We got there pretty early, so it gave me the chance to look around, and it seemed relatively small. It was like a theatre, with the debators at the front. We found our desired seats, and a lady gave us copies of this month's issue of Reason magazine, which I slid under my chair and pretended to forget about. There was a bar that served refreshments, and they were also serving snacks, but aside from fruit they didn't have any vegan options, so I was just like 'Nah I'm okay.' I bought a Seltzer, and after I finished drinking it, I tried to find a recycling bin. I looked around, and unsurprisingly, there wasn't one. I didn't have my bag or jacket with me, so I did what I vowed 10 years ago never to do; Throw a can in the trash. I still feel like a piece of shit, but I've collected about 4,000 bottles and cans (no exaggeration) by working with my Environmentalist Club in the past 2 and a half years, so I think I still have a net positive on that front.
Since we had 45 minutes, my group and I, which included some of my friends, John, Nick, and Elizabeth, decided to walk around and converse with some of the early arrivals and the organizers of the event. I was walking around when Elizabeth, who was talking with this bald fuck named Ron, stopped me and said that I wasn't a big fan of the Green New Deal, despite still believing in climate change. This Ron guy seemed like a pretty nice guy though, and I talked with him about how Nuclear Energy is our best and only solution given our circumstances and all that jazz, and he seemed to agree with me judging by body language, but he seemed to be a bit slow-witted. I mean, I shouldn't judge, maybe he was tired, I dunno. It doesn't matter.
I also got into another conversation with an older dude, and we talked about free college tuition, and I said "Hey, I don't mind paying for college tuition as long as it's something like STEM or Med School. I don't want to be paying for someone to major in Gender Studies!" I said, half jokingly, and I went into how STEM has great economic and scientific benefits, and how free med school can help with ridiculously expensive hospital bills. He said, "Well, why would you want to pay for someone else's college, even with those benefits?" And I said, quite plainly "Altruism." And he said something along the lines of "Well, altruism has caused much more harm than good in history." And I was like 'Wow, the Ayn Rand is strong in this one...' I didn't say that, but I'm pretty sure my eyes did. I'm pretty sure I later overheard the same guy talking about how him reading 'Atlas Shrugged' was the beginning of his journey or some nonsense.
Once everyone arrived, the atmosphere got pretty chatty, and the place was eventually packed, and it was just about time for the debate to start, everyone sat down and got comfortable. I saw a lot of old people, and one old nerdy looking fuck with a massive beer gut wearing an 'Enjoy Capitalism' shirt, although I'm not sure if he has ever enjoyed capitalism a day in his life. Anyway, then one of the organizers of the event told us that the debate was an Oxford Style Debate, which is a debate in which the audience votes on who won basically. The resolution was as follows:
My immediate thought was 'Oh, so this is basically over before it starts!' for obvious reasons. Not to mention it sounded a bit loaded IYKWIM, but whatever, I was willing to put up with it. What we had to do was go onto our phones, go to a designated website and vote Yes, No, or Undecided. I voted No, because... it's wrong.There is little or no rigorous evidence that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming and threatening life on the planet.
So then they had some, uh, comedian come up stage, who is from the Libertarian podcast 'Part of the Problem,' (after pursuing his Twitter for 25 seconds, he doesn't seem very intelligent, or his humour is not to my taste) and he made some political jokes, and of course there was one about AOC. Side note here, even though I don't like AOC much, I mean, come on, leave the poor fucking girl alone; doesn't she get enough shit from you people? Anyway, I was messaging @Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz on Discord during his routine and he was getting quite angry if you catch my drift. And while I didn't find his jokes that funny, it seemed as though he was just staring at me during the whole thing (I was in the middle on an upper level), which I assume he just does for the cameras or whatever, and I didn't want to feel like an asshole for not laughing, like with the Pilot in that episode of Seinfeld, so I was like 'Hehe... ha... he..." Though in hindsight, I probably should've just kept a blank stare, but whatever.
The audience, being libertarians, loved his performance, laughing especially hard at the jokes aimed at liberals. There was this one guy sitting a row ahead with a big nose who was one of those people who laughed a little too loud at a joke that wasn't really that funny, but since he agreed with it politically he laughed hard. My friend Nick and I looked at him laugh, he had his head leaned back entirely, and his eyes here completely shut, teeth fully exposed, yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
So the debate commenced, and I'm not going to get into all of the details of the debate (not only do I not remember enough to tell you), but put simply, if you've been in the debate about climate change for long, then you know about the arguments on both sides, and those were basically what were said here (e.g. more plants now, ice age fallacy, etc). It was between Astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett, the guy who believed in climate change, and other guy Craig Idso who didn't. Idso went first, and to be honest, I'm not sure if this is my bias at play, he just seemed to be a snarky, arrogant cocksucker, who is obviously politically motivated, while Bennet seemed to be pretty outgoing and less patronizing. The audience was being quite boorish at times when Bennett was up on stage, laughing or booing him when he said something they didn't like. I think Bennett did a good job, and Idso was being a dick, but even if this were a room filled with me's, I wouldn't laugh at what Idso was saying, and be more respectful, despite what he says. If you have any other questions about the debate, I'll be glad to fill you in, if I can remember (and no, factory farming effects on climate were not brought up, sadly).
At one point, I had to go piss, and there was some guy standing in front of the door to the restroom, so I said "Excuse me" and the guy said "Fuck off kid" so I just stood back and waited for him to move. I had similar rude encounters at the place, but that's not important.
After the debate, I was surprised by the results of the vote. Of course, the climate changer denier won, but it wasn't by a large margin, only about 5%:
(The resolution in question will probably be different by the time some of you read this, so I archived this page, though I'm not sure if it'll load):
https://web.archive.org/web201904202140 ... ovote.com/
We were getting up to leave, but before that I went up to Mr. Bennett, shook his hand, said he did a great job, and he kept his composure well, despite the audience members being rude. He thanked me, and I was on my way.
So final thoughts? I think while most of the people in there are likely good people, they seemed to be simple minded and arrogant, but that's just me. What I'm really pissed off is how climate change is a political issue. Now if it were an issue on how to solve it, that might be tolerable. But whether or not that it's real and causing harm to us as a species? Are you fucking kidding me? But this is a rant for another time. Anyone else have any similar experiences with Libertarians or other ideologues? I might add a few more details based on the reception to this post, so whatever.
BTW, interestingly enough, there is going to be a debate about the health effects of saturated fats in diets, between dietary journalist quack Nina Teicholz (whom I know brimstone is a big fan) and David Katz next month.
The resolution for that debate is:
So yeah, unless someone here is willing to put Nina in her place in case Davey fails to, you know where it is.There is little or no rigorous evidence that vegetarian/vegan diets are healthier than diets that include meat, eggs, and dairy.
I will not be attending, since I will likely punch one or two people in the face. Oh yeah, unless I'm going crazy, there was going to be a debate with Andrew Yang about automation and how it's going to affect the job market and such in September, but he might be too busy (Presidential Campaign, etc) to attend, so they're finding some other dude.