The Instigator
16kadams
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points
The Contender
Microsuck
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points

Global warming (full resolution in debate)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
16kadams
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,373 times Debate No: 23557
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (37)
Votes (6)

 

16kadams

Con

Resolution: The MAIN CAUSE of global warming is CO2 emissions made by humans

My opponent argues CO2 is the MAIN cause of global warming, I argue it is NOT the main cause.

Definitions:

CO2 emissions - [emission] A substance discharged into the air, especially by an internal combustion engine.[1] he chemical formula for carbon dioxide, a heavy odorless gas (CO2) formed during respiration and by the combustion or decomposition of organic substances; it is absorbed from the air by plants in photosynthesis. [2]

These definitions are flexible, BUT as they are common Knowles I have no need to explain HOW they can stretch, but as long as:
1) Its relevant
2) its not using semantics
3) its not trolling

RULES:

No trolling
No semantics
Also, this is to be a real debate, not a troll or semancized debate. Semantics or trolling is an auto FF on the whole debate.

=Structure=

R1: Acceptance/definitions (questions in comments)
R2: Arguments
R3: Rebuttals
R4: Rebuttals

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Microsuck

Pro

I accept this debate and wish you the best of luck. I have been wanting to do this debate for a while and it is a great honour to be debating you on this topic.
Debate Round No. 1
16kadams

Con

Natural cycles:

This argument is about solar cycles (as well as other cycles). This is one of the more common arguments in the global warming debate. There are many longer solar cycles, but there are sometimes shorter ones (1500 years +/- 500). We are actually in an ice age, but a section called an interglacial. (like a temporary break). This is much of modern history, and in those 15,000 years it seems as though we have perfectly fit into this 1500 year cycle, and the funny thing is we are in the middle of the cycle as we speak. It will soon end, but this warming is expected. Now the significance to this cycle is it perfectly explains global warming, accelerated heating then cooling. [1] This perfectly explains the "unprecedented" warming.
Also:

http://www.isil.org... (scroll down about halfway and see graph)

Looks like a natural cycle to me, and very predictable.

Furthermore:

"In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row. Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun."
http://news.nationalgeographic.com...


Another reason is the earths position in the milky way. Every 135 million years we enter a more populated area in the galaxy and hit more cosmic rays which make clouds, and therefore cooling. Currently we are in a les populated branch, and the less rays mean we will inevitably be warmer/warming. [2]

Wind and ocean currents also play a LARGE role in heating/cooling.



http://www.climate-skeptic.com...

Sums it up. (scroll down to PDO warm and cool)

Problems with the greenhouse theory

Now, we (If I decide to argue greenhouse) can attribute warming to other gases, and I still win the debate as I prove it not human CO2 enduced. In this contention I argue water vapor causes much of the warming. Basically to sum up what I would have said in many paragraphs:

"However, the most potent greenhouse gas is water, explains Shaidurov and it is this compound on which his study focuses. According to Shaidurov, only small changes in the atmospheric levels of water, in the form of vapour and ice crystals can contribute to significant changes to the temperature of the earth's surface, which far outweighs the effects of carbon dioxide and other gases released by human activities. Just a rise of 1% of water vapour could raise the global average temperature of Earth's surface more then 4 degrees Celsius."
http://phys.org...

Also if the theory was true, the north and south polls would be seeing increased meltings and be seeing large temperture spikes. I contend the pols have had little to no warming. I think this observation is common knowlege.

More stuff

"That means that less than 2/1,000 of all CO2 is produced by human activity. So even if we wiped out every car, power plant, jet liner, and human being from the face of the earth, there would be no noticeable effect on global CO2 levels."
http://www.isil.org...

Further if CO2 was a climate factor, if we saw natural increases in CO2 there would also be natural rises in temperature hundreds of years ago, and there is no correlation, therefore the correlation fails on a scientific basis. Using figure 2.4 in source (2) we observe no statistical correlation, CO2 is low temperature may be high or vice versa. This right here disproves the theory. (If CO2 actually had an impact, natural increases would also raise temperature, it did not, hence it has no correlation)..

Also CO2 lags temperture. If CO2 was a cause it would happen before the rise, hence even if it is a natural increase we should see an increase in temp, we dont, hence there is no correlation.

CONCLUSION:

I was breif, I hope thats ok. I let the graphs speak for me.My graphs did not post, they dont post well for me anyore. VOTE CON





[1] Singer, S. Fred, and Dennis T. Avery. "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years." Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007
[2] MacRae, Paul. “ Alarm: Global Warming-- Facts versus Fears.” Victoria, B.C.: Spring Bay, 2010.
Microsuck

Pro

I want to thank you for allowing me to debate this.

