The Instigator
Yraelz
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Hayd
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The USFG ought to prioritize the development of clean energy over (continued...)

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Yraelz
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,474 times Debate No: 99957
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (64)
Votes (3)

 

Yraelz

Pro

Topic:
The USFG ought to prioritize the development of clean energy over continuing support for traditional energy sources.


Previously established rules of this debate
:
  • Round 1 - Acceptance by Pro (Con can make arguments if he desires)
  • Round 4 - No new arguments (responses & conclusions permitted)
  • Both debaters agree not to turn this into a topicality debate
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Introduction: It has been a long long time since I've agreed to debate anyone. However, the issue at hand, USFG prioritization of clean energy, is one that I firmly support. I accept the proposition burden: the USFG ought to prioritize the development of clean energy over continuing support for traditional energy sources.

Hayd

Con

I accept. I look forward to Pro's opening arguments next round. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Yraelz

Pro

The resolution states, “The USFG ought to prioritize the development of clean energy over continuing support for traditional energy sources.” There are doubtlessly infinite ways to uphold this resolution, but many are tragically indefensible. For instance, the USFG could pass law requiring that all oil rigs are disassembled with the parts scraped for use in windmill infrastructure. A debate reduced to arguing about such absurd scenarios would lack true substance and ultimately teach us nothing. Thus, I will propose a single scenario which I believe well supports the resolution.

Scenario:

1) The USFG shall institute a flat $40/ton carbon tax

2) The income generated by this tax will be put into a renewable grant fund

3) The national science foundation (NSF) will oversee the renewable grant fund, they will award grants to applicants (industry & academia) based on proposal calls. That is, to be awarded a grant, applicants must submit a detailed proposal which indicates that their work holds a high likelihood of contributing to the USFG renewable energy portfolio.

Specific implementation details will be left up to the NSF. The NSF is well versed in this area, as they handle ~40,000 proposals each year and award ~11,000 of them from a $7.7 billion-dollar budget [1].

I will argue the utility of this plan based on three primary contentions:

The risks associated with climate change are immense. In 2014 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their 5th global assessment report [2]. Within the report, compiled by climate experts around the world, they examine various projections which account for how well humanity can address climate change in the coming years. The projections are alarming. In the most conservative scenarios, where humanity takes significant action to curtail carbon emissions, various species and ecosystems face extinction. Less conservative scenarios suggest disproportionate impacts on arctic sea ice and coral reef ecosystems, both of which show intolerance to continued ocean acidification. That is, without drastic action to curb climate change, multiple biodiversity hotbeds face an existential threat.

The direct projected impacts on humanity are not better and tend to disproportionately affect impoverished populations. In conservative projections, the risk of heat waves, coastal flooding, and typhoons is already rated as “high”. The moderate projections, accounting for moderate increases in surface temperature ~1-2 °C, anticipate the advent of extreme heat events which threaten crop production, water availability and terrestrial biodiversity. These projections, as well as the more extreme projections, predict aggregate economic damages from sustained public health crisis, food loss, and biodiversity loss.

Although these projections are disturbing, the most chilling aspect of the IPCC report is the possibility of “large-scale singular events”. That is, some systems may be at risk for sudden and potentially irreversible transitions. A distinct possibility is that, as permafrost continues to melt, carbon and methane trapped underneath the topsoil will be released into the atmosphere. Sufficient release of these greenhouse gasses may cause a runaway feedback cycle in which permafrost melts increasingly fast as gas is increasingly released. A scenario such as this may cause drastic fluctuations in surface temperature well beyond what experts have modeled. A second possibility is that key biodiversity losses may kill off integral species (keystone) and cause a cascading extinction event up the food chain. By their very nature, the risks posed via “large-scale singular events” are difficult to predict; however, the risks foreseeably range from worrisome upwards to large scale global extinction events.

Similar projection reports have been authored by numerous think tanks (notably the international energy agency), numerous world governments, the environmental protection agency (EPA), NASA, the UN, and even the pentagon (to name a few). Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has dedicated substantial time to documenting the current impacts of climate change. For the sake of space, I will list only one of these impacts. Ambient outdoor air pollution, largely attributable to continued burning of fossil fuels, kills 3 million people worldwide, annually [3].

The prioritization of clean energy over traditional energy sources can directly save millions of lives worldwide, in the short them. But continued prioritization holds the potential capacity to save billions of lives.

