2008 – Eighth Grade Fourth Place:

Sam Prohaska, Minnesota.

Is global warming the greatest challenge facing humankind?

In today’s world, everybody is all wound up about the “global warming crisis”. Drastic changes are being made; new regulations for car emissions, with new CAFÉ specifications going into effect in 2007. The world is in an uproar over the “crisis” that is plagueing our planet. Meanwhile, in Darfur, over 100,000 people have died from genocide, and half the world doesn’t know its happening.

Global warming’s predicted effects include glacial retreat, arctic shrinkage and sea levels rising. Flood and drought are also predicted outcomes. However, the problem with these things compared to other issues is the amount of time they take to actually start happening. These effects are predicted to happen in hundreds of years! Predictions can be hopelessly inaccurate. Take for instance, the weather. This is part of the climate, and scientists can only accurately predict the temperature within a week! Try predicting how many tenths of a degree the world is rising in a hundred years. Talk about inaccurate! The point is, global warming is just an educated guess, and guesses always have uncertainty. Genocide is happening NOW, and there is no uncertainty in that statement.

Genocide is the “deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, religious or national group”. One of the first genocides to take place was the Holocaust. The Holocaust happened during the Nazi rule of Germany during the late 1930s and early 1940s. 6 million Jews were killed, and about 4 million other people deemed “impure” such as homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Freemasons, Romas, Polish people, East Slavs and the mentally Ill. The Nazis claimed they were cleansing their race of people that would make it “tainted”. Some of the more recent Genocides include Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Darfur. Thousands of people are killed just for having ancestors from a certain country. Orphans walk the streets, their parents murdered by the opposing forces, women and girls are raped and killed, mass exterminations are common practice, and people are still saying that global warming is the most pressing problem today?

Genocide is the devolution of the human race to animals, the return to our primal instinct to kill. It sweeps up people of a country, and drives them to seek and destroy their enemy. In addition, it is not just the adults that are doing it; the children also are the unwilling participants in this evil. Their parents are killed, and they become the guardians of their families. The eldest take up assault rifles and fight just for the right to live. Genocide is not just a part of their day, it is their entire life. For many of the children in Darfur, their entire lives have been a fight. Where ever they go, they are at risk of capture, death, and torture. That is no way for a child to live.

Remember, just because global warming seems to be the only thing people talk about these days, it does not mean that is the most pressing problem. Genocide not only kills people, it kills societies.





Kids Philosophy Slam Home Page