The Instigator
bsh1
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Experts' Tier FINALE: Environmental Protections vs. Resource Extraction

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,372 times Debate No: 48681
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

bsh1

Pro

Preface

I would like to congratulate Bench for making that finale with me and would like to thank him in advance for this debate! I would also like to thank TUF for organizing this tournament and to all participants in the tournament for helping to make this a reality!

Full Topic

Developing nations should prioritize environmental protections over resource extraction

Rules

1. No forfeits
2. No new arguments in debater's final speeches
3. BOP: Pro must show that environmental protections should be prioritized; Con must show that resource extraction should be prioritized; in this way, BOP is shared
4. Violation or non-acceptance of any of the R1 rules or setup constitutes a 7-point loss

Context

Developing nations can be found in the link provided, classified as either landlocked or small island developing states. Here is the link: http://unstats.un.org...

Structure

R1: Acceptance only
R2: Opening Arguments
R3: Rebuttals
R4: Rebuttals and Summary

I look forward to a stellar round!
Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Pro

Hi! Thanks again to Bench! I apologize in advance for any formatting errors due to C/Ping from Word. I also apologize for the brevity of my set-up--I've been up for 38 hours straight and just came from judging a CFL Qualifying Tournament, so I may be a bit frazzled. In this speech, I will offer definitions, remark briefly on the evaluative framework for the round, and then proceed to my arguments.

DEFINITIONS

Should – used to express what is right or what ought to be done
Environment – the natural world, especially as affected by human activity
Protection – to protect something; to shield it from harm
Resource – a natural resource; industrial and raw materials supplied by nature
Extraction – the action of obtaining a substance or resource from something
Conflict – to be in opposition

These are all from Merriam Webster [1] or American Heritage Dictionary.

FRAMEWORK

According to Prof. Gary Woller: “Appeals to a priori moral principles…often fail to acknowledge that public policies inevitably entail trade-offs among competing values. Thus since policymakers cannot justify inherent value conflicts to the public in any philosophical sense…the policymakers' duty to the public interest requires them to demonstrate that…their policies are somehow to the overall advantage of society.”

In other words, governmental actors--in this case, developing nations--must make evaluations based on a utilitarian/cost-benefit paradigm in order to remain fair and just in their decision-making.

PRO's CASE

I will argue that it is net beneficial to prioritize environmental protections over resource extraction through three contentions. I submit that, under the framework laid out above, that because environmental protections are to the "overall advantage of society" and thus should be pursued and prioritized above resource extraction by developing nations.

CONTENTION ONE: Environmental protections are key for poverty reduction.

Sub-point A: Poverty kills millions.

Prof. James Gilligan asserts, “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.

Sub-point B: Protections are a prerequisite to poverty reduction.

There is “strong evidence that environmental hazards are major contributors to poverty…Low income is a risk factor not only for exposure to environmental hazards but also for possibilities of rapid and effective treatment because of the lack of healthcare services…where low-income groups are concentrated…Such hazards impose large burdens on such groups in terms of ill health, injury, and premature death. These health burdens are a major cause or contributor to poverty….Controlling occupational exposure is particularly important, from large factories down to small, backstreet shops.” [2] Therefore, the problem of poverty cannot be solved without first improving the environment.

CONTENTION TWO: Environmental protections promote public health.

Sub-point A: Environmental degradation increase disease.

“Air pollution causes respiratory infections. Water pollution causes…water-borne diseases, such as cholera. Marine pollution contributes to infectious disease problems created by algal blooms. Deforestation brings humans into contact with new pathogenic microbes, alters ecosystems so that disease vectors (for example, mosquitoes, rats) multiply, and destroys biodiversity that could be critical to the development of new antimicrobial products. The depletion of the ozone layer…will lead to ultraviolet radiation damaging the human immune system, thus creating more opportunities for infectious diseases.” [3] “The one lesson that we can take away from the emergence of HIV and hepatitis…is that the microbial world will continue to adapt to human-induced changes in the global ecology. Thus, the greater the degree of degradation that humanity visits upon fragile ecosystems, the more unpredictable the response from the microbial world.” [4]

Sub-point B: Disease has huge economic and survival implications.

“Infectious disease rates show a significant negative correlation with macroeconomic national indicators such as per capita GNP, per capita government expenditure, and net long-term capital inflow…[diseases] adversely affect…the general quality of the labor force, the formation and maintenance of human capital, and various sectors of the economy. It is logical to conclude that these microeconomic effects will, through multiplier effects, generate significant negative macroeconomic outcomes. Direct costs to the economy will be enormous, and indirect costs will include output lost as a result of increasing mortality and…disease-induced morbidity.” [4] “Significant environmental health risks are responsible for as much as one-fifth of the total burden of disease in the developing world—more than the combined impacts of malnutrition and all other preventable risk factors and groups of diseases. Most at risk from environmental pollution are the 1.3 billion people in the developing countries of Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa—almost one quarter of the world’s population.” [5]

CONTENTION THREE: Resource extraction fails.

