The Instigator
Stupidape
Pro (for)
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0 Points
The Contender
WAM
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Factory Farming is the #1 cause of man-made global climate change

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 898 times Debate No: 81343
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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Stupidape

Pro

I pro will argue that factory farming is the #1 cause of man-made global climate change.
WAM

Con

Kind regards for this debate. I will be representing the Con side, meaning that I will be debating that Factory Farming is not the number 1 cause of man made climate change.

First I would like to define 'factory farming', being defined as "a system of rearing livestock using highly intensive methods, by which poultry, pigs, or cattle are confined indoors under strictly controlled conditions."

'Man made' implies that "made or caused by human beings (as opposed to occurring or being made naturally)." This means that the burning of fossil fuels, while it could occur naturally, occurs 'man made' as the method by which fossil fuels
are creating climate change and are by all means man made, as to say that a majority of emissions would not occur, was it not for the human action of burning fossil fuels, thus implying a man made action and resulting in man made climate change.

Opening Statement:

First I would like to refer to to the World Resources Institute's data (http://www.wri.org...) showing that the US is one of the highest contributors to emissions.

That being said, I will provide the following graph easily showing the little impact farming, not to mention this includes all practices of farming, not just 'factory farming', has on the overall emissions. This graph is provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. (http://www3.epa.gov...)


Easy to see, Agriculture has a minimal input of 9% on Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Furthermore it is to mention, that according to the source used above, methane, the gas produced by animals, may make up an estimated 30% of emmissions in the Agricultural sector, however, thus only around 3% overall. And this is not even factory farming, just animals in total.

Conclusion:

As provided by statistics above, Agriculture itself is not even a major contribution to Greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that factory farming, which is an even smaller contributor, is not the number one cause of man made global climate change.

Kind Regards, I am looking forward to your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Stupidape

Pro

I thank you for accepting. I like your icon by the way. I also like it that you didn't rely upon bare assertions and that you used outside sources to back up your claims.

"According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, including 37 percent of methane emissions and 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions." Should Factory-Farmed Foods Be Labeled? Ronnie Cummins

"Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. [i]" cowspiracy.com

"
The cattle sector in the Brazilian Amazon is the largest driver of deforestation in the world, responsible for one in every eight hectares destroyed globally. Efforts to halt global deforestation emissions must tackle this sector. " greepeace.org

"
The Amazon is estimated to store 80-120 billion tonnes of carbon. If destroyed, some fifty times the annual GHG emissions of the USA could be emitted."

"
Following a Life Cycle Analysis approach, the report evaluates "that livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than that of transport."." wikipedia

"In a paper published by a respected US thinktank, the Worldwatch Institute, two World Bank environmental advisers claim that instead of 18 per cent of global emissions being caused by meat, the true figure is 51 per cent." Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent independent.co.uk

I conclude that not only does factory farming cause the most amount of greenhouses emissions to be released directly. It also causes global climate change via destruction of the Amazon rain forest. Releasing the stored carbon inside the trees. Thanks for reading.

http://articles.mercola.com...
http://www.cowspiracy.com...
http://www.greenpeace.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...'s_Long_Shadow
http://www.cowspiracy.com...
http://skeptics.stackexchange.com...
http://www.independent.co.uk...
http://bitesizevegan.com...
WAM

Con

Kind Regards for you arguments. Also, I always back up my argument, otherwise it would be opinion and not a proper argument.

Rebuttals and arguments:

First and foremost I would like to refer to what I wrote in the comments, previous to Pro posting their statement.

This was that the sources of 'Cowspiracy', mainly the FAO report, as well as basically all sources of the 'report', cannot be trusted as they are, in no way, academic or trustworthy.
As such I will simply quote myself, as to what I said in the comments:

"I have studied agriculture, I know what effect agriculture has on the environment very well. However, the majority of agricultural problems arising are not simply from 'factory farming'. (And with that I mean environmental, not solely emission wise)

But as for their sources, here's the list: http://www.cowspiracy.com......

I will analyse their sources on Greenhouse gases from top to bottom:
1.) I cannot access this source. Having read up on it, it is also stated as bias.
2.) Same again
3.) Not scientific. Also, the authors can't calculate, discrediting them even more. According to them, 7516 million metric tons of CO2e are produced by agriculture (animals) per year, being 11.8% (while previously stating 18%) of the worlds total. They then calculate this up to 32000 million, saying that it is 50%. That would be correct if it was 11.8%, making 100% around 64000 million, however, the world total, as stated here (http://www.wri.org...... a source which I trust way more) is 42/46000 million tons CO2e. That means 32000 million is in no way 50%... 18% makes a number around that 100%, meaning the authors can't even do simple maths..
4.) The rest is quite unrelated to the topic."

