The Instigator
Capitalistslave
Pro (for)
The Contender
byaka2013
Con (against)

Anthropogenic climate change and increased CO2 levels are beneficial to humans and plant life

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 523 times Debate No: 101867
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

Capitalistslave

Pro

I will be arguing for the above. My opponent will argue that climate change is not beneficial to humans and plant life.

This is not a debate on whether anthropogenic climate change occurs. We will assume it does in this debate. If you don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, you're still welcome to do this debate with me, if you just assume it does exist. You would be arguing that if anthropogenic climate change exists, it is not beneficial to humans and plant life.

Common definitions for terms will be used.

Rules:
1) No ad hominem, personal attacks, or insults
2) The total number of rounds minus one should be used for argument. This is to keep the total number of rounds used for argument even between us, since I am not using round 1 for argument
3) The last round used for argument should just be rebuttal/defense. No new arguments in this round, You can use new information or facts, but it has to be in rebuttal to your opponent's claims.
byaka2013

Con

I accept (assuming round 1 is acceptance only).
Debate Round No. 1
Capitalistslave

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting the debate. And yes, you can use round 1 for whatever you wanted. Just one round needed to be without argument. Since you chose round 1 to be the round without argument, you can use all of the rest of the rounds for argument.

Now then...

Global photosynthesis is on the rise and so is world plant growth
Research suggests that since the industrial revolution when CO2 emissions from human activity started, plants have been enjoying greatly increased usage of photosynthesis for the past century and a half, leading to tremendous plant growth worldwide[1][2][3]. As anyone who has taken a basic biology class knows, plants need CO2 to survive, and plants have been thriving thanks to the increased CO2 levels. Yes, there are some negatives to global climate change, but for plants, it's pretty much only positive.

The current concentration of CO2 is perfect for plants, and even a slight increase would still be okay
Plants need an atmospheric concentration of CO2 to be betwen 300-500 parts per million[4], the current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere which just recently reached this level, is 400 parts per million[5]. Prior to human influences on the atmospheric concentration of CO2, we did not have this much, and 400 ppm is the ideal average of CO2 plants need. If we were to drastically decrease anthropogenic CO2 emissions, this could lead to a drop in the overall concentration of CO 2 in the atmosphere, and thus this could be detrimental to the plant life on earth if the drop was significant. As can be seen here, Earth has had an overall history of CO2 declining in concentration through the millions of years of earth[6]. If humans didn't emit CO2 through the industrial revolution, and it never happened, since atmospheric CO2 concentrations were declining throughout our history, it could have been very possible that plant life would all die on earth in the future. In a way, human CO2 activity is saving our plants.

Basically, since we are currently at 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, we should try to maintain this, and I worry that many environmentalists' actions would end up bringing the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere down.

Because CO2 emissiosn are beneficial to plant life, it helps entire ecosystems
Since plant life is on the rise, this leads to more food for animals, and more animals can thus thrive. With more animals thriving, and more plants thriving, this leads to more food for humanity, so benefiting plants benefits humanity.

More people die from cold weather than hot weather
The cold kills 20 times more people throughout the world than hot weather does.[7] If anything, this is evidence that the earth is too cold and needs warming. Additionally, many geographers I hear believe we are still in an "ice age" because the earth is not supposed to have any ice on it, yet we do have ice in Greenland and antarctica as well as in mountains in various areas.[8]

So, basically, I conclude that if the earth were warmer, we would have fewer human deaths, and this would be beneficial to humanity.

Addressing common problems with global warming:
1) Oceans will rise
Now, I know many people are concerned with the ocean rising due to global warming and some would argue this is a bad thing. I don't think it really is that big of a problem, however. The oceans are not rising suddenly, and it would be over a long period of time that it happens. People will have plenty of time to move out of areas that are going to be flooded with water from the ocean rising. I argue that the benefit global warming gives us: where we would have fewer deaths from weather, is worth having a small percentage of humanity moving somewhere else.
2) Acidity of the ocean going up
I know some people will also be concerned with the acidity of the ocean going up. This is a problem, but if evolution tells us anything, it's that sea life will likely be able to adapt to this, as long as the change in acidity of the ocean is not too quick. We can try to lower our emissions if it's the case that the ocean's acidity is rising too much. I honestly don't know too much about this particular subject, so I don't know if scientists consider the ocean's acidity to be rising too fast for marine life to survive, but maybe my opponent can shed some light on this. If it's the case that it is, keep in mind that I'm not necessarily saying we should keep the current rate at which we cause global warming, but just that global warming in general is beneficial to humans and plants. Even if a little global warming is beneficial, that is fine, and I'm sure the marine life will be able to survive slight changes in the acidity of the ocean.
3) Deaths from heat-related illnesses will rise
This is true, but since there are many more deaths by cold(see above), those deaths would likely go down at a faster rate than the deaths from heat will go up, so over all, I believe more people will be saved from global warming than if we didn't have it.

I believe I have sufficiently argued my case, and I rest my case.
Sources:
[1] http://www.ucmerced.edu...
[2] http://www.nature.com...
[3] http://www.climatecentral.org...
[4] https://fifthseasongardening.com...
[5] https://climate.nasa.gov...
[6] https://socratic.org...
[7] https://www.sciencedaily.com...
[8] https://www.sciencedaily.com...
byaka2013

Con

Plants like carbon- it's true. But there is a limit- there's too much which could be bad. Too little is also bad. And the deforestation and increasing temperatures are certainly not good for plant life. Most plants have somewhat strict requirements for shade, and more.