I. What is a greenhouse gas?

A greenhouse gas is a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere that prevents the head from escaping the earth.[1] There are several gasses that are commonly called "greenhouse gas" such as: [2]

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal), solid waste, trees and wood products, and also as a result of other chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). Carbon dioxide is also removed from the atmosphere (or “sequestered”) when it is absorbed by plants as part of the biological carbon cycle.
  • Methane (CH4): Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.
  • Nitrous Oxide (N2O): Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, as well as during combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste.
  • Fluorinated Gases: Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes. Fluorinated gases are sometimes used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (i.e., CFCs, HCFCs, and halons). These gases are typically emitted in smaller quantities, but because they are potent greenhouse gases, they are sometimes referred to as High Global Warming Potential gases (“High GWP gases”).

Of all these, CO2 makes up the vast majority of 56% [3]







My partner already defined a CO2 emission so I've no need to go into that.

II. What does a greenhouse gas do?

A greenhosue gas locks in the heat from the sun causing what is known as a greenhouse effect.



III. Proof that humans are the main cause of global warming

I wanted to establish what a greenhouse gas was and how it worked; however, that is not the resolution. We are wanting to know whether or not humans are the main cause. My contention is that global warming is mainly caused by CO2 emissions via human activities.

According to the USCS, we know that humans are the cause of global warming for at least 3 reasons (their words in italics): [4]
  1. Human fingerprints on Carbon overoad - When humans burn coal, oil, and gas to generate electricity or drive cars, CO2 is released int o the atmosphere, where it traps heat. A carbon molecule that comes from fossil fules and deforestastion is lighter than the combined signals of those from other sources.
  2. Natural changes alone cannot explain the temperature changes we've seen - My partner rightfully points out that there is a natural explanation for some of the temperature changes we have seen. However, nature alone cannot account for such changes. For a computer model to accurately project the future climate, scientists must first ensure that it is accurately reproduces the observed temperature changes. However, when the models include only recorded natural climate drivers (i.e., the sun's intensity), the models cannot accurately reproduce the observed warming of the previous 50 years. When human-induced climate drivers are also included in the models, then they accurately capture recent temperature increases in the atmosphere and in the oceans. When all the natural and human-induced climate drivers are compared to one another, the dramatic accumulation of carbon from human sources is by far the largest climate change driver over the past half century.
  3. Lower-level atmosphere — which contains the carbon load—is expanding. The boundary between the lower atmosphere (troposphere) and the higher atmosphere (stratosphere) has shifted upward in recent decades. See the ozone FAQ for a figure illustrating the layers of the atmosphere. This boundary has likely changed because heat-trapping gases accumulate in the lower atmosphere and that atmospheric layer expands as it heats up (much like warming the air in a balloon). And because less heat is escaping into the higher atmosphere, it is likely cooling. This differential would not occur if the sun was the sole climate driver, as solar changes would warm both atmospheric layers, and certainly would not have warmed one while cooling the other.


Conclusion


C1: Natural cycles alone cannot account for the climate change that we observe;
C2: CO2 is a main cause of Greenhouse Gas within the Atmosphere.
C3: Activities that humans do on a regular basis emit CO2 into the atmosphere contributing to greenhouse gas.

Resolution affirmed.
_____________

Sources

1. http://www.epa.gov...;
2. Ibid
3. http://www.epa.gov...;
4. http://www.ucsusa.org...;
Debate Round No. 2
16kadams

Con

I. What a greenhouse gas is

This is more of an observation rather than a argument. I agree with you on what these emissions are, but differ on if they are the principle cause of global warming.

II. The greenhouse effect

Now lets first look on how much heat will be forced to stay. CO2 is like a sheet of plastic, it only absorbed 8% of the radiation. So only 8% is temporarily trapped, ok? Only 1% of the things leaving the atmosphere is heat. So based on simple math we can see these small numbers will unlikely be able to create any major 'unprecedented' global warming.

And there is more math that makes it seem impossible that CO2 is a factor. I will make this into a quiz like my source 1 does:

The percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is [1]:
a) over 10%
b) 5-10%
c) 1-5%
d) less then 1%

Any wagers? You guessing c? Its "d". Less then 1%.

