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The Contender
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Policy Debate 2011-2012 Resolution

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/9/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,950 times Debate No: 22699
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




The 2011-2012 Resolution is Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase exploration and/or development of space beyond the mesosphere. I want to debate my plan: "The USFG should commit to the commercial development and deployment of space based solar power satellites in Sub-Molniya orbits and utilize Fresnal lenses to concentrate solar energy for a High Concentration Photovoltaic power system." I want to work on my case one last time before the new resolution so this will be just like a regular high school debate but with only one constructive and one rebuttal and with a summary at the end. No harrasment or semantics and if you do not know the policy debate jargon, kindly DO NOT vote (it would take up too much time to explain all the words in the debate). If you will vote, please do not vote on sources (date, credibility, etc.) and presentation of arguments (grammar, punctuation, how the font looks, etc.). Thank you.
Round 1: Acceptance Only
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing Arguments


I accept. I always hated the SBSP Aff.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting, lannan13
This will be in policy debate format so you won't see analytics in the 1st constructive.

Observation 1: The United States lack a commitment to space-based solar power

The technology exists and space-based solar power technologies are ready for development. Critics base their argument on flawed data and designs.

Space Solar Power Workshop 11 (Silent Power, pg. 41-42, JT)
Studies of Space Solar Power have consistently identified a half dozen key technologies that separate SSP from near term commercial feasibility. While all these key technologies are relatively mature, such as space transportation and photovoltaics, they have not been focused into hardware ready and able to support the construction and operation of an SSP system. We are ready to initiate design and construction of a demonstration SSP satellite. Not everyone is familiar with these technologies for SSP market development, however. Specifically, we will begin by noting that space transportation costs must be much lower in order to enable the construction of an SSPS. Fortunately, this is not difficult, technically; it is a market design choice that has not been available,...yet.

Government involvement is necessary and other power sources are inadequate.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce 8 (
Potential Benefits: SBSP is unusual among renewable energy options because it might satisfies all four of the following criteria critical to investment decisions: environmental cleanliness, sustainability of supply, flexibility of location, and capacity to generate continuous rather than intermittent power. The cost of SBSP-generated electricity would initially be greater than that provided by fossil fuel or nuclear power. SBSP might offer an attractive approach, for satisfying today's needs but also for meeting tomorrow's much greater requirements. We cannot accurately predict environmental and other consequences of harvesting energy from natural Earthbound sources (e.g., wind, ocean current, geothermal, bio fuels), when these methods are scaled up to considerably higher levels. SBSP might help create new economic opportunities through resultant technology advances in space launch, space utilization, and technological spin-offs.

Advantage One: Energy

Scenario 1: Resource Wars
The necessary transition away from terrestrial energy's limits is a matter of war and peace
Dinerman 8 (The Space Review, September 15,
The world can no longer afford to depend upon easily disrupted pipelines for critical energy supplies. Removing this kind of infrastructure from its central role in the world's energy economy would eliminate one of the most dangerous motivations for war that we may face in the 21st century. a new age of resource shortages;or even if these shortages are simply widely-held illusions;nations will naturally try their best to ensure access to the stuff they need to survive. The need for a wholly new kind of world energy infrastructure is not just an issue involving economics or conservation, but of war and peace.

And the escalation risks destroying civilization as we know it
Bearden 2k ( MH
International Strategic Threat Aspects History bears out that desperate nations take desperate actions. Prior to the final economic collapse, the stress on nations will have increased the intensity and number of their conflicts, to the point where the arsenals of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) now possessed by some 25 nations, are almost certain to be released. The resulting great Armageddon will destroy civilization as we know it, and perhaps most of the biosphere.

Scenario Two - Warming

Continued reliance on fossil fuel leads to extinction
Tickell 8 (Oliver, Environmental Researcher, The Guardian, August 11,, JMB, accessed 6-23-11)
Global warming would mean "the end of living and the beginning of survival" for humankind. Billions would undoubtedly die.

SPS solves global warming
Space Solar Power Workshop 11 (Georgia Institute of Technology, Silent Power, pg. 41-42, JT)
Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide may be rising faster than at any time in Earth's history. We can generate virtually unlimited clean baseload energy using Space Solar Power.

