Thursday, July 19, 2007

IQ Squared Global Warming Debate


Climate change is big news these days, from melting mountain glaciers to warming seas. But is the buildup of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere leading to a crisis?

That was the question at the core of a recent Oxford-style debate called Intelligence Squared U.S. The series is based on the Intelligence Squared program that began in London in 2002. Three experts argue in favor of a motion (Michael Crichton, Richard Lindzen, and Philip Stott); three others argue against it (Brenda Ekwurzel, Gavin Schmidt, and Richard Somerville).

In this debate, the proposition was: "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis." In a vote before the debate, about 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, while 57 percent were against and 13 percent undecided. The debate seemed to affect a number of people: Afterward, about 46 percent agreed with the motion, roughly 42 percent were opposed and about 12 percent were undecided.

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