Since I agree that currently it is probably good for plants (but following current trends it will not be within 8 years), I will not refute any more claims regarding that.
It does not lead to more food- what about floods, rainforest destruction, and too hot temperatures such as in coral reefs. Hot weather is relatively new and won't really kill much. But this doesn't matter.

We would not have fewer deaths.

In 140 years the levels have risen 200 mm. This is almost irreversible and needs to soon be stopped.

Facts

Evidence

Causes

Effects

Scientific Consensus

Vital Signs

Questions (FAQ)
The consequences of climate change

The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number, duration and intensity of tropical storms. Credit: Left - Mellimage/Shutterstock.com, center - Montree Hanlue/Shutterstock.com.

Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.

Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.

Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.

According to the IPCC, the extent of climate change effects on individual regions will vary over time and with the ability of different societal and environmental systems to mitigate or adapt to change.

The IPCC predicts that increases in global mean temperature of less than 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) above 1990 levels will produce beneficial impacts in some regions and harmful ones in others. Net annual costs will increase over time as global temperatures increase.

"Taken as a whole," the IPCC states, "the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time."

Future effects
Some of the long-term effects of global climate change in the United States are as follows, according to the Third National Climate Assessment Report:

Change will continue through this century and beyond
Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond.
Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases emitted globally, and how sensitive the Earth"s climate is to those emissions.

Temperatures will continue to rise
Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a naturally varying climate, the temperature rise has not been, and will not be, uniform or smooth across the country or over time.
Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a naturally varying climate, the temperature rise has not been, and will not be, uniform or smooth across the country or over time.

Frost-free season (and growing season) will lengthen
The length of the frost-free season (and the corresponding growing season) has been increasing nationally since the 1980s, with the largest increases occurring in the western United States, affecting ecosystems and agriculture
The length of the frost-free season (and the corresponding growing season) has been increasing nationally since the 1980s, with the largest increases occurring in the western United States, affecting ecosystems and agriculture. Across the United States, the growing season is projected to continue to lengthen.

In a future in which heat-trapping gas emissions continue to grow, increases of a month or more in the lengths of the frost-free and growing seasons are projected across most of the U.S. by the end of the century, with slightly smaller increases in the northern Great Plains. The largest increases in the frost-free season (more than eight weeks) are projected for the western U.S., particularly in high elevation and coastal areas. The increases will be considerably smaller if heat-trapping gas emissions are reduced.

Changes in precipitation patterns
Average U.S. precipitation has increased since 1900, but some areas have had increases greater than the national average, and some areas have had decreases
Average U.S. precipitation has increased since 1900, but some areas have had increases greater than the national average, and some areas have had decreases. More winter and spring precipitation is projected for the northern United States, and less for the Southwest, over this century.

Projections of future climate over the U.S. suggest that the recent trend towards increased heavy precipitation events will continue. This trend is projected to occur even in regions where total precipitation is expected to decrease, such as the Southwest.

More droughts and heat waves
Droughts in the Southwest and heat waves (periods of abnormally hot weather lasting days to weeks) everywhere are projected to become more intense, and cold waves less intense everywhere.
Droughts in the Southwest and heat waves (periods of abnormally hot weather lasting days to weeks) everywhere are projected to become more intense, and cold waves less intense everywhere.

Summer temperatures are projected to continue rising, and a reduction of soil moisture, which exacerbates heat waves, is projected for much of the western and central U.S. in summer. By the end of this century, what have been once-in-20-year extreme heat days (one-day events) are projected to occur every two or three years over most of the nation.

Hurricanes will become stronger and more intense
The intensity, frequency and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s
The intensity, frequency and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s. The relative contributions of human and natural causes to these increases are still uncertain. Hurricane-associated storm intensity and rainfall rates are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm.

Sea level will rise 1-4 feet by 2100
Global sea level has risen by about 8 inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880. It is projected to rise another 1 to 4 feet by 2100
Global sea level has risen by about 8 inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880. It is projected to rise another 1 to 4 feet by 2100. This is the result of added water from melting land ice and the expansion of seawater as it warms.

In the next several decades, storm surges and high tides could combine with sea level rise and land subsidence to further increase flooding in many of these regions. Sea level rise will not stop in 2100 because the oceans take a very long time to respond to warmer conditions at the Earth"s surface. Ocean waters will therefore continue to warm and sea level will continue to rise for many centuries at rates equal to or higher than that of the current century.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by byaka2013 1 year ago
byaka2013
Sounds good- just make sure to challenge me to a debate.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
I will be unable to post my next round in time and I will not be on ddo for the next week or so.

Due to this, I would like to ask my opponent if they would be willing to postpone this debate a week or so, and we can start over. We can simply copy/paste our arguments that we've already stated into that new debate, and then continue from there.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
byaka2013:
I just realized, the title of my debate might be taken in such a way to mean that I want to increase CO2 emissions and that this would be beneficial. I should have worded this differently, but what I meant was that CO2 emissions from humans is beneficial to a certain extent. It should be obvious that too much of anything is bad.

To compare it, it would be like as if I said water is good for you, but of course if someone drank too much of it, it would be bad for you. But, in general, water is good.

So, what I'm saying is that increased CO2 emissions is generally a good thing, but it should be obvious that too much of it is a bad thing.

Are you okay with this clarification, or did you set up your argument in such a way that needs it to mean that I want an increase from the current CO2 emissions we put out? I hope you didn't take it that way.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
qwzx: you interested in this debate, huh? Which side are you rooting for?
Posted by qwzx 1 year ago
qwzx
Oooh round 2
*grabs popcorn*
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