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The Contender
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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: 2/4/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 870 times Debate No: 45219
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I Negate resolved developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict.
My value is morality
Should in the resolution is defined as: used to indicate obligation duty or correctness usually when criticizing someone"s actions
Therefore the resolution implies morality
My Valued Criterion is consistency with the social contract
John Locke"s social contract states that the government has the duty to protect the life liberty and property of its people in order to uphold the social contract. Only this way can the government become legitimate. If the government"s actions do not protect the citizens, the actions are considered immoral.
The affirmative"s burden for this round is to prove that environmental protection would be more beneficial to the citizens of the country. If the neg proves that resource extraction is more beneficial or the aff cannot prove that environmental protection would be more beneficial, then neg automatically wins the round. The warrant is that, since the resolution implies morality, and the criterion is social contract, not choosing the more beneficial side would be immoral.
Contention 1- Resource extraction helps decrease poverty.
Poverty kills millions of people
Prof. James Gilligan,
"The 14 to 18 million deaths a year caused by poverty compare with about 100,000 deaths per year from armed conflict. Comparing this frequency of deaths"to the frequency of those caused by major military and political violence, such as World War II [where] an estimated 49 million military and civilian deaths, including those caused by genocide--or about eight million per year, [occurred]"In other words...every single year, two to three times as many people die from poverty throughout the world as were killed" in WWII."
Resource extraction prevents poverty-
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports-
"Mining can contribute to economic development in several ways: "direct investment (DI), employment, government revenues, foreign exchange earnings, innovation and development of related sectors. Minerals" supply is essential to modern economies and minerals exploitation represents the major part of DI flows in many developing countries, often dwarfing aid flows."
Additionally, the World Bank states,
"Natural resource extraction is capital-intensive, with annual global investments approaching $1 trillion, hence offering the potential for rapid infrastructure development and structural transformation in developing economies. Riches from the sector promise to be massive, with resource rents"estimated at about $4 trillion annually." The World Bank, after a meta-analysis of more than 50 nations, concludes that "poorest and least-poor quartiles obtain about 18 percent of their income from extraction, while middle-income groups obtain more. Across all income quartiles, dependence on resources is much lower in resource-scarce areas than in resource-rich areas." Thus, downplaying resource extraction would deprive the impoverished with a key source of income.
Furthermore, Eleanor Fisher et al, [Centre for Development Studies, Swansea University], "The ladder that sends us to wealth": Artisanal mining and poverty reduction in Tanzania," Resources Policy, 2009. This article has focused on whether ASM has the potential to contribute to poverty reduction, an issue of contemporary relevance across sub-Saharan Africa. This research suggests that in the study areas, people working in mining or related services are less likely to be in poverty than people who are with other occupations in the sample sites. Although published literature widely associates ASM with vulnerability, the data demonstrate that a regular income from gold mining may also reduce vulnerability within mining households. Production from diamond mining is too sporadic to provide a dependable income to buffer households against vulnerability to livelihood shocks. The issue of vulnerability is complex, however, because people"s access to a mineral claim, and capacity to securely exploit and develop that claim, affects their ability to attain livelihood security
And environmental protection does nothing to prevent poverty-
"Paul D1riessen, (Staff, Atlas Economic Research Foundation), ECO-IMPERIALISM: GREEN POWER, BLACK DEATH, 2005, 10.
The international green movement"s budget has been estimated to be in excess of $8 billion a year. As a result, well-organized, media-savvy pressure groups have unprecedented power to promote their agendas, define "society"s expectations," and influence public perceptions, corporate decisions, and legislative and regulatory initiatives. In the international arena, they frequently play a prominent role in negotiations, equal to or more dominant than many multinational companies and even some countries, especially Third World nations. Not surprisingly, the NGOs" agendas frequently conflict with and override the most pressing needs and concerns of people who are struggling to overcome widespread poverty and malnutrition, devastating epidemics, and a virtual absence of electricity and economic opportunity.

