BYU-Idaho students tend not to see climate change as an urgent issue, according to a survey conducted by Scroll.

Scroll asked 43 randomly selected BYU-I students to participate in a 52-question survey, where students were asked questions centered on climate change.

One of the questions students were asked was, “Using the slider below, please show how urgent a problem you think climate change is for the United States and the world, where 0 means couldn’t be less urgent and 100 means couldn’t be more urgent.”

The survey found that based on the above scale, the average response from BYU-I students was 38.56. This number suggests that students attending BYU-I do not view climate change as an urgent issue.

“I do not see climate change as an urgent issue,” said Kylie Bowers, a sophomore studying biology. “To be honest, I don’t know much about it, but I don’t think that there is anything that we can do to slow or stop it.”

Further, of the 43 respondents, 49% of respondents view climate change as not urgent (0-25 on the scale). In comparison, 16% of respondents view climate change as urgent (76-100 on the scale).

A pie chart was created to display that BYU–Idaho students tend not to view climate change as an urgent issue.

A pie chart was created to display that BYU–Idaho students tend not to view climate change as an urgent issue. Photo credit: Will Vasseur

“Climate change impacts our daily lives more than people realize,” said Trey Beal, a sophomore studying supply chain management. “The rise in frequency and severity of natural disasters is a direct consequence of people’s apathy toward the earth. These disasters cost billions in damage and raise the cost of goods and services. Making life less enjoyable for everyone.”

Nationally, a 2022 survey from Best Colleges found that 60% of university students tend to view climate change as an urgent problem.

“I think one of the common misconceptions here is they often talk about lack of scientific information,” said Dan Taylor, a biology professor. “The science is very sound on the fact that the climate is changing … The science behind (climate change) is very firm in saying that it is human-caused and accelerating.”

In 2021, the Pew Research Center reported that 32% of Generation Z adults have “personally taken action to help address climate change within the last year.”

According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website, “All humankind should gratefully use what God has given, avoid wasting life and resources, and use the bounty of the earth to care for the poor and the needy.”

In a 2022 report, the Pew Research Center discovered that, as an individual’s religious commitment level increases, their recognition of climate change being a severe problem decreases.

“One thing that I have really tried to bring up in class is the teachings in the doctrine of the Church about really all environmental protection,” Taylor said. “There are very direct commandments about using land properly. A lot of the environmental scriptures talk about not wasting what we have and making sure everyone is equally benefiting from the environment.”