The US should adopt a carbon tax
Debate Rounds (4)
http://www.debate.org...] First round acceptance only. BOP is shared.
A carbon tax is a tax levied on the carbon content of fuels, which results in most carbon emissions -- emissions of carbon dioxide, which increases temperature, and occasionally carbon monoxide, which is toxic. The resolution says the United States should introduce a carbon tax.
The government legislates pragmatically, based on what benefits and harms the people. The job of the State is to ensure that the people aren't harmed. Thus, government legislation ought to be based on John Stuart Mill's "harm principle," which holds that the only purpose for which control can be exercised over a person who doesn't consent to it is to prevent harm to non-consensual others. There are two reasons to accept this. First, the only reason people recognize the government's legitimacy is to prevent harm to themselves and to maximize benefit for themselves. If the government doesn't follow the harm principle, it is illegitimate. Second, the harm principle fits with normal conceptions of ethics in that it prevents harm.
What are the burdens in this debate? The debate is a normative resolution, which means the burdens of persuasion are shared. The word "should" implies a debate of opinions, and, therefore, requires both sides to justify that opinion. My burden is to show that a carbon tax would be a net benefit to society. Con's burden is to show that it would be a net harm.
== Climate change ==
Global warming is primarily human-caused and poses a fairly significant threat to humanity. Most scientists agree on that. The scientific consensus on climate change is that it's primarily human-caused. Human-emitted greenhouse gases trap insolation within the Earth, and increase its mean temperature. Carbon dioxide has a huge impact on temperature. Research by most scientists confirms so. Leading climatologist JD Annan uses a Bayesian statistical approach, which is "dominant in the literature," and finds that mean temperature would increase by 3 degrees Celsius per doubling of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.  That would mean carbon dioxide is responsible for around 70% of global warming.
The effects of climate change on humans is severe. There's immense urgency as to the effect of climate change, and the problem is on a huge scale. If greenhouse emissions continue at the current rate, climate change will make the planet uninhabitable to humans. 
A carbon tax would act to mitigate global warming. With a tax on carbon emissions, it will deter people from using carbon-content fuels at high levels, therefore reducing carbon emissions. Carbon taxation is not very costly, and has been proven to be effective at reducing emissions, therefore mitigating the threat of global warming. Research has shown that Norway's carbon tax has reduced carbon-based pollution by 20%. 
== Nuclear power ==
Implementing a carbon tax will deter people from using carbon-based fuels. That much has been established by lots of research, and has been observed in Norway's carbon tax. Logically, it entails that people will look for alternatives. Most people agree that nuclear power will present significant competition to coal energy if a carbon tax is enacted.  Nuclear power poses a net benefit to society. Nuclear power further helps mitigate the threat of climate change. It's more efficient than many other forms of energy, and produces the most electricity in relation to it's minimal environmental impact.
Nuclear power is helpful, because it has very little pollution and poses a viable power source. Therefore, it's a benefit to the plan.
Climate change poses a harm to people. A carbon tax would mitigate that harm. The government's job is to prevent or reduce harm. For those reasons, vote Pro.
mc9 forfeited this round.
There's immense urgency to the crisis of climate change now. Temperatures are rising at rates much faster than people think. Carbon dioxide concentrations are constantly rising, and if they're doubled, it'll mean a three-degree Celsius rise in temperature. At the current rate of carbon emissions, the human race will go extinct. I understand that there are studies doubting the impact of global warming, and many researchers think the climate sensitivity is at 1.1 degrees Celsius. But there are various studies that show much higher climate sensitivities. Many of these studies use climate models, which many skeptical researchers -- and even some members on this site who believe in anthropogenic global warming, such as 16k -- doubt, but the consensus is that climate models work. And there are many non-modeling studies as well, such as the one I cited by JD Annan, that uses a Bayesian statistical approach, which is the dominant method in the literature. All of these entail a major urgency to climate change.
Of course, many people -- even those who actually acknowledge this -- just sit in front of their computers debating, and don't stop to ponder how huge the impact is. It's enormous. Stop for a second and close your eyes, and imagine if conditions were as I'm saying. Don't just think "ok, this is a debate, this is fun to read," or don't be just a judge for this debate, or a person who's interested. Think as a person who actually cares for the race, and for their own lives. Imagine heat waves everywhere killing many. Imagine floods, many more storms, and multiple phenomena causing them. Many satirists have jokes -- extremely realistic ones -- on how people just care about those that died in a flood just for those two weeks or so. I, like most other humans, was like that; I cared, but I soon forgot. Until I experienced the devastation caused by floods, and witnessed the sheer human fear and panic that's so inherent. Just post the Chennai floods, there was a rumor that a dam's wall had collapsed -- and at that moment, those that had lost so much just ran, and you could see the fear in their faces. The rumor was a false one. But that helped me appreciate how serious any loss is. Nearly dying changes nothing. Someone else dying changes nothing. But dying changes everything. Ponder for a moment about that, and imagine the sheer impact caused by climate change. That can be mitigated by a carbon tax.
Imagine the reduction in fear. Think of that slight mitigation that could prevent the brutal, horrifying specter of change and death. Just creating a tax would stop that. It would mitigate heat waves and flooding. "Burning all fossil fuels . . . would make most of this planet uninhabitable to humans."  That's why you should vote Pro. The magnitude of the impact is so immense, it's close to nuclear impacts in "North Korea vs Iran" policy debates. I'm sure most people didn't imagine a debate about taxation comes to that -- but it does.
Nuclear power is another, smaller, impact. There's little question that nuclear power is immensely beneficial to society. It doesn't pollute much, there's a very low risk of emergency scenarios, and it benefits the economy. A carbon tax increases that. It's much simpler than the above impact.
For these reasons, vote Pro.
Dude I forfeited, it happens sorry, anyways I concede the debate
I hope everything is fine with my opponent, seeing as they have forfeited.
mc9 forfeited this round.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 8 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
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