Readers’ Forum: 12/4/18


Gaining a new perspective

Living in Provo, Utah, and attending Brigham Young University, the influence of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints is pervasive. While the Church does have a good influence on the community, it’s hard for community members to get outside the “bubble.”

Unfortunately, BYU is not an accurate representation of the real world. Too many young college students have become complacent with their views and don’t have many opportunities to associate with someone who has a different set of beliefs than they do. This can lead to an unawareness of views that may be contrasting, but viable.

To properly form an opinion about a topic, an individual must be informed about both sides of the topic. Gaining a perspective from someone who has an opposite opinion is incredibly valuable.

To counteract this, students should be given more opportunities to associate with people who have different views than they do. One way this could be achieved is by allowing students with opposing viewpoints more opportunities to meet together and discuss. Perhaps there could be a conference or seminar where students can learn how to properly discuss an opinion and then put the skills to the test by going online or talking with other people face to face.

By learning how to talk to people who don’t think the same way in a polite manner, BYU students will be better prepared to face the real world and be more successful in their lives after college.

— Alli Trendler

Mesa, Arizona

Unplug for your health

At BYU, I pass by hundreds of students — all individually unique, all with different blends of interests, styles, genetics, aspirations and personalities that mold them — yet I find a disturbing similarity between each of the people I pass: headphones.

The consequence of becoming literally plugged into different stations and realities is we not only become oblivious to the possibility of new friendships and strengthening our existing relationships, but we also subject ourselves to poor health and less happiness overall.

Because of our online relationships and activity, we must assess how much screen time is healthy. Our beloved smart phones promise us even more connections, likes, followers, constant entertainment, feelings of acceptance, praise and glorification, when in reality we tend to find ourselves more isolated, like forlorn figures than “kings in a digital paradise” or “Gods amongst mere mortals in the digital age.”

All things indicate we have become far too credulous of our cell phones to determine our own value or worth. Along with a strain on personal relations, the threats and risks — whether they be physical health or mental health — have grave consequences and become more apparent with the ubiquity of screens.

If we allow ourselves to be unplugged and adhere to selective screen time viewing, we will see the world through different lens. We will be more lively, more invested in our relationships, healthier physically and mentally, and find more joy and happiness on a daily basis.

— Ireland Hacking

Alpine, Utah

Reporter Opinion

The reality of climate change

Utah is known for its national parks, sweeping red canyons, snow-capped mountains, towering forests and prime skiing and snowboarding. The Utah Office of Tourism estimated in its 2017 report Utah hosts about 19 million visitors annually, many of whom were drawn to the state’s wealth of natural attractions. These travelers come from across the world and pour into Utah in revering droves.

Utah also hosts wildfires, red air days, rising temperatures and waning snowfall levels. Last winter was one of the warmest in recorded history, according to an article by The Salt Lake Tribune. During the summer, dry conditions stoked wildfires and devoured mountainsides.

Though not all scientists blame climate change for the warm temperatures and poor air quality, many believe there is a correlation.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Utah has warmed two degrees in the last century. The agency speculates diminishing snowfall will impact tourism, wildfires will increase and high temperatures will cause water shortages.

Public lands, national parks and wildlife will be directly impacted, according to The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Opinions on climate change are exceedingly divisive — which makes sense considering its less than desirable nature.

However, scientists and researchers have conducted study after study on climate change. While results may vary, the overall finding is this: the world is warming, slowly and incrementally, but warming nonetheless. At least in some part because of humans and the careless way we treat the world. Unchecked, results could be devastating.

Which is why Utahns have a responsibility to educate themselves about climate change, look at the research carefully, come to a decision and then act accordingly — both for each other and the world around us.

— Sahalie Donaldson, Universe Metro Editor

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