Students argue climate change

Seth Ickes – Staff Writer

A climate change panel was held on Clarion University’s campus Wednesday, April 12.

Students formed into separate teams and debated what the role of the federal government should be in combatting the problem of climate change rather than a debate over the existence of climate change itself.

One team presented the “affirmative argument,” arguing that the United States government should implement a carbon tax and take the lead on action against climate change. The other team presented the opposing argument, rejecting implementation of a carbon tax.

Each team had an opportunity to give opening remarks, cross examine each other in order to gain points for their team and give closing statements. The audience voted for who they thought won the debate. In this case, the team arguing against a carbon tax won the debate.

Communication major Dean Lenker III argued on the “affirmative” team and argued that the United States needs a carbon tax in order to help protect the environment.

Lenker said that he hoped the debate encouraged students to think more about climate change as he thinks climate change is an issue “more people should know about and discuss because it greatly affects our future, as well as the future of our children.”

Lenker also said, “It’s good to have to see things both ways sometimes.”

Economics major Edward McFadden also partook in the debate on climate change. He stated that he had a fun experience debating and that it was his “first ever debate.”

“[I] didn’t really know what to expect going in,” said McFadden.

He stated that he believed the United States should be “doing a lot more to protect and preserve the environment.”

McFadden explained that because he was assigned to argue against a carbon tax, he was able to see both sides of the argument and hopes “that it got students thinking about how they form their opinions and what they base their own arguments on.”

Communication major Cameron Finney was part of the audience who watched the panel. He said, “The panel distinguished two very well done views.”

He added that even though he voted for the team who opposed a carbon tax, he found both sides to be very persuasive. Finney gave his personal view on climate change and said, “Now is the time for people who research climate change professionally to come up with ideas for our nation to deal with it.”

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