The Big Debate

Big Debate Graphic
The Debate:

“This House believes that we have outgrown our Belief in God” 

Chairing The Debate:

Colin English

Speaking For The Motion:

Ted Mason

Speaking Against The Motion:

David Caals

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A rather humorous account of the ‘Net Zero’ debate

Verwood U3A – the Great Debate – October2023

(A serious topic debated in a friendly atmosphere)

The latest great debate took place in the Hub on 4thOctober. The motion was “This house believes that the date for achieving Net Zero should be delayed”. This was proposed by the admirable John Tolley and opposed by the impeccable ColinEnglish. The Chairman was the irrepressible Alan Pearce, whose gavel let everybody know exactly how fair this contest was to be. In his introductionhe also made sure that everyone knew the difference between “Net Zero” and “carbon neutrality” – not that in the end this affected much, anyway.  The omnipresent Howard sat on the sidelines and refused to ask a question or make a statement, however much the Chairman poked him.

Both Proposer and Opposer were very knowledgeable, but only the Opposer had brought an exhibit with him – some really dirty Alaskancrude oil. The Floor thought this was admirable. The Proposer had neither polite Alaskan oil nor other items with him, but he did have graphs and bar charts, and put forward slightly more figures.

The Floor had a jolly good say as well, and showed that they, too, were capable of thinking.Lots of thinking. This was confirmed at the end of this very enjoyable debate – during which every single member of the audience had his or her say. Quite a lot, in fact.  But all in the very best of taste.

We all learned a great deal: that Armageddon isn’t here but jolly soon will be if we don’t mind our “p’s” and “q’s”. Also, however, that there won’t be enough distributive copper power cables to get Armageddon prevention to everybody by 2050 so it really will have to be delayed. And that it is very cold in northern Scotland. And that insulation is very important.

Before the unfading Chairman actually remembered to call for a show of hands on the motion, he called for a show of hands of those who had made their minds up before they even attended (three), and those who had changed their minds as a result of this erudite debate (Nil. None. Zero. Zilch. Nobody.) It might thus have been thought that perhaps there was no reason why we should all have given up our Wednesday afternoon, except that we had all had a really good time. Quite a few chuckles, and nobody was injured or harmed in any way.

It is recommend that serious thinking members of Verwood U3A should come to the next Great Debate, the date of which will be promulgated once the word “promulgate” has been checked in the dictionary to make sure it’s not rude.

Oh, and by the way, the motion was passed with a majority of 2, with one abstention – from a sapient person who expressed what most people were perhaps thinking inwardly: “My heart tells me one thing but my head tells me another”.