Thus, since poverty causes people to die, by allowing this to happen the government is not upholding its end of the social contract because it is not protecting its citizens. In terms of the resolution, environmental protection doesn"t help those in poverty at all as proven before. Since resource extraction is the only way to prevent poverty and uphold the social contract, it is the only morally correct action.
Contention 2- Resource extraction reduces conflict
If you don"t buy my first contention, then I can prove that resource extraction is beneficiary in another way. Resource extraction prevents war.
Christa Brunnschweiler 1, (Center of Economic Research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), SCIENCE, May 2, 2008, 616.
Similarly, resource wealth also attenuated the risk of conflict. This is due to a positive indirect effect: Resource wealth raises income, and higher incomes, in turn, reduce the risk of conflict. Again, although the aggregate impact of resource abundance is slight"amounting to less than a 5% reduction in the risk of war in case of a standard-deviation increase in resources"it is still statistically significant. These findings are robust to using alternative measures of resource abundance, such as fuel and nonfuel mineral reserves per capita.

Christa Brunnschweiler 2
It appears as if, across the board, resource riches may be associated with higher incomes and a lower risk of civil war. Although there are undoubtedly specific countries where specific resources have eroded institutions or torn countries apart in civil strife, we find this is not the general pattern. This is consistent with several case studies that fail to show a robust link between the onset of war and resource extraction and with evidence that the sector involved in turning natural resources into primary products has many more positive spillovers to the rest of the economy than often are argued.
Thus not only does resource extraction reduce poverty, but it prevents war. If a country were to go to war then it is risking the lives of the citizens, and in the case that they lose they are totally failing their citizens. Therefore by going to war they are violating the social contract. So developing countries should turn to resource extraction because it benefits them in significant ways.
Contention 3- Resource
Resource extraction provides the most benefits. The only reason to turn to environmental protection would be because of risks to the human race caused by resource extraction. However the world environment is actually getting better.
Lomberg 10"
Given all the talk of impending catastrophe, this may come as a surprise, but as we approach the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, people who care about the environment actually have a lot to celebrate. Of course, that's not how the organizers of Earth Day 2010 see it. In their view (to quote a recent online call to arms), "The world is in greater peril than ever." But consider this: In virtually every developed country, the air is more breathable and the water is more drinkable than it was in 1970. In most of the First World, deforestation has turned to reforestation. Moreover, the percentage of malnutrition has been reduced, and ever-more people have access to clean water and sanitation. Apocalyptic predictions from concerned environmental activists are nothing new. Until about 10 years ago, I took it for granted that these predictions were sound. Like many of us, I believed that the world was in a terrible state that was only getting worse with each passing day. My thinking changed only when, as a university lecturer, I set out with my students to disprove what I regarded at the time as the far-fetched notion that global environmental conditions were actually improving. To our surprise, the data showed us that many key environmental measures were indeed getting better.
So even while the environment is getting better, if species where to go extinct it would have little effect on human survival
that "the elimination of all but a tiny minority of our fellow creatures does not affect the material well-being of humans one iota." n344 This skeptic challenged ecologists to list more than 10,000 species (other than unthreatened microbes) that are essential to ecosystem productivity or functioning. n345 "The human species could survive just as well if 99.9% of our fellow creatures went extinct, provided only that we retained the appropriate 0.1% that we need."
Thus you negate


A sub point – Links:

The negative stands on the foundation of economic development. The belief of “mo’ money, no problems” is what drives her. However this is a view that puts humans as superior to everything else on earth, and uses nature as a stepping stool for our selfish desires. This is the basis of Anthropocentrism. Devall[1]:

“The dominant paradigm in North America [is] … the belief that … the primary goal of .. nation-states … should be to … increase production of commodities and satisfy material wants … Nature, in this paradigm, is only a storehouse of resources which should be “developed” to satisfy … demands … The goal of persons is personal satisfaction …”

