The Instigator
Pro (for)
15 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Climate Shift

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,241 times Debate No: 41170
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (4)




Resolved: Climate Shift is real; Climate shift is influenced by man; Climate shift ought to be a legitimate concern of those who care about the future of humanity.

I will take the pro side.
The BOP lies on both sides.

First round is acceptance only.
Second round is construction only.
No new arguments may be made in the final round. No new rebuttals may be made in the final round.

I'm looking for someone to legitimately and intellectually debate this subject.



Climate shift is demonstrably real, we have evidence of climate shift happening several times during the history of Earth. We have geological evidence of glacial migration that happened hundreds of thousands of years ago, where did they go? Perhaps all of the carbon emissions from cavemen roasting wooly mammoths (now extinct) caused global warming in the distant past. Perhaps it is an unavoidable cycle that isn't well documented because of the extremely long cycle length?

We should be concerned with the unavoidable climate shift, each and every one of us should be deeply concerned. Be it man made climate shift or a natural cycle, it is still climate shift. Unfortunately those among us who realize that we need to learn how to live with minimal impact on mother earth are openly mocked as hippies, and those who prepare themselves for surviving some great calamity are openly mocked and tin foil hat wearing nutters.

Meanwhile the great minds of our society are pointing fingers and making measurements trying to assign blame. And the great solution that has been presented is to carbon tax our way out of this mess, which of course can only be issued by the threat of force.

I don't agree that anything is "resolved".
Debate Round No. 1


I am confused by my opponents argument. He has taken the Con side and must disagree and disprove the resolution, but his argument is only in favor of the pro. I must assume that he is being sarcastic, but I am not sure.

Pros Case

Point A: Climate shift is real

Sub point 1: Scientific consensus

"Carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants are collecting in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun's heat and causing the planet to warm up. Although local temperatures fluctuate naturally, over the past 50 years the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. Scientists say that unless we curb the emissions that cause climate change, average U.S. temperatures could be 3 to 9 degrees higher by the end of the century."

Scientists are undoubtedly sure that climate shift is indeed a real threat. As is corroborated by a collection of scholarly articles. 97% of climate scientists are in agreement.(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)

Point B: Climate Shift is influenced by Humanity

Sub point 1: Scientific Consensus

"The United States Global Change Research Program (which includes the Department of Defense, NASA, National Science Foundation and other government agencies) has said that 'global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced' and that 'climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow.'"(3)

"The climate change denial machine has been working hard to discredit the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which confirms that climate change is occurring and that human activity is primarily responsible."(5)

"Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position."(6)

Again this is a case of overwhelming scientific consensus.

Sub point 2: Carbon Emissions are a major cause, and a product of humanity

"The only way to explain the pattern [of climate shift] is to include the effect of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by humans."(2)
"Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the "greenhouse effect" -- warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping. Long-lived gases, remaining semi-permanently in the atmosphere, which do not respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are described as "forcing" climate change"(7)

Scientists agree that humanity has altered the balance of greenhouse gases on the earth, which is a direct major cause of climate shift.

Point C: Climate shift threatens the future, and is therefore a legitimate concern of those who care about the future of humanity.

Global climate change leads to:
-Increased temperatures
-Changing landscapes
-A higher number of droughts, fires, and floods
-Endangered wildlife habitats
-Rising sea levels
-Greater damage from extreme storms
-More heat-related illness and disease
-Economic problems

Sub point 1: Climate shift encourages natural disaster

"Hurricanes and other storms are likely to become stronger."(2)
"Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause hurricanes globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size."(8)
With storms like sandy become more common and much stronger, Humans living in coastal regions face a very serious threat. Already hurricanes such as sandy and the recent Typhoon in the Philippines are costing billions of dollars in damages, and thousands of human lives. (9)(10)
Climate shift is likely to cause these storms to become even more intense, therefore threatening to cost even more lives and money. These death counts and damage costs are not small, by any stretch of the imagination; with climate shift left unchecked, these counts will grow.

Sub point 2: Rising sea levels/flooding

"Sea levels are expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 and 59 centimeters) by the end of the century, and continued melting at the poles could add between 4 and 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters)."(2)
"Floods and droughts will become more common. Rainfall in Ethiopia, where droughts are already common, could decline by 10 percent over the next 50 years."(2)
As polar caps warm, ice caps are likely to melt and release water into the oceans and seas, causing the levels to rise. this could result in flooding in coastal cities, such as New Orleans, that are close to, at, or below sea level.
Furthermore, climate shift could result in more intense cycles of flooding and drought in other areas of the world, such as Ethiopia. These are real threats to human lives. Flooding, like storms, has a very high cost of both money and, more importantly, human life.

