The Instigator
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
Pluto2493
Pro (for)
Losing
25 Points

Resolved: That Global Warming is a manmade problem.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,827 times Debate No: 3814
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (15)

 

LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

Note to Voters: Take not your own beliefs when voting, vote based on merit of the arguments. Also this is copy-pasted from another debate I was in: http://www.debate.org...
From my opponent-to-be's comments in that debate, he looks to be good competition. I hope for a good debate, and I thank him in advance.

Okay, to set the parameters of this debate, my opponent must prove with a preponderance of evidence that men did indeed cause global warming. I must cast a serious doubt that CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases created by industry cause global warming. Also, this is not about the existence of climate change, the earth is warming, the question is why.

Contention 1: CO2 is not correlated to temperature change.
As shown in graphs by realclimate.org at the end of the last ice age there was a 1000 lag in CO2 and CH4 levels as the heat increased. Other evidence from the EPA shows that in prehistory CO2 levels have dropped as temperatures have increased. The evidence supporting correlation between CO2 and global warming is at best sketchy, and leans more towards completely false.

Contention 2: Current Temperatures are not abnormal.
According to Ben Lieberman Senior Policy Analyst, Energy and Environment for the Heritage Foundation "But temperatures have risen and fallen many times before that. The Medieval Warm Period (c. 1100-1450) and earlier periods were likely as warm or warmer than the present. The earth was cooling as recently as the period from the 1940s to the 1970s, giving rise to fears of a coming ice age, until temperatures began to increase in the mid-1970s up through the present day." Also, according to EPA data, temperatures rise and fall constantly, our current position is not abnormal compared to the historic trend of rises and falls.

Why vote CON?
1. CO2 and CH4 are not correlated to climate change
and 2. Current temperatures are not abnormal
Pluto2493

Pro

I thank my opponent for starting this debate and I apologize for the delay. I also ask that the voters vote based on who made the better arguments despite your personal opinion.

With that said, these are my reasons why global warming IS a manmade problem.

Contention 1: CO2.

Over the last 100 years, we have used more fossil fuels that at any point in the history of the earth. These fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas. Scientists say this has a major effect on the earth's temperature because of CO2 emissions from burning said fuels. This graph shows the relation between fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. (http://zfacts.com...)

We can also look to how CO2 affects the climate. If you look at these:
(http://www.seed.slb.com...) and (http://www.solcomhouse.com...), you can see how global temperature is right in-line with CO2 levels. This is because the greenhouse effect traps CO2 in the atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide levels have increased 34% from the pre-industrial era. Thus, we can see that the rise in CO2 levels and the rise in global temperature is no coincidence.

Lastly, if you look at this graph (http://upload.wikimedia.org...), you can see that CO2 emissions don't look like they are going to go down anytime soon. Thus, we can expect a drastic CO2 spike in coming years. This graph also disproves the ‘natural cycle' argument.

Contention 2: Temperatures.

There is empirical evidence of global warming. If you look here (http://en.wikipedia.org...), you can see that every one of the last 14 years (1994-2007) is one of the warmest 20 on record. Also, the ten hottest years on record all occurred within the last 14 years.

According to NASA scientists here: (http://climateprogress.org...), 2007 was the second warmest year EVER. There is expected to be record warmths by 2010. We can clearly see this is no coincidence of man's record use of fossil fuels and the record of hottest temperatures.

Third and finally, ocean temperatures show a correlation between man and global warming. From this source, (http://www.commondreams.org...), scientists found that this could be nothing but man-made. They said this:
"Dr Barnett said: "Over the past 40 years there has been considerable warming of the planetary system and approximately 90 per cent of that warming has gone directly into the oceans."
"He told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington: "We defined a 'fingerprint' of ocean warming. Each of the oceans warmed differently at different depths and constitutes a fingerprint which you can look for. We had several computer simulations, for instance one for natural variability: could the climate system just do this on its own? The answer was no."
All in all, temperatures show that global climate change is indeed man-made.
Contention 3: Scientific opinion.
Most scientists agree that global warming is a man-made problem. I may add that my opponent is not a scientist. Therefore, he does not spend his entire day researching global temperatures like scientists do. We must trust them more than CON.
Here is a study: (http://www.sciencemag.org...)

