The EPA should be abolished
Debate Rounds (4)
Since Pro did not define exactly what the EPA is, I shall take the liberty. EPA is short for the Environmental Protection Agency. It is a governmental regulatory agency in the USA that exists to protect human health and the environment. The organization sets environmental regulations for the entire nation. (http://people.howstuffworks.com...)
Pro made many claims in his opening argument but did not cite sources for these claims. As the instigator, Pro has the burden of proof to show that the EPA absolutely must, without a doubt, be abolished.
It is not a joke when I say the EPA has abused their powers, they have. They have gone beyond their consitutional limitations to restrict property rights and businesses. For example; their irrational ban on incandescent lightbulbs. "The debate for some centers around the energy efficiency of the incandescent bulbs vs. compact fluorescents and LEDs. The supposed longer life-span and estimates of 50 to 70 percent less electricity usage of the CFLs -- leaving LEDs out of the discussion for now due to enormous expense and technical glitches -- is highly touted. Unfortunately, they are more expensive to manufacture, are mostly manufactured outside the United States, cast a harsh "cool white" light on surroundings, emit UV rays, take minutes to warm up, and contain mercury -- a danger to people that causes disposal problems of EPA proportions and environmental concerns. The mercury in one CFL bulb, 5 milligrams, is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water. Low-mercury bulbs can still contaminate more than 1,000 gallons of water, as a Stanford University study revealed. " http://www.jbs.org...
There have been many people who used to work for the EPA, and have seen first-hand their corruption and disregard for real scientific knowledge, (I know of one personally that is currently exposing the draconian state the EPA is in, and their desire only to gain power) they care not for science.
http://www2.epa.gov...). Therefore Pro's assertion that the EPA is directly responsible for killing those people is ludicrous.
Anyone will basic knowledge of evolution can tell you that using pesticides creates super-bugs. As there was not a 100% decrease in the mosquito population during the time of DDT, we can determine that a number of mosquitoes were unaffected. As a result of this, they breed and pass on their pesticide resistant genes. This was beginning to happen around the world, and the EPA was worried about overuse of DDT to compensate for its ineffectively. (http://www.sciencedaily.com...)
A link has also been found between Alzheimers and DDT. It takes decades for the human body to rid itself of DDT and it was found that the DDT levels in the group of Alzheimers patients were four times higher than that of the control group. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk...)
DDT has also been labeled by many nations as a "probable human carcinogen", which just in case Pro is not aware, that means it likely causes cancer.
Finally, another reason that DDT was banned by the EPA was its impact on the bird population. Earthworms were consuming the pesticide, and in return birds were consuming the worms. This caused a very fast decline in the population of birds because they were all dying from the pesticide. This also became a problem for the food chain. Anything that ate these worm consuming birds became contaminated by it. This lead to complications in the food chain.
I refuse to leave LEDs out of the picture. LEDs are the next generation of light bulb technology, and it would be foolish to deny it a chance at the table. Pro must not want them in the debate because "LEDs will truly take lighting into the 21st Century with lifetimes that are fifty times longer than incandescent bulbs and anticipated energy savings of 95 %" (http://www.eceee.org...). The article also states that "the potential energy savings are 10 billion Euros per year in Europe alone, along with 25 million tonnes of CO2. Globally, these savings are roughly four to five times." Obviously the ban on incandescent bulbs is justified if we have this technology at our fingertips.
