Antarctica: exploit or preserve?
Debate Rounds (3)
Antarctica is important for science because of its profound effect on the Earth's climate and ocean systems. And the Antarctic has a crucial role to play in our understanding of global climate change. Locked in its four kilometre-thick ice sheet is a unique record of what our planet's climate was like over the past one million years.
Antarctic science has also revealed much about the impact of human activity on the natural world. The discovery in 1985 by scientists at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) of the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica revealed the damage done to the Earth's atmosphere by man-made chemicals.
As well as being the world's most important natural laboratory, the Antarctic is a place of great beauty and wonder. Its frozen wastes have fired the public imagination for generations, and around 30,000 tourists now visit the Antarctic each year to experience what life is like in the Earth's last great wilderness. However, Antarctica is fragile and increasingly vulnerable.
I have no intention of making Antarctica less than it already is. I recognise that Antarctica is a beautiful and precious place but it is our species - Humankind - that has reached a point where technology is taking over our lives. Have you yourself got an iPod, iPad or smartphone? If so, then you (without meaning to sound malicious) are part of the problem. We should drill because there might be something within or under the ice that could help us to live our lives with greater freedom and less reliance upon already dwindling natural resources such as oil, fuel, metals, gas and other valuable materials.
We could find cures for diseases or solutions to global problems such as fuel consumption, world poverty. With exploitative drilling we may yet find more effective and efficient ways of living our collective lives. Surely this is a problem we cannot afford to ignore any longer. To do so would be a crime against those that we love and hold dear.
Humanity demands that we live our lives better. Antarctica, with its vast array of undiscovered mysteries and untold histories, could help us to do so.
With the discovery of new resources - drilled responsibly and with the approval of Government - we could change the lives we lead and help ourselves to better understand our commitment to the world in which we live.
Without exploration or curiosity our world would stall and progress no further.
The most pressing issues of the Antarctic relate to resources.
The southern waters are fertile, supporting a short, delicate food chain: great whales, seals, penguins, and their primary diet -- squid, fish, and shrimp-like crustaceans called krill.
To regulate commercial harvesting and protect the continent's environment, the consultative parties have adopted two conventions. One, which was entered into in 1978, protects Antarctic seals. Another, to protect "marine living resources," took effect in 1982.
The world thirst for oil, gas, and other minerals will probably determine the continent's future, even though today's recovery technology seems inadequate.
While it is clear that minerals are locked under the immense,year-round sheet of moving ice, as much as five kilometers or three miles thick, no commercial deposits have yet been discovered.
Even if needed resources lie beneath, since the cost of extraction in harsh Antarctic conditions would be staggering, recovery is not expected to be economical anytime soon, if ever.
There is no location in the world except Antarctica where there is no military presence - it is entirely disarmed. No native peoples have inhabited Antarctica. Antarctica is a very unique continent.
See the links below for additional information. Hope this helps.
This magnificent continent deserves to be discovered. Such a dazzling array of resources - be they Scientific, Medical or essential life-changing minerals - are surely awaiting our inquisitive minds.
Imagine if you would:
You are ill; severely so. Current medicines have proved to be ineffective. Your Doctors are concerned that there is no treatment available. Your destiny seems bleak. The icy world of Antarctica may very well be your one and only saviour.
It may seem obvious but our collective future depends very much on the supplies hidden deep beneath the ice sheets. These gargantuan sheets of treasure have laid dormant and frozen for close to three hundred centuries - thirty millenia!
Antarctica holds such unknown treasures - why waste the opportunities it affords us? Without exploration there can be no explanation.
In addition, on an entirely different note, we would suggest that in the future debating points are made rather than supported by simple (sometimes lazy) website suggestions.
What's in it for all of humanity? Why not drill? The answer is actually quite simple.We know that water is going to become a precious commodity and what most people do not know is that seventy percent of the world's fresh water and ninety percent oft he world's ice is in the glaciers in Antarctica. It is our bank, our legacy to future generations. If we mess up that legacy by building hotels, drilling and mining we potentially mess up one of the most important resources to sustain human life there is. If that ice melts due to climate change we have lost our ability to keep that water resource.
Because of my great love for penguins I became interested in their lifecycle.What jolted me was how fragile the ecosystem is. When whaling was not such an international issue hunting them was all too commonplace. The whale population diminished and so did penguins. Why? Whale waste acts like fertilizer and provides a rich environment to the sea. The plankton flourish when there area is "fertilized."The plankton are eaten by the krill ( a small shrimp type animal) and the krill get eaten by the penguins. The leopard seals eat the penguins and the whales eat the seals. You take one element out and as Robert Swan says "there is a cascading effect." It used to snow and not rain, but due to climate change there is rain in Antarctica flooding rookeries and even giving some penguins hypothermia. Carbon enters the sea, warms up the water, changes the wind patterns due to the warming. Even a small melting can cause sea levels to rise making many costal cities around the world uninhabitable.
Although there are no tress in Antarctica they are important to life on and around the Antarctic. Trees are the lungs of the planet. Their trunks store excess carbon. Cut down the trees in the Amazon and the carbon storage decreases, warming up the planet and melting the ice in Antarctica.
We call can do something to prevent this. Use less carbon and plant more trees. That will not only save the inhabited parts of our planet, it will save the last great wilderness -- Antarctica -- a place that belongs to all of us.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jifpop09 2 years ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||1||5|
Reasons for voting decision: I personally agree with pro, but con debated a lot better. Pro should of focused on the fact that Antarctica has some of the richest mineral reserves in the world. Currently though, it is impossible to excavate them. At the moment, like con said, it is much better to use it for research. Conduct for pro, because con made a false claim on Antarctica's territory s,. Sources to Con as Pro did not use any.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.