Even the word “environment” is anthropocentric. It implies that nature is just a backdrop for humans – this attitude is the cause of the ecological crisis. Curry[2]:

“environment … as a word prejudges the issues in a particularly unfortunate way, insofar as it implies that the natural world is essentially merely a surround, backdrop, or setting for the main attraction: us. But that very attitude is integral to the present crisis. For this reason, I prefer ecology …”

B sub point – Impacts:

First, Anthropocentrism leads to the subjugation of animals and women as inferior. Donovan[3]:

“Through … exploitation, humans inflict enormous suffering on other animals. Humans … justify … exploitation of other species by categorizing “animals” as inferior and therefore rightfully subjugated while categorizing humans as superior … So … universal is the false dichotomy … that symbolically associating women with “animal” assists in their oppression. Applying images of denigrated nonhuman species to women labels women inferior”

Second, Anthropocentrism leads to mass murder of those who are viewed as inferior. DeMello[4]:

“we are rapidly becoming a throwaway culture, in whichanimals are tossed awayItshould serve as a warningof people who so easilyinflict crueltypsychologists have for years known of the connection between the abuse of animals and violence toward humans. Cases of serial killers who started out their careers torturing animals have been well documentedThe evidence is notanecdotal; numerous studieshave shown that children who engage in animal cruelty are more likely to commitviolent acts as adults. There is also a strong link between abuse of animals and domestic violence,violence toward animalsneeds to be taken seriously”

Third, Anthropocentrism leads to the disintegration of all human life. Smith[5]:

“The anthropocentric viewechoes the waymany humans have discriminated against other humans because they were of different …. Regarding others assubstandard has commonly been used to justify domination, cruelty or eliminationToo often people label what they don’t understand as inferior, … Anthropocentrism does notbridge the artificial gap it creates. It leaves humans fragmented or alienated fromtheir environment.causing the disintegration of health and harmony for allhuman life.”

C sub point – Alternative:

Reject the negative case and adopt a policy of deep ecology. Zimmerman[6]:

“Deep ecology isainsight into the interrelatedness of alllife on Earthanthropocentrism – … is a misguided way of seeing ecocentric attitude is more consistent with the truth about the nature of life Instead of regarding humans asuniquethey see us as integral threads in the fabric of life. …. Instead of identifying with our egoswe wouldidentify withthe whole ecosphere.Wewouldn’tdamage the planet, just as you wouldn’t cut off your own finger.”

And this solves for the ecological problems of today. Affirming makes the world a better place. Katz[7]:

“’anthropocentric’ ethical systems fail to account for a moral justification for the central policies of environmentalism … system. The natural world –natural entities and natural ecological systems—deserves our moral consideration as part of the interdependent community of line on Earth. … The basis of a moral justification of environmental policy is that we have ethical obligations to the natural world …”

Now for the NC. Start on her framework of the social contract:

TURN: Contractarianism ultimately excludes people from moral participation. Regan:[1]

“[contractarian] morality, … consists of rules that people agree to abide by. … That is very well and good for the signatories but not so good for anyone who is not asked to sign. And there is nothing … that guarantees … everyone will have a chance to participate equally in framing the rules of morality. … this approach to ethics could sanction the most blatant forms of … injustice, ranging from a repressive caste system to systematic racial or sexual discrimination. Might, according to this theory, does make right.”

TURN: Contractiarianism is unreliable: individuals stop adhering to a contract when they have no more reason to follow it, making actual contracts impossible. Preiss writes:[1]

“An internal problem for contractarianism regards its stability over time … The essence of justice as mutual advantage … is that people do not give up the single-minded pursuit of their ends … The only significance that they attach to whatever agreement they make is that it will … offer a more effective way of achieving their ends than is provided by their unconstrained pursuit of those ends. If we assume that the end is self-interested, we can say that there is no reason for adhering to the rules agreed upon whenever self-interest would be advanced by not doing so. … justice as mutual advantage is a … means to an end given the circumstances in the status quo. As circumstances change … members of society may no longer have any reason to adhere to the agreed upon principles of justice …”

Even if contractarianism is an absolute constraint that must be followed once made, individuals would have to follow it beyond something other than self-interest, presupposing some other ethical theory as to why we have obligations to follow morality.

