Annual High School Environmental Debate

Each year, the Valpo Chain of Lakes Watershed Group sponsors these high school environmental debates in order to provide entertainment, inspiration & motivation to the general public.

We strive to build appreciation of the importance of debating environmental issues, to see both sides of an argument, and to recognize the talent of our student teams. The students appreciate the chance to demonstrate their skills and move others to sharpen their own. Those who attend are reliably in awe of the abilities displayed by these award-winning debaters.

Past debate topics have included Genetically Modified Organisms, The XL Pipeline, Alternative Fuels, Poverty vs. the Environment, Fracking, Off-shore Drilling, Factory Farming, Mitigation vs. adaptation as best strategy for dealing with climate change, and The Advantages of a Carbon Tax as a means of Reducing Pollution.

2020 - Single-Use Plastics vs Plastics Ban

 

The fierce but healthy competition will heat up this year as the 12th Annual Environmental Debate turns toward an emerging topic dominating both environmental and economic policies – the use of single use plastics and, particularly, if their use should be prohibited.  The Chesterton team will argue in favor of banning plastics whereas Valparaiso will defend their continued use.

2019 - Meat-based vs Plant-based Diets

 

This year’s student teams will focus on the advantages – and disadvantages – of consuming animals vs. plants as the main source of protein and argue about the impacts of each on our health, the health of our planet, and the health of our economy. The Chesterton team will argue in favor of vegetarianism whereas Valparaiso will defend meat-lovers.

2018 - Globalism Vs Nationalism

 

Rather than economics or defense, however, this year’s student teams will focus on the environmental advantages of the two political approaches and argue the effectiveness of each; should nations focus environmental policies based upon the best interests of the globe or just their own nation’s best interests? The Chesterton team will argue in favor of globalism whereas Valparaiso will favor nationalism.

2017 - Carbon Tax

 

The goal of the “carbon tax” is to reduce harmful levels of carbon dioxide emissions while providing health, economic and environmental benefits to our society. While hotly debated by both conservative and liberal politicians within both major parties, the advantages may, or may not, greatly outweigh the drawbacks as our new generation of leaders will argue.

2016 - Meat-based vs Plant-based Diets

 

This year’s student teams will focus on the advantages – and disadvantages – of consuming animals vs. plants as the main source of protein and argue about the impacts of each on our health, the health of our planet, and the health of our economy. The Chesterton team will argue in favor of vegetarianism whereas Valparaiso will defend meat-lovers.

2013 - Should The United States Ban Fracking?

Chesterton High School and Valparaiso High School debate teams will formally argue this topic, with Chesterton on the affirmative side and Valpo taking the negative side. This annual debate is free, open to the public, and features some of our most talented and ambitious local students.

The Chesterton team will include Ronald Kavach and Jessica Ratel-Kahn while Valpo’s team  will consist of Troy Borlick and Gavin White.

The Valpo Chain of Lakes Watershed Group will host a Q & A pizza party at Greeks Pizza (one block east) immediately following the debate.