Human contribution to CO2:
a) over 20%
b) 10-20%
c) 5-10%
d) less then 5%

The answer is "d" again, in a 2-5% range depending on the stats. Now why is this important and actually crippling to my opponents case? Here is why:

Carbon is .04% of atmosphere. Lets say humans make about 4% of that. That means .0016%. This means human contribution to the atmosphere in carbon is a mere 16 ppm (parts per million), or 1.6 out of 100,000.

So lets assume CO2 can heat to a large extent. But the CO2 in this analogy is people. There are 100,000 people in a room, heating it up. We add 1.6 people or remove 1.6 people. That will have no measurable effects. If I argued it did it would be absurd right? Same with CO2. With the low amount humans are adding it is absurd CO2 is the main cause of the warming. [1]

III. "Proof"

1. CO2 does trap heat, but as mentioned:
a) Not that much
b) 1.6/100,000 will have little effect.

2. My opponent agrees natural factors are some of the warming, but CO2 is still a larger component. My opponent claims we must show CO2 to make an accurate computer model. But in reality that makes no sense. Unless you are trying to get a non-existent correlation. If you look at these models in the past, they actually refute the points that CO2 causes warming. Temperatures may be warmer then today's, but have lower CO2 numbers. That's something the alarmist crowd has been trying to hide. And my opponent claims there has been a correlation of CO2 and temperatures in the last century. But lets look at facts: "In the last decade, there has been no clear warming trend (as the UK Met Office and IPCC’s own figures demonstrate). In the last century, much of the warming occurred prior to 1940, when human emissions of CO2 were relatively small compared to today." [2]

3. I have already shown the absurdity of this, using facts and numbers that where easy to comprehend. CO2 blocks little and has no/little possible effect. It may be likely other stronger gases are creating this (N2O or methane) but unlikely CO2. Also where the atmosphere is relates more with air pressure.
******

Natural cycle

My opponent can't really salvage his case, as in reality science is against him. He would have to have to prove unprecedented, as he claims CO2 cannot make all of this heat. Well natural factors did it WITHOUT HUMAN CO2. Here is a graph:



As we can see the earth does this all the time without human CO2. So the question that refutes and destroys my opponents case is: Why not now? His only possible arunment is that it is 'unprecidented'. But those argunments are bound to fail.

CONCLUSION:

Pretty much read II and III. The science is against my opponent. VOTE CON





[1] MacRae, Paul. “Alarm: Global Warming -- Facts versus Fears.” Victoria, B.C.: Spring Bay, 2010.
[2] http://www.greatglobalwarmingswindle.com...
Microsuck

Pro

Thanks for a swift reply.

I. WHAT IS A GREENHOUSE GAS?

This was an observation as my partner points out. Conceded to both sides.

II. THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT

My partner's claim is that CO2 is very minute scale in the atmosphere and it really doesn't effect us that much. However, let's see how much CO2 can hurt us. This graph is from NASA and it shows the relationship between CO2 and climate change: [1]




The current level of CO2 is 380 parter per million. So, my partner brought up a good question: IF carbon dioxide makes up only a minute portion of the atmosphere, how can global warming be traced to it? And how can such a tiny amount of change produce such large effects? Pieter Tans from NOAA's Earth system Research Labratory provides this answer: [2]
"The earth's surface absorbs visible radiation from the sun, which causes heating. At the same time the surface and the atmosphere emit infrared radiation back to space, which produces cooling. Our eyes cannot see infrared radiation but we can feel how our skin absorbs it when we are standing next to a hot object without touching it. Over a long period the earth's surface temperature will remain approximately constant because the amount of heat absorbed as visible light is equal to the amount emitted as infrared light.

Nitrogen, oxygen and argon together comprise more than 99 percent of the atmosphere. None of these three gases absorb either visible or infrared light; both types penetrate the entire atmosphere. It is as though, when it comes to the absorption and emission of light, the atmosphere's three main components do not exist!"

So, what is happening is as the surface of the earth absorbs visible radiation from the sun, it causes heating. Simultaniously, the surface and the atmosphere emit infrared radiation back into space which produces cooling. Although Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Argon together make up 99% of the atmosphere, these gasses do not absorb visible or infrared light thus penetrating the entire atmosphere. Consequently, the greenhosue gasses take their toll.

