The Instigator
HandsOff
Pro (for)
Losing
97 Points
The Contender
TheRaven
Con (against)
Winning
111 Points

Scientists have no proof that humans are responsible for a significant amount of global warming.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 11,853 times Debate No: 4421
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (241)
Votes (39)

 

HandsOff

Pro

There, I said it. And it's true. Even scientists who "believe" humans are largely repsonsible for recent temperature changes will admit they do not have definitive proof. The PR campaign of the left claiming scientists "have reached" a consensus implies the research is finally complete. However, a "consensus" is only 51 percent, and no one is stopping to consider that legitimate science is a product of fact and not popularity or speculation in the absence of conclusive evidence. The liberals and environmentalists have swallowed the global warming theory hook, line and sinker, and accept it as though it were an undeniable truth. They even call opponents (who would rather rely on traditional standards of proof before making momentus policy decisions) "flat earthers." That is not a very good analogy considering flat earthers were the ones who relied on popular opinion ("consensus") versus real science.
TheRaven

Con

Now, I'll be the first to admit that liberals and environmentalists have run away with global warming a bit, and it is becoming very political. However, that doesn't change the fact that its true. And not because a "consensus" has been reached about it either. I mean, a majority does not dictate what is right, history has shown us that time and time again.

HOWEVER, there is conclusive evidence that man is creating significant global warming. It has been proven that CO2 causes a heating effect in the environment, by absorbing and radiating heat onto earth! Man is releasing massive amounts of.....CO2! From those two facts alone, we can deduce that man is creating global warming. It also helps that no natural effects for the heating have been given. There has always been opposition to new theories and ideas, as people naturally are resistant to change.
Debate Round No. 1
HandsOff

Pro

"It has been proven that CO2 causes a heating effect in the environment, by absorbing and radiating heat onto earth!"

This statement is debatable in the scientific community, but I will let it stand as true since it has nothing to do with my argument.

"Man is releasing massive amounts of.....CO2"

I agree, but in comparison to what? Certainly not in comparison to the amounts of CO2 that is created naturally on this planet. This is where we disagree. There are no scientist that have proved humans contribute a significant amount of CO2 in comparison to that which is created naturally. For example, if we could prove that humans and human activity give of 2% of the world's CO2, then we would have some information to act (or not act depending on whether one considers that a significant amount). So far no one has been able to prove to what degree we contribute to global warming.

"It also helps that no natural effects for the heating have been given."

Well, since it can be proved that earth has gone through many large temperature swings, and long before humans were around, there would be a very strong case for "natural" global warming (and cooling).
TheRaven

Con

"Certainly not in comparison to the amounts of CO2 that is created naturally on this planet."

Well, the major natural emissions of CO2 come from volcanoes. Volcanoes are estimated to be releasing 200 million tons of C02 annually.

Now, compare that to the estimated 26.8 BILLION TONS released by humans annually. That is about 130 times greater than the amount emitted by volcanoes.
(http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov...- the US Geological Survey.)

Since the start of the industrial revolution, there has been a climb in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere of about 280 ppm to 364 ppm.

This clearly is larger than what is created naturally.

"For example, if we could prove that humans and human activity give of 2% of the world's CO2, then we would have some information to act (or not act depending on whether one considers that a significant amount)."

Well, as I have just shown that humans are the greatest contributers to CO2 output, now we have some information to act on. 27 billion tons annually is definitely a significant amount.

"So far no one has been able to prove to what degree we contribute to global warming. "

To what degree? How far does it need to go before it is considered a "degree"? 400,000 miles of the Arctic ice sea have melted, roughly the size of Texas. If we continue current projections, by 2030, there will be no glaciers left in glacier national park. Hurricanes and tropical storms have increased estimated 75% increase in category 4 and 5 hurricanes since 1970 according to a study done by MIT. ( http://www.nature.com... )

"Well, since it can be proved that earth has gone through many large temperature swings, and long before humans were around, there would be a very strong case for "natural" global warming (and cooling)."

Well, it would be a strong case for "natural" global warming....except for the fact that no natural causes have been found, and humans are emitting enough CO2 into the air to cause a definite and serious heating effect.
Debate Round No. 2
HandsOff

Pro

Since it looks like we're starting to throw around data, figures and historical graphs (all of the things that suck the life out of a good philosophical debate) let me just leave you with one link: http://www.speroforum.com... It is a list of the many respected scientist who disagree with much of the data you cite.

You say CO2 (whatever its source) has increased a WHOPPING 37 PERCENT over the last 100 years. Since this last 100 years coincides with only a .6 degree celius temperature increase (well within the range of naturally occuring temperature changes), it could be easily argued that CO2 has a much more mild effect on temperature changes than claimed. And again, since this .6-degree change is well within historic levels, it could be argued that we do not even know if the increase in CO2 is reponsible.