Prioritization of the renewable sector creates net job growth. Critics of renewable prioritization like to float the idea that the job-loss associated with traditional energy sources will be catastrophic for the American economy. To evaluate the veracity of this claim we can examine the 2017 Department of Energy report on “Energy and Employment”. I will simply quote a key finding from the report:

Proportionally, solar employment accounts for the largest share of workers in the Electric Power Generation sector. This is largely due to the construction related to the significant buildout of new solar generation capacity. Solar technologies, both photovoltaic and concentrating, employ almost 374,000 workers, or 43 percent of the Electric Power Generation workforce. This is followed by fossil fuel generation employment, which accounts for 22 percent of total Electric Power Generation employment and supports 187,117 workers across coal, oil, and natural gas generation technologies.

This finding reveals that renewable sources (in fact solar alone) outcompete traditional energy sources in terms of jobs created. However, to fairly evaluate this discrepancy, we must also examine how much of our power consumption is derived from each source. This is also found in the 2017 DOE report [4]:

The figure is striking in that it depicts how very little of our current power is derived from solar energy. Despite this, the solar sector alone dominates fossil fuels in terms of jobs provided to the American citizen.

The data indicates that investment in renewable resources creates jobs much more effectively than investment in traditional resources. This conclusion has been well supported by others. The Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps report has recently estimated that solar and wind jobs are growing at a rate 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy [5]. The World Bank summarizes the point succinctly: an investment of $1 million in Oil & Natural gas will yield 5.2 jobs on average; an investment of $1 million in Solar will yield 13.7 jobs on average [6].

A world with free energy changes everything. There are limits in what humanity can do which we could define as “costs”. Economically speaking, people tend to break down costs into: labor, energy, time, and resources. The beauty of developing sufficiently efficient renewable energies is that the energy cost approaches zero for any given task. With abundant energy, and societies sufficiently advanced in robotics, labor and resource costs will plummet as a result. The question then becomes, what existent scarcities would be alleviated by the advent of free energy? The answers are endless.

A simple impact to abundant energy is the alleviation of harmful energy production methods used in impoverished countries. The National Geographic notes that 3.5 million people die each year from respiratory illness due to indoor wood and biomass cook stoves [7]. The article also notes that Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, has 82.4 million people living without electricity. M.I.T. notes that nearly 300 million people in India live without electricity [8]. These are people who face significant difficulty in meeting their basic needs: sanitizing food/water, staying warm at night, storing food. These are people whose needless deaths and low life expectancies could be alleviated by a world with free energy.

Abundant energy would also preclude resource wars. A key aspect of renewable energies is that they are not localized (read: oil) – wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric generation can occur in all regions of the world. The life loss associated with continued resource wars perhaps numbers in the hundreds of millions as of this writing, but to understand the necessity we can look at a single resource: oil. As of this writing, the wiki article on “oil wars” documents 11 distinct wars and many more campaigns: http://tinyurl.com.... These wars alone directly killed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Perhaps more substantial are the impacts on technological innovation and free time. A world with trivial energy costs minimizes transportation, computation, and robotics costs. It also lowers the cost of basic consumption-goods required for essential needs (e.g. food, water, shelter, clothing, heating, sanitation and even healthcare). This leaves more people and machines with more free time and with more resources to combat global challenges. The impacts are boundless but include: disease cures, new antibiotics, securing off-world colonies, lifespan longevity breakthroughs, and general advances in science that contribute to the quality of life for humanity.

I’m not so naïve as to think that the proposed plan alone is going to produce free energy. Free energy isn’t a question of “if”, it is a question of “how soon”. The plan will significantly expedite renewable development (multi-billion dollar investment) and in doing so achieve free energy on a quicker time table. This is important because every year without free energy is a year in which hundreds of millions of people needlessly face low quality of life and death.

Sources:

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

[3] http://tinyurl.com...

[4] http://tinyurl.com...

[5] http://tinyurl.com...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...

[7] http://tinyurl.com...

[8] http://tinyurl.com...

Hayd

Con

I argue that the US ought to continue to support traditional sources of energy rather attempt to develop clean energy. I argue this because it better upholds the value of utilitarian morality. The reasons that it better upholds utilitarian morality is because traditional energy sources are cheap, plentiful and reliable while clean energy is not; and that they improve the crop yield of agriculture.

Framework
In order to evaluate the proposition of what the USFG ought to do, we must first establish how a just government determines what political actions to take. All autonomous entities act, or ought to act on a utilitarian basis; meaning to act in ways that bring about the most overall good. Goodness is determined by the ratio of desirability to undesirability. Every sentient being intrinsically seeks to maximize their desirable states (pleasure) and minimize undesirable states (suffering). For example, if I have a cramp that is creating a negative mental state—in this instance: pain—I naturally seek to alleviate it. Because the suffering of a sentient being is bad, all beings ought to seek to prevent it.