Sub point 3: Future effects of climate shift could significantly increase the hostility of the Earth environment.

There are a myriad of effects that climate shift will have that will make the Earth environment, generally, more hostile.
"Some diseases will spread, such as malaria carried by mosquitoes." (2)
"Less fresh water will be available. If the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru continues to melt at its current rate, it will be gone by 2100, leaving thousands of people who rely on it for drinking water and electricity without a source of either." (2)
"Below are some of the regional impacts of global change forecast by the IPCC:

-North America: Decreasing snowpack in the western mountains; 5-20 percent increase in yields of rain-fed agriculture in some regions; increased frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in cities that currently experience them.
-Latin America: Gradual replacement of tropical forest by savannah in eastern Amazonia; risk of significant biodiversity loss through species extinction in many tropical areas; significant changes in water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation.
-Europe: Increased risk of inland flash floods; more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion from storms and sea level rise; glacial retreat in mountainous areas; reduced snow cover and winter tourism; extensive species losses; reductions of crop productivity in southern Europe.
-Africa: By 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress; yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent in some regions by 2020; agricultural production, including access to food, may be severely compromised.
-Asia: Freshwater availability projected to decrease in Central, South, East and Southeast Asia by the 2050s; coastal areas will be at risk due to increased flooding; death rate from disease associated with floods and droughts expected to rise in some regions."(11)

Here are some charts to illustrate further effects. (11)

Current Effects

Future Effects


There is overwhelming evidence to prove that climate shift is indeed real and influenced greatly by humanity. Furthermore, the effects of climate shift are so massively detrimental that those who are concerned over the future of humanity ought to care greatly about the massive loss of life, cost of damage, and other miscellaneous undesirables that are consequences of climate shift.



I understand why you're confused about my argument.

You seem to be equally confused about the scientific consensus which was claimed by the following article.

If you read the article again and pay special notice to the update the author added at a later time.

97% of scientists "who took a position" support global warming. However the reality is that 67% of published papers on the subject took no position at all. So 33% of scientist are the only ones being considered.

That is not a very overwhelming consensus. As a matter of fact that is filtering the results to support a preconceived conclusion.

The true debate is about the cause of climate change, as we already know it has changed many times before now.
Debate Round No. 2


A suprisingly short response.


My opponent has totally ignored the framework thus far, using round 1 for construction instead of acceptance, and round 2 for rebuttals instead of construction. Conduct should be awarded to pro for this reason.

Pro's Defence

Only the scientists who report opinions have opinions that matter. This is called Voluntary Response Bias. If a scientist takes no stance, they neither support nor deny the existence of climate shift. This point my opponent makes does not meet the burden of proof, and does not fully discredit the scientific consensus. The source my opponent posted does not even fully discredit my argument.

Many of my points are left totally unrebbutted, and I forward those points.

"The true debate is about the cause of climate change, as we already know it has changed many times before now." This statement is vague and unsourced and isn't a compelling argument.

My opponent seeks to rebut my entire argument by a failed discrediting of one source and point. He does not present a compelling case, and his argument does not meet the burden of proof.



Pro's framework is not relevant.

Pro is debating 3 different issues in such a way as to lead the audience into automatic acceptance of the core issue "is global warming aka climate shift man made"

Point A: we have had fossil evidence of an ice age for ages, and the fact that we aren't currently living on a frozen planet is evidence enough for global warming to have existed long before man was capable of producing enough GHG emissions to significantly alter the environment. The "Resolved: climate shift is real" frame is obvious to anyone who has heard of the wooly mammoth.

Point B: Climate Shift is influenced by man. This is the only real point to debate and the scientific consensus was misrepresented by Pro from the outset. 97% of scientists can not agree if a majority of 66% of them haven't taken a stance on the issue. Pro is cherry picking his statistics. I sourced this properly whereas Pro provided a list of websites he gleamed information from without actually linking to the relevant articles within those sites to be reviewed. The laundry list of "predicted effects of global warming" that pro provided aren't relevant to the core issue of "is climate change man made". Its fear mongering and shouldn't be considered in a debate.

Point C: there is no point C. Obviously climate change should be a concern for humanity regardless of whether or not it was caused by the actions of mankind. This is an appeal to emotions intended to influencing the voters.