It stated: "A 2004 survey by Naomi Oreskes of 928 peer-reviewed scientific articles on global climate change published between 1993 and 2003. The survey, published as an editorial in the journal Science, found that every article either supported the human-caused global warming consensus or did not comment on it."
175 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. has not.
Just look at all of these statements by scientific groups. EVERY ONE admits global warming is man-made.

I now await my opponent's round 2 rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

First, my opponent claims that CO2 is shown to be connected to GW, as shown by the graphs he lists. While often it seems to be very connected, if one magnifies parts of the graph, CO2 will go up after temperatures have gone up, not before. That means although they may be connected, CO2 is not the cause, as it came second. Also, as shown by the graphs, CO2 is sometimes way up, while temps are way down.
Then, he says that temperatures are way up, okay, so? That doesn't mean that men caused GW.
Third, he says that ocean warming could not have been natural, using a scientific testimony. In the same article it says "'We looked at the possibility that solar changes or volcanic effects could have caused the warming - not a chance.'" That doesn't mean it is not natural, it means that solar changes/volcanic effects didn't cause it, something else could have.
Finally, he brings up the point that the vast majority of scientists support man-made GW. Scientists also though that the planets, stars, and sun revolved around the earth, and anyone who said otherwise got burned as a heretic. The same thing is happening, the idea is so accepted, it can't be called into question. I may not be a scientist, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.
Pluto2493

Pro

Line-by-line:
1. <>

Is it? Hmm...

Obviously its not going to be the EXACT level, but the fact that these two things are so correlated is proof enough that the trend will continue.

Also, his statement is wrong. Look at the spike after 350,000. The CO2 spikes before the temperature. At 250,000 and 150,000, the temperature and the CO2 levels are exactly the same. Even the most recent spike is mainly in line with the temperature.

2. <>

Really? I urge my opponent to show me.

3. <>

Yeah, it pretty much does. I showed you that fossil fuels have increased more than they ever have. Thus, temperatures have gone up. It is empircal evidence of global warming happening.
Also, this is extremly ironic. I was mainly disproving his second contention is R1. That is extremly hypocritical.

4. <>

Uh... yeah. Man caused it. lolz.

Let's look at that article:

"Dr Barnett said that position was untenable because it was now clear from the latest study, which is yet to be published, that man-made greenhouse gases had caused vast amounts of heat to be soaked up by the oceans."

"Two models, one from here and one from England, got the observed warming almost exactly. In fact we were stunned by the degree of similarity," Dr Barnett said. "The models are right. So when a politician stands up and says 'the uncertainty in all these simulations start to question whether we can believe in these models', that argument is no longer tenable." Typical ocean temperatures have increased since 1960 by between 0.5C and 1C, depending largely on depth. DR Barnett said: "The real key is the amount of energy that has gone into the oceans. If we could mine the energy that has gone in over the past 40 years we could run the state of California for 200,000 years... It's come from greenhouse warming."

Yes, it does disprove volcanic and solar warming arguments, but they offer the answer that man is causing global warming.

5. <>

Ah yes, but he fail to mention the thousands- no, millions- of other things that scientists have gotten right. I'm not saying we should put all of our faith in scientists, because they are just human, but they have evidence for what they say. My opponent does not have a single citation. Thus, I have my own judgement which matches his, plus thousands of reveered scientists. My arguments are much more credible.
As for the geocentrist thing, we today have the technology to show what is right and what is wrong. Geocentrecisim was disproven in the 1600's, before telescopes.

Why I win- My opponent drops his whole case. He never shows any evidence or warrant as to why CO2 does not cause global warming, and merely points out miniature trends in my sources. He completly drops his argument about abnormal temperatures, and attacks me simply by saying my facts aren't certain. So, at this point, he has no offense, and if I win one point, I win the debate.

