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The Contender
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The US Government should fund the development implementation and of Alternative energy tech

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,757 times Debate No: 5946
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




I'd Like to thank my opponent beforehand for accepting this debate
The Government should not Support the development of alternative energy technologies because at a time of extreme economic crisis, the goverment cannot afford to fund these, and instead should fund improving our already existing energy technology.
Additionally the environment cannot handle all of the dangerous bi-products that these energies leave in their path, such as arsenic in Geothermal energies case.

Finally, even if the government manages to find the capital to research the tecnology, it is not possible for them to fund the implementation. for example, the average windfarm costs roughly 1000$/KW. This is just something the government cannot afford.


My opponent has brought forth a very interesting (and timely) debate topic. Our country stands on the brink of recession, possibly even minor depression. My opponent's views are that the government cannot afford to fund these projects. I assume the reason is that the government has spent money on a "War on Terror", "War on Drugs", and what I like to call "War on Banking" that we have no money for a "War on Energy" as well.

I would like to spend a some time explaining why the government should fund research, though in a round about way, on alternative energy.

First, my opponent gave a very damning number of $1000 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for . For those of us who are not electricians, the average American house hold uses 900 kWh per month ( Let us pull out the old calculator and, MY GOD THE AVERAGE FAMILY USES 10800 KWH A YEAR! Good God in heaven, that means that the average American household uses $10,800,000 if we were to be on wind, breaking out the old calculator one more time, the average American family would pay $900,000 a month if they were on wind energy!

Can that possibly be right? No, it cannot. You see, the $1000 per KWH is incorrect, that is the SUNK COST initially per wind turbine ( after that, it goes down to about 7 cents per KWH.

I just wanted to make sure all the facts were presented on wind. Geothermal, my opponent is absolutely correct, has dangerous bi-products.

On to the actual topic of debate however, the government should absolutely give a reward (by doing so pays back for research, in by doing so funds development) to people or companies that come up with viable solutions to major energy producers.

Does that mean every Tom, Dick, and Henrietta that says they're working on it should get money? No!

What it does mean is that the government should give the reward to whoever gives an actual working product. This also helps because whoever works on these will attempt to make these energy producers as cheaply as possible, which will lower the production cost later.

I am by no means a tree hugging, carbon credit spewing, Michael Moore watching wacko; but we do need to take responsibility for our energy producing actions. God gave us the Earth, not just to control, but to keep.

To go back to what our government can and cannot afford, is it cheaper to pay $1000 per KW for a wind (since this is one of the examples my opponent used) or thirty-five billion dollars ($35,000,000,000) over the last thirty years to coal miners for black lung ( or to pay the insurance costs for coal trucks when they hit citizens in their cars (this I have personal experience with as an insurance agent in West Virginia for a few years). It is no cheaper to keep doing things as we have than to find easier, cheaper ways to get renewable energy.

Other power such as sun, wave, and nuclear are all viable solutions to energy problems. All are currently being used around the world. We only have to find ways to make them available to the everyday American consumer.

Without paying more than to put out the information, the American government can put out that they will pay the entire cost of Research and Development for whomever comes up with a commercially viable alternative energy production mechanism.
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent brings up a good point, my information was wrong. Unfortunatly I read my source wrong and the source comes from a 1998 Danish wind farms average. Since technology in the last decade has become much more advanced, this number is wrong, and I would like to apologize to my opponent for this misinformation.
BUT while the cost of wind may not be an issue, The size, danger, and reliability of these turbines certainly are.
We've all seen how amazingly large wind farms are, we can see them from many miles away. And in a world where the population is increasing 383.047 million every five years( and this rate is increasing every day, soon overpopulation is bound to happen and because of the shear size of these turbines, we will run into a problem where we have to find a new energy source because we need the space that the wind turbines are occupying.
Wind turbines may go hundreds of feet into the air, and many animals need that space for flying, such as bats. In many North American Wind farms Thousands of bats are found dead underneath the turbines per year, since Bats are so essential to the ecosystem, we cannot let this happen if we wish to survive. Bats consume many dangerous insects that may carry fatal diseases. Also they control over population. In addition the bats eat bugs that would consume much of the food that is located on many farms around the world. With this food gone, there will be a food shortage, followed by resource/food wars, which eventually will lead to nuclear war, and finally, to extinction. All of this, because wind turbines.
Wind turbines are known to be extremely unrealiable, and in a world where power needs to be readily abailable to all citizens at all times of the day, this cannot work. We need a power source that is reliable. Such as nuclear energy. My opponent refers to nuclear energy as an alternative energy, but we define alternative energy as energy that is not popularly used and is usually environmentally sound, such as solar or wind energy (as opposed to fossil fuels).
( because nuclear power produces more then 15% of the world's power, how can this fit the definition of alternative energy.
The disadvantages of wind are far too great to consider if we wish to continue living peacefully, or even, living at all.


I thank my opponent for bringing up another good reason against wind power. Bats do play a very important part of the ecosystem worldwide. Would another species be able to fill in the gap? It's possible.

Back to the debate at hand though, the US government has the funds (after some fiscally conservative changes to the current budget) ( to "dangle the carrot" to manufacturers, inventors, and even the common man who likes to tinker to find alternative energy production.

Now, if the government decides to continue spending money on: fruitless wars on things; not reform social security, Medicare, or Medicaid; continue taking care of people who should go out and get jobs; etc, then it would be harder to find the funds. Long term planning and saving however would make it easy. Even a $1,000,000 in a conventional six month CD at 3.92% ( would increase to 1,039,200 in six months. I'm not going to insult people's intelligence and continue doing math, but you can see how easy it would grow.

Not only that, but often times, companies like GE and Exxon-Mobile will co-sponsor these dangling carrots with the government. Let's face it, if anyone has the money to spend on this right now, it's Exxon-Mobile!

So, again, the government not only should, but must fund the development and implementation of Alternative Energy Technologies, so the America can become less dependent on foreign energy supplies.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent says that programs such as welfare and medicare/aid are programs that we can just throw out the door, but he forgets, the constitution of the United states requires the government to ensure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare. And by getting rid of those things, we are doing neither, this the government cannot do. People need help sometimes, and maybe I would debate this at a later time, but back to the debate at hand.
My opponent continues to neglect the fact that even when we stop acquiring more debt(ten trillion dollars(, that debt does not go away, and many of our available resources will go into that debt. Resources such as research. The government cannot afford this when they are still paying off the debt of the last eight years. China will demand we pay faster, thus making us pool every resource we have including, unfortunately, social programs. If we are to better this country we cannot sacrifice social programs for research, This is discrimination, and it goes against our ideals, and our constitution.
My opponent also brings up an idea, that in theory would work. But how can we trust the people that if they sponsored this technology, that would go out of business. This goes against all bounds of logic. We cannot trust this to happen. It is an unfortunate truth of the greed of the human mind.

I would like to thank my opponent, He is extremely talented at debate, and has provided an incredibly challenging and intellectually stimulating debate. Thank you for voting, no matter who you decide.


My opponent is truly the ninja his avatar makes him out to be! Skillful, swift, and a master at his technique. That technique, dear readers, is hyperbole. I never said to sacrifice social programs, far from it! Many of these social programs will commit suicide within 50 years ( ( My opponent seems to believe that these programs must continue on their merry way, digging a hole literally to China. These programs need to be clipped, the same as a tree, that way they can grow better.

Again, off topic completely as to whether the American Government can afford to fund research. We would not give money to everyone who claimed to be working on these alternative technologies, but use a dangling carrot; where only the person, persons, or corporate entity that brings a viable working model to the table gets the money.

My opponent tries to bring fear of companies going insolvent, yet Exxon-Mobile (to use the company I've used before) has posted record earnings every year since 2005. They have entire teams of R&D that are working on this problem right now. Do you not think that Exxon would be willing to give $500,000 to go half with the government on the same project and save themselves money as well? My opponent also points out that Exxon-Mobile would never give this money, as it would put them out of business. However, a smart business would put in a small stipulation that they would be the first to get to experiment with the technology. Giving Exxon-Mobile a good amount of time before any other company to figure out how to squeeze every dime out of the technology.

My opponent has done a lot of research against wind power, that I was able to poke quite a few holes into. The rebuttal being that bats could be harmed and eventual habitation would require the land that wind farms are on, forgetting about the vast ocean that we could also use. What of solar power, wave turbines, even trash ( is a good alternative source we already have. What other treasures can we find from our trash?

My opponent believes strongly that human life is precious, I could not agree more! That's why we need to get people out of harms way on oil rigs, in coal mines, by natural gas lines, working with toxic waste and get them working with safe, alternative energy technology. Will it be difficult in the short run? Yes! Will we complain every step of the way? Probably! Will we thank those who we trust with civil power after we have cleaned up the Earth? I promise.

My opponent has made this a fun and interesting debate and I thank you for it. This is much better than arguing gay marriage debates! You have made my last 36 hours much more enjoyable in my sickly state.

To our readers, there is no right or wrong answer, simply a good answer and a better answer. I hope that your heart and mind guides you on which is which. Read carefully and consider topics fully. Happy voting!
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Wbjohnston 7 years ago
how, are there no votes,

Posted by elgeibo 7 years ago
yeah! Lots of good votes!
Posted by bthr004 7 years ago
Reaserch yes,.. but not implementation,... Govt, shouldnt open up shop and become energy suppliers in competition with private companies,... dangerous path.
Posted by elgeibo 7 years ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this debate. I knew very little about this topic until I decided to take it, now I've learned a lot more!
Posted by Wbjohnston 7 years ago
I didn't check this for a while here... but I've got a good argument coming, just give me like an hour or half an our, it will be up then
Posted by elgeibo 7 years ago
well, con will have a comeback, it just won't beat me ;)
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda has a good argument. can con come back?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bthr004 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07