The Instigator
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The Contender
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Government should address global warming as a top priority whatever the economic cost.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/19/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 244 times Debate No: 91500
Debate Rounds (4)
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While I do think it is important to protect our planet, I do not think that the small dent we can make in a small problem is worth much cost. The cost of many climate policies have been large. I do not think that trying to solve global warming is worth it.


I accept your challenge. I do believe that protecting our planet should be prioritized over money. The decisions we make today will have repercussions for lifetimes, we should make good ones.
Debate Round No. 1


It sounds like my opponent agrees that the economy is harmed by policies that try to reduce global warming. The issue for you the judge to decide is whether that cost is too much in comparison to the benefits of these policies. In order to decide that, you must first understand what we stand to gain by reducing our carbon footprint.

The theory of global warming is based on the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is caused by certain gases in our atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, trapping the heat from the sun that would otherwise reflect off the earth. If there were no greenhouse effect, life could not survive on earth. Theoretically, if there were too much of those gases in the air, they would trap too much heat and the earth would get too warm. This would cause the ice to melt, which would flood us all.

The question we must answer in this round is this: Is mankind causing the greenhouse effect to go out of control? The answer is no. Carbon dioxide accounts for less than 3% of the greenhouse effect. Before the industrial revolution, the carbon dioxide levels were 288,000 ppb. Since then, between human actions and natural additions, carbon dioxide has increased to 368,400 ppb. Mankind has had very little impact on the greenhouse effect.

This means that if the entire world in the name of global warming ground all industry to a halt and went back to the stone age, we could reduce our carbon footprint by 11,880 ppb. This would reduce by a tiny fraction the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, which is a a tiny fraction of the greenhouse effect.

Any changes we make will have little to no impact because let's just face it, we don't have a huge impact on the world's temperature. No matter how much we harm our economy we will never change the climate by more than a degree or two.

If these policies have little to no effect, are they really worth significant damage to our economy?

My numbers came from


You are completely wrong when you said that human green house gas emissions are not responsible for global warming. All the world's scientists are in almost unanimous agreement that our own green house gas emissions cause global warming. Ignoring this fact is a denial of science itself.
This is my source.

And yes, changes we make will have an impact on global warming. If laws are passed to reduce these emissions, it would slow global warming. Not stop it, but slow it down significantly.

And about the economic aspects; there's no way to get around them. It will hurt businesses and tax payers, but given the choice between the destruction of our planet and a few spent tax dollars and a few hurt businesses, I would chose the latter.
Debate Round No. 2


OK. First of all, I never said our emissions did not cause warming. In fact I said that clearly adding carbon dioxide to the air would, in fact, raise the temperature. However, I gave hard numbers that show how tiny of an impact we really have. To prove this, I provided a scholarly, factual article full of statistics. To counter this, you provided a one paragraph long opinion Peace. YOU claim to have science on your side?

As far as the common claim that all scientists support global warming, I have provided an article which deals with that myth. It also has a great video of Ted Cruz demolishing a witness who know nothing about the topic and fell back on that same myth.

You again claim that the policies we are debating would have a significant impact on the climate. Judges, please refer to the article I gave you last time, which clearly disproves that idea. To show even farther that these policies are both unneeded and unhelpful, I would like to give you another number. According to the UCAR, an organization on your side of this issue, the average temperature of the earth has gone up by exactly 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit. At this pace, in 1,000 years from now it will be a whopping 15 degrees warmer! This might be warm enough that the sea would rise a matter of inches, but on the other hand, the growing season would be longer, so farmers would be happy. For THIS you want us to panic and hurt our economy??

My opponent admits that there would, in fact be significant damage to this country in the process of stopping global warming. In light of the facts I have provided, his comment about the "destruction of our planet" is frankly laughable.

Your job judge, is to decide if this is worth it. Shall we damage our country in order to have almost no effect on a tiny problem that might happen a few thousand years from now? I say no.




Yes, actually I do have science on my side. Humans burning fossil fuels is the main cause of global warming. I'll leave a link proving this below.

And your right, I do believe that there would be damage to the economy if we passed laws to limit green house gas emissions I 100% believe that is true. But the whole point of this debate is that the world's governments need to prioritize climate change over minor economic damage.

Oh yeah, and global warming is not "a tiny problem that might happen a few thousand years from now." Tell that to the many island nations that could be gone soon as a direct result of climate change. There are many examples of this, and if you don't believe me, click the link below.
Debate Round No. 3


For the last time let me say that I absolutely agree that adding greenhouse gases to the air will make the earth warmer. That is a fact. Therefore the first article you presented is unnecessary. We all agree that more greenhouse gases will make the earth warmer.

We also agree that trying to stop global warming will damage the economy.

This leaves one question for you the judge to determine. Is it worth economic damage to try and stop global warming?

As far as Islands go, IF the article you presented is right about the fact that the Marshal islands will disappear if the earth gets 2 degrees warmer, and IF warming continues unchecked at its current rate, the people who live on the Marshal Islands will need to vacate the island some time in the next 100 years. Also, being right about the 2 degrees number is a big if. Even the article itself said it was "likely." I don't claim to be an expert, but I can't imagine how they could get that number. The fact remains that the worst case scenario is that the island will be gone in the next 150 years.

Now, let me explain why I don't think reducing our gas emissions is not worth economic damage. As I have shown with hard numbers our impact on the earths climate is negligible. 75% of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor which we have no control over. Carbon dioxide which is by far the largest piece other than water accounts for less than 3%. Of the 368,400 ppb of carbon dioxide in the air, we have only contributed 11,880. That means that if we stopped producing ANY carbon dioxide (which would mean stopping all industry, not burning anything and not breathing for that matter), we could reduce by a fraction the carbon dioxide in the air which is a tiny fraction of the greenhouse effect. In other words, though reducing carbon dioxide and other gases would reduce the temperature, we cannot realistically make a noticeable difference in the climate. We can only damage ourselves trying to do the impossible and unnecessary.

The other factor is that the warming is not a serious problem. It is happening, but at the rate of 1.53 degrees over 100 years. Again, that means that if we let global warming go unchecked for 500 years, the earth will be warm enough to increase the growing season and help farmers.

Now, I hope that sometime in the somewhat near future we can harness wind, solar etc. enough that we can reduce our carbon footprint without damage to our country, but that day is not here. We can afford to wait. We are having almost no effect and the earth is getting warmer by a negligible amount. Trying in vain to solve that non existent problem is certainly not worth economic harm.

In closing I would like to point out that everything I have said is backed up by scientific fact. I have presented factual, irrefutable research showing the reality of what is happening. It is for you the judge to decide if it is a big enough problem to justify damage to our country. I say no.



So, as we've both stated repeatedly, we agree that humans are at least in part responsible for climate change, and that it will impact the economy if measures are taken to stop it. But once again, we have to make that choice. After all, every business regulation in some way hurts the economy, but we still have business regulations. Why? Because at the end of the day, we know that sometimes, the economy isn't always first priority, and this is one of those times.

And yes, we can start using renewable energies. That day is coming sooner than later. And no, for the last time, it is not a non existent problem. You should watch Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth."

BenD, thanks for this debate. I've had fun debating with you, I'm glad I accepted this.
Debate Round No. 4
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