You seem well educated on the effects of DDT, but I must ask you a question. Is it really appropiate to ban it because of those side effects, because this was intended to be sprayed on a populace infected with malaria, of course if the people wanted it sprayed on them, how can you say otherwise? And perhaps only the U.S banned DDT, but do you know how much that effected the other nations? Besides, DDT isn't the only thing the EPA banned "The DDT ban does not only affect tropical nations. In the wake of the DDT ban, the United States stopped its mosquito control programs, cutting the budgets for mosquito control and monitoring. Exactly as scientists had warned 25 years ago, we are now facing increases of mosquito-borne killer diseases""West Nile fever and dengue, to name the most prominent." A shocking majority of people in that day supported DDT, even scientists. As a result of the propaganda and lies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency convened scientific hearings and appointed a Hearing Examiner, Edmund Sweeney, to run them. Every major scientific organization in the world supported DDT use, submitted testimony, as did the environmentalist opposition. The hearings went on for seven months, and generated 9,000 pages of testimony. Hearing Examiner Sweeney then ruled that DDT should not be banned, based on the scientific evidence: ""DDT is not carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic to man [and] these uses of DDT do not have a deleterious effect on fish, birds, wildlife, or estuarine organisms," Sweeney concluded. South Africa, which reintroduced DDT in 2003 after a seven-year ban, saw its malaria rates plummet 80%.
So therefore you are wrong on believing what the EPA says, DDT does not have deleterious effects on wildlife, the majority of scientists after all their studying proved this. "The lies and hysteria spread to defend the DDT ban are typical of the irrationalist, anti-science wave which has virtually destroyed rational forms of discourse in our society. If you want to save science""and human lives""the fight to bring back DDT, now being championed by that very electable candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., had better be at the top of your agenda." DDT was used with dramatic effect to shorten and prevent typhus epidemics during and after WWII when people were dusted with large amounts of it but suffered no ill effects, which is perhaps the most persuasive evidence that the chemical is harmless to humans. The product was such a boon to public health that in 1948 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Dr. Paul M"ller for his discovery of the "contact insecticidal action" of DDT. Although the use of DDT is not risk-free, there is a vast difference between applying large amounts of it in the environment "" as farmers sometimes did before it was banned in the United States "" and using it carefully and sparingly to fight mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects, as it is used in a handful of African and Asian countries even today. It is sprayed or dusted indoors in small amounts to prevent mosquitoes from nesting, so exposures are extremely low. The now well-known problems associated with the thinning of raptor"s eggshells "" while always exaggerated "" can be completely avoided by using DDT with care exclusively in residential areas, because the chemical remains largely near where it is sprayed. No study has ever linked DDT environmental exposure to harm to human health.
You said that DDT has harmful effects on wildlife, let me give a few facts to debunk that.
1.) DDT kills robins? The United States used DDT liberally beginning in the late 1940s, with peak usage in 1959. According to the Audubon Society, robin populations increased by a factor of 12, and birds in general increased fourfold during that time. Ironically, the only logical reason for this boon was the destruction of mites and mosquitoes that spread disease among birds, particularly in swampy areas.
2.) DDT is both toxic to humans and a human carcinogen? The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies various agents based on carcinogenicity. The highest ranking agents include such common items as birth control pills, tanning beds, chimney soot, and smoking. DDT is classed with pickled vegetables and coconut oil. The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry issued a Toxicological Profile for DDT in 2002 which concluded: "Relative risk of death, and specifically of death due to any cancer, was not significantly elevated in the high serum DDT tertile groups. No consistent positive trend in risk of cancer mortality relative to serum DDT was observed."
3.) DDT persists in the environment for years and accumulates and concentrates in the food chain? DDT actually breaks down more rapidly than other insecticides, many of which are proven toxins to humans and the environment. The crude instruments used to measure pesticide stability in Carson"s day lumped all these together, resulting in guilt by association. By 1969, the FWS could report that DDT breaks down more quickly than some insecticides, based on tests conducted at its Pesticide Field Station in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
Besides... The EPA was mixed up on the decision to ban DDT, so yes, there was a selfish guy for his banning on it. Spurred by complaints based on Carson"s screed and resulting anti-DDT propaganda from the ultra-left Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and its allies, the EPA called a hearing on DDT. After considering testimony of 125 witnesses, EPA judge Edmund Sweeney issued his verdict in April, 1972. He supported DDT unequivocally, stating it is not carcinogenic and that its benefits far outweigh any risks. Sweeney noted the "present need for continued use" of the excellent powder and remarked that evidence showed potential replacement pesticides would "in many cases have more deleterious effects than the harm allegedly caused by DDT." However, two months later, ignoring his own agency"s ruling and advice, EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus single-handedly outlawed almost all use of DDT. He made the unscientific assertion that it poses "unacceptable risk to the environment and potential harm to human health." He had not bothered to attend a single day of the seven-month hearing and, according to aides, had not read any transcripts. Critics quip that his decision shot him to the top of an infamous list: Hitler, 20.9 million deaths; Stalin, 61.9 million deaths; Mao Tse-Tung, 77 million deaths; Ruckelshaus, estimates range from 100 million to more than the competition combined.