I hope the voters can see thru this laundry list of predictions presented by Pro. The only relevant paragraph in his whole argument was sub-point 2 concerning GHG emissions. Which is compelling but lacks depth since there are many other factors determining climate shift. GHG emissions only explain warming trends, solar activity and thermal storage in the oceans are presumably responsible for cooling trends.

Feel free to fault me for breaking the instigator's framework so long as you fault the instigator for setting up a poor framework.
Debate Round No. 3


What a rude and poorly thought response. Please, do not insult me when I am seeking only an intellectual debate.


If con did not like the framework of the debate (which is a fairly standard format) then they should not have accepted the debate.

Con does not understand what, in debate, a resolution is. If I may offer some info to con, a resolution is a statement that the Pro side must argue in agreement with, and the Con side must argue in disagreement with. The resolution contends three cases. Climate shift is real; Climate shift is influenced by man; Climate shift ought to be a legitimate concern of those who care about the future of humanity. As it is apparent that my opponent has put no real thought forward as to what this means, I'll attempt to shed light into the dark deep abyssal grotto of ignorance that is the argument of my opponent. For the pro to win this debate, Pro must tender a compelling argument that every case presented by the resolution is agreeable with. The first point regards the reality of climate shift or global warming (which is a common point of debate). The second point regards the cause of climate shift, if it is indeed real. The final point regards the impact of climate shift (again, if it is indeed real).

If my opponent is confused as to what climate shift is, then I shall provide a definition. This debate regards climate shift or what is more colloquially referred to as Global warming.
"the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century and its projected continuation."(1)

The framework is the structure of the debate. The rules. It is always relevent.

Pro's Case

My entire argument is almost totally unrebutted. Con only makes a weak attempt to discredit a single point. Overall, a weak argument made by the Con that consists primarly of aggressive rantlike points that all lack proper substantiation. Cons argument also fails to meet the BOP. Conduct ought to be awarded to pro for cons flagrant disregard for the rules of the debate. As con failed to cite any sources but one, sources ought to be awarded to pro as well. Arguments are up to the judges, but I would remind that judges that almost my entire argument is unrebutted, and, according to the framework of the debate, any new arguments or rebuttals that the con may try to make in the final round are to be disregarded completely.




Pro has accused me of insulting him, I have done no such thing. Quite the opposite has been demonstrated by pro.

Twice he has made comments focused on my person and not the argument at hand.

"What a surprisingly short response"

"What a rude and poorly thought response"

Perhaps I should not have accepted this debate, but after seeing how Pro had attempted to set up a "slam dunk" format that included 2 out of 3 points that are impossible to argue against.

1) global warming is real.

I reiterate that the FACT we do not currently live on a frozen planet is impossible to argue against. The FACT that ice age specialized species such as the wooly mammoth are now extinct because the ice age has ended can NOT be argued against. Pro's first point does not actually require intellectual debate.

2) Global warming is man made. This is the only point that Pro made that can actually be argued.

As I've already argued, Pro's argument here was based on cherry picking statistics. His claim that 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is caused by man was admitted to be a misrepresentation of the statistics by the original author of the article.

Per the original author (UPDATE, Monday, 12:45 p.m.: I"ve added a parenthetical clarification in the first paragraph below noting that the 97 percent figure refers to studies that took a position on whether global warming was man made or not (66 percent of the studies surveyed did not express a position).)

I could get a scientific consensus that Jesus Christ is the lord and saviour if I only asked Christian scientists.

3) Climate shift ought to be a legitimate concern of those who care about the future of humanity.

This is equally irrelevant as Pro's first point. Regardless of the cause of climate change, be it man made or a natural cycle, it is our instinct to survive. This point is stating the obvious.

In closing I wish to reiterate that this debate's only arguable point was #2, is climate change man made. I accepted this debate anyway in an attempt to overcome the obvious "slam dunk" framework that Pro had stacked in his/her favor. Furthermore Pro's entire argument about point #2 was based upon a consensus that doesn't exist unless you exclude 66% of published papers on this issue thereby cherry picking your statistics. The huge wall of info graphics and other data provided by Pro amounted to a fear mongering lecture of pseudo scientific prophecy. We don't even have accurate climate change models that predicted the 20 year pause in global warming, until after it was already observed and we adjusted our old models to account for this new information. Because of this, Pro's predictions about the year 2100 can even be taken seriously nor are they relevant to the only arguable question in this debate. Is climate shift man made...

