The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
9spaceking
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points

Air should be privatized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
9spaceking
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/27/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 947 times Debate No: 60962
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
Votes (8)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

Historically, people have enjoyed free access to the Earth's bounteous resources as a birth right. They were able to hunt and gather food, grow crops and graze livestock, build shelters and obtain water wherever they wanted because the land and its provisions belonged to everybody. People took this for granted and still do in many parts of the world which are not controlled by pro-capitalist governments.

However, in capitalist countries property rights are enshrined in law and the land and its resources are either privately owned or are controlled by public institutions and, as such, it is not possible for anyone just to build a farm on any piece of vacant land - they have to either rent or buy it. This means that if you want to eat you have to produce food yourself on land you either own or rent, or buy it from somebody else.

Similarly, unless you are happy to take your showers in rainstorms and drink from puddles, the provision of water is a service that must be paid for.

It is amazing then that, in capitalist societies, members of the public are allowed to greedily gulp down as much fresh air as they want without paying a single penny for it.

That's because people currently take fresh air for granted not realising that there is a cost to maintaining it. We are all jointly responsible for polluting the atmosphere and unless something is done to limit the damage we are doing the planet will soon become uninhabitable.

Therefore, large landowning companies should be entitled to charge the public a levy for maintaining the quality of the air they breathe.

Currently, those private companies that own large tracts of forest in various parts of the world which capture carbon and produce oxygen that are essential to our well-being are paid nothing for their diligence.

But, of course, maintaining pristine forests is not profitable and the shareholders pressurise the companies' management to tear down the trees, sell the valuable wood and use the cleared land as grazing land to produce meat for export.

Now, since any commercial organisation's primary responsibility is to their shareholders they have no option to comply with their demands and this means that, for example, in the Amazon basin, an area of forest equivalent to the size of three football pitches is being cleared every minute. (1)

Charges for air should be levied on customers based on both on their consumption of oxygen and their production of damaging methane. This way, the people who exercise the most, and who obviously consume more than their fair share of oxygen, should be made to pay more accordingly.

Meanwhile, the obese breathe less oxygen but, because they expel large quantities of harmful methane gas from the lower regions of their digestive systems, so they should pay extra too.

The companies who own forested land would be able to compete based on price per tree saved or their promise not to allow the hunting of endangered species of animal roaming on their property.

To conclude, in capitalist countries, the user pays and that should apply to fresh air as well as everything else.

Thank you.

(1) http://www.wwf.org.uk...
9spaceking

Con

I couldn't resist the temptation to debate this ridiculous topic. Here we go.
1. Impossible. You can't share.
What if people have planted trees like this?

Eh? Then who to charge? How? The air is exchanged between the white trees and the black trees, so technically if white tree company should not be charged when walking into black company, and black tree company should not be charged for white tree company's air. So that's settled, right? But then some guy could "cheat" and plant a bunch of green trees that spread oxygen really really well, and suddenly the air is filled with oxygen-rich air so you know it's the green-tree company's tree, and thus the white tree and black tree company are cheated out of their money and everyone has to pay to the green-tree company because despite the trees in both black and white, as long as one company can make it obvious it's his trees, then all money goes to him. How unfair.

2. You can't tell whose trees is whose (except for the green tree example)
Of course, normally trees produce about the same amount of oxygen, so the green tree company example is one of those rare occasions. However, when trees are jumbled up everywhere, it's hard to tell who the heck planted which tree. I mean technically you could put a sign on a tree...


But another guy could just tape another sign over it, leading to a stupid competition of who is willing to continually put signs on tree, which uses up trees in the process itself since the most cost-effective signs are made of paper, which means you're killing trees in order to tell which tree is yours. It could also turn out to be a fight over whose tree it really was, which is really annnoying.

3. It encourages further cutting down of trees
Although privatizing air may encourage planting trees, it also encourages cutting down trees. Why argue about whether the forest is yours or your competitors? Just cut it all down. People would keep on going about cutting down each others' trees annoyingly, if not have the Sign-Battle in my second point. Talk about frustration.

4. It would make poor people even poorer
Homeless people already wander around randomly with little food to eat and very little money begged everyday. If somebody planted a tree near him, he would either have to run to another place, or he would have to pay the amount of money needed for the air he breathes. But again, with this new privatization, pretty much no air would be taken, and the homeless man would either choke and not breathe to save money and end up fainting/dying, or he would break the law and run away from his city. But what if he wants to visit his family?? The family will have to come to him. But he'd probably be stuck in a place with no trees to make sure he won't have to pay anything. Which is pretty annoying for the family. No sightseeing, nada, just their homeless man sitting around in a treeless environment. That's not good.

5. Air belongs to mother nature, not us
I don't suggest privatizing air. It does not belong to anyone who merely plants trees. In its true core, the air we breathe belongs to mother nature, the whole earth, which owned the air ever since it was created. Thus, if we really want to pay money for air, we should pay to mother nature--by helping the poor animals, slow down pollution and global warming, and perhaps....

planting a few trees.

Back to you, pro, for the final round.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

brian_eggleston forfeited this round.
9spaceking

Con

I would have been interested to see my opponent's replies. Guess we'll never know what Brian had to say.
I win, VOTE ME.
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Hazey 3 years ago
Hazey
They're coming to take you air!
Posted by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
haha. XD
Posted by Theunkown 3 years ago
Theunkown
Good Lord, and I was here thinking Capitalism could not get worse...until i saw THIS.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Hlinnerooth 3 years ago
Hlinnerooth
brian_eggleston9spacekingTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeit so it automatically should go to con
Vote Placed by xOs 3 years ago
xOs
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Reasons for voting decision: 9Spaceking made a more convincing argument in the first round, followed by a forfeit in the second round.
Vote Placed by Relativist 3 years ago
Relativist
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Reasons for voting decision: lol. Conduct for the FF.
Vote Placed by The_Gatherer 3 years ago
The_Gatherer
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Reasons for voting decision: FF also Pro's argument made no sense and Con made a better case.
Vote Placed by Domr 3 years ago
Domr
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: was really hoping to at least see one rebuttal.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. NOTE TO PRO: Please do this one again when you have time.
Vote Placed by dynamicduodebaters 3 years ago
dynamicduodebaters
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm surprised Pro forfeited--it's not his usual MO. But, given that he did, conduct is clear, and Con's case went unrebutted. Unfortunate indeed.