Reitorating my CO2 argument, you can clearly see that CO2 and global temperatures are right in-line for hundreds of thousands of years. It is unarguable. Now, with the rise in use of fossil fuels, man has spike the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. It is only a matter of time before global temperatures spike.

We also have empiracal evidence from sea levels and temperatures that show that global warming is indeed happening. The earth is warming, and CO2 is rising. CO2 comes from fossil fuels. It's simple.

Lastly, I'd like to attack my opponent's lack of warrant, reason, and evidence. There is not one peice of evidence in the round by him, and his R2 response merely attacks my sources without showing counter-facts that disprove mine. Right now, I see nothing but a PRO vote based on the fact that I have most scientists and reason behind me.
Debate Round No. 2
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

I'll go line by line down what my opponent has said last round

First, he claims that just because CO2 and temperatures follow each other closely he has proven correlation. As I told you, CO2 spiked second at about 225,00 years ago, and in many instances including the examples he listed, CO2 still comes very slightly after the temperatures rise. If anything it shows that temperatures can cause CO2 to rise.

Then he again claims that because temperatures are high, manmade GW is real. Again, temperatures have been higher, 325K, 250K, and 125K years ago for example, and again just because CO2 and temperatures are both up, doesn't mean they are necessarily related. That is an example of the fallacy of Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, meaning with therefore because of. It would be like me saying murders caused global warming, because murders are going up now, and so is the temperature. That is absurd, but it is the same logic my opponent uses.

Then, he gives the scientist saying that models fit manmade global warming predictions. Pretty compelling, huh? We must look at the validity of this though before we accept it as God's truth. These are predictions, and predictions always have bias in them. Because public opinion is so biased towards the validity of manmade global warming, the scientists will be too. People see what they want to see. I cannot say with absolute certainty that the man is wrong, though, but there shoud be enough doubt placed on this study to discount it, especially as I have shown that CO2 is not the cause of many historical temperature changes.

"We also have empiracal evidence from sea levels and temperatures that show that global warming is indeed happening. The earth is warming, and CO2 is rising. CO2 comes from fossil fuels. It's simple."
Yeah, it is simple, a simple Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy. I am not denying that CO2 is up as well as temperatures, I am simply saying that CO2 did not cause temperatures to rise, not now, and not ever. I am not denying however that they are correlated in some way, it's just that unless CO2 has time travel powers it can't cause GW, as often it rises 100-1000 later than temperatures, which is hard to see with his graph as it is on such a large scale, but the best example is between 250000 and 20000 years ago, closer to 200000. Also a little after 400000 years ago, you can see that CO2 is up and that the temperatures are down.

Finally he says, "Lastly, I'd like to attack my opponent's lack of warrant, reason, and evidence. There is not one peice of evidence in the round by him, and his R2 response merely attacks my sources without showing counter-facts that disprove mine. Right now, I see nothing but a PRO vote based on the fact that I have most scientists and reason behind me."
My warrant came from you guessed it, my opponent's evidence. I showed that CO2 sometimes came after temperature change. My reasoning is that if CO2 came second after temperature change in several instances, CO2 cannot cause temperature change. If CO2 doesn't cause temperature change it can't cause global warming. As CO2 is the substance that man is emitting that many claim causes gw, and it doesn', then I win. Again, it is a argumentum ad verecundiam fallacy to say that simply because scientists say so it is.

Why vote CON?
1. It is a fallacy to say CO2 is the cause of GW because it is often correlated with it.
2. CO2 will sometimes occur after temperature change, showing that it could not have caused the change.
3. Scientists are only human and will be wrong.

Unless he refutes these three points or makes them irrelevant you vote CON
Pluto2493

Pro

Line by Line:

<>

Really? 225,000 years ago, the CO2 fluxuated, but remained constant around a low level. Same to temperature. As you can see from the second graph in R1, both CO2 and temperature spike at the exact same time, right at 140,000 years to present.
Granted, I agree that there are fluxations. As I have said numerous times, there can never be an exact correlation. With that said, the evidence is in. CO2 and temperature have been eerily similar, granted, not the same, for hundreds of thousands of years. History repeats itself, just like this.

