The Instigator
Riversidegirl4life
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ConservativePolitico
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Airline flights should be taxed much higher than they already are

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
ConservativePolitico
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,833 times Debate No: 21503
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Riversidegirl4life

Pro

First round is acceptance, all stats and facts must be sourced.
ConservativePolitico

Con

I accept.

Make your case.
Debate Round No. 1
Riversidegirl4life

Pro

Thank-you.

My first point is that air travel is a major contributor towards global warming and climate change. The emmission contains extremely harmful gases which damage our ozone layer. (3)As much as we can turn off our lights when we leave the room, or always recycle our cans, it is basically all cancelled out by air travel. This article shows some major reasons why we need to help slow down global warming and the effects it is having on our environment. (1) This article shows that, among other things, global warming and climate change is also responsible for a huge amount of species becoming extinct (2) Air travel massively contributes towards climate change, therefore also contributing towards the extinction of species and the destruction of our environment. Should the human race really put the ecological balance of the earth on the brink, just so we can have some quick travel?

My second point, is that having a higher tax on air line tickets will make people stop and think whether they really want to fly. As they becoming increasingly cheap, people buy them usually without weighing out other options such as taking the train. Taxing them higher will encourage people to look at other options which have a lower tax on our environment (no pun intended).

I look forward to your arguments.

1. http://www.arkive.org...
2. http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org...
3. http://climatelab.org...
ConservativePolitico

Con

First of all I would like to point out that human caused global warming is not an established fact but is merely an idea accpeted by some scientists in the scientific community. So your argument is based around an idea that is not globally accepted nor is it even majority accepted and has been challenged continuously. [1] Why would we raise taxes and change the status quo in favor of something that is not accepted by many people? Half of all Americans think that global warming is exaggerated. [6] Changing something in favor o something that isn't wildly accepted is ridiculous.

Can you name one modern species pushed to extinction by "global warming"?

That being said...

Raising Taxes on Airlines Would Push People to Drive

You think that raising taxes on the airlines would cause people to ride "trains" instead or think about flying. This premise is laughable firstly because no one is going to take a train instead of flying they would instead turn to the most widely used source of travel in the United States: the car. According to two sources there are roughly 90,000 flights a day [2] [3] while there are 254 million passanger vehicals in the United States [4]. These passangers who would choose not to fly would merely go back to driving. If all 250 or so passangers per flight go back to their cars you haven't done anything to reduce pollution.

Also; airline travel is the safest form of travel [5] and forcing people out of the planes and into cars will increase the risk of accident and injury due to car crashes. By implementing your tax plan people will not only continue to damage your precious environment but you will be endangering the people as well with increased risk of car accident.

People Need to Fly

Flying is essential to a lot of functions of our economy. Businessmen travel a lot and to conduct business and attend business meetings they are required to fly. A father who is on leave from the military and wants to see his family will usually fly from his place of duty. Families traveling to funerals in other states or areas of the country will have to fly to save time and make deadlines. Flying is essential and taxing it more will not reduce demand because people really only fly if they have to.

Instead of reducing demand all you will do is put strain on the economy. People who would have a little extra money in their pocket to buy a book or magazine or cool gizmo will now be gone. Savings will be drawn upon to pay the extra price for air tickets. You will be damaging the economy. The price of goods and services will rise because businesses will have to pay more for goods to be shipped and for their business agents to travel. The economy would suffer a huge blow in a similar way that a rise in the price of gas effects it.

In conclusion:

- Global warming is not universally accepted and changing such massive things as the price of airline tickets for something not wholly accepted as truth is ludicrous

- A tax on flying will only lead to an increase in driving which is just as dirty and more dangerous than flying

- The demand for flying would not really go down because flying is so essential and instead the economy would be damaged for no reason

Therefore the tax on air travel should not be touched.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[2] http://answers.ask.com...
[3] http://answers.yahoo.com...;
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[5] http://news.softpedia.com...;
[6] http://www.gallup.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
Riversidegirl4life

Pro

"Changing something in favor o something that isn't wildly accepted is ridiculous. "
Thing is, most Americans (1), 85% to be precise, do beleive that global warming is real. The USA is a democratic country, which means that the majority rule- therefore initiating something due to global warming is not, as you say, "ridiculous". Although slightly lower in the UK, (83% beleive in global warming) (2), it is still a majority- and the UK is also a democracy. Just because Americans may think climate change is exagurated, by no means do they beleive it isn't real and that they don't accept it as a concept!
So yes, changing something in favour of something which isn't widely accept is unneccesary, thing is- global warming is widely accepted!