I see that you refused to talk about the ban on incandescent lightbulbs. I assume you support the EPA's hysteria over incandescent lightbulbs. Here are 5 myths about incandescent lightbulbs. http://www.nationalcenter.org.... Funny enough, the federal government wants to replace incandescent lightbulbs with mercury-filled lightbulbs. "Before the incandescent bulbs go out for good, it"s worth shining a light on its cause: The ban was pushed by light bulb makers eager to up-sell customers on longer-lasting and much more expensive halogen, compact fluourescent, and LED lighting. When customers balked at paying more for home lighting, General Electric, Sylvania, and Philips did what corporate behemoths always do: They turned to the government for regulation that rigs the market in their favor." http://reason.com...
Let's discuss the EPA's draconian carbon-tax idea and their bans on coal emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency released a long-anticipated rule proposal that seeks by 2030 to reduce America"s carbon dioxide emissions 30% from 2005 levels. (The full proposal can be found here; http://www2.epa.gov...) Hugh Wynne, analyst at Bernstein Research, has figured that switching from coal to gas will be the most cost-effective method of achieving the EPA objectives. He notes that the nation"s natural gas power plants are currently operating at an average of just 45% of capacity. Ramping this up to 90%, while reducing coal-fired generation by the same amount, would have the effect of reducing carbon emissions by 550 million metric tons per year. That"s equal to about 25% of power generation emissions, or about 8% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
I'd like to begin this round by asking my opponent to clarify his sources. Pro has made multiple claims in round 3, and then left a group of sources at the bottom. I'm not going to waste my time going through each source to determine which argument each source supports.
I concede that I may have been wrong about the change in the population of Robins, but you also failed to note that many predatory bird species were terribly affected by DDT. "the bald eagle hit a low point in 1963, when a nesting survey in the lower 48 states found only 417 pairs." Why is it that during the times of DDT, Eagle numbers fell to a record low. Now, as a result of the ban, there are over 6,000 nesting pairs in the 48 mainland states. The reason for this was that the Eagles were consuming DDT affected fish and DDT affected birds. They gained a very high concentration of the pesticide. How the DDT affected the eagle population is still being debated, but it's very clear that it was the main cause.(http://news.nationalgeographic.com...)
"Ignoring his own agency"s ruling and advice, EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus single-handedly outlawed almost all use of DDT."
Pro's burden of proof is to show that the EPA must, without a doubt be abolished. However, he contradicts himself in this statement by claiming that the head of the EPA, who by the way is appointed by the President and not the EPA, banned DDT single-handedly. According to Pro, the EPA as an agency was against the banning of DDT, but one man went against its interests. Pro's entire argument up to this point was that the EPA should be abolished for banning a substance that was necessary. Here Pro states that it was NOT the EPA that created the ban, but one man who was not appointed by the EPA, but by the President of the United States.
"I see you refused to talk about the ban on incandescent lightbulbs..."
