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: 11,854 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 51 through 60 records.
Posted by PoeJoe 5 years ago
PoeJoe
Dammit Handsoff! You beat me to it by 12 seconds. D<
Posted by PoeJoe 5 years ago
PoeJoe
*sighs* These global warming debates are tantamount to religion debates. No one is ever convinced. Both sides act with way too much emotion. And everyone act like pig-headed morons.
Posted by HandsOff 5 years ago
HandsOff
This is one of those debates that seems so hopeless. It is like having a discussion on abortion or the existence of god. That's why I can't believe the government and the general public are behaving as though the debate is over. Can you imagine your frustration if the government proclaimed global warming was a farce, based on the incomplete evidence we have before us?
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
HandsOff,
quite right. I was wondering why you'd gone so quiet.
Posted by HandsOff 5 years ago
HandsOff
Just popping back in to check up on you guys. I see neither side has given in.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Sadolite,
I've met people who say we have no proof that dinosaurs walked the Earth.
Actually they're right.
Aliens could have planted the bones, they could be joke played on us by some god.

However, I think the greatest likelihood lies in the simplest explanation that fits the evidence.
Dating via isotopes not only tell us when dinosaurs appear to have lived, but via O16/O18 when ice was laid down: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Unfortunately, higher CO2 is not going to promote plant growth that will save the world: http://environment.newscientist.com...

Please give us a link to any page that claims CO2 was higher in the past 500,000 years.

I try to learn from history all the time.
That's how I arrived at my current position.

I don't particularly care about politics, I just don't want us to ignore the signs that the biosphere is headed for destruction. I'll vote for whoever has the best plan to stop that.
Nothing is more important.
Posted by sadolite 5 years ago
sadolite
There is absolutely no way to prove how fast temps have risen 10,000 years ago. There are no records and looking at ice core samples will tell you nothing. How can you make such an unprovable and unsubstantiated statement and for that matter how could a scientist make that statement. That alone should cause you to be skeptical. I notice you don't have anything to say about the link that explains Co2 and that Co2 has been as high as 2000ppm. Also ice core samples are inaccurate when it comes to measuring C02 levels by as much as 50%. With that said C02 levels in the last 10,000 years could have been as high as 760ppm or even higher depending on who you want to believe and what you want to believe. Saying 280ppm of Co2 is an optimum range for Co2 is just pure conjecture. Higher Co2 levels promote plant growth and the Ice caps will never melt. these are to facts that you can take to your grave. The earths past proves this, it is as clear as day if one only opens their eyes wide enough to learn from history. But that's my opinion and you have yours. I have miilions of years of provable history on my side and you have politicaly tainted junk science on yours.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Sadolite,
in the past half a million years, it appears the temperature has never risen so rapidly, nor has CO2 (and various other GHGs) been as abundant as today.
GHGs (by definition) cause global warming.

It's estimated that:
Natural CO2 emissions = 150e9 tonnes per year
Human CO2 emissions = 7e9 tonnes per year.
While we produce far less, the biosphere is unable to remove it as fast as we're making it.
That's why CO2, NO2, CH4 etc have ALL been increasing ever since the industrial revolution. http://www.ice.csic.es...

Simultaneously, the World is actually being _cooled_ by Man to a significant degree.
Particulates (like smoke) are reflecting a lot of heat. We actually have another 1-2 degrees of warming hidden.

Examining the air, there are many other GHGs that are very (very) largely Man-made.
e.g. the hydrochloroflorocarbons (very powerful GHGs) which have replaced CFCs in our refrigerators.

HandsOff wants proof that we are responsible for the extra CO2.
It is not enough that the amounts are increasing in much the same way we are burning more fossil-fuels.
There are pages which say:
"The observed change in isotope composition is in agreement with what is expected for addition of fossil fuels."
http://www.ice.csic.es...
- however, I haven't located the scientific paper yet.

But I probably will ;-)
Posted by sadolite 5 years ago
sadolite
Derek, I respect the fact that you just say it, "I belive man is causing global warming" but I belive that the history of the planet and it's warming and cooling trends are on my side when I say that "Man is not causing global warming" it is as natual as the rain the sun and the clouds.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Roy,
I asked you nicely, twice, and I'll ask again...
Driving in thick fog down an unknown road, when the road becomes increasingly steep...
do you slow down?
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.
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made ridiclous arguments
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