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Sample Renaissance Debate Script

Sample Renaissance Debate Script

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Published by neilstephenson
Sample of Student work from the Calgary Science School. This a grade 8 project where students debated, "Does Calgary have the necessary conditions to become a Renaissance City?"
Sample of Student work from the Calgary Science School. This a grade 8 project where students debated, "Does Calgary have the necessary conditions to become a Renaissance City?"

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Published by: neilstephenson on Mar 08, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Intro:To be, or not to be, that is the question… does Calgary have thepotential to be a modern Renaissance city? Or do complacencyand constraints - both in thought and the economy - mean it isnot to be?Based on much research and interviews with our experts, Istrongly believe that Calgary is not on the road to becoming amodern Renaissance City. Since the arrival of the NorthwestMounted Police in 1875, Calgary has endured the great fire of 1886, the harsh realities of the great depression and two worldwars and the challenges of economic “busts”. Calgarians havealso enjoyed multiple economic boom times and the privilege of hosting the 1988 Olympic games. But through all of these ups anddowns, Calgary has not emerged as a Renaissance city. And itnever will. There are three compelling reasons Calgary isdestined to remain an energetic, livable, but ultimatelyuninspiring city. First, without a significant external event toforce change, it’s abundantly clear that Calgarians are contentwith the status quo. Second, we refuse to generously fund thearts and as a result, the creative arts struggle to flourish in ourcity. Finally, Calgary’s economic foundations rest on a narrow,carbon-intensive and ultimately declining resource, which meansit is destined to slowly crumble away.Body:In the mid-14
century, one of the key factors that set the stagefor the Italian Renaissance was the Black Death, which madepeople question the world around them – especially the strongauthority of the Catholic Church. Calgary lacks the modernequivalent – a major event or force that will force a fundamentalre-examination of our beliefs and priorities. In fact, according tothe Alberta Elections website, since 1971 Calgary has helped toelect 10 consecutive Conservative provincial governments. Thisgoes to show that the citizens of Calgary are content. Wegenerally lack the desire to question or challenge the status quo.Since there is no drive for basic reflection or change, there willbe no revitalization of Calgary’s society. Consequently, there canbe no modern Renaissance in our city.
 During the Italian Renaissance, patrons donated large sums of money to fund the arts and culture of their cities. There is noparallel in Calgary today. Despite enjoying 5 economic “booms”since 1947, according to Hill Strategy Research Inc., only 0.8% of Calgary’s labour force is engaged in the arts. And those artistsearn only 43% of the average wage. This is because even thoughthere are several super-wealthy people in Calgary, the bulk of Calgary’s wealth is in corporations. And their shareholders mustapprove corporations’ charitable donations. Canada’s five largestcompanies are Royal Bank of Canada, EnCana, Research inMotion, Imperial Oil Ltd. and Toronto Dominion Bank. A review of their corporate websites makes it clear that shareholdersstrongly prefer to fund education, health, youth and communityinitiatives over the arts. This goes to show that funding for thearts is not a priority for the wealthiest entities in our city. Norare arts and culture a top concern for Calgary’s citizens.The economy of the Italian Renaissance was based around trade,banking, art, guild activities such as wool, etc. In modern dayCalgary, our economy is focused on primary resource industries:forestry, mining, fishing, oil and gas. In fact, according to CalgaryEconomic Development, these sectors contributed over $10billion to Calgary’s economy in 2008 – 14.5% of the totaleconomy. Since Renaissance Italy’s economy was morewidespread and diverse, if one industry crashed then it was stillstable. In Calgary, if the primary resource sector starts to fail,we’ll be in trouble. This seems inevitable. In fact, the WorldEnergy Council's 2007 Survey of Energy Resources stated: "Theevidence suggests that the peak of world discovery was in the1960s, meaning that the corresponding peak of production for'conventional oil' (oil from oil wells as opposed to synthetic oilfrom tar sands, shale or coal) is approaching. The world startedusing more than it found in 1981 and that gap has widenedsince." The study went on to warn: "Given the central position of oil in the modern economy, the onset of decline threatens to bea time of great economic and geopolitical tension." The studysuggests production will peak around 2011 when the age of oilwill begin its inevitable decline. With one-seventh of Calgary’seconomy tied to the oil and gas sector, it’s clear that our limited

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