Sub-point A: Resource extraction harms the environment.

“Natural resource extraction can also generate negative externalities. The degradation of natural services undermines human welfare and often necessitates costly remedial actions. Many extractive activities, such as mining or commercial-scale logging, generate a host of negative externalities.” [6] “People in Africa, Asia, and Latin America…face very serious environmental hazards in their homes…and in their workplaces…The environmental impacts of solid, liquid, and airborne pollutants and wastes can be transferred to the surrounding region. Problems include the damage of fisheries by untreated liquid wastes, land and groundwater pollution from inadequately designed and managed solid waste dumps, and acid precipitation in the areas surrounding many of the larger…cities.” [2] These problems are all occurring in the developing world at exponentially higher rates than in the developed one, as a result of unchecked resource exploitation. “The destruction of wildlife is occurring so rapidly that one-fifth of all existing species will be extinct by the same year…This threat to wildlife species comes from multiple sources, such as pollution and destruction of natural habitats, [and] illegal wildlife trading.” [7] Consequently, by degrading the environment, resource extraction promotes disease and entrenches poverty.

Sub-point B: Extraction is unsustainable.

“Figures…note that ‘the discovery, extraction and processing of…resources is widely regarded as one of the most environmentally and socially disruptive activities undertaken by business’.” For example, “mining contributes around 1 per cent of global GDP, it consumes between 7 and 10 per cent of global energy and is responsible for 13 per cent of sulphur dioxide emissions. Some 39 per cent of threatened forest margins are at risk because of mining activities.” [8] Finally, “if all the strains on the biosphere—apart from environmental pollution—are added up and converted into area magnitudes, it is possible to quantify the ecological footprint that humans leave on the planet. In the past forty years this indicator has changed dramatically: the global ecological footprint increased by more than 150 percent between 1960 and 2000. If this is related to the biologically productive area of the world…it turns out that since the second half of the 1980s the footprint has been larger than the biologically productive area, currently 25 percent larger.” [9] Simply put, humans are extracting far more resources than nature can renew.
Because environmental protections are a prerequisite to poverty reduction and promote public health, and because resource extraction policies fail to produce positive results, developing nations should priotize environment protections. Thus, I affirm the resolution.

SOURCES

1 - merriam-webster.com/
2 - http://www.jstor.org...
3 - Fidler, David, 1999 [Law Professor University of Indiana] International Law and Infectious Diseases, p. 245
4 - Price-Smith, Andrew T., 2001 [Professor Political Science University of North Dakota] Plagues and Politics: infectious disease and international policy, ed. Andrew Price-Smith, p. 3
5 - http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org...
6 - OECD, 2008, Natural Resources and Pro-Poor Growth: The Economics and Politics, DAC Guidelines and Reference Series, (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development), p. 17
7 - Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 2003: [Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 2003, Mara E. Zimmerman, Law Student, 36:1657, p. 1660-1]
8 - Bebbington, Anthony, et al., 2008, [Professor of Nature, Society and Development, University of Manchester] "Contention and Ambiguity: Mining and the Possibilities of Development," Development and Change, Vol, 39, Issue 6, p. 901
9 - Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, 2005, Fair Future: Resource, Conflicts, Security & Global Justice, eds. W. Sachs & T. Santarius, p. 25-6
imabench

Con

Rebuttals are saved for the later rounds so ill go ahead and introduce my arguments in this round

1) The key to becoming a successful country is a successful economy

In this day and age, the most successful nations are often the nations that industrialized the earliest in human history in comparison to other countries, while countries that are only now industrializing or have not begun to industrialize are almost always the worst countries in terms of life expectancy, health, overall wealth, etc. Nations that underwent industrialization fairly quickly (England, Germany, the US, France) have always been powerful players in the world, while nations that didnt start industrializing until much later (Mexico, Nigeria, India) have lagged behind.

When you have a developed economy, you have a healthy middle class that can be taxed, with those taxes being used by the government to improve things like education and health (among other things). Nations that are still developing though do not have the ability to tax its population at a high enough rate to improve the status of the people living in the country without crushing them, since there is barely any money to tax in the first place.

Nations that are predominantly agricultural in this day and age are also the poorest nations in the world: http://www.fao.org...

^ One quick at this list and you can see that nations which depend heavily on agriculture also are the poorest countries in the world.

For a nation to ultimately improve the well being of its population, it needs to have a good economy that cannot be based primarily off of agricultural exports. This means that the only solution for these countries to improve the lives of its people is industrialization



2) Industrialization is the best way for developing countries to improve their economy substantially and quickly

Industrialization is basically step 2 of the three step process that nations transition through to have a healthy economy. (It goes from agrarian -> Industrialization -> modernization). You cannot simply skip step two though from agrarian straight to modernization though since there isnt enough money for a developing country to pull that off, so they first transition to industrialization. Only after does a nation become industrialized does it unlock the potential to become modernized, meaning that a country has to become industrialized in order for it to become modernized.

