“Of course not!”, I hear you cry! “What an absurd idea!”
It seems like such a silly question!
However, the children in Osprey class have been looking at reasons for and against building a new town near a volcano. We held a class debate, where half of the class argued the reasons for the proposal, and the other half argued the reasons against!
- Ash can destroy farm crops
- Buildings can be destroyed by lava flow
- People can be swept away by pyroclastic flows or lahars (mudflows)
- Ash can cause health problems for people and animals
- Frequent earthquakes can damage property
- Farming near a volcano can be really good, because the volcanic soil can produce very good crops
- Volcanic regions can produce geothermal energy, which is clean and renewable
- Scientists can predict when a volcano will erupt
- Volcanoes are tourist attractions bringing money and jobs to the area
- Dormant volcanoes may not erupt for hundreds of years
- The isolated slopes of volcanoes are good habitats for rare plants and animals
- Minerals and rocks made from volcanic lava are mined and used for building materials, bringing jobs to the area
The children played their role well, fighting their corner even if it didn’t reflect their true opinion. However, when we took a class vote on how they really felt about building a town near a volcano, almost all of the class voted against the notion.
(And I’m inclined to agree!)