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The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Put NASA money toward deep sea exploration

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2014 Category: Places-Travel
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,393 times Debate No: 63099
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




Nfl rules apply for LD. Will give link to rules if needed. Keep it clean and have fun!


My opponent has the burden of proof, I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


First a link to the rules.

a33;Why can't humans spend more on exploring the remaining 95% of the oceans, rather than on space exploration?Edit
NOAA states that we have explored only 5% of the world's oceans -> How much of the ocean have we explored?
It is pretty ironic, that we are pursuing resources/habitats outside the planet earth, while we are ignoring what lies right here. I'm reminded of the story of the man who travelled all over the world looking for diamonds, little knowing that there was a reservoir of diamond stones right ... (more)

"Star Trek" would have us believe that space is the final frontier, but with apologies to the armies of Trekkies, their oracle might be a tad off base. Though we know little about outer space, we still have plenty of frontiers to explore here on our home planet. And they"re losing the race of discovery.
Hollywood giant James Cameron, director of mega-blockbusters such as "Titanic" and "Avatar," brought this message to Capitol Hill last week, along with the single-seat submersible that he used to become the third human to journey to the deepest point of the world"s oceans"the Marianas Trench. By contrast, more than 500 people have journeyed into space"including Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who sits on the committee before which Cameron testified"and 12 people have actually set foot on the surface of the moon.
All it takes is a quick comparison of the budgets for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, to understand why space exploration is outpacing its ocean counterpart by such a wide margin.
In fiscal year 2013 NASA"s annual exploration budget was roughly $3.8 billion. That same year, total funding for everything NOAA does"fishery management, weather and climate forecasting, ocean research and management, among many other programs"was about $5 billion, and NOAA"s Office of Exploration and Research received just $23.7 million. Something is wrong with this picture.
Space travel is certainly expensive. But as Cameron proved with his dive that cost approximately $8 million, deep-sea exploration is pricey as well. And that"s not the only similarity between space and ocean travel: Both are dark, cold, and completely inhospitable to human life.
Yet space travel excites Americans" imaginations in a way ocean exploration never has. To put this in terms Cameron may be familiar with, just think of how stories are told on screens both big and small: Space dominates, with "Star Trek," "Star Wars," "Battlestar Galactica," "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," and "2001 A Space Odyssey." Then there are B-movies such as "Plan Nine From Outer Space" and everything ever mocked on "Mystery Science Theater 2000." There are even parodies: "Spaceballs," "Galaxy Quest," and "Mars Attacks!" And let"s not forget Cameron"s own contributions: "Aliens" and "Avatar."
When it comes to the ocean, we have "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "SpongeBob SquarePants," and Cameron"s somewhat lesser-known film "The Abyss." And that"s about it.
This imbalance in pop culture is illustrative of what plays out in real life. We rejoiced along with the NASA mission-control room when the Mars rover landed on the red planet late last year. One particularly exuberant scientist, known as "Mohawk Guy" for his audacious hairdo, became a minor celebrity and even fielded his share of spontaneous marriage proposals. But when Cameron bottomed out in the Challenger Deep more than 36,000 feet below the surface of the sea, it was met with resounding indifference from all but the dorkiest of ocean nerds such as myself.
Part of this incongruity comes from access. No matter where we live, we can go outside on a clear night, look up into the sky, and wonder about what"s out there. We"re presented with a spectacular vista of stars, planets, meteorites, and even the occasional comet or aurora. We have all been wishing on stars since we were children. Only the lucky few can gaze out at the ocean from their doorstep, and even those who do cannot see all that lies beneath the waves.
As a result, the facts about ocean exploration are pretty bleak. Humans have laid eyes on less than 5 percent of the ocean, and we have better maps of the surface of Mars than we do of America"s exclusive economic zone"the undersea territory reaching out 200 miles from our shores.