However briefly, I did in fact mention them when I said "Obviously the ban on incandescent bulbs is justified if we have this technology at our fingertips.". I'd like to know where Pro got the idea that incandescent bulbs are in any way better than newer bulbs. According to http://energy.gov... , incandescent bulbs waste 90% of their energy as lost heat. That is energy we could be using to light our homes. ENERGY STAR LEDs use 25% of the energy as opposed to 10%, and last 25 times longer than tradition incandescent bulbs. Finally as stated in the article "lighting accounts for about 14% of all building electricity use (about 10% of home electricity). With the EISA standards, U.S. households could save nearly $6 billion dollars in 2015 alone." LEDs also reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.
My next statement will be in response to the entirety of Pro's final paragraph.
Pro should have included that we are already 15% of the way to that point, and given that it's between 2005 and 2030, that is barely more than 1% decrease per year. Secondly, "the Natural Resources Defense Council figures the rule will create more than 250,000 jobs (someone will have to install the solar panels and windmills) and will lead to lower energy bills over time." Also in the article, "the EPA reportedly estimates that investments needed to meet the emission limits will cost about $8 billion a year, but would save 6,600 lives and more than $50 billion a year in health care costs tied to air pollution."
I don't understand how Pro can claim the EPA is evil by quoting an article that explains that their measures will save 6,600 lives. (http://www.forbes.com...) [This is the same forbes article that Pro cited earlier in the round].
In summary, I argue that the EPA should not be abolished because everything they have done has been done with good intentions, and Pro's main argument regarding DDT is null and void because it was the works of one man, not the agency.
I find it quite amazing how you put the life of eagles over the life of human beings, the sources I posted the last round contained the science behind it and how DDT was proven to save many human lives from malaria. The ban on DDT may have saved a lot of eagles, but it killed millions of African children. "The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that no person shall be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." This means that if the government infringes on your rights, you are entitled to mount a timely and meaningful defense of those rights in court. It"s one of the cornerstones of our entire legal system, with roots dating back at least as far as the Magna Carta, which declared, "No free man...shall be stripped of his rights or possessions...except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land."
Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prefers a less venerable form of justice, as the Supreme Court will hear next month during oral arguments in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue is the EPA"s enforcement of the Clean Water Act through so-called administrative compliance orders, which are government commands that allow the agency to control the use of private property without the annoyance of having to subject its actions to judicial review." http://reason.com...
You cannot argue that the EPA has a long history of infringing on private property rights. Agencies like that do not belong in America, this is not the Soviet Union. The regualations from the EPA is also a direct fringe on the 10th amendment. http://www.tenthamendment.net...
About your claim that incadescent lightbulbs harm the environment, that is actually not true at all. The claim that CO2 is a pollutant is a big hoax. "CO2 is a great airborne fertilizer which, as its concentrations rise, causes additional plant growth and causes plants to need less water. Without CO2 there would be no life (food) on Earth. The 120 ppm of CO2 added to the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution has caused an average increase in worldwide plant growth of over 12 percent and of 18 percent for trees." http://www.plantsneedco2.org...
Corporations saw the ban as a way to improve their bottom lines. Philips Electronics, one of the leading supporters of the ban, had already planned to phase out incandescent production by 2016, so prohibiting others from producing the cheaper bulbs prevented competition. General Electric (GE) took the occasion of the ban to close its last remaining U.S. incandescent-bulb factory, costing 200 jobs; production of permissible bulbs is now taking place in China. Environmentalists, meanwhile, touted the law"s alleged greenness. Incandescent bulbs, they said, waste energy, so switching to more energy-efficient bulbs will cut down on power use and thus the emission of dreaded "greenhouse gases" and mercury by power plants.
But mercury is a key component of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, the most popular alternative to incandescent bulbs; and unless CFLs are handled and disposed of properly, they can release mercury into the environment. Broken CFLs require a complex clean-up process, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even when this process is followed, mercury can remain in the air and on the floor, where further agitation can drive it back into the air. Spent CFLs should not be tossed in the trash but recycled. However, not everyone is aware of that, and some who are aware of it simply don"t want to go to the extra effort of storing and transporting the bulbs. Thus, many CFLs end up in landfills, where their toxic contents can escape. CFLs may pose other health hazards as well, including increased risk of cancer and migraines and aggravation of light-sensitive skin conditions. http://www.thenewamerican.com...