But let's get back on track. I am not hear to debate whether there is a good argument for global warming. There are very convincing arguments for and against it by many esteemed scientists. I am just submitting that a valid debate continues because neither side can (as of yet) conclusively prove its case. There is simply no definitive proof that humans make a significant contribution to global warming. There are only opposing viewpoints based on inconclusive evidence.
TheRaven

Con

Well, I do apologize for "sucking the life" out of this "philosophical" debate on a scientific theory. Wait, aren't scientific theories usually based on reality and facts?
Also HandsOff, you opened that door, not me, when you made the resolution "scientists have no proof"!

"It is a list of the many respected scientist who disagree with much of the data you cite."

Well, this is a very, ah, interesting speech given by the far-right conservative, global warming and liberal basher, Marc Morano. (Who, by the way, has been accused more than once of offering unsubstantiated claims or false statistics.) Well, there was a report similar to it issued a while ago, known as the "Heartland Issue" Go to this link to see how scientists reacted to it. http://www.desmogblog.com...

Anyway, for every scientist he offers, there are dozens more who disagree. He even stated at the beginning of this that over 51% of scientists agree with global warming. Also, go to this link that discusses those who don't. http://www.thedailygreen.com...

"CO2 (whatever its source) has increased a WHOPPING 37 PERCENT over the last 100 years. Since this last 100 years coincides with only a .6 degree..."

First off, the source is clearly humans, my opponent didn't respond to what I said earlier, so he must find no fault with it.
Ok, my opponent seems to not understand the frailty of life. A human will DIE if its temperature increases 1.8%. Global temperatures need to decrease 1 degree in order for it to be considered an ice age.
37% is a HUGE amount in the environment, as is .6 degreed celcius. Keep in mind, that .6 degrees is causing the polar ice caps and all glaciers to melt! 15-37% of plant and animal species could be wiped out by global warming by 2050 at current rates. I ask again, how far must we go before it is considered a "degree"?

"And again, since this .6-degree change is well within historic levels, it could be argued that we do not even know if the increase in CO2 is reponsible."

It COULD be argued, but where is proof that any natural things are occurring to heat the climate? Its happened in the past, yet now its heating when humans are dumping 26.8 billion tons of CO2 into the air each year. Coincidence? I think not.

"I am not hear to debate whether there is a good argument for global warming."

Hmm..then what are you here to debate for? Because I'm pretty sure your resolution said there was "no proof offered" Based on the resolution, I should win right now because I've offered enormous proof that my opponent has not responded to.

"I am just submitting that a valid debate continues because neither side can (as of yet) conclusively prove its case. There is simply no definitive proof that humans make a significant contribution to global warming. There are only opposing viewpoints based on inconclusive evidence."

This is not a reason to vote for my opponent. In fact, my opponent really says nothing here because scientific debates never really end. However, there is definite evidence supporting the con in this debate.

Some Voting Issues:

1) My opponent never even responded to any of the facts I gave. This alone should be the reason to vote for me, as I have clearly shown that scientists do have proof, contrary to the resolution.
2) I have clearly shown the impact of humans on the environment. (More here http://www.edf.org...)
3) My opponent has offered no reason to vote for him.
Debate Round No. 3
241 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 31 through 40 records.
Posted by HandsOff 5 years ago
HandsOff
Wish you were here Derek. The 99-cent stores used to be filled with illegal aliens. Now it's hard to get a parking space because of all the soon-to-be-reposessed Benz's in the parking lot. Between 6 and 8 percent of all home loans in the U.S. are in delinquent. Unemployment is ramping up quickly, and commercial buildings are going vacant.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
What does "Broke" mean here?
When do you expect people's lives to change and real hardships to begin?
Posted by HandsOff 5 years ago
HandsOff
"The basic reason that we can expect living standards to rise is advancing technology."

I agree that technological advances improve living standards for those who can afford to take advantage of them. But these products and services must be purchased by Americans with American dollars, which are likely to be heavily devalued in the near future thanks to our country's deplorable borrowing and money printing habits. Technological advance are nice, but broke people in broke countries with worthless currency will not be enjoying many of them.
Posted by HandsOff 5 years ago
HandsOff
So you want to argue that the U.S. is not broke. Pretty bold choice Derek. And your best argument (along with Roy's) is that because other countries are more broke than we are, the U.S. is not really broke. Hmm. $9 trillion equates to about $40,000.00 of debt (and growing) per American household. But that's okay why?
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Handsoff, The ratio of national debt to GDP in the United States is 65%. In Europe, where they refuse military expenditures even when it comes to European problems like Bosnia, the debt ratio is about 110%. In Japan, where they won't let banks fail after their real estate melt down in the 90s, the ratio is 170%. I do agree that the US would be much better off if the government cut back on spending and consumers did a better job of living within their means, but right now the reason that we get financing so easily is that the rest of the world is in much worse shape. The major threat is if rising neo-Druidism takes over and quickly doubles or triples the price of energy. Then we could have a genuine disaster.