I trust the voters will see through Pro's attempt to manipulate their emotions with prophecy of doom.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheGhostOfFreedom 4 years ago
Congratulations on your victory Tyler.
Posted by TheGhostOfFreedom 4 years ago
Oh well. Doesn't matter now. Hopefully other people will vote.
Posted by tylergraham95 4 years ago
"Climate shift" in this debate is obviously being used as a synonym to "global warming" or "climate change." I had hoped that would have been clear.
Posted by TheGhostOfFreedom 4 years ago
Global warming = Man made

Climate change has been happening since the big bang.
Posted by tylergraham95 4 years ago
My resolution was nothing like that. Many people vehemently assert that global warming is not real. Many people also vehemently assert that the effects of global warming would be so mild that we shouldn't worry. Also, my 97% source came from and other websites. And if you want to discredit sources, then YES YOU HAVE TO READ YOUR OPPONENTS SOURCES. Sub-point one (the first "scientific consensus" point is a in part a direct quote of one of my sources. The other part is substantiated by my sources 1-7. That's what this "(#)" means. The number in the parentheses is a footnote to the actual source.
Posted by TheGhostOfFreedom 4 years ago
My bad thett I was looking at a different vote.

In the end it was just a debate and it doesn't really matter.

But, my grievance rests with the whole 2 out of 3 premise. You're correct that I shouldn't have accepted the debate. It was set up like this.

Guns are real

Guns are used only by murderous people to kill others

People should be concerned about being killed by a gun.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
"Yet you also awarded pro points for the most reliable sources."

You aren't talking to me, right? Because I didn't vote on sources
Posted by TheGhostOfFreedom 4 years ago
Oh I did discredit your claim that 97% of climate scientists agree.

Which you ignored and never sourced in the first place.

Your sources aren't bad sources, you just didn't point to the specific information you gleamed from those sites.

Should I read the entire contents of 8 different websites?
Posted by tylergraham95 4 years ago
Many of my sources are .gov sources. Specifically NASA. Do you mean to contend that NASA is an unreliable source of scientific information? I also cited National Geographic, a very credible source of scientific information relating to the earth. I also quoted other scientific journalism sources. Furthermore, if you're going to discredit sources, you should post that in the debate rounds instead of the comments.
Posted by TheGhostOfFreedom 4 years ago
Yet you also awarded pro points for the most reliable sources.

Please show me a single link provided by Pro that doesn't direct you to the front page of a climate website. Shouldn't these links direct people to the actual articles containing the source materials? Or should I just read the entire contents of 8 different websites?

These votes reek of climate bias.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Beverlee 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: There was a lot of contact, but I didn't see much that would justify scoring for conduct. I would have liked to have seen the arguments themselves discussed more, and the people putting forward the positions discussed less, because these things are off-topic; I can't win a debate on climate change tomorrow by saying that "this one guy is a jerk." As for the debate, I saw a R1 concession to the resolution by Con, on points 1 and 3, that Climate change is real and that we ought to be concerned about it. These statements were later partially retracted, but these retractions only made for a confused presentation. Sourcing goes strongly to Pro.
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Looking at the resolution, it's pretty clear who should get the W. The resolution has three facets that Pro needs to uphold, and Con concedes to the first one (climate shift is real) immediately. Con drops the dangers of climate shift Pro brought up. The only issue in contention was the effect of man on the climate. Con kind of gave a reason why we shouldn't take the 97% stat at face value, but at the same time if we're looking at study that take positions than those are the ones most relevant to the issue. It's hard to judge the issue because neither side did a good job of framing it. What is meant by the study took "no position"? What were they studying then? Just climate in general? Pro also gives a scientific reason for climate shift, greenhouse gases but I think Con takes it out by showing other factors. Since the BOP is shared, pro for sure upholding 2 out of the 3 parts of the res. is sufficient for the win.
Vote Placed by brett.winstead 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I thought Pro did not stick with the original premise of the debate enough and kept going in other directions. He was definitely ruder than Con also. I thought Con could have demolished Pro in this debate by quoting some other sources of what many scientists believe - that climate change is natural and there is nothing we can or have done about it.
Vote Placed by kbub 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides did an excellent job in this debate. I was very impressed. Conduct did seem to go to Pro this round. Some of Con's arguments did seem a tad rude, and I don't blame Pro for pointing it out. As far as the flow goes, Pro is winning by a landslide. Even if I accept all of Con's argument's at the end, it does not give me a good reason to think that global climate change is false, but only not certain.