Because morality in and of itself is a system used to determine whether an autonomous entity should or shouldn't do something, and the government is an autonomous entity, morality is a valid framework for the debate. This means that the side that wins this debate is the one that does the most good for the citizens of the United States. The strength of an arguments is determined in the extent to which is benefits US citizens.

Observation: I will explain later in the debate that humans can rely on fossil fuels for the next few thousand years. Although wind and solar will be reliable forever, no reasonable entity can make a decision at one moment in preparation for thousands of years from now. Would a just government purposely harm the welfare of the people in order to solve a problem that won't become a problem until thousands of years from now? When that time comes, a reliable, clean, and renewable resource will be created that will allow us to abandon fossil fuels. But until that time comes, the US ought to continue to support fossil fuels instead forcing the development a thousand years too soon.

C1) Cheap, Plentiful, and Reliable Energy
Citizens need as much access to energy as possible. Every function of energy is to make humans better (safer, more productive, healthier, happier, more intelligent, etc.) The computers that we use for pleasure, education, or work; the medical instruments that reduce suffering and save lives; the transportation that allows the most productive lifestyles possible; the agricultural technology that sustains an exponentially more populous country. All of this requires energy. Furthermore, all of this requires energy to be cheap, plentiful, and reliable. Without these characteristics, Americans couldn't sustain an ultra-productive lifestyle. I find that all known sources of clean energy aren't cheap or reliable; while traditional energy sources are.

The most prevalent forms of clean energy are wind and solar. I will prove that those two forms of energy are expensive and unreliable. Then I will explain why fossil fuels are cheap, plentiful, and reliable. Therefore, the judges must negate the resolution in order to uphold the value of social welfare.

Solar and Wind
Expensive
In order for something to be cheap, all of the steps of the process have to be cheap. The amount of steel needed to produce one megawatt of energy from wind power is significant. [1]

Solar is also expensive because of the inefficient procurement energy produced when put in the context of acquiring the rare and expensive resources to build it. Such materials can include highly purified silicon, titanium dioxide, phosphorus, boron, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide. The Institute for Energy Research concluded, “[solar energy] remains considerably more expensive when compared to conventional electricity sources such as coal, natural gas, or nuclear…” [2] “‘the per-killowatthour cost (in real dollars) of building and operating a generating plant over an assumed financial life and duty cycle’ – of electricity from a new solar photo-voltaic (SPV) plant in 2020 will be $74.20 per MWh, compared to $56.40 per MWh for power from a natural gas plant.” [6] The following image illustrates the cost gap [11]

Unreliable
Both sources of energy fluctuate in the amount of energy created. For example, solar only produces energy during the day, and when there are little cloud cover. Wind can only produce energy when it is windy out. When Germany implemented widescale development of clean energy the average amount of energy produced by solar and wind fluctuated wildly [7].

These fluctuations aren't reliable. They require a backbone to make up for when the energy is lacking, namely traditional sources. Clean energy only works supplementally. Alex Epstein writes, “In practice they often have so much excess that they have to pay other countries to take their electricity—which requires the other countries to inefficiently decelerate their reliable power plants to accommodate the influx.” [3] Because of the nature of current wind and solar technologies, traditional energy sources cannot be discontinued.

Plentiful
It is a truism that wind and solar are plentiful because they come from unlimited renewable resources. But, this point is irrelevant because fossil fuels will last us thousands of years into the future.

Traditional Energy Sources
Cheap
Traditional Energy sources are extremely cheap because they are abundant, widely distributed, and easy to extract. Their low cost is evident; a gallon of drinking water costs $1.22 [4] while a gallon of gas costs $2 [5]. The previous graph under heading “Expensive” illustrates the point as well.

Plentiful
While the gas and oil consumption has increased rapidly in the billions, the amount of resources left still numbers in the trillions [7]. The first graph is oil and the second is natural gas


This is a resource that can be produced continuously for thousands of years. In 1977 scientists predicted that there was 32 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. But between 1977 and 2010, the U.S. extracted 84 billion barrels of oil [9]. And these are only the proven oil reserves. With rapidly growing technology we are able to drill deeper, horizontally, as well as extract resources from shale. With the potential fossil fuel resources growing and growing as our technology advances, the human race will have many generations before running out will become a problem.

