SER events: Oxford Debate - Climate Change
If you want to listen to the fabulous speeches, and perhaps collect some arguments for your essays, you can download the speeches by clicking on the links below:
|First speaker for Proposition - Gilbert Pooley||ogg||mp3||wav|
|First speaker for Opposition - Danielle Quinn||ogg||mp3||wav|
|Second speaker for Proposition - Edward Gaffney||ogg||mp3||wav|
|Second speaker for Opposition - William Young||ogg||mp3||wav|
|Final speaker for Proposition - Séin Ó Muineacháin||ogg||mp3||wav|
|Final speaker for Opposition - Max Kasriel||ogg||mp3||wav|
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- wav (Waveform Audio)
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The DebateThere was standing room only in the historic Graduate Memorial Building as an eager crowd congregated to witness Trinity and Oxford’s finest do battle. The debate began at the later time of 8pm so that the Philosophical Society, who co-hosted the debate, could welcome Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The wait only added to the suspense as the teams did last minute preparation on the motion that,
This House believes that the rich world should face its environmental responsibilities.
The outcome of the contest was to be determined by a distinguished panel of guests. Chairing the adjudicators was Senator Shane Ross, Business Editor with the Sunday Independent. George Lee, Economics Editor with RTE, Ann Sheriff, from the British Embassy and Deputy Dan Boyle, Green Party Spokesman on Finance completed the adjudication panel. Pro- Chancellor of the University and Emeritus Whately Professor of Political Economy Dermot McAleese was the eminent chair of the debate.
Trinity proposed the motion and Gilbert Pooley opened for the home team. He pointed out that the rich world was polluting more per capita than the developing world. He acknowledged that the rich world is in a position of power and that it must use this placing to lead the way in environmental protection. He argued that nothing could be left to chance as the world is a finite resource and that poorer countries will be hit earliest and hardest when the climate changes.
Irish exile Danielle Quinn was first up for Oxford. She began by contending that the rich world was already facing its environmental responsibilities and pointed out that British political parties are currently competing to be seen as the “green” party. She continued by arguing that market forces were sufficient and backed up her point by pointing out that consumer demand was influenced by the amount of air-miles a good consumes.
Edward Gaffney opened by powerfully asserting that one-fifth of the world should pay the most because one-fifth causes the most damage. He rebutted Danielle’s point about the production of Hybrid cars causing more pollution than a Hummer by arguing that the sooner we start fixing the problem the sooner it can be solved. He finished by maintaining that allowing the problem to be dealt with by the next generation under the presumption they will be better able to deal with it would be catastrophic.
William Young attempted to rebut Edward by pointing out that trying to assign blame was pointless as the future of the planet is everyone’s problem. He continued by arguing that the problem was one of moral hazard; if there is no incentive for the developing world to behave more sensibly they will continue on causing damage. He used the Stern Report to illustrate that point that we need the whole world onside in the battle against climate change.
Séin Ó Muineacháin rounded up vigorously for Trinity. He alluded to the country of Djibouti which ranks 148th on the Human Development Index and has zero carbon emissions. This innocent country would be devastated by the rising tides caused by the rich world’s failure to act. He contended that the annihilation of small, poor countries is too important to leave to personal choice in the supermarkets and firm action is required now.
Last up for Oxford was Max Kasriel. He reiterated that people like environmentally friendly products and concluded that it was therefore pointless to only ask the rich world to act as they were already on the road to solving the problems. He argued that it was just as damaging if the developing world was ignored in the solution to the problem.
After the judging panel retired to consider their verdict, Senator Ross delivered the result. He said it has been a difficult decision and it was a debate of excellent quality. Trinity’s Séin Ó Muineacháin was declared best speaker and Trinity were announced as winners of the prestigious Oxbridge Debate for the third year in a row.
After-debate bliss, part 2 (L-R): Charlie Nolan, General Manager, and Leonie MacCann, Sponsorship Ma