The Instigator
arrested08
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Puck
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Resolve: That, by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2009 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,100 times Debate No: 6828
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
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arrested08

Pro

Ansel Adams, the famous nature photographer once said "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Because my partner and I agree with Mr. Adams we affirm todays resolution, That, by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in the United States be powered by alternative fuels. To clarify todays resolution my partner and I offer the following definintions; mandate is defined as an authoritative order or command. Alternative fuels is defined as is the choice of any fuel other than the traditional selections, gasoline and diesel.(alternativefuels.about.com). By mandating alternative fuels the government will not only be helping to save the environment, but will help the American economy and end our dependence on foreign oil.
Bernd Debusmann, a Reuters Staff Writer comments on our Oil Dependence when saying, "the United States has 4 percent of the world's population and uses almost a quarter of its oil... Our economic engine is now 70 percent dependent on the energy resources of other countries, their good judgment, and most importantly, their good will toward us". We do not have to make sure to stay in the good graces of any corporation more than OPEC. OPEC stands for The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which include countries such as Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, and others. Currently, the United States imports over half of its oil from OPEC, according to ABC.com. Basically, this means that American oil prices are in the hands of numerous countries that have strong anti-American feelings and many times act irrationally and unfair. For example, an energy crisis was caused because OPEC was angry that America supported Israel in the 6 day war. We can not subject ourselves to the whims of other countries to control our energy and we need to have the means to control it ourselves.
Virtually any scientist will tell you that our oil reserves left are limited. Oil is a finite resource and is non- renewable. Because of this, America will eventually have no choice but to switch to alternative energy. However, instead of waiting until the day when the oil runs out to do something about it, it is better to take to necessary steps now. An additional benefit in switching our cars sooner rather than later is the helpful effect on the environment. Global warming is a topic that has the country heated in debate lately. However, research shows that our environment has already begun to suffer the effects of global warming. For example, according to National Geographic, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. Also from National Geographic, An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed to climate change. Cars using Fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide, the leading cause of global warming. According to the University of Maryland, the United States is one of the leading countries that are causing pollution relating to global warming. By switching over to alternative energy we will be preventing this from taking place.
Not only is switching to alternative fuels both better politically, economically, and environmentally, it is also something that can easily be done. There are already numerous types of energy sources that can be used instead of fossil fuels. One example is Cellulosic Ethanol, according to U.S News and World Report. Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel from the material that makes up parts of most plants. It is useful because it is renewable and made from non-food plants, so it won't shorten the food supply. It also produces very little emissions, significantly lower than fossil fuels. It is also estimated to cost lower than one dollar per gallon, which makes it beneficial to the economy. Using a biofuel such as Cellulosic ethanol is a practical way to replace fossil fuels.
Switching to alternative energy sources can benefit our country economically, politically, socially, and environmentally. By mandating the use of biofuels such as Cellulosic Ethanol we can create a healthier and more independent nation. For these reasons my partner and I urge you to affirm the resolution, That, by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in the United States be powered by alternative fuels.
Puck

Con

"By mandating alternative fuels the government will not only be helping to save the environment"

Government mandate or more correctly fascism is about as suicidal for business enterprise as one can get. See, oh, banking industry. It violates the rights of both businesses and consumers to act as free agents of trade.

Markets will adapt as necessary to consumer need. If oil prices rise heavily again then certainly there will be an increased demand for those products that will achieve the same end through cheaper means. Upon which case mandating becomes irrelevant. The damage it does is asserting a market for a product when there is none - for assuming that such mandates are necessary and the role of government.

There will undoubtedly be insistence for current model change and it will become a natural part of the market. Indeed the current debacle in US car manufacturers is related to the lack of understanding of consumer need. If car manufacturers wish to sell a product that actually runs (i.e. not waiting for the reserves to end) - they will invest and manufacture as such. Mandating it now is somewhat unnecessary as those companies involved benefit from matching consumer demand for a product. If the demand is not there then you are simply damning the companies themselves.

Additionally, Arab Emirate nations are heavily investing in alternative energy production, presumably for the purposes of state use and energy sale, which can only make what reserves are there last longer. :)

http://business.timesonline.co.uk...

Mandating the car industry is analogous to mandating fast food restaurants stop serving less than healthy foods because a % of population are overweight. While the demand is there for the food, so too should it be provided. To further illustrate the point, once the widespread concern over limited healthier eating choices was apparent and upon demand from patrons, the businesses met such needs. The same applies to the car industry. Those manufacturers that don't listen will deservedly fail.

"switching to alternative fuels both better [...] environmentally"

Albeit secondary to issues with your primary mandate assertion; land usage for the purpose of crop farming to provide fuel cannot be solely sustained within the US. Which means dependency no matter on foreign somewhere. Certainly those who wish to farm for fuel production purposes may find a willing market soon, however unless you also mandate govt force of farm land for its own fuel purposes, such fuel will undoubtedly be at least partially borne by overseas interests.

And seeing as how pollution seems to be your sole concern...Biofuel production increases greenhouse emissions

http://www.newscientist.com...

Indeed replanting forests and burning fossil fuels actually results in less net output of green house emissions than land farming for biofuels.

http://www.newscientist.com...

Additionally mass plantations of poor varied crops increase insect pest populations.

http://www.newscientist.com...

Additionally the issue about food shortage is not whether food crops are used or not for fuel production, it's that the available land for food production is.

"However, instead of waiting until the day when the oil runs out to do something about it, it is better to take to necessary steps now."

Grand. We agree on oil drilling in US borders then, on and off shore. :)

"Not only is switching to alternative fuels both better politically, economically, and environmentally"

Unshown (and irrelevant), no and no. :) Creating a false market before there is a need or demand, then propping said market up with presumably heavy subsidies at the expense of other actually demanded industries is not good for the economy...at all.
Debate Round No. 1
arrested08

Pro

arrested08 forfeited this round.
Puck

Con

Eh, extend argument and so forth and so on and etc etc.
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Due to block text and the forfeit, my entire vote goes to CON.
Posted by Puck 8 years ago
Puck
lol So who did I annoy?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
arrested08PuckTied
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
arrested08PuckTied
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Vote Placed by vorxxox 8 years ago
vorxxox
arrested08PuckTied
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Total points awarded:07