"Raising Taxes on Airlines Would Push People to Drive "
Yes- if they were flying a driving distance. Assuming that all flights could be replaced by a car drive is ridiculous! What if I wanted to fly from the UK to China, or from Cape Town to Egypt? Although theoretically these flights could be make by car, it would take weeks and people don't have that kind of time! Yes, trains do take longer than flights- but this is just a small sacrifice we need to make. Besides, it doesn't take that much longer! A train from London to Austria takes about 3 days on train and one day on the plane. I'm not saying that trains are the most convenient form of transport out there, but for too long people have been doing what is most convenient, and look what's happening to our planet.

"no one is going to take a train instead of flying they would instead turn to the most widely used source of travel in the United States: the car."
Yeah... because when opposed with a car which you have to drive yourself for several weeks and pay seriously high petrol rates for, a faster, cheaper transport which they don't have to drive themselves would NEVER be picked! Please think through these things more carefully, and a survey or poll would be much better than empty opinions about which form of transport people would take. Mine logically makes sense as it is cheaper, faster and less tiring.

"According to two sources there are roughly 90,000 flights a day [2] [3] while there are 254 million passanger vehical"
"
If all 250 or so passangers per flight go back to their cars you haven't done anything to reduce pollution."
You've broken the rule which says all stats and facts must be sourced. If you can show me a calculation that shows me that 250 people travelling by car is more or equally polluting than 250 people travelling by plane, I'd be happy to accept your argument. Until then, your argument is invalid.

"By implementing your tax plan people will not only continue to damage your precious environment"
See my response to your last quote.


"The price of goods and services will rise because businesses will have to pay more for goods to be shipped and for their business agents to travel. "
I apologize for not stating at the beginning, but this debate is about people flying and not flying goods over. Of course you can still argue your "goods need to be flown" theory as I didn't state this in the acceptance round. I'm not attempting to introduce this as a new rule, just explaining why I'm not rebutting this.

"The demand for flying would not really go down because flying is so essential and instead the economy would be damaged for no reason"
It is true that flying is sometimes neccesary and cannot be fully replaced, but putting a tax on it will make people consider whether they really need it or not! If they really need it, they should pay the extra price. If they don't want to cough up, they don't need it that much and therefore that flight wasn't that neccesary in the first place.







1. http://environment.about.com...;
2. http://www.guardian.co.uk...;
ConservativePolitico

Con

1)

First of all, the USA is not a democracy, it is a Republic meaning we have rule by representatives. The majority does NOT rule. The popular vote isn't even the deciding factor in presidential elections so that statement is absolutely false.

Let me clarify: the concept of global warming as a man driven catastrophic phenomena is not wildly accepted.

Also, since most Americans find the concept to be exaggerated means it is likely that they would be less receptive to a tax increase to combat something not an immediate danger.

In 2010 only 28% of people said global warming was a "top priority" [1]

By 2011, global warming didn't even make the polling list. [2]
Out of all the public priority polls referenced in the source global warming isn't specifically mentioned even once. Right now the economy dominates the public priority and higher taxes on airline flights falls under the economy and would be damaging, therefore would be extremely unpopular.

2)

You're saying to replace reasonable flight distance with train rides. By your own rough calculations (which aren't sourced by the way so I shouldn't even be addressing it, you also broke your own rules here) train takes 3x longer than airline flights. Now, as I pointed out before in my previous argument, an argument you dropped I might add, sometimes flights are needed for immediate travel and this demand will never go away. Many people don't have three days to leisurely travel by train. People have deadlines, need to get back to school, back to work etc. In today's world scrapping flight for a three day train ride makes no logistical sense.