He continues:

"The next most abundant gases--water vapor and carbon dioxide--do absorb a portion of the infrared heat radiated by the earth's surface, thereby preventing it from reaching space. Instead of dissipating into space, the infrared radiation that is absorbed by atmospheric water vapor or carbon dioxide produces heating, which in turn makes the earth's surface warmer. This is known as the greenhouse effect and without it our planet's surface would likely be frozen, like Mars. The heat absorbed by water vapor and carbon dioxide is shared with all the nitrogen, oxygen and argon, because the latter molecules are always bumping into water vapor and carbon dioxide as they mix in the atmosphere. This effect makes the atmosphere act somewhat like a blanket that becomes thicker when amounts of water vapor, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, increase. The top of the blanket remains cold and continues to emit about the same amount of infrared to space but below the blanket it gets warmer because it is more difficult for the heat to rise to the top.

The heating effect of extra carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and many other minor gases can be calculated with confidence based on the absorption properties that have been measured carefully in the laboratory. Currently, the total heating produced by the increases of all long-lived greenhouse gases (excluding water vapor) since preindustrial times is equal to about 1 percent of all solar radiation absorbed at the surface. The effect would be somewhat similar if the sun had started to shine 1 percent more brightly during the 20th century."

Next, 16kadams claims that human CO2 are too tiny to matter; less than 5%. However, this once more is not entirely accurate.

From the graph and from ice cores, we see that CO2 in the atmosphere remained stable between 180-300 ppm for the past 500,000 years [3]. In recent centuries since we started contributing to CO2, it has risen vastly to over 380 ppm.

What does all this show? it shows that humans do play an important factor in the contribution to CO2.

III. PROOF

I cited 3 proofs to show that humans are contributing mainly to global warming: (1) Human finger print on CO2; (2) Nature alone cannot account for the changes that we see; and (3) Lower-level atmosphere — which contains the carbon load—is expanding.

1. CO2 does trap heat, but as mentioned:

See above as I have refuted what my partner stated above.

=======================>REFUTATIONS TO CON'S R1<==================================

Natural cycles

Noted above.

Problems with the GH theory

My partner is correct in saying that water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas; however, CO2 still plays the most important role in greenhouse gas. We do not want to look only at the abundance of the greenhosue gas; but also its influence. The Union of Concerned Scientists notes: [4]


"CO2 has caused most of the warming and its influence is expected to continue. CO2, more than any other climate driver, has contributed the most to climate change between 1750 and 2005.[1, 2, 3] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a global climate assessment in 2007 that compared the relative influence exerted by key heat-trapping gases, tiny particles known as aerosols, and land use change of human origin on our climate between 1750 and 2005.[3] By measuring the abundance of heat-trapping gases in ice cores, the atmosphere, and other climate drivers along with models, the IPCC calculated the “radiative forcing” (RF) of each climate driver—in other words, the net increase (or decrease) in the amount of energy reaching Earth’s surface attributable to that climate driver. Positive RF values represent average surface warming and negative values represent average surface cooling. CO2 has the highest positive RF (see Figure 1) of all the human-influenced climate drivers compared by the IPCC. Other gases have more potent heat-trapping ability molecule per molecule than CO2 (e.g. methane), but are simply far less abundant in the atmosphere and being added more slowly."

Here is a graph from the same source to note the climate influence of the different greenhouse gasses.







Out of room/time. Good luck!

________________________________

Sources

1. Courtesy of NASA at URL: http://climate.nasa.gov...;
2. Scientific American (20060 http://www.scientificamerican.com...
Debate Round No. 3
16kadams

Con


I. Greenhouse gas

You cant concede a observation, it is not an argument they are generally fact. We agree on what it is, but what it does.

II. The greenhouse effect

Before I refute the graph, I would like to note the graph STILL PROVES MY POINT. It may look convincing, as we see a scary increase. But this is actually false. I wish everyone to read the graph. It shows, as I argued, 380 ppm. Yes, as I argued. Hence even with the scary graph, my opponents argument still fails as I refer to last rounds 1.6/100,000 analogy. My opponents graph fails to prove his point.

