This is part of the WSDC 2010 series as I recount and report on the World School Debating Championship 2010 from Doha, Qatar as a debater, blogger and Hong Kong national team member.
In debating, we often argue about preserving the environment through a myriad of methods. It is wholly ironic that debating is a very environmentally unfriendly event. For all our words, we use hundreds and thousands of sheets of paper throughout the course of any debate competition not to mention those pesky cue-cards.
Shortly after Hong Kong World School Team trials, I took the unusual step of keeping many of the cue-cards used during the preparation, practice and training debates. As of today, here’s how the stack looks like.
Given that this stack represents but one single debater, imagine duplicating this stack by the 5 debaters per team.
Now multiply that by the 57 teams set to participate the World School Debating Competition and this is what you get. (Quite a bit of scrolling to do)
Of course, there’s also the small matter of having around 400 debaters, coaches, trainers and judges jetting in sat on gas guzzling airplanes to arrive at the venue in Doha, Qatar.
Certainly, there is no real solution to these problems. There is bound to be an environmental cost for any such large scale event. Let’s just hope we’ve all covered our tracks with carbon offsetting.