Furthermore it is to note that Pro has not made a clear link between 'Factory Farming' and climate change, but only between Farming and Climate change. However, 'factory farming' makes up under 50% (around 40%) of animal related agriculture, and evidence suggests that non factory farmed animals produce more emission than 'factory farmed' animals, meaning that even they would have a higher emission than 'factory farming'. It is furthermore to state that the graph provided in round 1 is for the U.S, and it is to mention that the U.S. has one of the highest 'factory farming' sectors, with around 99% of agricultural animals held in the U.S. being held in 'factory farming' setting (https://www.aspca.org...). This would mean that, looking at above graph, factory farming most definitely is not the primary cause of man made global climate change.

Pro's sources regarding greenpeace and the amazon rainforest can be disregarded, as they are not linked to factory farming.

Conclusion:

This means that none of Pro's sources can be seen as evidence that Factory Farming is the number one cause of man made global climate change.


Kind Regards, I am looking forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Stupidape

Pro

Thanks for responding, I thought you were going to forfeit the round.

"This was that the sources of 'Cowspiracy', mainly the FAO report, as well as basically all sources of the 'report', cannot be trusted as they are, in no way, academic or trustworthy. " Con

Bare assertion. You call the FAO report both non-academic and untrustworthy with no proof.

"the world total, as stated here (http://www.wri.org......... a source which I trust way more)" Con

Again you assert wri.org is more trust worthy without proving it. Basically Con is stating that the World resource institute WRI is more reputable than the FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

"Free range

This term is often found on meats, eggs, and dairy products, but the USDA only regulates use of the term as applied to poultry like chickens and turkeys. That means all beef, lamb, pork products (and so on) labeled as free range aren"t actually regulated by the USDA"

"FREE RANGE or FREE ROAMING:
Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside." usda.gov

"No signs of life were outside the buildings, and if it wasn"t for the faint sound of panicking hens from within the metal buildings the place would seem deserted." Jewel Johnson

"Pro's sources regarding greenpeace and the amazon rainforest can be disregarded, as they are not linked to factory farming. " Con

Based on this evidence I argue that the cattle raised in Brazil and the clearing of Amazon rain forest the qualify as factory farming. Thus the green house gases emitted by the clearing and burning of the Amazon rain forest should be counted as factory farming. The clearing and burning of the Amazon certainly qualify as man made and greepeace made it pretty clear there would be dire environmental consequences for these actions.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org...
http://www.fsis.usda.gov...
http://peacefulprairie.org...
WAM

Con

Kind regards, no, I don't forfeit rounds, I'm just a little busy at the moment due to University.

Final Round:

First of all I would like to address my previous statement regarding the FAO report. While it most certainly provides evidence, it also is contradicted by many different sources. However, if my statement is read again, it clearly states that 'they', and not it, is to be trusted, meaning the other reports or apparent evidence used by 'Cowspiracy'.

As for Pro's statement that "Again you assert wri.org is more trust worthy without proving it. Basically Con is stating that the World resource institute WRI is more reputable than the FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.", no, that is not what I am saying. Also, if you want to play the 'prove game', prove that your sources are trustworthy. That will bring us nowhere.

The point to be addressed is that the FAO report, while the full report is seemingly not accessible, parts of it are, includes many sources of data potentially unrelated to to factory farming, such as deforestation and cropping.

"Meat industry sources object to the methodology used in the UN report, notably that deforestation for livestock was included in the calculations. These sources point out that pasture-grass-feeding, such as is common in New Zealand, may lead to lower emissions attributable to livestock, despite the fact that methane and nitrous oxide from livestock make up half of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions." (wikipedia) (http://maxa.maf.govt.nz...)

As well as above, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (quoted from Wikipedia) found "In 2006, emissions sources contained within the Agricultural Chapters were responsible for emissions of … 6 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions." (currently being around 9%, as stated in round one, but unchallenged by Pro) (http://www3.epa.gov...). This, as stated in round one, is evidence for the U.S., a country with, as stated in the previous round, 99% animals being raised under 'factory farming' setting. This would mean that the U.S. could be taken as an example, meaning that, as in the U.S.'s case, factory farming being 99% of farming, yet only producing 9% of Greenhouse gases, which, by the way, is less than the U.S.'s transport emission, that factory farming by no means is the number one cause of man made global climate change.