C2) Improvement in Crop Yield
Fossil fuels are remains of long dead plant and animal matter. All of the energy that they consumed from the sun is trapped in highly condensed forms: natural gas (gas), oil (liquid), and coal (solid.) Because life matter is composed mostly of carbon, CO2 is released when they are burned for energy. Because plants breathe in CO2, plants thrive [8]

Increased vegetation means increased crop yield, leading to more food production. Increased food production means a decreased mortality rate. By increasing CO2 emissions the government is saving lives.

Rebuttals
Pro’s Plan
Pro’s plan is adequate to affirm the resolution. I find a problem with the first premise of the plan which is to implement a $40 per ton carbon tax. This creates a large burden for energy companies, which results in prices for energy goes up. This deters the use of energy, which makes society less productive. The harms that Pro has brought up from carbon emissions have no impact (as I will explain in the next heading.) Thus this provision in the plan does no good while doing massive amounts of harm to social welfare. Thus this plan cannot be accepted.

Environment Harms
Pro’s argues that “various species and ecosystems face extinction…[and that] arctic sea ice and coral reef ecosystems [face harm to due ocean acidification.]” These are nonimpacts. The only value relevant in the debate is impact to human beings. Ecosystem damage and species going extinct don’t have any impact. Thus these can be dismissed.

The other argument Pro makes is that carbon emissions are causing natural diseasters such as “heat waves, coastal flooding, and typhoons.” He argues this is due to a 1.2 C increase in temperature. Yet, data shows that climate related deaths have been on a decrease over the last 30 years. Down 99.6% from 1939 [10].

This path of logic only works if fossil fuel combustion will cause dramatic global warming, (2) Dramatic global warming will cause a harmful change in the climate system, *and* those changes will overwhelm man's capacity for adaptation. We have increased the CO2 amount from 0.3 to 0.4. CO2 is a decelerating phenomena, meaning that every particle of CO2 added to the atmosphere is less potent than the last [12]. CO2 won't be doing any harm to our planet. Because CO2 has, and will have, so little of an impact on our environment any claims about large scale extinction via loss of keystone species is negated; this would happen in both worlds regardless of CO2.

The statistic that Pro brings up that fossil fuels cause the deaths of 3 million people worldwide. First of all, the judges cannot discern specific impact from this because it is worldwide, not in the US. But we can accept that a fraction of these deaths happen in the US. The problem with this is for the reason in the previous paragraph: CO2 isn't a problem because it is a decelerating phenomena. Continual use of fossil fuels won't have an impact on air pollution. This would exist in both worlds.

(continued next round)

Sources

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

[3] http://tinyurl.com...

[4] http://tinyurl.com...

[5] http://tinyurl.com...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...

[7] http://tinyurl.com...

[8] http://tinyurl.com...

[9] http://tinyurl.com...

[10] http://tinyurl.com...

[11] http://tinyurl.com...

[12] http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Yraelz

Pro

Framework. I agree to debate on utilitarian terms but disagree with my opponent’s deviation from the framework he provided. Hayd clearly articulates that, “Every sentient being intrinsically seeks to maximize their desirable states (pleasure) and minimize undesirable states (suffering)”. He uses this logic to justify his definition: “to act in ways that bring about the most overall good”. However, he then deviates from this and adds two stipulations: (1) only humans matter and (2) only U.S. citizen matter.

These stipulations are arbitrary and absurd. If only U.S. lives count as an impact any genocide is justified under Hayd’s framework in-so-far as it net conveniences U.S. citizens. Further, Hayd’s framing itself clearly articulates that “every sentient being” has a stake in moral utilitarianism which invalidates his arbitrary anthropomorphic focus. Judges should weigh this round on the inclusive definition: “to act in ways that bring about the most overall good.”

Dropped Arguments. Hayd has neglected several key arguments coming out of round 2. First, he does not address the unique job growth created by investment in green energy. Second, he drops all arguments related to the impacts of free energy – I have isolated multiple millions of people that would be saved as a result. Finally, Hayd dismisses the extinction level risks of climate change. Remember these arguments, as I will be reemploying them throughout round 3.

The Resolution Burden. The resolution asks whether the USFG should increase support for clean energy sources. Importantly, it does not ask whether clean energy sources in their present state outcompete traditional sources. Hayd makes multiple arguments geared towards proving that clean energy sources are non-viable in the status quo. Refuting those arguments is not my burden in this debate. My burden is to articulate that a world with increased support for clean energy is net utilitarian. My burden is to show that more support for clean energy, on balance, is better than the status quo.

Hayd’s C1.