<>

Ah yes, but thanks to my temperature records, we can see that these are the HOTTEST years ever. While I agree there have been cycles, this is making the earth hotter and hotter, even hotter than every other year. Think of it like this:

A friend challenges you to eat a 70 oz. steak. Well, I've eaten steaks before, henceforth, I can eat this steak. Wait a minute, no I can't! It's almost comparing apples to oranges.

<>

Really, because I challenge my opponent to prove that murder rates and global temperature have fluxated at the same rates for 500,000 years. I might even say that his statement was true if he proved that.

<< Because public opinion is so biased towards the validity of man-made global warming, the scientists will be too.>>

What? Why would the public want to blame themselves for ruining the planet they live on and then sponsor millions of dollars towards stopping it? No, the public wants to say that it's a natural cycle, and they don't have to worry about it.

I also doubt that thousands of scientists across the globe would change their views to fit the wants of the public. How did anything ever get changed in our world? I'm sure the public does not want to hear the McDonald's they eat every day will kill them, but scientists say it anyway.

<>

Once again, my opponent has no proof for this claim. I could make up scientific evidence and it would be just as valid as his point. So I'll say, "CO2 came first in all of those scenarios." Now, the strength of our arguments are matched and you can't vote for CON on this issue.

<>

Again, I will re-instate that my opponent has misinterpreted this argument. I am not saying we should put all of our trust in scientists, nor am I saying that his argument doesn't mean anything. I am only saying that science and the people that study climate EVERY DAY are much more credible than he is. Thus, my arguments are stronger because they are supported by these people.

I will now say why I should get your vote:

Over the course of this debate, there has been a lot of debate over which came first, CO2 or temperature. Neglecting the fact that even if my opponent is right it is only a few years, the eerily similar correlation is still there. Furthermore, we can see the CO2 is spiking right now, along with temperature, as per my 2nd contention. So, no matter what came first, they have always been almost the exact same.

But that doesn't even matter. I proved that CO2 has always come first. My opponent lacks any evidence saying temperature causes CO2 fluxuations, so my argument is more valid. If you just look closely at my graphs, you can see that CO2 has always spiked slightly before temperature.

The temperature argument, as I just explained, is empirical evidence of global warming. CO2 has been at all-time high levels since 1900, and temperatures are reaching those levels. According to the Common Dreams Newscenter article from R1, there is absolutely no way global warming can be caused naturally. They tested and retested, and said the rise in CO2 over the last century has caused ocean temperatures to spike. It is only a matter of time before we see the hottest year ever.

Lastly, as I've already stated, scientist are much more credible than ordinary people. Science has evolved us in so many respects, and scientists are to credit for these things. Some of them study climate for their entire life, and they have the facts to tell us that global warming is real.

Thank you for reading this debate and I thank my opponent for a great debate.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by gahbage 6 years ago
gahbage
If you look at the end of that graph, pro, you'll notice that CO2 levels take a huge slide downward, and the temperature takes a huge spike upward, which totally disproves your argument.

Also, your logic is flawed, because con just presented that murder rates are rising with temperatures. So he could argue that murders cause global warming.
Posted by SweetBags 6 years ago
SweetBags
your welcome pluto :)

i understood your point, you were saying that because the temperature and CO2 are correlated, an increase in CO2 would cause a increase in temperature. while this is scientifically true, you never said that. you only showed correlation, but not causation, assuming that people would take that as proof of causation. the problem with that is correlation doesn't equal causation.
Posted by Pluto2493 6 years ago
Pluto2493
First of all, thanks sweetbags.