Advantage Two: Economy

I/L: Aerospace stimulus
The industry is crucial to jobs and manufacturing
Bugos 10 (Glenn E., February 1, YS)
The aerospace industry ranks among the world's largest manufacturing industries. aerospace has a vast array of component technologies, evoked new forms of production, and Aerospace technology permeates many other industries

And the failure to renew investment in aerospace industries threatens US national interests
Wynne and Moseley(, LH)
America's aerospace industrial base is vital. The aerospace sector gave birth to the technologies and minds that have made the information age a reality. This vital sector represents a single point vulnerability for our national defense.

I/L: Fuel Market Instability
Warld et al 9
fossil fuel markets have a major impact on our national economy, which in turn affects national security. wild swings now common in the world's fossil fuel markets constrict the economy in the short-term, and undermine strategic planning in the long-term.It also makes it more difficult for companies to commit to the long-term investments needed to develop and deploy new energy technologies and upgrade major infrastructure.

Leads to crisis, then war
Mead 9 (
Crisis can also strengthen the hand of religious extremists, populist radicals, or authoritarian traditionalists. If financial crises have been a normal part of life so has war. Bad economic times breed wars, as shown in the Great Depression.

Sub-Molniya Orbit resolves all feasibility issues.
Jones 10
A class of HEO proposed for use here is the Sub-Molniya orbit. This concept negates the requirement for the development of a large astronaut construction force and new heavy-lift launch vehicles that have inhibited the economic and technical viability of previous SBSP designs.

SPS creates enough energy to end dependence on the fossil fuel industry.
Mankins 8(
The platform constantly gathers more than 5,000 megawatts of sunlight and delivers more than 2,000 megawatts of clean, near-zero carbon electrical power to customersanywhere within an area the size of a continent. space solar power is an inexhaustible solution and the technologies now exist to make it a reality. scientists agree that the use of fossil fuels is profoundly altering local environments and the climate of the world. Capturing solar power from space-based platforms can solve this crisis

Fresnal lenses multiply the amount of solar energy received by 2000.
Jones 10
The use of Fresnel lenses are proposed to massively concentrate solar energy to intensities of 2000 suns or more onto the SPS's photovoltaic cells. Concentrating sunlight can significantly increase the energy exchange per surface area on photovoltaic panels and solar collectors compared with normal, incident sunlight.

Demonstrating SPS leads to R&D and innovation; launch costs go down and the market booms.
Globus et al 11
The total global energy market is measured in trillions of dollars per year. If a small, relatively inexpensive, SSP PowerSat for niche markets can be profitable, then experience will be gained, more PowerSats will be built, and will drive down cost


----SBSP is already being done

Mok 11 (Brian Mok, CEO at Takezawa, written July 2, 2011,, accessed Dec. 6, 2011, AL)

Solaren Inc., founded in 2002, is one of three startup ventures in SBSPthat have met with some success. It is the first and the only company which has signed a deal with a major electricity provider, PG&E, to provide power from SBSP, which they intend to implement by 2016. Solaren believes it can provide SBSP sourced electricity, even from its pilot project, at only an unspecified “small amount” more than California’s projected energy cost of $0.13/kwH in 2016. From an interview with a Solaren employee, their current priority is to meet the implementation goal for their pilot system, and to develop their technology for the future in order to meet MW and GW power delivery goals.


----SBSPs are illegal.

The Outer Space Security and Development Treaty of 2011 (, accessed Nov. 20, 2011, AL)

The Outer Space Security and Development Treaty of 2011 establishes a

Framework and procedures to assure that space will be a neutral realm from

Which all classes of weapons are banned and from which no hostile action shall

Be taken toward Earth or the surrounding Cosmos.

----“The” Means all parts

Encata 09 (World English Dictionary, “The”,, accessed Dec. 1, 2011, AL)

2. indicating generic class: used to refer to aperson orthing considered generically or universally

----U.S. is the 3 branches, where in the 3 braches is NASA. 11 (, accessed Dec. 4, 2011, AL)

United States - the executive and legislative and judicial branches of the federal government of the United States


----SBSP can’t happen for another 30 years

Mok 11 (Brian Mok, CEO at Takezawa, written July 2, 2011,, accessed Dec. 6, 2011, AL)

Right now, SPSP is not viable as a mainstream source of energy. In fact, even when

accounting for the most optimal effects, we would need to wait at least 30 more years

before beginning a large attempt at adopting space based solar power.

