The debate team celebrated the University’s “One Book, One University” program in the ACB Sept. 12, showcasing an open debate regarding the idea that humans are not responsible for global warming.
Debaters argued the cause of global warming and concluded that it is a mixture of the normal fluctuation of earth’s temperatures and human destruction.
“We have a choice in how we live; the amount of cars we have on the freeway is not natural,” junior opposition leader Melanie Nadon said. “We caused the problem, so we can change it.”
Approximately 50 people attended the showcase, including a mixture of students and faculty.
Coach Robert Ruiz held the debate with some of the university’s top debate students, including seniors Carl Decker and Sam French who are scheduled to participate in this year’s Debate World Championships in Chennai, India.
Each side was represented by three students, and each student had five minutes to present their case, with the occasional interjection from the opposition. The whips from both sides summed up the argument with their final thoughts.
The government side proclaimed global warming is a natural cycle that is overblown in proportion to other issues that actually affect society more directly.
The opposition refuted this, insisting that the current lifestyle of society is sickening and damaging to the earth, and that society should switch to something that considers long-term stability.
After all of the students had said their part, the discussion was opened up to the audience to give students and faculty a chance to give their opinion.
Debate captain and Prime Minister Sam French stepped forward to give his thoughts on the issue.
“If you were given a choice between bugs and beef, most people go with beef because it’s tasty,” French said.
“But it is also one of the biggest contenders to greenhouse gases. Therefore what it comes down to is a matter of personal freedoms and choices.”
Al Clark, associate vice president of academic affairs, also participated in the open discussion. Clark is currently writing his own book regarding issues such as climate, flood control and waste disposal.
“We’re not destroying the earth, we’re destroying the earth’s ability to sustain us.” Clark said.
Others also pointed out that the consequences of our actions can be seen in developing countries. People known as “climate refugees” have risen out of the global warming event as their islands have sunk into the ocean like something out of Atlantis.
The overall consensus of the arguments was that people are responsible to do something to prolong the sustainability of the world.
It is not the west’s job to tell under-developed countries how to run their society, nor is it ethical to sit by and do nothing.
“It was interesting to have an audience with both students and faculty,” sophomore opposition whip Gia Karpouzis said. “The dynamic it brought to our discussions was intriguing, especially with the professional input from the faculty present.”
“The main goal of this showcase was to provoke thought and discussion amongst the audience,” French said.
“Hopefully people can take something away from what we presented today.”
The debate team is scheduled to travel to Oxford to compete on Nov. 6, and then India to participate in the World Championship in December.
Alison Rodriguez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the story, “Global warming debated,” which ran Sept. 20, the location of the Nov. 6 debate tournament was incorrect. The Nov. 6 debate tournament will take place at Oxford University in Great Britain.