Only when a country becomes modernized can it adequately start to address societal ills to improve the living standards of its people. It cannot do that when it is still developing since it does not have the capital to do so.

Industrialization is the key, so how do countries become industrialized?



3) Resource extraction

"Key positive factors (to becoming industrialized) identified by researchers have ranged from favourable politico-legal environments for industry and commerce, through abundant natural resources of various kinds, to plentiful supplies of relatively low-cost[citation needed], skilled and adaptable labour." - http://en.wikipedia.org...

Nations that have natural resources are more likely to become industrialized since the extraction of those natural resources sets up a base for industry and commerce, which drastically improves the nations wealth (compared to before) and then that opens the door for their government to really begin to improve life for its people since they have the influence/money to do something about it now.

Just about every large economy in the world became industrialized after investing heavily into resource extraction from the environment. The US itself began to become industrialized after it had gained sufficient wealth from the export of timber, furs, iron, limestone, granite, and other ores + natural resources in addition to cash crop exportation.

Many nations in the Middle East, most famously The United Arab Emirates, in addition to countries in North Africa and Nigeria reached the ability to become industrialized over time after they began to extract huge amounts of oil from underground http://www.jstor.org...

Resource extraction, particularly the right resources, can be instrumental, if not vital, to the development and industrialization of developing countries. At the very least it can give the government a working tax base they can use to start providing for basic human services, and in ideal situations it can allow for countries to completely transform themselves and its economy.



4) Electricity is key for economic growth AND industrialization, and cheap electricity comes from non-renewable resources extracted from the ground

One of the biggest ways for a country to become industrialized is to have the ability to generate large amounts of electricity for its own people. Just about every industrializing nation in the past has relied on coal and other non-renewable resources extracted from the ground to generate electricity, which is why nations that extract large amounts of coal become industrialized quickly. This happened in Great Britain, France, and the US, where coal extraction was used to generate electricity and also to fuel factories and other things that aided industrialization + the growth of the nations economy

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...

A big reason China is developing so fast so quickly is in part due to huge strategic amounts of coal and its extraction:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The ability to generate electricity is a vital goal that developing nations must achieve in order to really begin to improve the lifestyle of their own people, and cheap electricity comes entirely from burning non-renewable resources such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Since non-renewable resources are far cheaper to use to make electricity than cleaner, renewable resources in the short run

http://www.solarschools.net...
http://www.bbc.co.uk...

If a nation were to prioritize environment conservation over resource extraction, it would make it monstrously more difficult for that country to be able to provide electricity to its people, which prevents a whole list of other attempts to try to improve their lives more difficult, if not outright impossible. You cant have hospitals that adequately treat diseases if you dont even have electricity.
Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Pro

Thanks again to Bench for an awesome debate. I shall use my brief free moment this afternoon to refute Con's core case.

CON's CASE

CONTENTION ONE: Success

Firstly, Con hasn't defined what "success" is. We can define "success" as the "measure of succeeding;" we can further clarify that "succeeding" is "to do what you're trying to do." [1]

Fundamentally, every government has an obligation to promote societal welfare as part of a social contract. Everything a legitimate government does should be to advance that end. Prof. Steve Heyman writes, “by virtue of the social contract, the state has an affirmative obligation to preserve the lives of its members. This obligation includes not only the protection of life, liberty, and property against violence, but also the provision of means of sustenance to those unable to provide for themselves. In return for such preservation, individuals have an affirmative duty to assist the state."

So, when we ask, what should a government be trying to do, at its most essential level, the answer is to promote societal welfare. Success is NOT simply meeting development goals; it is a much more expansive concept. My argument is that while many governments see development as the path towards success, that unless it is tempered by environmental protections, it will go awry and produce net harm instead.

Unfortunately, governments place too much emphasis on development, and less on other factors relevant to societal welfare. Profs. H. Kartodihardjo and H. Jhamtani state: "The measure for success in government agencies...are increased economic productivity...in utilizing natural resources. Conversely, neither natural resources conservation nor the equitable allocation of natural resources benefits have been benchmarks of success.”

Now that I have finished on my tangent, we can refocus to Con's arguments.

Con's first claim is that "In this day and age, the most successful nations are often the nations that industrialized the earliest in human history." That may very well be true; however, the detriment to the environment is cumulative. So, as time passes and more and more nations begin to pollute, the situation is deteriorating towards a crisis point. Sure, industrialization may have worked in the past, but it cannot be a solution anymore. It's just not safe.