We Need an Ocean NASA Now
For too long ocean exploration has suffered from chronic underfunding and the lack of an independent agency with a dedicated mission. Here, Al Dove and I call for the creation of a NASA-style agency to ensure the future health of US ocean science and exploration.
Over a decade ago, one of us (CM) made his first submersible dive off of Rum Cay in the Bahamas. At the surface the temperature was a warm 91I0;F and at the bottom 2,300 feet down the temperature was near freezing. Despite my large size, I don"t remember feeling cramped inside the soda can-sized sub at any moment. The entire time I pressed my face against a 6-inch porthole, my cheek against the cool glass, and focused my eyes on the few feet of illuminated sea floor around me and the miles of black beyond. Here in the great depths of oceans I got my first look at the giant isopod, a roly-poly the size of a large shoe. This beast and the surrounding abyss instantly captured my imagination, launching me on a journey of ocean science and exploration to unravel the riddles of life in the deep.
A thousand miles away, off the coast of Yucatan Mexico, the other of us (AD) experienced equal wonder at the discovery of the largest aggregation ever recorded of the largest of fish in the world, the whale shark. These spotted behemoths gather annually in the hundreds off the coast of Cancun, one of the world"s most popular tourist destinations, and yet this spectacular biological was unknown to science until 2006. Swimming among them, I reverted to a childish state of wonder, marveling at their size, power and grace, and boggling that they have probably been feeding in these waters since dinosaurs, not tourists, inhabited the Yucatan.
Whether giant fish or giant crustaceans, are opportunities to uncover the ocean"s mysteries are quickly dwindling.
The Ghost of Ocean Science Present
Our nation faces a pivotal moment in exploration of the oceans. The most remote regions of the deep oceans should be more accessible now than ever due to engineering and technological advances. What limits our exploration of the oceans is not imagination or technology but funding. We as a society started to make a choice: to deprioritize ocean exploration and science.
Budget Cuts Green Road Sign image courtesy of Shutterstock
In general, science in the U.S. is poorly funded; while the total number of dollars spent here is large, we only rank 6th in world in the proportion of gross domestic product invested into research. The outlook for ocean science is even bleaker. In many cases, funding of marine science and exploration, especially for the deep sea, are at historical lows. In others, funding remains stagnant, despite rising costs of equipment and personnel.
Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a committee comprised of leading ocean scientists, policy makers, and former U.S. secretaries and congressmen, gave the grade of D- to funding of ocean science in the U.S. Recently the Obama Administration proposed to cut the National Undersea Research Program (NURP) within NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a move supported by the Senate. In NOAA"s own words, "NOAA determined that NURP was a lower-priority function within its portfolio of research activities." Yet, NURP is one of the main suppliers of funding and equipment for ocean exploration, including both submersibles at the Hawaiian Underwater Research Laboratory and the underwater habitat Aquarius. This cut has come despite an overall request for a 3.1% increase in funding for NOAA. Cutting NURP saves a meager $4,000,000 or 1/10 of NOAA"s budget and 1,675 times less than we spend on the Afghan war in just one month.
The other main source of funding for deep-sea science in the U.S. is the National Science Foundation which primarily supports biological research through the Biological Oceanography Program. Funding for science within this program remains stagnant, funding larger but fewer grants. This trend most likely reflects the ever increasing costs of personnel, equipment, and consumables which only larger projects can support. Indeed, compared to rising fuel costs, a necessity for oceanographic vessels, NSF funds do not stretch as far as even a decade ago.
Shrinking funds and high fuel costs have also taken their toll on The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) which operates the U.S. public research fleet. Over the last decade, only 80% of available ship days were supported through funding. Over the last two years the gap has increasingly widened, and over the last ten years operations costs increased steadily at 5% annually. With an estimated shortfall of $12 million, the only solution is to reduce the U.S. research fleet size. Currently this is expected to be a total of 6 vessels that are near retirement, but there is no plan of replacing these lost ships.
Read the full story @

So we know more about space than we know about our own world. That is bad. Only 5% underwater has been explored. We need to give back to those trying to explore and help us under the water. You never know what you might find.

I am ready for questions, comments, and concerns by anyone.


I refuse to engage in this debate. My opponent has cheated by both going above the specified character limit, and by plagiarizing his entire material. I cannot be expected to return with contentions for an argument spanning 30, 000 characters; nor shall I engage plagiarized material. I leave it to the judges to vote as they deem fit.
Debate Round No. 2


1: I have not gone above the specified character limit. The website will not allow me. Therefore there is no way I went above it. I only used all the characters I was allowed to have. No more than that.

2: pla"gia"rize
gerund or present participle: plagiarizing
take (the work or an idea of someone else) and pass it off as one's own.
synonyms:copy, infringe the copyright of, pirate, steal, poach, appropriate; More
copy from (someone) and pass it off as one's own.
-Merium Webster
How am I plagarizing if I am not passing this off as my own, but giving full credit to the article by putting quotation marks and providing a link to the story? I am not passing it off as my own. ThereforeI am not plagarizing.

3: Plus my opponent refuses to debate with me. These points just show the fact that I am a much better debater.
4: all my arguments still stand as before seen.


My opponent has not used quotation marks; he has also copied verbatim. That is against the rules of debate, so he forfeits this debate in any case.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Lukas8 2 years ago
We should invest both in space, oceans and other sciences instead of culture and religion.
Posted by republicofdhar 2 years ago
It's quite hilarious how Pro says "how am I plagiarizing if I am not passing this off as my own" and then follows it up by labelling his round of arguments (which really weren't his) with "all my arguments". Quoting other people verbatim in a debate is in poor taste.
Posted by republicofdhar 2 years ago
I'm not sure what Con meant by "30,000 characters" but the material is certainly all plagiarised. What a waste of such an interesting debate topic.
Posted by SE2 2 years ago
Only a small percentage of the ocean has even been explored, imagine how fascinating a new species could be if discovered. Maybe they'll find mermaids and prove the aquatic ape theory right!
Posted by republicofdhar 2 years ago
I've always wanted to debate this! (albeit on Pro's side) All the best to anyone to takes this up :)
Posted by Christofar 2 years ago
Would you mind posting a link to the rules?
Posted by dr_orbital 2 years ago
Randomguy69, they do put that substance in the ocean though...
Posted by Randomguy69 2 years ago
*s hit
Posted by Randomguy69 2 years ago
No one gives a single shi r about the ocean
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by republicofdhar 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro posted links to various sites and made a single (not very convincing) argument on his own: "You never know what you might find." I am giving Con S&G specifically because Pro spelt "Merriam-Webster" as "Merium Webster". Conduct to Con because Pro plagiarised his round of arguments, almost in entirety. Notwithstanding all the reasons given above, Pro broke the rules of the debate and therefore forfeits it entirely.