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The Contender
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OCTOBER PF UN prioritize poverty reduction vs environmental concerns

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/21/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,726 times Debate No: 9780
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***Please excuse any my partner and I's, this is well, was our case...ONLY ARGUMENTS RD 1, no rebuttals please.

Mahatma Ghandi said "Poverty is the worst kind of violence." It is because we agree with this statement and realize that it is time the United Nations step up to take care of an issue that has been plaguing the globe for decades that my partner and I affirm, Resolved: When in conflict, the United Nations should prioritize global poverty reduction over environmental protection.

My partner and I are in strong support of this resolution with the following 3 contentions:

1)Poverty causes many problems

2)Poverty prioritization can solve environmental problems

3)The UN has the capability to accomplish poverty reduction

To our first contention,

By prioritizing poverty, the UN will be able to also solve many social problems plaguing the globe. Death is the major result of poverty, with the number of people dying from it equivalent to "the hypothetical nuclear warfare between US and the USSR, the number totaling 232 million over the course of 15 years" says James Gilligan of Harvard's medical school. Gilligan also finds, "Violence emerges from these hopeless situations, and nearly 14 to 18 million resulting structural violence deaths occur every year, not including the near 100,000 deaths that result from armed warfare in these areas." Jack M. Hollander, Professor Emeritus, Energy and Resources finds that poverty is recognized as the main cause of the lack of education, technology, and employment. Because of this lack of technology, the impoverished rely on a form of cooking that is destructive to the environment with the use of biomass. This destruction is costly, but easily solved with the reduction in poverty. According to the 2005 Task Force on Hunger, because of the inability for economic growth to solely take care of poverty, those who are impoverished are more likely to be socially and politically expelled, therefore being unable to demand their rights, making poverty an easily ignored issue for the countries that need to deal with it the most. As Shown it is simply more practical for the United Nations to focus on the protection of peace, the people and their wellbeing.

To our second contention,

By prioritizing poverty, environmental problems will also be reduced. As Hollander finds, "economic growth may be the key ingredient to saving the forests. Increased education and investment opportunities arising from economic growth are beginning to stimulate the efficient agricultural practices." This efficiency will decrease the need for new land and may allow the return of agriculture land to forest growth. As seen in Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, and Israel, David Vogel, Professor of Public Policy at Berkeley cites that "as a nation's living standard improves, so does its willingness to devote additional resources to protecting its environment and improving the health of its citizens." While it may be detrimental in the immediate future, in the long run, countries will rehabilitate the environment and correct the damage done. It requires sufficient funding to improve the environment, which is why impoverished nations are so taxing on it. Looking to Yale's calculations of different countries and their environmental performance index (EPI), the top 20 nations are also those with the least amount of poverty, an example being France, number 10 on the EPI ratings, and number 87 in poverty rankings, with only 6% of its population in poverty. As shown, it is obvious that poverty must be prioritized so these nations can later solve the environmental impacts they have created.

To our third contention,

When taking a look at practicality and effectiveness, the UN should prioritize poverty based on the fact that poverty reduction is an area where they can succeed. The UN specifically states that they were founded to keep the peace and stabilize security for the world. If they hope to be effective in keeping up with that, they need to prioritize poverty, which causes war in these impoverished areas, Darfur being an example. It is not practical for the UN to focus on the environment, because they have not yet succeeded, and each attempt is a bigger failure than the last. From Fox News, a UN investigative unit warned the UN's management that "programs were completely out of control and approaching chaos." Furthermore, the report points to the fact that the UN's environmental programs are not improving, but becoming worse. The Kyoto Protocol, a plan to reduce emissions, was a complete failure, not reducing emissions or establishing any plans for reducing said emissions. The Law of the Sea Treaty was also a failure, an attempt to reduce pollution in the oceans, failed first in 1958, then again in 1960, and then again in the 1980s. It is shown that the environmental protection programs the UN has invested in are a complete failure, and this wasted money could go toward the Millennium Goals that were missed by only 30 million in its attempt to halve poverty. It could have been reached with more spending that was not wasted on environmental protection.

The UN can be successful in poverty reduction where it fails at environmental protection, and can solve environment while it solves poverty, and the many social problems associated with it. Based on these three contentions, I look to an affirmative vote.