We can look at source 9 from my R1 speech to see this. It writes, each "country has its own footprint, which describes the total area required to build its infrastructure, to produce food and other goods and services, and to absorb emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels. If all the strains on the biosphere...are added up and converted into area magnitudes, it is possible to quantify the ecological footprint that humans leave on the planet. In the past forty years this indicator has changed dramatically: the global ecological footprint increased by more than 150 percent between 1960 and 2000. If this is related to the biologically productive area of the world…it turns out that since the second half of the 1980s the footprint has been larger than the biologically productive area, currently 25 percent larger.” Simply put, the longer pollution continues, the more its impacts are felt.

Con assets that "when you have a developed economy, you have a healthy middle class that can be taxed, with those taxes being used by the government to improve things like education and health." Unfortunately, the benefits of development rarely impact the middle class.

“Resource extraction industries tend to have ‘enclave’ characteristics, i.e., they create only small pockets of wealth and have few linkages to the rest of the national economy, particularly if the resources are exported before any processing takes place. The benefits to the economy and population at large are therefore quite limited.” [2] The poor are not “the main beneficiaries of nature's bounty. This is possible because resources found in commons often complement private assets, such as land and livestock. The poorest, who lack these private resources will not benefit [from this resource extraction]." [3] We can look to empirical examples to see further evidence of this. “In Nigeria, ‘where hundreds of billions of dollars worth of oil have been pumped since the 1950s, 85 percent of revenues accrue to only 1 percent of the population.’” [4] In other words, the elites pocket the wealth, and the poor stay poor. The middle class does not become wealthier in these developing nations, at least not significantly, and so there is no substantial increase in the taxable population.

CONTENTION TWO: Industrialization

It is important to observe here the wording of the resolution: "Developing nations should PRIORITIZE environmental protections over resource extraction." I am not arguing that all industrialization activities should be curtailed entirely, merely I am asserting that environmental protectionism should be valued more highly than industrialization.

Therefore, I am not saying we should skip the industrialization step entirely. Con misunderstands the topic here. Furthermore, I would like Con to produce a credible warrant for why industrialization is actually necessary. Just because it has helped nations advance in the past, that does not mean it is the ONLY way forward.

Con then discusses how modernization improves living standards. I would point out that extraction is not the same thing as industrialization. The topic is specific to "resource extraction." It is possible to industrialize, as China is doing, through manufacturing, which is not itself extraction. Therefore, not all forms of industrialization as even topical to this debate. But, if we take Con's remarks to imply that extraction promote quality of life, we only need to reference my R1 health and poverty impacts to see that this notion is totally fallacious.

CONTENTION THREE: Extraction

Firstly, Con's quote from Wikipedia shows only that extraction is one component of industrialization. Specifically, extraction is a "key positive factor." The source NEVER argues that extraction is absolutely necessary for industrialization, nor does it say that environmental protections would necessarily impeded industrialization to the point where it would stop the process entirely.

Con erroneously assumes that extraction "drastically improves the nation's wealth." There are several reasons why this is patently false:

1. Extraction fuels violence and war, which drain national coffers and, ironically enough, natural resources. "Many contemporary resource-related conflicts are being fought in areas of great environmental value. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Colombia, for example, together account for 10 percent of the world's remaining intact forests. Not surprisingly, these and other countries in which resource conflicts are raging are home to some of the world's biodiversity hotspots. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, accounts for more than half of Africa's forests. It has the largest number of bird and mammal species of any country on the continent (including okapis, rhinos, chimpanzees, and lowland gorillas) and is also one of the region's most flora-rich countries. Yet during the 1990s, Congo and other well-endowed countries suffered from the world's highest net loss of forest area.” [2]

2. Extraction-based economies fail to diversify. “Ample resource endowments can have negative economic consequences, as countries grow overly dependent on these resources, allocate inadequate capital and labor to other sectors…and underinvest in critical social areas such as education and health. The result is a failure to diversify the economy and to stimulate innovation and the development of human skills.” [2] We can see this occurring in Botswanna, where it's economy is too reliant on diamonds, which makes it economically vulnerable. [5]

3. Extraction is unsustainable. Once resources evaporate, the extraction industry, and industries reliant on it, crash and disappear. This phenomenon is called “Dutch Disease” where resource “wealth leads to levels of consumption and investment during boom periods that cannot be sustained through subsequent downswings. This brings exchange rate and wage effects that cripple the growth of non-mineral tradable sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing, leading to an economic structure dominated by enclave economies linked to resource extraction. Such effects are commonly observed in mineral-dependent economies.” [6]

For these three reasons, resource extraction is actually a bad and unstable way to modernize. It's ineffective, and can lead to disastrous results.

CONTENTION FOUR: Electricity

Again, I am prioritizing the environment, not eliminating extraction. That is a key point to underscore. However, when we look at incidents like the chemical spill is W. VA. here in the U.S. [7] we can see that without environmental protections, extraction and its dependent industries (like waste repositories) actually harm the environment, endanger health, and harm economies. In contrast to these harms, a higher electricity bill seems preferable.

