The US should adopt a carbon tax
"Carbon tax" refers to "a tax levied on the carbon content of fuels."
Lannan should start arguing in Round 1 and waive the final round (posting merely "no round as agreed").
I would like to thank my opponent for sending me the challenge for this debate and wish him good luck.
Note: I actually support a carbon tax, and am playing devil's advocate.
== Rebuttal ==
(1) Is climate change a threat?
Pro exaggerates the effects of climate change. The notion that global warming as we know it is nearly as much of a threat as he's making it out to be (e.g. "the world is coming closer and closer to levels of no return") is nonsense, and it's been shown over and over again. He first suggests that "excess of fossil fuels has killed nearly 7 million people worldwide." That claim is hilariously false. The WHO is talking about air pollution, not excess fossil fuels, and his own source concedes that the main cause is overly polluting household fuels... which has nothing at all to do with a carbon tax. He lies about the source, making it seem like those deaths were caused by climate change, which isn't the case. Pro's second source talks about methane emissions caused by "exceptionally large changes" to the global carbon cycle, which aren't even observed at the current rate of human emissions.
Most research that suggests any major rise in temperature caused by carbon dioxide emissions as they are right now relies on climate models that have been disproven over and over again. All serious scientists agree that, per doubling of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, mean temperature will rise by between 1.1 and 2 degrees Celsius. Nir Joseph Shaviv's analysis of climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide found that cosmic ray influx drove temperature rise for the most part, which, when positive and negative feedbacks were added into the equation, created an average estimate of 1.3 degrees Celsius. He also found that climate sensitivity to CO2 was between 1 and 1.7 degrees Celsius at 99% confidence.  That much temperature rise isn't destructive at all... there's not much damage that could result from it, because: (a) we haven't reached the point of doubling in CO2 concentration yet, and it's unlikely that's to happen anytime soon; and (b) a rise in temperature of 1.3 degrees Celsius isn't harmful at all; a certain amount of CO2 would increase plant growth, on balance, and also increase rainfall.
Most research that suggests any sensitivity higher than 2 degrees Celsius is based on climate modeling, which can be wildly inaccurate. Researcher John Christy analyzed 117 climate models, and found that the results of 114 were wildly exaggerated estimates.  So data from climate modeling is wildly unreliable. There's no sense in claiming that the world is in a "tipping point" or that we're in some sort of apocalyptic scenario caused by climate change. Climate change exists, and is probably influenced significantly by human activity, but it isn't really a threat.
(2) Would a carbon tax work?
Even if we were led to believe that climate change is a threat by attention-seeking "progressives" and politically correct SJWs -- because scientists who believe that climate change isn't a threat are regarded with the same level of disdain as "micro-aggressors" are in society -- there's no reason to think a carbon tax would even work in reducing carbon emissions sufficiently to mitigate the threat. Pro doesn't offer a reason to think so. A carbon tax won't cut emissions drastically, and that's already been seen in Australia.
Australia's carbon tax reduced emissions by less than 0.1%, and it isn't even proven that that's the effect of the carbon tax so much as societal norms. The reality is people are going to keep using carbon-based fuels, and the tiny impact the carbon tax would have would do nothing to mitigate the highly unlikely scenario of extreme weather events. 
(3) Nuclear power
Moving to nuclear power makes no sense. First, it's prohibitively expensive. According to the EIA, the average cost of electricity produced by a next-generation nuclear plant - which is cheaper than plants that already exist - is $0.1084 per kilowatt-hour.  The cost of nuclear plant construction averages at $9 billion per unit.  Conventional coal and natural gas are significantly cheaper.  Added to this is the cost of waste management, which, in 2008, was $96 billion.  Furthermore, a carbon tax would increase demand for nuclear power, which would further increase costs, and nuclear waste (which it isn't easy to dispose at all).