The basic reason that we can expect living standards to rise is advancing technology. That is most evident with computers, of course, but it is advancing in other areas as well. As manufacturing employment in the US has dropped from involving 40% of the population to 20%, output has quadrupled. Around 1900, agriculture took over 90% of the population. Now much more is produced by 4% of the population. The whole world is in much better economic shape now than it was 50 years ago.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Derek, I read the Stern Report when it first came out, At your prompting I went back and reread the long summary. The report wildly overstates the CO2 threat. It says rising ocean levels will displace "tens to hundreds of millions" of people. The IPCC report says ocean levels will rise by 9 inches, which will displace few few people, if any. When they finally get around to the economics, they talk of stabilizing the CO2 levels in the environment at about 550 ppm over course of the next century. That is nothing remotely comparable to what most crisis theory advocates advocate, which is rolling back CO2 levels to 280 ppm or thereabouts, pre-1990 levels. The primary mechanism the Stern Report advocates is raising the price of carbon-based energy artificially, so that alternative technology will advance more quickly. The ultimate savior is new technology to be adopted after 2050.

My first question is: What will happen if we do nothing? The world is running out of fossil fuels and that alternative technology is getting cheaper. A good example is the prospect for bio-engineering a microbe that directly converts cellulose into gasoline; probably viable within a decade. As oil becomes more scarce, the price will rise naturally because it is harder to find and recover. So carbon is going away and no one can stop that, probably at close to rate at which the Stern Report projects.

A near term carbon tax is unlikely to speed that up. The incentives are already so great that artificially increasing prices is unlikely to have much effect. A major obstacle to advancing R&D is the limited number of qualified researchers. Government could be far more helpful by increasing education than by putting more taxes on oil. There is no chance whatsover that the India, China, and the rest of the developing world are going to go along with artificial fuel price increases. All that would happen is that artificial prices in the developed world will favor China and India.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Sadolite,
No, I haven't dismissed it. I just haven't got around to to researching it yet.
An excellent way to argue/debate; a real scientific query - I'm impressed!
Posted by sadolite 5 years ago
sadolite
Derek you havn't commented on my link about Co2? Should I assume you are dismissing it as poppycock?
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Roy,
I'm a "CO2 crisis advocate" and I don't believe we need to go pre-industrial to solve the problem.
As it says in the Stern Report, it doesn't take that much effort.
Have you actually read any of it?

As I've told you twice now, it's much better to treat the cause of the problem than the symptom; that's why climate engineering must be tried last - not first.
If we get above 2 degrees warming (the redline) we WILL use it, the alternative is utter disaster and warming feedbacks far beyond Mankind's control. Nothing to do with your religious conspiracy theory.

Look, I'm not trying to be nasty to you, it's just that the science is pretty well understood with further research entrenching MMGHGs as the cause, and their reduction as the only ultimate solution.

Cheers
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
HandsOff,
The United States is still operating. By World standards, a particularly wealth country.
It is not "broke" until its creditors lose confidence in its ability to pay.
Certainly you are very much in debt, but as a country, the US is not really trying yet.
An obesity epidemic does not suggest people on the edge.

There is plenty the USA can do easily:
1) For reasons beyond me, billions are currently being poured into maintaining a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as dozens of other soverign countries around the world. Pull out. They are doing no discernable good - quite the reverse e.g. the current radicalisation of the Pakistanis.
2) Petrol in the US, instead of being taxed, is subsidised (e.g. tax breaks to Exxon). This of course encourages fuel inefficiency and quashes innovation into alternative technologies.
3) The US has the largest amount of domestic air traffic in the world. A large proportion of this is business traffic that could be done easily via videolink.
4) Vast numbers of information workers can work from home, but they don't yet. Heck, I started in 1995.

Now as you may notice, not only do these changes save money for use in anti-GW initiatives, but they all reduce emissions in themselves - a double benefit.

- We have long ago proved the existence of global warming. You've admitted it.
- We have proven that man contributes to global warming. You've admitted it.
- Currently I am researching to prove that Man is responsible for almost all GW, and this is looking increasingly likely too.

The United States is not the only country who needs to act on GW - every country needs to.

Consequently there is no need to debate you on whether or not the US is broke (it isn't and this applies to all countries), and I am certainly not going to drop my argument that we should reduce our continuous and uncountered emissions of GHGs into our closed system.
39 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 7 months ago
Wylted
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Reasons for voting decision: Cons job was to prove humans are responsible for a significant amount of global warming. This was not done con only showed humans contributed a significant amount of co2s but never did a good job of connecting co2 to global warming. A vague connection was made but not sourced or proven. Con had better sources.
Vote Placed by Willoweed 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made ridiclous arguments
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