SOURCES

1 - http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2 - Renner, Michael, 2002 [Senior Researcher-World Watch Institute] The Anatomy of Resource Wars, Worldwatch Paper 162, p. 48-9
3 - Sinnot, Emily, et al., 2010, [The World Bank] Natural Resources in Latin America and the Caribbean: Beyond Booms and Busts?, p. 27
4 - Carmody, Padraig, 2010, [Geography Lecturer-Trinity College (Dublin)] Globalization in Africa: Recolonization or Renaissance?, p. 73
5 - http://peopleandresources.blogspot.com...
6 - Bebbington, Anthony, et al., 2008, [Professor of Nature, Society and Development, University of Manchester] "Contention and Ambiguity" Development and Change, Vol, 39, Issue 6, p. 901
7 - http://www.msnbc.com...

Thanks! Over to Con...
imabench

Con

1) The Environment/Poverty Argument

Much of Pro's first round of arguments revolved around the claim that the reduction of poverty is the top priority of developing nations, and that environmental protection is key to reducing poverty.... Not only is there no visible correlation between economic well being and percentage of land protected by national parks, its also apparent that conserving the environment is not the best way to fight poverty either.

In Africa, the nations with the highest percentage of land protected by national parks are nations that are doing very poorly economically, while those that have less than 5% of its landmass protected by national parks, nations like Egypt and South Africa, are much better off than the rest of Africa

http://en.wikipedia.org...

In Europe, the nations with the most amount of landmass protected are Iceland, France, Slovakia, Montenegro, UK (an early industrializer), and Norway.... All of which are nations that are riddled with economic problems

Those countries have 5% or more of its landmass protected by national parks, those with less than 5% include Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and Greece

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Same thing can be found in Asia and the America's. Point is, nations that are the most protective of their environment are not necessarily the most economically well off nations. There appears to be no correlation between the two.



2) Far better ways to improve society than environmental protection

There are far better ways to fight poverty than environmental protection, such as providing electricity, making healthcare widespread, education for all, clean water and sanitation, etc.

http://plancanada.ca...
http://www.unesco.org...
http://www.lasvegassun.com...

Governments though cannot get the money/capital to pour funding into all of those things if they dont have a stable economy. Thats where industrialization + resource extraction comes in. It opens the door for the government to being able to fund all these things to improve society that it didnt when it was still a developing nation.



3) Necessity for Developing Nations to industrialize

"as time passes and more and more nations begin to pollute, the situation is deteriorating towards a crisis point. Sure, industrialization may have worked in the past, but it cannot be a solution anymore. It's just not safe."

Industrialization isnt a road you can or cant take though, its the ONLY path a country can take.... No country in history has ever leaped straight from developing nation to modernized, you HAVE to go through industrialization....

In order to learn to run, you have to try walk and fall down a few times before you get the hang of it, you cant just jump from crawling to running, and the same analogy can be said about nations that are still developing to becoming a modernized one



"the longer pollution continues, the more its impacts are felt."

We can fix that though, environmental damage isnt something that's always irreversible. Technology itself is always allowing for people to get more from less (more efficient engines increase MPG, lightbulbs run on less electricity) while also allowing for society to fix environmental accidents that do happen (ability to clean up oil spills and nuclear power plant failures), heck modernization itself is the cleaner version of industrialization.



"Unfortunately, the benefits of development rarely impact the middle class."

It certainly does in the long term. Industrialization opens the door to modernization, which is where the middle class really begins to take off and where the government finally starts to get money to improve the Middle Class



4) Where industrialization hasnt worked very well

"In Nigeria, ‘where hundreds of billions of dollars worth of oil have been pumped since the 1950s, 85 percent of revenues accrue to only 1 percent of the population" In other words, the elites pocket the wealth, and the poor stay poor. The middle class does not become wealthier in these developing nations, at least not significantly, and so there is no substantial increase in the taxable population."

The reason why its not working well in Nigeria is because Nigeria's government has been corrupt as hell since it became its own nation.... You cant look at the worst example of a nation undergoing industrialization and point to it like its the status quo, a lot of other nations have made great successful strides in improvement by industrializing, such as South Korea in the 1970's, The Middle East in the second half of the 20th century in general, etc.


"I would like Con to produce a credible warrant for why industrialization is actually necessary. Just because it has helped nations advance in the past, that does not mean it is the ONLY way forward."

There simply is no other way. No other nation has jumped from still developing straight to modernized.

Industrialization is to nations what adolescence is to people. Its a messy and lengthy transition from a helpless state to a functioning one that you cant just skip over. You cant go straight from being a kid to being an adult, theres a transition thats involved, and the same is true for nations that want to go from still developing to modernized.



"The topic is specific to "resource extraction." It is possible to industrialize, as China is doing, through manufacturing, which is not itself extraction"

Theyre still doing a lot of resource extraction to be able to even manufacture in the first place. China is sitting on 11% of the world's coal which they need for electricity to power all the manufacturing they have going on over there, and without that cheap source of power China would still be in an economic state similar to Vietnam.