Second, nuclear power has dangers to it. Nuclear meltdowns aren't a common occurrence, but when they do occur, they are particularly destructive. Failures can and will happen. We've seen the impacts in Fukushima, Chernobyl, Windscale, and Three Mile Island - all supposedly impossible, but they still occurred. There's also obviously significant risk of releasing hazardous materials, which creates extreme unreliability.
Third, there's also hilarious irony to this. Production of nuclear power causes significant fossil fuel emissions. Many nuclear power plants, due to the need to mine, transport, and enrich uranium and to maintain the plant itself, are as carbon-intensive as coal plants.  Nuclear plants also use Freon gas, a gas more potent than carbon dioxide as a climate forcing. It is an ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon used as a coolant. In 2002, the Paducah plant emitted 197.3 metric tons of Freon.  Nuclear plants have been put on "low-level alert" on occasion because of Freon release.
== Disadvantages ==
There are some pretty clear disadvantages to a carbon tax, which outweigh any benefits.
Outsourcing. Carbon taxes increase the cost of carbon-based fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. Carbon-based fuels make up 80% of American energy sources. Nuclear power is also prohibitively expensive and prices will continue to rise, so companies aren't going to shift to nuclear power. This offers companies another incentive to move production outside of the United States (i.e. "outsourcing"), in addition to incentives of cheap labor. Jobs will be lost, and the supply-side will be affected.  This also means pollution will be outsourced to other countries, to countries like China that refuse to implement carbon pricing... which completely invalidates Pro's case.
Implementation. It's impossible to implement a carbon tax. Australia tried and failed to enforce carbon pricing. That's part of the reason Australia repealed it: it did nothing to reduce emissions, but it still took up a lot of money to enforce it.
Economic harm. The carbon tax reduces households' disposable income, and the amount of money industries have. This will provide an incentive to reduce wages and fire employees, but these unemployed people and low-wage workers will still continue to pay high carbon taxes because carbon-based fuels are needed for a livelihood, these days. So jobs will be lost, and wages will reduce, and people will be driven into poverty.  Imagine a world like that. That's the world Pro wants implemented. Don't buy into that.
Those disadvantages outweigh the uncertain "advantages" that Pro brings up that really barely even exist. Instead, if climate change is really a threat, we could invest in researching climate engineering (e.g. putting sulfates in the upper atmosphere to allow volcanoes to naturally cool temperature) and avoid authoritarian measures that merely compromise on human welfare.
Conclusion. Pro exaggerates the threat of climate change, and then proposes introducing a tax that would be altogether ineffective at countering it. He then proposes the alternative of nuclear power, which is even more harmful. I've shown that a carbon tax is an unnecessary authoritarian measure that reduces the disposable income of households, destroys jobs, causes companies to move, and can't even be implemented. In addition, I've shown that carbon emissions can be "outsourced," generating the same negative impact. For those reasons, vote Con.
For this round I shall go over the rebuttals and then move on to my opponent's case in the disadvantages that he brings up.
This debate is very simple. Pro is advancing the demonstrably false notion that climate change is a significant but preventable threat to human existence. It isn't significant, and to the extent that it might be significant, it isn't preventable by incremental measures such as a "carbon tax."
Pro talks about how his impact is "bigger" than mine, because he's talking about the effects of climate change and how many people it could kill. But those aren't his impacts--those are the supposed impacts of climate change. So, even as per Pro's own flawed logic, the benefit to a carbon tax isn't saving thousands of lives, because a carbon tax isn't going to prevent all of climate change. It's barely going to reduce emissions. Even if 50% of emissions are reduced, at this point, there won't be a significant impact.  Researcher Susan Solomon explains, "People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide that the climate would go back to normal in 100 years or 200 years. What we're showing here is that's not right. It's essentially an irreversible change that will last for more than a thousand years."  The US isn't the country with the most carbon emissions, China is. One country controlling climate change won't change anything because of the small effect the carbon tax has, and the fact that even if emissions are reduced drastically across the world, the impacts are going to stay.
