The Instigator
wierdman
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
ScarletGhost4396
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Are biofuels a better alternative to fossil fuels?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,474 times Debate No: 17657
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

wierdman

Con

This Debate will go as followed:
Round One: Intro
Round Two: main round
Round three: CX
Round four: rebuttal
Round four: conclusion
ScarletGhost4396

Pro

I accept your challenge. Since you are the instigator of this debate, you can definately go first to present a case in the next round.
Debate Round No. 1
wierdman

Con

Thank you for accepting the debate.

In theory Bio fuels appear to be reduce carbon emission; however in practice, bio fuels are less environmentally friendly than there statistics claim. It is true that plants absorbs carbon from the air;however the process of turning a seed into fuel requires a huge amount of energy. We must also look into the fact that the United States must find a way to make this fuel compatible with our current machinery. This will not only consume a great deal of money, it will also consume huge amounts of energy. We must also look into the fact that despite the fact that biofuel is good for our atmosphere, it is a horrid substitute for fossil fuel as it will need more energy to produce than it generates.

"In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for bio diesel production, the study found that:
soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced." (http://www.news.cornell.edu...)

The increased production of bio fuel poses a great treat to the environment. If bio fuels are to meet the energy requirements of the United States, vast areas of land would be dedicated to these crops. This creates a monocultural environment in which many animals/wildlife would be denied there native habitat as they would be denied of there native foods. These crops are not grown for human consumption so they are most likely to have huge amounts of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides as well as genetically altered crops. The production of bio fuel can also be seen a threat to the environment as it would lead to massive deforestation due to a massive need for energy and a need for sugar cane plantations. This can already be seen in places such as Brazil and Indonesia.

"In the Atlantic Forest, which is located in the southeastern coastal area of Brazil, sugar and coffee plantations were the major causes of deforestation." (http://www.zum.de...)

America's demand for energy is so great that there is no possible way of achieving independence through bio fuel as it would damage our relationship with countries such as Nigeria, Canada, Angola e.t.c who are main suppliers of fossil fuels. Trying to produce enough bio fuel to reach the United States demand would mean that we would need to decrease agriculture for human purposes and increase agriculture for bio fuel. This means that America would have to rely on imported food thus leading us to inflation and poverty.

"The main problem with biodiesel is, as a country, we can't make enough of it. I'm talking on a scale which will enable the country to climb out of the petrol-hydrocarbon-fossil fuel mess we are in. There is simply not enough land area to grow crops for biodiesel and food too." (http://making-your-own-biodiesel.com...)

Finally, we must talk about the bio fuel technologies. Bio fuel technologies may improve but this is not guaranteed. The technology used to create these bio fuel may require more genetic energy than the public is willing to take.

"Some types of biofuel technology are actually rather ancient," (http://www.wisegeek.com...)

In conclusion, bio fuels are not the best option for the United States, the best option would be to focus our attention on reducing energy consumption not completely changing it.

I look forward to your case.
ScarletGhost4396

Pro

Sorry, I'm going to have to place my statement/rebuttal at the end of Rd. 3 because I didn't get the time to actually write a statement. I can do my cross-examination real quick instead.

1. You're saying that biofuels require more energy for production. If fossil fuels weren't an option, where would production companies get the energy for the production?

2. You also use soy bean and sunflower seed production as an example. Are those the only biofuels we can use? What other biofuels are there, and what is the required energy for them? Can you list all or at least, most of them?

3. And what is the energy production of biofuels in comparison to fossil fuels?

4. You state that we will need to increase our dependency on food. How much will food cost in comparison to fossil fuels?

5. Do we always have to have good relations with countries in order to do what is best for the nation?
Debate Round No. 2
wierdman

Con

Since my opponent was not able to write his argument, i am unable to cross examine his claims. I would however answer the questions that he asked.
1: i don't quite understand this question but i would do my best to answer. I never said that fossil fuel was not an option, i only stated that fossil fuels are our best option.

2: In my speech, i stated that bio fuels can also be created by using sugar cane and corn. Other crops include canola, palm oil, wheat and coconut. i can't really tell the specific energy requirement for each crops.

3:Due to its energy input compared to its output, bio fuels produce far less energy than that of a fossil fuel.

4. i don't know how much food will cost in comparison to fossil fuel; however i do know that if bio fuels were to become a substitute for fossil fuels, the United States dependency on food import would rise thus causing an inflation in food prices.

5. The World as of know is interconnected and if the United States were to damage its relationship with other countries, it will plunge to poverty so the answer to your question is a yes.

i look forward to your case.
ScarletGhost4396

Pro

I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been able to have any kind of time to be able to put some kind of statement together in order to argue against my opponent, and I probably won't be able to later on either. So, unfortunately, I have to submit this case to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
wierdman

Con

since my opponent conceded his debate to me, there isn't much to say rather than asking for your votes.

I thank my opponent for been kind enough to reply even with his limited time. Thank you.
ScarletGhost4396

Pro

ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by wierdman 5 years ago
wierdman
Practically
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
Hey, I'm interested in this debate, but I have a few questions.

1. Are we talking theoretically or practically?
2. Am I allowed to quote treehugger.com? (jk)
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
wierdmanScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
wierdmanScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
wierdmanScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: I was hoping that this would have been a good debate. Unforetunately, schedules didn't work out and it looks like it will have to wait for another time.