Resolved: Climate Change Is Not A Crisis An Oxford-Style Debate for Ecological Citzenship

June 16, 2016 | 0 comments

Peter Buckland
Sustainability Institute
University Park



Resolved: Climate Change Is Not A Crisis

An Oxford-Style Debate for Ecological Citzenship

This assignment is designed to develop students’ ecological citizenship skills on the issue of Anthropogenic climate change. It accomplishes this by placing them into teams of two or three to engage in an Oxford-style debate on the proposition “Climate change is not a crisis.” Healthy debates such as this require extensive preparation that builds significantly on four of the five sustainability competencies in “An Exploration of Competencies in Sustainability: Working Paper” by Engle et al. This assignment sheet is structured as follows:

  1. Assignment
  2. Format & Logic
  3. Skills developed
  4. Guidance for assessment in a basic rubric.
  5. Supplemental sources of information for climate and debates.


Climate change is NOT a crisis. Using up-to-date scientific evidence available, you are tasked with convincing your peers whether or not anthropogenic climate change is a crisis. What does this mean?

You will be assigned to a team of 2 or 3 students and assigned a position for or against the proposition that climate change is not a crisis. Your group will prepare a ten-minute argument in favor of your position. This means that you will have to gather good evidence from respected sources, appeal to our values, evaluate the risks of anthropogenic climate change, compare climate change risks to other alleged crises like global poverty, appeal to common values, and clearly communicate them all in 10 minutes or less. As part of that preparation, your group will prepare an outline and write a research paper that makes the same argument.

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