One of the biggest of the Big Lies perpetrated by the EPA on the American people is the claim that far stricter regulations must be imposed on coal-fired power plants. "Countless scientists from around the world "" even many who have worked with the UN"s climate machine "" have pointed out that global-warming theories and computer models underpinning the entire EPA effort have been so thoroughly discredited that they are impossible to take seriously. As just one example among many, global warming has essentially stopped for more than 15 years even as CO2 in the atmosphere continued to increase, defying every prediction made by the UN and its politically selected "climate scientists." http://www.thenewamerican.com...
You say that the EPA should not be abolished because they do things with "good intentions." That may be true, but you fail to realize how their good intentions have costed much harm to the economy. This 'sustainable energy' the government tries to impose is not sustainable at all. The pain inflicted on the poorest Americas will not reduce global emissions. According to Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce, "the EPA"s new rules will have a negligible [effect] when it comes to soaring global carbon dioxide emissions and surging global demand for coal." Global CO2 emissions rose by 723 million tons in 2011, the latest data available. The Obama Administration"s goal would cut U.S. emissions by approximately that much over the course of 16 years.
The movement towards solar power, one of the Obama Administration's preferred alternatives, is not as green as it seems. New research from Northwestern University finds solar panels manufactured in non-OECD countries (the vast majority of solar panels) require high levels of coal use. The carbon footprint of these solar panels is double that of those manufactured in Europe. Moving solar panel production to OECD countries would only further increase the price of energy, again leading to disproportionately negative effects on the poor. The pain inflicted on the poorest Americas will not reduce global emissions. According to Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce, "the EPA"s new rules will have a negligible [effect] when it comes to soaring global carbon dioxide emissions and surging global demand for coal." Global CO2 emissions rose by 723 million tons in 2011, the latest data available. The Obama Administration"s goal would cut U.S. emissions by approximately that much over the course of 16 years. People in poor countries want the immense benefits that come with abundant, affordable electricity. Hydrocarbons, which produce 87 percent of the world's total energy needs, are the answer. The United States cannot unilaterally stop the rise of CO2 emissions and, even if it could, should it? Doing so would sentence those in developing countries to continued poverty. http://economics21.org...
America"s manufacturing base will be particularly harmed by the EPA"s climate regulations. Manufacturing accounts for over 330,000 of the jobs lost. This occurs for a number of reasons. As more coal generation is taken offline, the marketplace must find a way to make up for that lost supply. The Heritage Energy Model builds in the most cost-effective means of replacing the lost coal through a combination of consumers decreasing energy use as an adjustment to higher prices and increased power generation from other sources. Manufacturing is an energy-intensive industry, and the impact of the higher energy prices on manufacturing averages to more than 770 jobs losses per congressional district. However, not all regions are affected the same, as districts in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois are especially hit hard. In fact, 19 out of the top 20 worse off congressional districts from the Administration"s war on coal are located in the Midwest region. In those districts, the manufacturing industry, on average, will slash more than 1,600 jobs by 2023. The table at the end of the paper shows the estimates of the decrease of manufacturing employment per congressional district by 2023. http://www.heritage.org...
Therefore I conclude that the EPA ought to be abolished. It is unconstitutional and has been a direct infringing on the bill of rights. Since its creation in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has done more harm than good. EPA regulations cost more than 5 percent of our annual gross domestic product - the equivalent of the costs of defense and homeland security combined. Since EPA regulations have expanded, unemployment in America has increased by 33 percent. http://www.washingtontimes.com...
I'd like to begin the final round by pointing out that Pro's strongest argument (DDT), was banned by a single man, half a century ago. I've never seen anybody blame President Obama for things that happened during the Vietnam conflict. It's a different era, a large amount of the people in the EPA were not even there when Silent Spring was written.