Go to the contentions now. Group all of them:

First: AC impacts will always come first. These anthropocentric arguments limit the scope of our ethical discussion. We need to expand our sights and consider the entirety of the problem if we’re to find any solution at all. Katz and Oechsli[1]:

“Our complaint is not merely with the difficulties of performing utility calculations. The deeper issue is the anthropocentric framework limits ethical discussions. The primary concern for human interestscreates an irreconcilable conflict between two goods that areadvocated by anthropocentric policiesthe ecosystem which preservesand the economic use of the landWe are faced witha conflict between a long-term supportand short-term usable goods. This conflict cannot be resolved unless we expand the framework of discussion beyond the limits of anthropocentricreasoning”

Second: TURN: Negating actually doesn’t help developing countries that much, if at all. It just spreads the gains out to the rest of the world and leaves the third world with the tab to pay. Katz and Oechsli 2:

“Third World nations can claim that the benefits of preserving … the … rain forest, are spread out … across the entire human race, while the costs … are borne … by … local human populations. Development of the rain forest … provides benefits for the local population while spreading the costs around the rest of humanity. Demanding that … Third World countries limit development … violates basic … notions of equity and justice. The Third World is being asked to pay for the … world’s … use of natural resources.”

And, don't let her extend out her preventing war contention as unrefuted because a) if you read the evidence it's based around the entire idea of people who are earning more money are less likely to shoot each other so I'm being responsive, b) it still links to anthropocentrism because she's putting human lives above everything else, which is highly anthropocentric, and c) my impacts outweigh anyway. War is nothing compared to the death of the entire human race. If anything by preventing the anthropocentric impacts coming out of the AC I'm protecting the citizenry better than she is, meaning I best fulfill her framework.

The round breaks down really simply:

1. K comes first. The premise of her case is anthropocentric. That's bad. Therefore reject her case and affirm.
2. I'm showing through my refutations how contractarianism sucks as a moral theory and why it's not something you should look to. But even if you do I'm best fulfilling it because I'm solving for extinction whereas she causes it.

[1] Katz, Eric, and Lauren Oechsli. "Moving beyond Anthropocentrism: Environmental Ethics, Development, and the Amazon." N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

[1]Joshua Broady Preiss, Is Social Contract Theory Impotent in Response to Political and Economic Violence? Department of Political Science. Bucknell University. 28 September 2009

[1] (Tom Regan. The Case for Animal Rights In PETER SINGER (ed), In Defense of Animals New York: Basil Blackwell, 1985, pp. 13-26)

[1] Devall, Bill. "The Deep Ecology Movement." N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

[2] Patrick Curry, BA in psychology, September 3, 2001 (University of California at Santa Cruz, The Campaign for Political Ecology) <Murray>

[3] Carol J Adams, Josephine Donovan, Animals & Women Access via: Google-Print 1995 p. 355

[4] DeMello, Margo. "Cruelty to Animals a Warning of Possible Violence to Come." SFGate. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2014.

[5] Smith 02 [Penelope Smith, Animal Talk, “Anthropocentrism”, 2002. Accessed January 24, 2014. Retrieved online at]

[6] Zimmerman, Martin E. "Introduction to Deep Ecology." Context Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

[7] Eric Katz, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 1997 [Nature As Subject : Human Obligation and Natural Community] <murray>

Debate Round No. 1


Sashasharks forfeited this round.


Debate Round No. 2


Sashasharks forfeited this round.


Aaaaaand chalk another win up.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited