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February 20, 2009

Student Dems, GOP debate climate change

The question of climate change was the center of a debate last night in the Reynolds Club between the College Republicans and the UC Dems, who argued not just about environmental policy, but also about whether there was a significant environmental problem at all.

The debate heated up as student on both sides gave passionate responses.

Referring to widespread agreement within the scientific community that global warming exists, College Republican Matthew Szydagis, a fourth-year physics graduate student, said, “Science is not about consensus. Science is about one person being right, and everyone being wrong, until his theory has been proven right.”

Third-year Democratic debater Liz Scoggin replied, “If some crackpot says there is no gravity, we wouldn’t listen to him. This is just like that. Global warming is not a made-up thing.”

College Republicans also argued that global warming might not be as bad as some scientists make it out to be.

Josh Lerner, a first-year College Republican, said, “More people die per year of cold-related diseases than warm-related diseases,” and added that if global temperatures increased, new land would be opened up to agriculture and more food would be produced.

The debate ended with a plea for bipartisanship, as first-year UC Dem Thomas Kakalios argued that Republicans and Democrats alike should recognize global warming: “What should be a global concern has been turned into a hot-spot partisan issue.”