"I find it quite amazing how you put the life of eagles over the life of human beings."
I find it quite amazing that you're willing to disrupt the food chain and sentence an entire species to extinction, to extend the life of people who will die anyway. We should be planning for the future, it's either a small percentage of the human race or the Earth, and goddammit I'm saving the Earth first. We don't do anything but destroy her, and in return she can do nothing. If we don't protect the earth, there will be nobody to even remember that we screwed it up for them. Let's build a safe future for far off generations.
Pro keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means.
Article 1 Section 8, also known as the elastic clause, of the United States Constitution grants Congress the power to pass any laws necessary and proper for carrying out the enumerated list of powers. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)
Pro has been trying to argue that the EPA should be abolished do to the fact that they have imposed regulations on CO2.
"The Constitution requires the president, and by extension, the entire executive branch, to “'take care that the laws be faithfully executed.'” In this case, the law was the Clean Air Act, passed by Congress in 1970. EPA has a constitutional duty to faithfully implement that law unless it is changed." (http://ivn.us...)
It is not a legitimate argument to abolish the EPA because they are doing what they are obligated to do. If Pro wants to see a change, Pro should target the constitution, not the agency that is designed to protect the government.
"But mercury is a key component of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs..."
Pro seems to think that a superior technology to CFLs does not exist. Pro has failed to recognize my claims about the superiority of LEDs to incandescent bulbs. As I stated above, "ENERGY STAR LEDs use 25% of the energy as opposed to 10%, and last 25 times longer than tradition incandescent bulbs." Therefore it is clear that LEDs are more efficient and less wasteful than traditional bulbs.
Pro seems to think that the only negative impact of CO2 on the environment is in the atmosphere.
"On the pH scale, which runs from 0 to 14, solutions with low numbers are considered acidic and those with higher numbers are basic. Seven is neutral. Over the past 300 million years, ocean pH has been slightly basic, averaging about 8.2. Today, it is around 8.1, a drop of 0.1 pH units, representing a 25-percent increase in acidity over the past two centuries. "
"The oceans currently absorb about a third of human-created CO2 emissions, roughly 22 million tons a day. Projections based on these numbers show that by the end of this century, continued emissions could reduce ocean pH by another 0.5 units. Shell-forming animals including corals, oysters, shrimp, lobster, many planktonic organisms, and even some fish species could be gravely affected. "
30%-40% of all CO2 released is absorbed into our oceans. Many water based animals rely on a slightly basic pH to survive. In case any readers don't realize how big of a difference a pH of 8.2 and 7.6 (the predicted pH by the end of the century) is, here's an example of pH. It is necessary for our bodies to maintain a blood pH of 7.41.(http://www.chemcraft.net...). If our blood pH were to increase by .6 (the amount our oceans will have decreased by the end of the century), we would be dead. Given how sensitive Humans are to changes in pH, how could anybody think that aquatic life won't be affected by it?
I argue that the EPA is still necessary, regardless of how corrupt some may think it is. Many Americans are still ready and willing to destroy the environment to become rich. We need to cut down on CO2, global warming has nothing to do with it. We need to cut down on CO2 in order to save aquatic life, and in return we will save the rest of the life on earth. Take away the EPA, and I guarantee that carbon emissions will increase, and the oceans will acidify even faster. I urge anybody against the EPA to go and drink a mild acid. That's what future generations will be doing when they buy a bottle of water if this does not stop.
Thanks for a great debate. I've learned a lot, and at the end of the day, win or lose, that's what matters.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by texans14 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Very close debate. I think pro had slightly better arguments. I checked out the sources and con's were a little more reliable.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: No, EPA didn't ban DDT worldwide. Yes, EPA hates bad lightbulbs, with reason. No, EPA isn't unconstitutional. Yes, EPA regulates CO2 gas emission, with reason.
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