The Instigator
WalleyKing
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Writer-Menz
Con (against)
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Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 810 times Debate No: 44848
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WalleyKing

Pro

Affirmative

I affirm the resolution Resolved: Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict. For clarity in the purpose of this debate, I will provide the following definitions:
Environmental protection refers to any activity to maintain or restore the quality of environmental media.

Developing country is a term generally used to describe a nation with a low level of material well-being.

Resource Extraction is the removal of natural materials or properties for use.
V: morality.
Morality is defined as principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. (Merriam Webster)

VC: Environmental health
Environmental health is defined as those aspects of the human health and disease that are determined by factors in the environment. It also refers to the theory and practice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that can potentially affect health.

In affirming this resolution, I offer the following contentions:
Contention 1: Future implications of resource extraction guide us to a harder future

Contention 2: Focusing purely on resource extraction brings monopolization..

Contention 3: The complication of environmental disaster vastly outweighs the benefits of resource extraction

Contention 1: Future implications of resource extraction guide us to a harder future that can be avoided. Arno Behrens, "Human history has always been closely linked to the control, extraction and use of natural resources. Over the past decades, however, demand for natural resources has accelerated to the extent that it is now widely considered a serious threat to the well-functioning of economies and societies due to associated environmental problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification, and ecosystem degradation (IPCC, 2007)The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report (2005, p. 16), for example, states that "over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, fiber and fuel. This has resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth." One of the key sustainability challenges for the coming decades will thus be to improve the management of natural resources in order to reduce current levels of anthropogenic environmental pressures."

Contention 2: Focusing purely on resource extraction brings monopolization, an example would be blood diamonds. Experts claim that the illegal sale of blood diamonds has produced billions of dollars to fund civil wars and other conflicts in various African nations, including Sierra Leone (where conflict ended in 2002), Angola, Liberia, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Most of the time, the people behind these civil wars and rebellions oppose legitimate governments and desire control over the area's lucrative diamond industry.
For example, in Sierra Leone a group known as the Revolutionary United Front killed, threatened, and even cut off the arms of people living and working in diamond villages until they were able to take control of the mines in the area. Then the group moved on to the next village to do more of the same, effectively terrorizing the entirety of Sierra Leone, to the point that many people fled their homes in fear. All in all, roughly 20,000 innocent people suffered bodily mutilation, 75,000 were killed and 2 million fled Sierra Leone altogether [source: PBS Online News hour]. According to National Geographic News, all of these conflicts combined have displaced millions and resulted in the deaths of more than 4 million people.

Contention 3: The complication of environmental disaster vastly outweighs the benefits of resource extraction and countries with abundant resources don"t necessarily have success. Oil spills in countries can cost upwards of 40 billion dollars to repair or address and not only do they hurt the environment; they also take a huge chunk out of a developing countries pocket. The second point is that the resource curse, also known as the paradox of plenty, refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. This is hypothesized to happen for many different reasons, including a decline in the competitiveness of other economic sectors (caused by appreciation of the real exchange rate as resource revenues enter an economy, a phenomenon known as Dutch disease), instability of revenues from the natural resource sector due to exposure to global commodity market swings, government mismanagement of resources, or weak, ineffectual, unstable or corrupt institutions (possibly due to the easily diverted actual or anticipated revenue stream from extractive activities). The idea that natural resources might be more an economic curse than a blessing began to emerge in the 1980s. In this light, the term resource curse thesis was first used by Richard Auty in 1993 to describe how countries rich in natural resources were unable to use that wealth to boost their economies and how, counter-intuitively, these countries had lower economic growth than countries without an abundance of natural resources. Numerous studies, including one by Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner, have shown a link between natural resource abundance and poor economic growth.
I have shown you that Future implications of resource extraction guide us to a harder future,
Focusing purely on resource extraction brings monopolization and the complication of environmental disaster vastly outweighs the benefits of resource extraction. For these reasons, we can clearly conclude that morality should be upheld and that developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict.
Writer-Menz

Con

My reasoning is plain and simple, developing countries need the influx of money in order to develop a solid infrastructure, and resource extraction is one of the fastest possible ways to grow an economy. Other, larger, countries like China and the US can focus more on environmental protection than resource extraction, as they have already developed a strong consumer base, and have the money to afford the decrease in production.
Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 2
WalleyKing

Pro

WalleyKing forfeited this round.
Writer-Menz

Con

Writer-Menz forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
WalleyKing

Pro

WalleyKing forfeited this round.
Writer-Menz

Con

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Debate Round No. 4
WalleyKing

Pro

WalleyKing forfeited this round.
Writer-Menz

Con

Writer-Menz forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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