and Eric Woolworth.

To contact news Editor Caleb Revill, email

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