5) Other arguments

"if we take Con's remarks to imply that extraction promote quality of life, we only need to reference my R1 health and poverty impacts to see that this notion is totally fallacious."

Its the long term effects that industrialization has that promotes quality of life, since it opens the door to modernization and a developed, well off middle class. You wont get that with environmental protection.



" nor does it say that environmental protections would necessarily impeded industrialization to the point where it would stop the process entirely."

It wouldnt stop it completely but It sure would slow down the process down enough for industrialization to last several more generations that it would have... That then delays achieving modernization and delays the government from getting enough tax money to even sink into improving the livelihood of its own people.



"The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Colombia, for example, together account for 10 percent of the world's remaining intact forests. Not surprisingly, these and other countries in which resource conflicts are raging are home to some of the world's biodiversity hotspots."

Youre confusing the effects of rampant government corruption with resource extraction. You can have resource extraction without fueling conflicts over this resources if the government isnt corrupt.


"Ample resource endowments can have negative economic consequences, as countries grow overly dependent on these resources, allocate inadequate capital and labor to other sectors…and underinvest in critical social areas such as education and health. "

Thats because resource extraction is meant to just get the engine of a nation's economy running, its not meant to be sustainable or the solution. Unfortunately a lot of nations with corrupt governments (like in Africa and countries in Latin America and Asia) dont understand that resource extraction is simply the key to starting to build a wealthier nation, not the solution itself.


"when we look at incidents like the chemical spill is W. VA. here in the U.S. we can see that without environmental protections, extraction and its dependent industries (like waste repositories) actually harm the environment, endanger health, and harm economies"

The reason why that particular incident happened in West Virginia is because some idiot thought it would be okay to build a coal dumping plant upriver from the drinking water harvesting plant. That incident wasnt a failure of resource extraction, it was a failure of common sense. And technology itself allowed us to fix that mess-up along with other environmental disasters we inadvertently cause, they arent irreversible.



6) My Final Point

In order for governments to not only be able to protect the environment and pour funding into education, sanitation, and other things that actually help people, the government needs money, and lots of it. Thats the one thing that governments in developing nations dont have though money, and the easiest, quickest way for governments in developing nations to start getting substantial income is to pursue policies in industrialization, to build up its economy so that the government actually can get a tax base.

The quickest way to pursue industrialization in countries with lots of people, is resource extraction, since its the best and easiest option for most developing nations to pursue.
Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Pro

Thanks to Bench for a fabulous debate! In this round, I will defend my case, address Bench's case, and summarize with some reasons to vote Pro.

PRO's CASE

Definitions and Framework are concede. The round is to be evaluated on a cost-benefit analysis.

C1: Poverty Reduction

Con's analysis here focuses on "protected by national parks." Clearly, environmental protections are far more expansive than simply protecting natural parks. Environmental protections, given the definitions from R2, include things as diverse as caps on air pollution to safe disposal of hazardous wastes. Natural parks are one miniscule fraction of the resolution.

So, what does this mean? It means that Con is missing the point--i.e. that environmental protection improve health and sanitation by cutting back on noxious, unhealthy, and environmentally degrading practices. These regulations do not just help the environment, therefore, but they make the environment cleaner and safer for everyone.

So, let's refer back to my sub-point B, "environmental hazards are major contributors to poverty…Low income is a risk factor not only for exposure to environmental hazards but also for possibilities of rapid and effective treatment because of the lack of healthcare services…Such hazards impose large burdens on such groups in terms of ill health, injury, and premature death. These health burdens are a major cause or contributor to poverty….Controlling occupational exposure is particularly important, from large factories down to small, backstreet shops.”

In other words, environmental hazards have negative economic impacts that entrench poverty. These include preventing people from working, expenditures on healthcare, and death (potentially of sole breadwinners.) CON NEVER ADDRESSES THIS. He just goes off on an entirely separate tangent about parks, which has nothing to do with my argument.

Con then says that good ways to fight poverty include "healthcare...clean water, and sanitation." I agree 100%. Environmental protections are key to achieving these three things. When an environment is unclean due to excessive pollution or industrial degradation, healthcare costs increase, forcing people to pay more for care than on other necessities. When companies are allowed to dump toxic wastes into waterways or to engage in extraction that pollutes water supplies (fracking, mining, logging, etc.), water becomes unclean. When a company is allowed to spew unsafe levels of pollution into the air and to engage in practices that promote disease, as I shall show does occur, a company reduces sanitation levels.

Environmental protections are thus beneficial for healthcare, clean water, and sanitation. Con is making my case for me.