Besides, I would like to point to round one, where factory farming was clearly defined, with no objection of Pro, as "a system of rearing livestock using highly intensive methods, by which poultry, pigs, or cattle are confined indoors under strictly controlled conditions.". This means that all of Pro's attempt to define all farming as 'factory farming' are non applicable. Otherwise we could define cattle, such as raised in Australia or huge parts of South America, which by all means can go wherever they want to on properties which are thousands of square kilometres large, as factory farming, because they are still under human control when mustered or 'belong' to humans.. Absolute nonsense. Factory farming is, as stated in round one already, animals being raised indoors, normally in small pens, in an attempt to decrease labour input and maximise output.

Also, according to Pro, as the burning of the Amazon rainforest apparently should be counted as 'factory farming', practices such as slash and burn clearing of land for plantations are apparently factory farming as well.

It is also to note that Pro has not submitted any facts supporting their thesis that 'factory farming' is the number one cause of man-made global climate change, other than the 18% number, that farming, as factory farming has not even been implicated, other than in the weak reasoning of an attempt to make all farming practices, seemingly plant production included, into factory farming.

Conclusion:

While Pro has neither provided a valid definition of 'Factory Farming', nor actually provided any evidence that factory farming actually is the number 1 cause of man made global climate change, Con has provided evidence against this. '

The most important factor in this debate is that Pro did not provide a link between the only evidence between the only applicable source used, the FAO report of 2006, which states that livestock creates 18% of Greenhouse gasses, however, Pro does not provide what amount of these 18% is actually 'Factory Farmed'. This means, that possibly the number of Greenhouse gases produced by non factory farmed animals, remembering that factory farming, as stated in round 2, makes up around 40% of livestock numbers. Using logical reasoning, this would mean that non factory farmed animals produce more Greenhouse gases than factory farmed ones by sheer number, also taking into consideration that in a free range farming environment more resources become wasted when compared to factory farming, possibly creating more emissions.

Furthermore it needs to be considered that according to many other sources, as supplied by Con, agriculture does, potentially, make up 18% of emissions as the FAO report includes some controversial factors.

Pro's inclusion of the Amazon rainforest example cannot be seen as evidence, as in no way does the Greenpeace source provided, as bias as it is, provide a link to 'factory farming'. In fact, all the images Greenpeace has provided display animals freely roaming smoke filled ground resulting in slash and burn, hardly being factory farming, other than some images of animals being drafted, which, once again, is a result of the opposite of factory farming. Factory Farmed animals do not have to be drafted and mustered.

The source Pro provided about 51% of emissions created by livestock was already rebutted in round 2 and the comments, as the authors of the source are incapable of conducting simple mathematical calculations.

Thus, finally, as Pro has not provided any convincing evidence, or in fact any evidence at all, that factory farming is the number one source of man made global climate change, I, Con, will have to remain with my conclusion posted in round one, that Factory Farming is not the number one cause of man made global climate change.


Kind Regards for the Debate, thanks to all Readers and Voters, have a nice day!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by WAM 1 year ago
WAM
No I have not. And most likely will not. Simple because I do not watch pseudo documentaries that don't rely on proper sources. And this one does not.

I have studied agriculture, I know what effect agriculture has on the environment very well. However, the majority of agricultural problems arising are not simply from 'factory farming'. (And with that I mean environmental, not solely emission wise)

But as for their sources, here's the list: http://www.cowspiracy.com...

I will analyse their sources on Greenhouse gases from top to bottom:
1.) I cannot access this source. Having read up on it, it is also stated as bias.
2.) Same again
3.) Not scientific. Also, the authors can't calculate, discrediting them even more. According to them, 7516 million metric tons of CO2e are produced by agriculture (animals) per year, being 11.8% (while previously stating 18%) of the worlds total. They then calculate this up to 32000 million, saying that it is 50%. That would be correct if it was 11.8%, making 100% around 64000 million, however, the world total, as stated here (http://www.wri.org... a source which I trust way more) is 42/46000 million tons CO2e. That means 32000 million is in no way 50%... 18% makes a number around that 100%, meaning the authors can't even do simple maths..
3.) The rest is quite unrelated to the topic.

They seemingly pull sources out of their as$. While their message isn't necessarily wrong, the way they try to use scare tactics with 'big numbers' while being too stupid to handle them just discredits them. Which is why I don't watch those kind of movies.
Posted by Peepette 1 year ago
Peepette
Recently watch Cowspiracy?
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