3)

The United States' Interstate System is the largest highway system in the world and since the mid 20th century the car has dominated American travel. [3] Transport by train has diminished to almost nothing save for subway travel in a few key cities. Long distance train travel only has "a few trains a day" [3]. Train travel is cumbersome, slow, non-personal (meaning you can't stop for McDonald's when you want) and inefficient. For train travel to work in the US there would have to be a major rehaul of the transportation system including the addition of high speed rail. But Americans are unresponsive to the idea. The state of Florida proposed a high speed rail between Orlando and Tampa but was popularly vetoed by the governor. [4] It was unanimous within the state government.

4) Math for my Claim

I did a calculation, a simple flight from Jacksonville, FL to Houston, TX for a total distance of 2,632 km. According to this emissions calculator this flight will produce 282.67 Kg of CO2 for one single person. [5]

Now, this source says the ideal car emissions would be 120g CO2/km. [6] Since we don't all drive the ideal car I bumped it up reasonably to 200g CO2/km which is reasonable.

Now if we do the math.

200g * 2,632km = 526.4 kg CO2.
526>282

As we can see driving increases CO2 emissions per person.

Even if we use the "ideal benchmark for car emissions" of 120g/km we get this:

120g * 2,632km = 315 kg CO2.
315>282

Now, if we go back to the original number both 526kg and 315kg are larger than 282kg.

If we multiply this out by 250 we see the difference grow larger and larger so that the ecological impact of 250 people driving this average flight distance of 2600km is vastly more drastic than one flight.

Also, if you see this graphic --> [7] you can see that aviation only accounts for 2% of CO2 emissions opposed to the 25% by "Transportation" which is mostly cars. Even if we bump that 25% down to say 10% (highly unlikely, the majority of that 25 is car emissions) it is still vastly higher than 2% attributed to aviation emission.

Cars are simply dirtier for the environment.

5)

Like I said in my last argument: people need to fly.

Very few people needlessly fly.

Flying is essential to a lot of functions of our economy. Businessmen travel a lot and to conduct business and attend business meetings they are required to fly. A father who is on leave from the military and wants to see his family will usually fly from his place of duty. Families traveling to funerals in other states or areas of the country will have to fly to save time and make deadlines. Flying is essential and taxing it more will not reduce demand because people really only fly if they have to.

Instead of reducing demand all you will do is put strain on the economy. People who would have a little extra money in their pocket to buy a book or magazine or cool gizmo will now be gone. Savings will be drawn upon to pay the extra price for air tickets. You will be damaging the economy. The price of goods and services will rise because businesses will have to pay more for goods to be shipped and for their business agents to travel. The economy would suffer a huge blow in a similar way that a rise in the price of gas effects it.

Reread my argument, you did very little to refute it.

The demand for flying in today's world can only go down so much. The rest of the people that need to fly will feel the strain of unneeded financial burden.




[1] http://www.people-press.org...
[2] http://www.pollingreport.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://knowledgebase.findlaw.com...
[5] http://www2.icao.int...
Debate Round No. 3
Riversidegirl4life

Pro

Riversidegirl4life forfeited this round.
ConservativePolitico

Con

My empirical evidence and my numbers coupled with the outstanding reason I presented have caused my opponent to forfeit.

Extend All arguments.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Hmmm, my computer glitched and left off my last two sources.

[6] http://www.greenaccountancy.com...
[7] http://climatelab.org...

This was a complete technical malfunction and I urge you not to count this against me

/:
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
Riversidegirl4lifeConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Riversidegirl4lifeConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con took a while to get rolling. He should have immediately challenged Pro to say how many degrees of temperature rise would be avoided by a tax on air travel, noting that Pro had the BoP. However, Con came through in R3 with a calculation that driving produced more CO2 than air travel. Pro then forfeited leaving the argument unanswered. Pro might have argued that people would just stay home, or something, but didn't. Con skirted with losing Conduct by using "laughable" etc.