And, just to emphasize the reason why environmental protections do help with these three things, we can refer to the example of the mining and logging industries: "mining operations, which involve the removal of what the industry calls over-burden--the soil and rock that obstruct access to desired ores. But along with this overburden, rich vegetation is removed as well, destroying or compromising the quality of natural habitat for many plants and animals. Moreover, mining companies use a range of toxic chemicals to treat the ores extracted. The resulting waste streams are often either intentionally dumped or leaked accidentally, contaminating rivers and lakes. As for logging...many timber operations still engage in devastating clear-cutting practices. The toll inflicted by large-scale logging includes soil erosion, more severe flooding, and the destruction of wildlife habitat and fisheries.” [1]

Therefore, I clearly have solvency in terms of reducing poverty, and can easily access the impacts outlined in sub-point A.

C2: Public Health

Nowhere in his last speech does Con even mention this at all! Extend this entire contention. Therefore, in sub-point A, I show, and Con concedes, that pollution causes diseases (both via airborne and waterborne contamination), that extraction increase human exposure to pathogens, that extraction deplete resources key to producing medicines, and that ozone degradation caused by pollution will impede our immune system's functionality, making us less disease-resistant.

In sub-point B I show that disease has negative impacts on GNP (gross national product), labor quality, and the economy as a whole. I also show that environmental factors as potentially the largest contributors to disease, imperiling literally millions of lives.

Remember, all of this offense was conceded by Con.

C3: Extraction

Con never refutes that extraction harms the environment, including through mining and logging. Con also never refutes that people in developing regions face serious environmental hazards in their homes and workplaces, and that the world's biodiversity is in grave danger.

Con also never refutes that some extraction industries actually have greater burdens on national GDP (in terms of energy consumption, wildlife loss, etc) than benefits. Moreover, nations are extracting faster than nature can renew--the possibility of having nothing left is a real one.

CON's CASE

C1: Success + C2: Industrialization

Con drops my clarification of success. The key thing to remember here is that success is more than just pure economic growth--it's about societal welfare and quality of life. That means reducing disease rates and cutting back on poverty, which require some environmental protections.

Let us assume for a moment that industrialization is the only way to modernize--though con simply assumes this (bare assertion fallacy.) Can I still win this debate? Yes, and I can do so easily.

The question arises: what is the best way to go about industrializing? My response to this is that some resource extraction, tempered by environmental protections is the best way to industrialize. In other words, we should PRIORITIZE environmental protections, while still continuing to extract resources.

I will synthesize this point later in the debate, but I will endeavor to show that Pro is actually a better position, economically, than Con. If that is true, virtually all of Con's offense, which is based upon industrialization, will be moot.

Con asserts next that much of the damage from industrialization can be fixed or reversed later. This is a new, and intriguing claim Con makes in R3. But it is erroneous. "Ecosystems are kept stable by...biodiversity. If a species disappears from a community, its niche will be more quickly and effectively filled by another species if there are many candidates for the role instead of few…If the forest is biodiverse, it recovers...more quickly.” [3] Consequently, if it is not biodiverse, or if too many species are killed, the environment will be unable to bounce back. Earlier in this round, I extended evidence (my case, C3, sbp A) that wildlife is being destroy at a tremendously fast pace. Therefore, biodiversity is, essentially, being wiped out. If this occurs, environments will be unable to recover.

Prof. J. Fiskel notes, "pressures on natural resources can lead eventually to irreversible system impacts, including depletion of resource stocks (e.g., timber) or degradation of environmental quality (e.g., climate change)...once a threshold is reached the resulting impacts can be sudden and severe.”

Regarding the middle class, Con drops that wealth has enclave traits which exclude many of the middle class. Con drops that the middle and poor classes lack things like livestock and land, which are necessary for building an economic base. When people with those resources make money, but everyone else doesn't, we're back to the enclaves. Finally, Con attempts to dismiss Nigeria as corrupt. Unfortunately, developing nations are, overwhelmingly, among the most corrupt in the world [4]. Therefore, in a developing nations, the wealth of the nations is stolen by a few elites, and denied to the majority as with Nigeria. The result: the middle and poor classes don't benefit.

C3: Extraction + C4: Electricity

I gave three reasons why extraction did not "drastically" increase a nations wealth.

1. Extraction promotes conflict. Con claims here that I am conflating corruption with extraction--but I am not. When rebel fighters are clashing, for example, over access to mines, mining equipment, and labor, they are clearly fighting for control over the extraction process. Con's sole attract here fails. Extend this my argument.

2. Failure to diversify. Con defeats himself when he says that "governments...don't understand that extraction is the key to starting...not the solution itself." Yes, while extraction is not meant to be sustainable, countries, regardless, become reliant solely on extraction, and fail to diversify. Q.E.D.

3. Unsustainable + Dutch Disease. Con drops this point--that extraction booms eventually end up in severe downswings because of a failure to diversify. So, if you buy point 2, then you buy that countries will suffer because of a lack of diversity.

VOTING ISSUES

I have shown that, without prioritizing environmental protections, extraction will increase disease, which has severe negative impacts on the economy, will perpetuate poverty, and will lead to rapid, economically unsustainable exploitation of the environment. This means that environmental protections actually help developing nations economically. So, the Pro world might even be the most pragmatic way to industrialize.