Second, to both of you, look at CON's second contention. 'Current temperatures are not abnormal.' I was rebutting CON's point with my point about temperatures. Then I argued that, since CO2 is going up, so are temperatures. I think that whole contention was misunderstood.
Posted by SweetBags 6 years ago
SweetBags
as per the mini-debate happening below me.
CO2 is one of four major greenhouse gasses, the others being methane, H2O and nitrogen. right now, nitrogen and methane aren't released on a big enough scale to affect the climate very much, and the amount of H2O in the water-cycle is (for the most part) fixed. the same cannot be said for CO2, it is one of the most released gasses on earth (as it is a by-product of burning fossil fuels), and the amount of carbon in the carbon cycle is (so long as we burn fossil fuels) increasing. this newly released (it was previously in the ground as crude oil, and has been absent from the carbon cycle since the dinasoar age) CO2 has nowhere to go , so it just hangs in the atmosphere (and will continue to do so, at least for the next several hundred years). this is bad, for as long as it is in the atmosphere it reflects heat back to down to earth (hence the term "greenhouse gas"). thereby causing the warming trend we are now seeing.

if you have further questions about the science behind global warming, this guy taught me alot, and puts the science of it in a way everyone can understand. there are three sites with the vids:

youtube (not in order): http://youtube.com...
just the vids (in order): http://wonderingmind42.com...
an education group (hosts the vids) : http://manpollo.org...
Posted by SweetBags 6 years ago
SweetBags
one tip to both, provide a link not just to whatever website you got your quotes/stats from, but to the page/article in question. some judges (i'm not among them) prefer to go and check your sources, make it easy for them. also, don't just say "go to this page and you'll see why i'm right". quote the source, say why your right. make it easy for judges to judge (and not all judges go to your links, including me).
pro, your opponent specifically stated that global warming is happening, theres no need to waste time making that point.
con, not being a scientist doesn't make you wrong, cite some sources that back you up. prove your rightness with evidence, not conjecture.
pro, while the graph may show an increase in temp since the industrial revolution, it is up to YOU to explain why that proves a correlation. just saying one exists is not enough.
con, you have logic, now add some evidence to back it up. your trying to build a house from the top-down, but you need to build it from the ground-up.
RFD:
pro1, CON wins. pro, while he showed correlation, he never showed causation. and correlation doesn't equal causation.
pro's second point is irrelevant, the debate topic is about why global warming is happening, not that it is.
pro3, PRO wins. con never showed any evidence as to why this is wrong, so he looses. science can only be beaten by science, conjecture wont work.
con1, CON wins, despite the incorrectness of this point, pro never showed a causation between CO2 and increased temperature.
con2, PRO wins. this point is rebutted by pro, and pro3 was utterly disproves this point.

the two points that both sides won were basically the same. but the point pro won disproves cons case, but the same cannot be said for the point con won. therefore i vote PRO.
feel free to ask any questions you have about my judging, or if you think there was a flaw in my logic. i'm happy to answer your questions and clear up any concerns.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 6 years ago
Derek.Gunn
That CO2 is a greenhouse gas can be shown by simple experiment.
That more CO2 results in more warming is just as easily shown.
There are other more potent greenhouse gases (eg methane and NO2) people are thankfully working on reducing these too.
CO2 has another nasty side-effect that gets very little attention:
acidification of the oceans.
CO2 forms carbonic acid in water. Ultimately this will dissolve the calcified parts of plankton. This is likely to lead to the death of much of life in the oceans.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 6 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Oh, proof that murder rates have been roughly consistent with temps. On the short term, statistics show more murders in the summer, because its warmer. On the long term there have been more people with higher temps (more food, less disease [in some places]) When there are more people there are more murders.
QED

Answer to Derek Gunn
1. Read the debate, it is Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc to say that because people happen to have industry we caused global warming.
2. Current actions are directed towards CO2 reduction. If CO2 doesn't cause the problem this isn't solving the problem.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 6 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Your temp. records show the other years as hotter. WTF?
Posted by Derek.Gunn 6 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Two things I've always meant to ask Global Warming deniers:

1) if the fastest recorded rate of global warming and highest recorded global temperature averages aren't man-made... then what has caused them? Is there a viable alternative explanation?

2) Even if the current situation wasn't man-made, shouldn't our response be the same?
Posted by SweetBags 6 years ago
SweetBags
sado, i havent read this debate yet (i usually read the comments first), and LR4 is ahead 2-0.
not the first time someones predicted wrong (im notorious for it, just ask my PF partner).
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