Writer and environmental activist Paul Brooks wrote " In America today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops"
Because I believe that the commodification of the environment is not only morally reprehensible, but a destructive policy I stand in negation of the resolution, Resolved: When in conflict, the United Nations should prioritize global poverty reduction over environmental protection.
I oppose the resolution for 3 main reasons
1. Global Warming outweighs everything
2. Global warming makes global poverty and famine worse

Observation: In Conflict
Professor Jonathan Turley reports "Various countries including China made clear that they will continue to put economic development ahead of the environmental, even if global warming threatens a worldwide ecological disaster. Most startling was China"For a developing country, the main task is to reduce poverty," Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China's national development and reform commission, told a forum. China has already destroyed its own environmental and may be killing between 500,000 and 750,000 people a year due to environmental violations and pollution. It is now becoming the largest produced of greenhouse gases and its pollution is causing major environmental problems in countries as far away as the United States." Developing countries will have a higher output of greenhouse gas emissions, and thus increase the effects of global warming. Energy infrastructure in developing nations tends to be based on fossil fuels and other polluting agents. Poverty reduction worldwide will require an increase in carbon emitting infrastructure in developing nations. Furthermore power plants and other such greenhouse gas-emitting infrastructure are common areas of work for those living in poverty especially in countries such as the U.S.

Contention one: Global Warming outweighs everything, including poverty
The condition of global warming caused by an increase in carbon emissions over the past hundred years is possibly one of the most pressing concerns facing humanity. Environmental Scientist, Bill Henderson reports, "The scientific debate about human induced global warming is over but policy makers - let alone the happily shopping general public - still seem to not understand the scope of the impending tragedy. Global warming isn't just warmer temperatures, heat waves, melting ice and threatened polar bears. Scientific understanding increasingly points to runaway global warming leading to human extinction. If impossibly Draconian security measures are not immediately put in place to keep further emissions of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere we are looking at the death of billions, the end of civilization as we know it and in all probability the end of man's several million year old existence, along with the extinction of most flora and fauna beloved to man in the world we share." Action on global warming is critical. Unless we prioritize environmental protection their may be no people to lift from poverty left on the earth.

Contention two: Global warming makes global poverty and famine worse
The economic base of most poor countries is agricultural. However the crops grown by this poor farmers are sensitive to the results of global climate change. Not only does this make the problem of famine in impoverished countries worse but also Global warming will cause further environmental disasters that will have a massive negative effect on those living in poverty as well as everyone else in the world. As Reuters reported in 2005, "Global warming is likely to significantly diminish food production in many countries and greatly increase the number of hungry people, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says. The FAO says in a report that food distribution systems and their infrastructure would be disrupted and that the severest impact would likely be in sub-Saharan African countries. "There is strong evidence that global climate is changing and that the social and economic costs of slowing down global warming and of responding to its impacts will be considerable," the report said. Many scientists fear rising temperatures, blamed mainly on heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels, will melt ice caps, raise sea levels by almost a metre by the end of this century and bring more floods, droughts and storms. Global warming would increase the amount of land classified as being either arid or insufficiently moist in the developing world. In Africa the amount of this type of harsh land could increase by as much as 90 million hectares by 2008, an area nearly four times the size of Britain. Changes in temperature and rainfall as well as an increase in the number of so-called "extreme weather events" such as floods will bring with them potentially devastating effects. The world suffered 600 floods in the past two-and-a-half years, which claimed the lives of about 19,000 people and caused $US25 billion in damages. That excludes December's devastating tsunami in south-east Asia that killed more than 180,000. FAO says scientific studies show that global warming would lead to an 11 per cent decrease in rain-fed land in developing countries and in turn a serious decline in cereal production. "Sixty-five developing countries, representing more than half of the developing world's total population in 1995, will lose about 280 million tons of potential cereal production as a result of climate change," FAO said. The effect of climate change on agriculture could increase the number of people at risk of hunger, particularly in countries already saddled with low economic growth and high malnourishment levels. "In some 40 poor, developing countries, with a combined population of 2 billion... production losses due to climate change may drastically increase the number of undernourished people, severely hindering progress in combating poverty and food insecurity," the report said."
Debate Round No. 1


dkerwi8993 forfeited this round.


Hopefully my opponent will come back...
Debate Round No. 2


dkerwi8993 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


dkerwi8993 forfeited this round.


Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Nails 8 years ago
Just his Control + F and search for 'partner'. The 'my partner and I's shouldn't be too hard to fix.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Metz 8 years ago
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