Moreover, I have huge impacts with poverty solvency and disease solvency. The lives I save aren't worth permanently destroyed environments, especially when we can save the lives and save nature by affirming, while still industrializing.

SOURCES

1 - Renner, Michael, (previously cited, R3)
2 - Wilson, Edward O., 2002 [Harvard Professor-Museum of Comparative Zoology] The Future of Life, p. 109
3 - http://upload.wikimedia.org...

Thanks! Please VOTE PRO!
imabench

Con

Ill only provide a last round summary as agreed upon earlier in the debate

The best way for governments in developing countries to be able to provide a better lifestyle for its people is to spend ample amounts of money on things like electricity, healthcare, education, sanitation, etc. The problem is though that developing countries usually do not have such massive amounts of money to spend, and the only way for them to get that much money is to be able to get a taxable middle class, which can only be made possible under an industrializing or post-industrialized economy.

Therefore, industrialization is the key to allowing for governments to improve the lifestyle of its people, since it opens the door for a taxable middle class to become possible. One of the best ways for developing nations to industrialize is through resource extraction, because even though its just a temporary means of building a developed economy, it is the quickest and easiest way to get the process of industrialization off and running.

Prioritizing environmental protection over resource extraction will only slow down the process of industrialization, which can impact several generations and deprive those people of possibly obtaining a better lifestyle sooner. in addition to that, there isnt a strong correlation between economic performance and environmental conservation, and new technologies allow for humanity and governments to correct environmental problems caused by industrialization, meaning that harm done to the environment will not be permanent.

And that is why developing countries should prioritize Resource Extraction over Environmental Protection.

thanks for the debate bsh :D
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
this was imabench's last "good debate". Let us remember him forever and the lesson he taught us in this debate: Read the opponent's arguments carefully before posting. RIP imabench. :`(
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
Well that didn't work. Nevermind.
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
By the way, just a helpful tip:

Do X00; instead of =/= :P
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
PRO's beginning with Garry Woller was without purpose, insofar as what it offered to the overall debate due to the fact that what Woller proffers is implicitly required in debating the resolution. It didn't hurt his case, but undercutting a priori moral principles wasn't necessary to advance a utilitarian framework. PRO's tendency to over-quote, and not paraphrase, likewise, is an exercise which merits reconsideration. PRO's argument's, however, are simple enough: (1) EP reduces poverty, and poverty should be reduced because it's bad. (2) EP promote public health which is good, because not protecting the environment increases disease and that's bad for human survival. (3) Resource extraction is bad because it harms the environment, and it's not sustainable. There were logical problems with the case, and the evidence PRO offered was not consistent with the level of certainty that PRO employed, but it happens. CON's case was pretty conventional. (1) National best interest is found in economic development, (2) industrialization is a means to that end and (3,4) Resource extraction is a component of that means. Oddly, PRO makes a social contract argument in the next round, which, again, was unnecessary. All he had to show was that EP was in society's best interest, not because governments are obliged by social contracts to act in society's best interest -though he eventually gets to that point -and proceeds to use his preemptive rebuttals he included in his 1a to do what they should have been saved in this round for, which is rebutting. CON's points are turned, and not really overturned by CON's rejoinder. While there was little conceptual clash over what governments ought to do (what's in the people's best interest) PRO wins this debate because he showed that on balance, his means was a more conducive, accordingly, and so because it came with fewer risks, that CON was unable to turn over. Neat debate.
Posted by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
I know THAT, I just thought somewhere it said that neither was allowed in the last round.

Im gonna go punch a wall out of frustration, be right back...
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
Yeah, it said no new arguments, but you could still do rebuttals. Rebuttals =/= New Args.
Posted by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
crap, sorry for screwin this up.

I seriously couldve sworn I read that somewhere.
Posted by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
....................... F***. I could have bet a billion dollars that somewhere it said that the final round for me would be no new arguments or rebuttals!!!

god dammit >.>
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
No--R4 was for "Rebuttals and Summary." See, Structure section in R1.
Posted by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
Cause it said last round was no new arguments or rebuttals
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
bsh1imabenchTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD to come in comments.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
bsh1imabenchTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con simply drops too much. So long as I'm uncertain whether he's linking to industrialization strongly, and so long as Pro's definition of success stands, I can't do much but vote for him. His sources were on the whole of a significantly higher quality (not to mention far more prevalent), but more importantly, he's just solidly winning this debate on the level of short and long term harms, which is really amazing to me since he never mentions global climate at all (perhaps not wanting to engage in that debate). Con's arguments get close to countering it, but I need to see more with regards to why resource extraction should be preferred, not just why it could be beneficial. I would have liked to see some argumentation about what imposing environmental standards on nations that can't bear the brunt of their costs would look like, not to mention some arguments about what can be feasibly done in the short term for nations where their citizens are starving. I don't, so I vote Pro.