Pittsburgh students screen Climate Hustle, host balanced climate debate

America’s media, classrooms, and political discourse can all be very one-sided.

Shakira Jackson, a student at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and a CFACT Driessen Fellow, wanted to change that.

That’s why Jackson hosted a watch party of two climate change documentaries on each side of the issue in order to foster critical thinking and debate. 20 students tuned in to watch CFACT’s Climate Hustle film, which presents a skeptical view of climate alarm, and the PBS segment Climate of Doubt, which raises some criticisms of the skeptical or “realist” movement. The students then debated and discussed the issues surrounding climate change and the environment.

The watch party was hosted virtually over Zoom as many coronavirus restrictions remain in place at the school.

Jackson said she wanted to “show both perspectives…to demonstrate a criticism of the climate skeptics and to expand her peer’s knowledge on what’s factual and what’s biased.”

“The students had a comprehensive debriefing about the two documentaries after,” Jackson explained. As a result, Shakira has started to shift the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s opinion on different environmental motives and political ideologies.

At CFACT, we believe that free speech, especially at our nation’s institutions of higher education, is king. Students should learn all perspectives and be free to make up their own minds through analysis, debate, discourse, and balanced education. Unfortunately, many classrooms do not practice this, especially on the climate issue.

“We’re very proud of what Shakira has been doing,” Craig Rucker, CFACT’s president, said. “Show students both sides of the issue – we’re confident the truth will win out when they see the facts!”

Stay tuned for more great activism and outreach from the growing CFACT network at the University of Pittsburgh.