Debate Rounds (3)
PS: I'm not saying I am against litter pickup.
Dictionary.com defines the environment as 'the air, water, minerals, organisms and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time'.
The environment is everything around us. It keeps changing according to our actions, and as we all know, many human activities are degrading the environment. Why should we even care? Here's why:
Neglecting the environment is harmful to our interests.
The opposition stated that us spending time and money on the environment is a waste of resources and is harmful to our interests. But the truth is that EVERY implication of neglecting the environment will affect our biological and economic functioning. Securing the environment is securing the human race.
The problems are not only immediate. Environmental pollution could pose a serious threat to our future generations, possibly even leading to our extinction.
To summarise my arguments for the first round:
1) Human actions impact the environment and the state of our environment impacts us.
2) The problems caused can harm future generations.
3) So, protecting the environment is in our self-interest and could even prolong our species' survival.
undesirable economic consequences. It is said that environmental regulation is too expensive, reduces
economic growth, hurts international competitiveness, and causes widespread layoffs and plant closures.
Sometimes, it is said, it even forces businesses to flee to more accommodating countries. The view that
environmental regulation seriously harms the U.S. economy is so firmly established that it has become the
centerpiece in the series of attempts over the last few years to roll back the very rules that have produced
such dramatic improvements in environmental quality.
This article reviews the evidence that can be brought to bear to verify or refute these accusations. In
all cases, these assertions do not stand up to a careful examination of the facts. First, we do indeed spend a
considerable amount on environmental protection, but not as much as we do on health care and national
defense " activities that may be of similar significance to many people. Second, we spend about the same
amount in terms of GDP as do other nations at similar levels of development. Third, we gain enormous
benefits from pollution control, so the issue is not really the cost of environmental protection, but the net
benefits we receive. Finally, there is no evidence that U.S. environmental regulation causes large-scale plant
closures and job losses, that it impairs our international competitiveness, or that it encourages companies to
flee to nations with more lax environmental protection requirements.
Before I start my argument for this round, I would like to point out that my opponent has plagiarized the whole of his second round argument:
In con's second paragraph ('this article reviews the...flee to nations with more lax environmental protection requirements'), he contradicts whatever he said in the first paragraph. This makes my rebuttal unnecessary.
Since there is no clear resolution, I take Con's first line-'Environmental Protection is a huge waste of money, time, & effort' to be the resolution. And in the first round, Con hasn't fulfilled his Burden of Proof.
Con stated that 'Environmental regulation in the United States stands accused of causing a broad array of undesirable economic consequences. It is said that environmental regulation is too expensive, reduces economic growth'.
But, spending money on something could cut the costs on other expenses. Let's take the example of air pollution:
'A new analysis by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Trust for America"s Health (TFAH) finds that four major rules of the Clean Air Act will yield more than $82 billion in Medicare, Medicaid and other health care savings for America through 2021...The Clean Air Act is designed to save lives and promote public health by reducing dangerous air pollution. Our analysis shows that we can save billions of dollars at the same time, because we"ll be reducing air pollution-related health care costs...Out of the $82 billion, $44.6 billion of the savings are in Medicare and federal-level health care spending, $2.8 billion in state-level Medicaid and other state and local spending, $8.3 billion in out-of-pocket individual costs, and $24.7 billion in private insurance spending'. (1)
So, neglecting the environment could lead to serious expenses.
Now for my argument:
Contention 2: Non- human species are affected when we neglect the environment.
Contention 3: Earth is our only inhabitable planet.
Contention 2: Non- human species are affected when we neglect the environment.
Sub-point A: human environmental impacts lead to the extinction of important plant and animal species.
Extinction is defined as 'no longer in existence; that has ended or died out'. (2)
It has been proven that 'human processes (such as construction, deforestation, changing land use for agriculture, artificial land drainage etc.), is the single greatest threat to the biodiversity of Planet Earth, and the greatest cause of extinction in our world. When a plant or an animal does not have a habitat, and cannot adapt to a different environment, it will become extinct'. (3)
Many animal species like the Passenger Pigeon are extinct because of habitat destruction. Habitat destruction is 'the process by which natural habitat is damaged or destroyed to such an extent that it no longer is capable of supporting the species and ecological communities that naturally occur there. It often results in the extinction of species'. (4)
As for the passenger pigeon, 'The birds' traditional habitats were the large forests of eastern North America. As settlers cleared the forests for farmland, the pigeons turned to the new fields for subsistence. The large flocks of passenger pigeons often caused serious damage to the crops, and the farmers retaliated by shooting the birds and using them as a source of meat'. (5) If the forests weren't cut down, passenger pigeons wouldn't have gone extinct then.
Sub-point B: These animals are necessary for our long-term survival.
If our negligence leads to the extinction of pollinators like bees, the effects would be catastrophic. 'They (bees) are critical pollinators: they pollinate 70 of the around 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world. Honey bees are responsible for $30 billion a year in crops...We may lose all the plants that bees pollinate, all of the animals that eat those plants and so on up the food chain, which means a world without bees could struggle to sustain the global human population of 7 billion'. (6)
The extinction of one species could lead to a food chain disturbance. For example, 'When a predatory species becomes threatened or extinct, this removes a check and balance in the food chain on the population of prey previously consumed by that predator. Consequentially, the prey population can explode. For instance, in regions where the wolf is no longer found, white-tail deer have multiplied'. (7) This can lead to the extinction of some species and population explosion of other species, which results in 'reduced biodiversity' (7).
Contention 3: Earth, for all intents and purposes, is our only inhabitable planet.
'Scientists think an inhabitable planet might be 10 light years away, and the nearest planet scientists have at this point actually found that might be potentially inhabitable is 20 light years away. So optimistically, we would have to assume that it would take between 2,600 and 5,000 years for us to reach the nearest inhabitable planet...we would have to build a space ship that could fuel itself for 5,000 years and provide food for its passengers'. (8)
Now, let's face it. That, if not impossible, is really difficult. Doing that is much tougher than protecting the environment of this planet, which is much cheaper and more feasible. Hence, I strongly believe that environmental protection is a must.
Spem_Redudit forfeited this round.
Human actions in favour of the environment are actually in their own self-interest.
Non-human species are affected when we neglect the environment.
Earth is our only practical home in the near future, so we should protect the environment.
Why you should vote pro:
Plagiarism: Con's second round argument was blatantly plagiarised, while I made my own arguments and sourced them.
Forfeiture: Con forfeited their third round, which leaves all my arguments unanswered, making this debate one-sided.
Lack of rebuttal: So far, Con hasn't rebutted ANY of my arguments.
Sourcing: There were no sources mentioned for Con's lone argument- making all of his arguments bare assertions.
For all these reasons, please vote pro.
Thank you, Spem_Redudit for the debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 4 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct because of the forfeit and plagiarism. Arguments because Con's only offense is costs, which is defeated because their own source says the cost is justified, and Pro turns costs by showing that reducing pollution also reduces government costs on healthcare and so forth, which mitigates or eliminates the impact from Con's offense. In contrast, Pro has strong reasons to support environmental protection, namely that extinction of non-human species causes ecological collapse which harms humans, e.g. reduced bees harm crop production, and that we're going to have to stay on Earth, so we must ensure that humans can survive here. Sources because he shows that Con plagiarizes without attribution, because Con's source advances Pro's side of the debate, and because Pro actually cites sources to warrant claims clearly and expand on offense effectively, e.g. the BBC on the importance of bees, while Con doesn't bother to cite any sources. As a disclaimer, Pro asked me to vote on the debate.
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