In order for SBSP to be feasible before then, we would require some sort of

disruptive technology in orbital launch,such as a space elevator. Another case might be

where the Earth’s atmosphere suddenly prevented more of the sunlight from reaching the

Earth, increasing the efficiency gains from using SBSP.

----SBSP tech won’t be available for years.

Skarb 09 (Justin Skarb, staff writer for the, written Jan. 16, 2009,, accessed Dec. 6, 2011, AL)

The danger in making large investments into SBSP while the economy is reeling is that there is only so much money to go around. As such, there is a danger that scarce investment dollars will be siphoned way from more immediately viable and beneficial programs such as terrestrial green energy programs. Some three decades ago the Department of Energy reported in its review of SBSP that “every dollar spent on solar satellites will not be spent on terrestrial research and commercialization”.Unfortunately, it is these very programs that may be critical to preventing a deepening of the current economic crisis. It would be nothing less than a tragedy of political judgment if the country was forced to forgo the near-term economic benefits of terrestrial green energy programs simply to fund a SBSP program that will not be viable for years, if not decades.


----Average Joe is rating econ as poor

The Economic Collapse 11 (Uh Oh: 90 Percent of Americans Rate Economic Conditions in the U.S. As “Poor”,, accessed Oct. 26, 2011, AL)

Uh oh – are we rapidly reaching another major economic tipping point? According to a new CNN/ORC International Poll, 90 percent of the American people believe that economic conditions in the United States are “poor”. This represents a significant increase from when the same question was asked in June. Back then, 81 percent of the American people considered economic conditions to be “poor”. To put this in perspective, only 11 percent of Americans rated economic conditions in the U.S. as “poor” back in January of 1999. The Federal Reserve and the Obama administration keep telling us that we are in the middle of an “economic recovery”, but obviously what average Americans are experiencing on the street is a different story. Millions of families have been absolutely devastated by mass layoffs, heartless foreclosures or bad debts. All of the recent polls show that satisfaction with government is at an all-time low and anger at Wall Street and the financial community is rising to dangerous levels. In the United States today, the economy is the most important issue for most Americans. When you have 9 out of 10 Americans rating economic conditions as “poor”, that is a very troubling sign

----Even discounting most costs even after 30 years you don’t even have 15% back in profit

Mok 11 (Brian Mok, CEO at Takezawa, written July 2, 2011,, accessed Dec. 6, 2011, AL)

Using data from previous studiesand our own linearized estimations, we are able to obtain a chart for annual returns on investment. This only supposes that the only cost incurred are putting solar panels up in space. All other costs are completely ignored, such

as fixed costs, capital costs, etc. Even the costs of putting up a transmitting array, or

construction is ignored. In other words, the costs shown here are similar to marginal

costs, if all the space and ground infrastructure was already set up. We are only looking

at “when is it even remotely feasible to begin thinking about SBSP as a mainstream source

of energy.” We see from the graph that in fact, for a median estimate, even waiting thirty

year is not enough to reach a 15% return. Since we are discounting the roughly 80% of the

costs from other sources, 15% is the minimum to begin considering SBSP.


----SBSPs causes Kessler Syndrome

Dutt 11 (Varun Dutt,Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Social and
Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University,, written Oct. 10, 2011, accessed Nov. 28, 2011, AL)

According to a recent NASA report, the space around earth is home to over 135 million small pieces of junk; another 300,000 medium size pieces (between 1 and 10 centimeters); and over 22,000 significant pieces of trash (over 10 centimeters across). Over 30 per cent of the debris can be attributed to the US alone, reports NASA. In 2009, a US Iridium commercial satellite and an inoperative Russian satellite collided, spreading debris everywhere. A report by the US National Research Council (NRC) says that the problem of space debris is getting worse and has passed a “tipping point.” According to the NRC report, we are currently reaching a critical capacity, known as the “Kessler Syndrome” (named after former head of NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office, Donald Kessler), in which debris collisions create more debris, which, in turn, is more likely to hit other objects.