Pro keeps bringing up the example of Germany, so let's look into that. Here's the reality: Germany's carbon tax failed utterly. The article Pro has is from 2004, back when Germany's carbon tax was just five years old. Now, on the other hand, prices of petroleum and natural gas are sky-high, and the reduction is very low. With regard to creation of jobs, that isn't the net amount of jobs gained - merely the number of jobs created. Jobs have, undoubtedly, been lost in coal/petroleum-related industries.  Also, the reduction in emissions in Germany still isn't significant at all--not nearly significant enough to influence. Furthermore, there's immense uncertainty associated with the success of the carbon tax, in that the carbon tax has had no benefits in multiple countries (e.g. Australia) except to act as an unnecessary household and corporate tax that harms the working class.
Pro doesn't prove that a carbon tax would help prevent any of those impacts. There's no solvency at all. So even if you buy Pro's flawed logic that says global warming is such a threat, vote Con because a carbon tax won't do anything but harm the working class and the people as a whole. There's nothing in Pro's case that even remotely suggests that a carbon tax will work like that. Pro also completely drops my point that, with the disastrous free trade deals that exist in the United States currently, the carbon tax will be an incentive for companies to move to countries like Mexico and China where they'll freely use as many fossil fuels as they want, having the same effect on climate change, but, at the same time, taking away American jobs and destroying the working class. So, even if climate change is a significant threat, there's literally no benefit to a carbon tax.
But Pro's case inevitably runs into another problem: climate change isn't nearly as much of a threat as the economic threats that face the United States today. It isn't really much of a threat at all. And Pro does very little to advance his case on that issue either. Pro completely drops the issue of global warming as a direct threat. He doesn't respond to any of my studies in that regard, e.g. my criticism of climate models and the study from Nir Shaviv.
With regard to ocean acidification, I don't dispute that it's happening. I dispute the cause. Pro's own source says that while there's no clear consensus on what the cause of acidification is, the probable cause is global warming because of the clear impact it seems to have, basing itself on climate models. That's right: climate models, the very form of research I refuted last round. And since Pro's own source concedes that the notion that greenhouse gases influence acidification to such a large extent relies on climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, that means Pro is wrong about the cause, and it means a carbon tax won't have any effect. Indeed, even if the US were to eliminate all carbon emissions, the effect on climate change would be negligible/non-existent.  So, basically, a carbon tax would do nothing to solve that problem either.
But a carbon tax would harm the working class. It's a direct household tax, which means people are going to be forced to pay more money for an essential livelihood, which is inherently bad. It would disproportionately affect the poor too.  Whatever number of jobs is created for the purpose of enforcement, significantly more jobs will be lost.  Industries that rely on such energy will be negatively affected and competition will reduce, and companies will move. Pro drops that there's a direct tax to households which is harmful and causes job loss. Companies will be reluctant to shift to nuclear energy because of the cost. Pro says coal currently costs more, but he's wrong, because the stats I produced didn't concern nuclear energy as it is currently - only of next-generation nuclear plants. Pro also drops the costs from nuclear plant construction and the cost of waste management, and drops that nuclear power has greater impact to global warming than fossil fuels. That means they'll move.
Pro drops the critical argument I made: that if a carbon tax is imposed, companies will outsource their fossil fuel emissions. In other words, they'll move and then freely emit fossil fuels elsewhere, potentially causing even more pollution, which renders the carbon tax completely ineffective. Pro lists a bunch of countries and states where it was a "success." He's wrong about that too. He doesn't prove "success." 2% reduction in emissions, for instance, isn't success. Even if ALL emissions are taken away, nothing is going to change and climate change remains some threat.
A carbon tax won't do anything to reduce any effects of climate change or even mitigate such effects. It's a completely useless effort that will further the goal to destroy the working class, causing significantly more job loss than it creates jobs and directly harming the average citizen.
I also wish my opponent good luck on his exams that he is studying for.
No round as agreed upon.
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