My opponent then produces a quote, which again seems scary. Lets look at the facts. First, one has to prove a significant correlation with temperature and CO2, which never has happened. The correlation is weak, and the correlation is very short (last century). Further, correlation does not equal causation, something my opponent has brushed over many times. Also, the last few hundred years are the only correlation they can gather up, and there is none. My opponents quote only works if they find a correlation for thousands of years, but there is NONE. Further, my opponent forgets CO2 may cause COOLING. Yes, cooling. This says it better then I can: "Carbon dioxide is a powerful aerial fertilizer, directly enhancing the growth of almost all terrestrial plants and many aquatic plants as its atmospheric concentration rises. And just as increased algal productivity at sea increases the emission of sulfur gases to the atmosphere, ultimately leading to more and brighter clouds over the world's oceans, so too do CO2-induced increases in terrestrial plant productivity lead to enhanced emissions of various sulfur gases over land, where they likewise ultimately cool the planet. In addition, many non-sulfur-based biogenic materials of the terrestrial environment play major roles as water- and ice-nucleating aerosols; and the airborne presence of these materials should also be enhanced by rising levels of atmospheric CO2. Hence, it is possible that incorporation of this multifaceted CO2-induced cooling effect into the suite of equations that comprise the current generation of global climate models might actually tip the climatic scales in favor of global cooling in the face of continued growth of anthropogenic CO2 emissions."[1]


My opponent then cites a graph again to show humans make most of the CO2, well I will cite another graph:


Natural made CO2 - 3.502% Man made - 0.117% (based on concentrations, the graph is not based on concentrations)[2] My opponents soruce for this is nasa, not to be rude but nasa? Way to find a bias source. They source the IPCC, political funded motivated etc. And again, many non bias eer reviewed studies actually prove (as well as canadian government estimates) the same data I am finding. [2]

III. "Proof"

Pretty much drops my line of argunmentation. Further, he has still filed to find correlation, cause he cant. As I have nothing to refute here, here are graphs:

Short term -



No correlation. CO2 rises, tempertures begin to fall?

Long term:



http://www.geocraft.com... (note this graph shows millions of years, and there has been only a rise in CO2 recently, but still a downward trend, temperturs doing their ups and downs)

No correlation, either. My oppoent fails on all accounts.

Cycles:

Mentioned above? Look at the fact I have been spewing.

http://www.isil.org...

**Note older cycles are warmer then today without CO2 from human causes**

GH theory

My opponent quotes, as will I:
"Over 95% of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere. But because water droplets held in suspension (clouds) make almost as good a reflector as they do a thermal insulator, there is little rise in daytime temperatures due to the greenhouse effect. "[3]

source 2

Why is it like this? water vapor = most abundant and most powerful. Note, water vapor is 99.999% natural. [2]


source 2
CONCLUSION:

My responses seem short, but I think m graphs do the talking, a picture is worth 1000 words. Before anyoen votes on this debate, I recomend the re look II on pros "proof" this round. Problems with my opponents case:
a) he finds no current or long term correlation of CO2 and temperture
[I did both]
b) forgets water vapor is the most powerful and abundant greenhouse gas, and is 99.999% natural
c) forgets the influenc of the PDO ocean cycles in temperture.

My opponent dropped these argunments:

Mars is heating as well, leading to suspect sun causes gloabl warming. Crucial in the debate.
We are in a part of the galaxy where we will get more heating (less populated area = more heat, natural cause)
PDO and other ocean currents causing global warming

My opponent has failed to fufill his BOP in this debate.




[1] http://www.co2science.org...
[2] http://geocraft.com...
[3] http://www.geocraft.com... (question 3)
Microsuck

Pro

After looking at the evidence, I concede this debate. Good debate to both sides!
Debate Round No. 4
37 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Maybe later.
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
So you're saying human influence on global warming is insignificant or negligible?

Again, send a challenge my way if you feel up to it.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I think humans have an influence, but it's not the large reason.

The PDO ocean winds likely do.

@ thautunergy (??)

You VB'd
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
I don't mean CO2 emissions in particular, I mean man-made global warming in general.
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
I think I would be interested in debating this, 16k, if you want to send a challenge my way after you've recovered from this one and feel like debating it again.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
But I forgot to old some of those things grrrr
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
The graph posted HUZAHHHH!
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I was going to copy and paste it and I hit the space bar and it deleted >:O
Posted by Microsuck 5 years ago
Microsuck
Huh?
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I deleted my argument myself -_-
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
16kadamsMicrosuckTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by bossyburrito 5 years ago
bossyburrito
16kadamsMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conceded
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
16kadamsMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro concedes.
Vote Placed by Thaumaturgy 5 years ago
Thaumaturgy
16kadamsMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's sources were weaker than Pro's sources. Con's counterpoints are points that are largely incorrect applications of the reasoning underlying them. The argument from incredulity about how much CO2 is in the atmosphere is easily debunked which pro did. I do not understand why pro ultimately "conceded" as his arguments were easily more scientifically robust and more in keeping with standard science.
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 5 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
16kadamsMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
16kadamsMicrosuckTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded to Con in the last round.