Debate Round No. 2


Sorry for some missing credentials in my cards in the 1AC, I needed more room to make arguments...

Road Map:
1. Inherency 1
2. Topicality
3. Solvency/Inherency 2
4. Spending
5. Debris
6. Advantages

Inherency 1:
- First of all, Con is saying that SPS will not be built because Solaren is already doing this, but Solaren's SPS will not make use of Sub-Molniya Orbits and Fresnal lenses like my SPS does. They do not have the technology that the federal government has. What's more, extend my U.S. Chamber of Commerce 8 card which states that the U.S. federal government involvement is key in building SPS and getting the global advantages we need. Also, Solaren is a PRIVATE company which means that there WILL be a solvency deficit and they will create SPS for their own benefit

- First on his "SPS is a violation" argument: Double bind: If he's going to bring this argument up, he also contradicts and takes out his own Inherency argument that Solaren is already doing the plan and that it will be better. Keep note of that as you go down the flow. Also, he has no link to that card, anyway. No where in that evidence does it say that SPS specifically will be a weapon(which it won't).
- Next, he brings up some definitions of his own presumably to challenge mine. Well, you can't really call this a T argument at all actually... He gives no reasons to prefer his definitions nor any reasons why T matters in this debate. You can take that right out of the flow. So prefer my definitions which are more fair and give the Con enough ground and limit my own.

Solvency/Inherency 2:
- The Con states that SPS will not be built because it is not feasible due to the fact that we don't have any way to get it up into space and that the tech is not ready. Extend my SSPW 11 card which states that SPS critics base their argument on flawed data and designs. Their arguments come from critics of SPS who have been looking at bad plans for SPS. Given the great advancements in SPS technology, we are ready to build it now, but what's stopping us is that we just haven't put it together yet. As for launch mechanisms, SPS need not be launched into space using rockets; we can utilize inflatable SPS as shown in this card
Inflatable SPS solves feasibility and monetary issues.
Brown '09 [Trevor, author focused on political, economic, and military strategy for the medium of space. He holds a BA from Indiana University and an MSc from Nanyang Technological University, SSP: a spherical architecture, June 1, 2009,]

The concept of an inflatable photovoltaic sphere is a simple idea that could possibly overcome many of the obstacles that SSP faces. By crafting a balloon-like satellite, the inflatable sphere would eliminate the many structural components that conventional SSP spacecraft possess. the inflatable sphere would slash the overall launch costs by lessening the amount of launches required while still producing a massive surface area for the production of solar energy

-Now on to spending: Okay NO IMPACT anywhere on the evidence. This is a huge problem for Con. If he can't show why spending is bad, he really has NO argument against SPS.
-Anyway, it's also non-unique because we've been spending so much and also turn the link; spending has and will boost the economy. Recent stimulus plans have helped us out and that involves federal spending. The Hoover Dam successfully provides lots of energy for everyone and that also involved federal spending in an economy that was WORSE than the one we are in right now. So, straight turn this entire DA.

- My opponent argues that space debris will stop SPS from being launched into space, however, SPS will not be affected by space debris as proven in my Jones 10 card which states that Sub-Molniya orbits resolve all feasibility issues.
SBSP satellites are safe from debris
Powersat 2010((international SBSP cooperation) JA

Collision with space junk is unlikely for a number of reasons. PowerSats reside in a geosynchronous orbit which is much higher than the low earth orbit debris band.

-That orbit is the Sub-Molniya Orbit.
-Link turn: SPS will also SOLVE for space debris as shown in this card
SPS solves Space Debris
Examiner, '10, December 11th, 2010, (Troy Pearce, Solar powered micro-satellite will clean space debris,

We are constantly sending satellites, experimental space planes, and privately owned space crafts into orbit. NASA working on a way to eliminate the thousands of unused satellites. This makes them the first agency to eject a micro-satellite from a larger, solar powered satellite. This proves that NASA has the capability to deploy a small cubesat payload from an autonomous micro-satellite in space.

-Extend my first advantages which my opponent has conceded. SPS will solve for energy problems, global warming, and extinction. Becuase of how serious of an impact extinction is, I control magnitude, timeframe, and probability of all impacts and outweigh the impacts of the Con (if he has any). He has also dropped and conceded the fact that SPS will end dependency on the fossil fuel market by providing virtually UNLIMITED clean baseload energy. Therefore, this should be an automatic vote for the Pro.


1. Inherency
Just a quick question what's your inherent barrier? My oppent here doesn't have a plan text and in policy you need a plan text to tell the judge what and how much and where your getting the $ and how you're doing it. Without it my opponet has absolutly nothing. He's/ She's up there just posting cards on the internet. One of the rules of inherency is it hasn't happend yet but in this case it has. So therefore my opponet has no inherency and no plan text. Next of my opponet doesn't have any inherency cards at all and in debate there are the stock issues of Inherency, Solvency, and then Advantages. My opponet doesn't have a single inherency card.

2. I aways do this to by my time. Some team at state dropped topicality like this so I aways bring it up.

3. Solvency-
My opponet has no solvency in the first round and in policy that again is a key issue as I brought up in #1. You can't solve anything without solvency so here you have my opponet saying lets do SBSP but has no cause or way to solve. My opponet brings up a die or try solvency card. But in policy again after the constructives you can't bring up any new cards. (but I'll refute anyway) My opponet says it will eliminate space debris, but what it will be doing is destroying larger pieces and making them small and more ample. So my opponet would take the risk of having his own creation destroyed let alone a rockett or even the ISS.

4. Spending-
You never posted how much this will cost. So untill you do we can imagain it cost trillions of dollars. Let me ask you something. Do the average Americans matter? If you answered yes here's a senerio for you. The economy is down and average people see the government spending money they won't be happy about it and consummer confidense will drop.

5. Debris-
Already refuted this in #3.

6. Advantages.
Okay your advantage is no extintion how will this impact the average American.

Holes of my opponet
No plan text
No solvency
No Inherency
No cost brought up
So since my opponet isn't allowd to bring up new arguents in the next round don't let him bring this up.
Debate Round No. 3


Road Map:
1. Inherency
2. Topicality(?)
3. Solvency/Debris
4. Spending
5. Advantage
6. Overview

Basically, what my opponent has said is that my case is missing a lot of vital information, therefore I should lose the debate. I will now show why he is wrong and that he has missed many things because he has not read my case carefully and why the round goes to Pro

First, Inherency:
- Apparently, you missed the plan text in the very first round. I had assumed you had read it because you agreed to my terms and accepted this debate. Both the plan text and res are stated in round 1 but here it is again: "The USFG should commit to the commercial development and deployment of space based solar power satellites in Sub-Molniya orbits and utilize Fresnal lenses to concentrate solar energy for a High Concentration Photovoltaic power system."
My inherency cards are the very first cards that I bring up in the case right before I go into the advantages. They both say that the tech exists and our inherent barrier is that we just haven't put it together yet. Keep in mind that this is not a new argument, just information in my cards that I wish to clarify because my opponent has missed it. Also, Con keeps saying that Solaren has done the plan. This is a blatant lie. Solaren has not done the plan, if you look in his cards, and willl not solve anyway because they are a PRIVATE COMPANY, not the USFG. Solaren will, as all private companies, build SPS for the benefit of their company. And again, my U.S. Chamber of Commerce 8 card states that government involvement is necessary to get the full benefits. Con has not addressed this at all.

- So what my opponent is doing is using Topicality arguments as a time suck. He does not even know how to run one as I have shown in my last speech. Therefore, this should not result as a voter against me. Disregard and drop his entire T argument and not the debater. I will move on assuming that the Con has accepted my definitions and will not bring up this ridiculous argument any further in this debate.

- Like I've said before, Con's debris argument has NO LINK to my SPS case at all because we will utilize Sub-Molniya orbit which is an area where SPS will not be affected by space debris. (Jones 10)
- Con has not sufficiently addressed my turn and he makes up analytics, whereas I have evidence from my case saying that SPS will not be affected at all by space junk and SPS can also solve that problem. Our terminal impact of human extinction, which Con has dropped, also outweighs the impact of space debris. Also, we've been post-brink and past the tipping point for many years now, and nothing has happened.
- Again, there is no impact OR link for his space debris argument. The tag mentions something about SPS but the evidence holds nothing. There is also nothing in the card that says why space debris is a bad problem. So, I don't link into his debris disadvantage and am not affected by it in any way. No link, no impact, no argument.

- I don't even need to give a cost. The point is, if federal spending funds SPS, then the outcome would be that we would have a massive source of revenue from the power generated. We could use it to power our industries and even sell energy to indutrial countries like China. Of course, SPS is economically feasible. Otherwise, I wouldn't have an inherency card stating that the money and the technology are there, we just haven't combined them to make SPS.
- Yes, I do believe the average American matters. In fact, they are so important that we should spend and inject new jobs into the economy and boost consumer confidence, the aerospace industry, and the workforce in that industry. Again, look back at the Hoover Dam example. The U.S. was in the Great Depression. Our economy was in the toilet(worse than we are in now), and yet we still spent government money and successfully created a new source of income. That's exactly what SPS will do. So, basically, we SOLVE for spending.
- Extend my no impact argument and the straight turn both of which Con has not addressed. It's too late now, he can't bring up an impact(why spending is bad) in the next speech and he can't refute the straight turn either.
- Also, my extinction impact outweighs anything he would bring up anyway(most likely would have been economic collapse)
- My opponent has just lost his entire Spending DA.

- How will extinction impact the average American? Well, it wouldn't really affect them besides the fact that everyone DIES. Seriously? Con has conceded my entire global warming advantage so he agrees with me that SPS will stop global warming and save everyone from extinction. Con keeps complaining that I should not be able to bring up new arguments in the rebuttals but he really should not be saying anything if he's going to try to refute my global warming advantage... Pro should win just off of the fact that Con has dropped and conceded my second advantage.

Therefore, I win on all stock issues:
- Inherency: I have sufficiently shown that SPS has not yet been built, that all we need to do is put it together, and that private companies such as Solaren do not have the technology that we use, nor can they solve like the federal government will if SPS is implemented.
- Harms/Solvency: Space debris and technology are really the only arguments he brings up about this, and by showing that we are not affected by debris, turning the disadvantage, and proving that there is no impact to the argument anyway, his entire debris/solvency argument falls apart. As for the technology not being ready... well, I don't have to address this anyway, because Con doesn't extend this in the second rebuttal but let me just say that critics of SPS base their argument on flawed data and designs so since he has not attacked this either. You should assume that Con agrees; his author's arguments are flawed and incoherent. The argument that SPS can be inflatable further supports my solvency defense taking out his other solvency argument that SPS will not go for another three decades due to lack of a feasible launch solution. Con has also conceded this, thus, I strongly urge a vote for the affirmative.


Inherency- I did read it but I didn't know what it went under. We have the tech so that knocks out the inherency. Why you may ask? It's because we have it already, and not only that but he admits in his last round that we have the tech. Hold on let me find it. They both say that the tech exists and our inherent barrier is that we just haven't put it together yet. There he admits we have the tech.

Solvency/ debris-
He just goes and says no link or brink. Well my friends I brought this up in my last round. He claims it destroys space debris, but something can't be entirerly destroyed insteed he just shatters it into millions of pieces. So it just makes it harder to put stuff into space including humans.


Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by a_holy_cow_pie 6 years ago
were you going to say something for advantages in your last rebuttal?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: geez this was hard to vote on. Pro's opening arguments were very hard to connect to the resolution, and lannan debunked most of them. But at the final round of the debate Con looked like he ran out of time and had focused on one issue. To me though the causes for a need for such a system were not convincing for me, and the cost of such a thing would be enormous since it relies on lasers.... So arguments go to the con
Vote Placed by WriterDave 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I would have preferred to see a broader debate on the 11-12 resolution. Per the OP I will not vote on grammar or sources. Pro's arguments were slightly more compelling, and it seemed that Con simply stopped arguing in the middle of a