Expensive. Hayd is making a critical imprecision mistake in citing the Institute for Energy Research (IER) for levelized cost of energy (LCOE) comparison. While the IER, a conservative think tank, may be presenting factual data - they are doing so in a way which validates their platform. To present PV with a LCOE greater than traditional sources they are analyzing costs associated with residential roof-top installations [1]. In fact, the news article that Hayd cites misquotes the report from IER, which states explicitly, “For example, it is estimated that the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for new SPV technology will be $74.20 per MWh in 2020 and $56.40 for new natural gas plants.” This is important because residential roof-top installations are not the critical question here; we are concerned with how utility-scale PV performs against traditional energy sources. Lazard’s version 10 report from December depicts the reality of this situation [2]:

We can see it is true, residential rooftop installation is significantly more expensive than traditional energy sources. However, Crystalline and Thin Film utility PV are both already outcompeting traditional energy sources. Moreover, both the IER analysis and Lazard’s analysis indicate that wind energy is outcompeting traditional energy sources; this shows that despite the upfront steel costs associated with windmills they still outperform traditional energy sources over the course of their lifetime.

Since utility PV and wind is already outcompeting on a LCOE basis, additional funds from the proposed plan will only make them increasingly more appealing; the LCOE difference can be used for energy storage systems.

Unreliable. Before getting into the details here, it should be noted here that this contention is not a compelling reason to vote Con. The outcome of Hayd’s arguments is that a traditional energy infrastructure should remain in place to support clean energy sources in times of intermittency. Notice that this is compatible with my plan – I propose to increase focus on clean energy sources, not to utterly disassemble the existing infrastructure. For proof, look to round 2 where I articulated that many resolutional plans are absurd, such as, “USFG could pass law requiring that all oil rigs are disassembled with the parts scraped for use in windmill infrastructure”.

That being said, Hayd’s concerns are being rapidly addressed by on-going research in two fields: (1) battery technologies and (2) hydrogen storage technologies. For battery storage technologies, the LCOE is projected to decrease rapidly even over the next 5 years [3]:

Additional research funds, proposed by the plan, will only serve to expedite this trend. For hydrogen storage, recent analysis out of NREL illustrates cost-competitiveness against battery technologies [4]:

Battery and hydrogen technologies are addressing Hayd’s concerns via storing excess energy for later use. For perspective, more solar energy hits the earth in a single hour than all of humanity uses in an entire year [5]. This means, that with continued increases in solar conversion efficiencies, daily energy harvesting via solar will eventually surpass 24-hour needs. And yes, solar conversion efficiencies are already steadily increasing [6]:

The plan would only serve to expedite these trends. Excess energy can be stored in reserve for times of intermittency.

Recap of C1 Rebuttal. Analysis indicates that traditional fuel sources are more expensive than utility solar and wind sources. Additionally, green sources have the added benefit of creating many more jobs per dollar invested. Issues of intermittency are solved by retaining an increasingly shrinking traditional energy backbone while battery and hydrogen storage technologies mature. Hayd has conceded that solar and wind energy are plentiful.

Hayd’s C2.

Although plants grow better with increased CO2 there are conflating factors present. The projections for extreme heat events, extended droughts, and globally elevated temperatures are all catastrophic for plant health. This is why the IPCC report classifies “threatened systems” at very high risk and specifically identifies crucial food shortages globally.

For Hayd to leverage this contention, he’ll first have to dismantle my contention on the risks of climate change. I have offered multiple arguments on biodiversity loss and the potential for run-away extinction events. These arguments all preclude crop longevity which makes their additional “food” source irrelevant.

Hayd’s Rebuttals.

Plan. My opponent articulates that the plan will push energy prices up. However, I have demonstrated that utility solar and wind energy have a lower LCOE than all traditional sources. Additionally, increased investment in these sources creates net job growth.

Environmental Harms. Hayd attempts to invalidate ecosystem extinction risks by reframing the resolution as anthropocentric. This reframing is unwarranted as discussed above. Still, viewed through an anthropocentric lens, the impacts are devastating on humanity. Loss of biodiversity is tantamount of loss of food sources, cascading extinction events are loss of food sources, irreversible run-away transitions are potentially human extinction events.

Hayd also infers that natural disasters are in fact decreasing because deaths by natural disasters are down. This is false. The 2015 report from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Prevention notes that natural disasters are up 14% over the previous decade [7]. Deaths by natural disasters are down only due to increases in medical technology over the period in question. Replotting Hayd’s chart in terms of economic losses illustrates the reality of the situation [8]:

Hayd cites a 1998 article on radiative forcing by way of saying that each new molecule of CO2 has a smaller impact than the last. What Hayd did not realize was that radiative forcing was a term popularized by the IPCC. In fact, their 2017 report, which I cited in round 2, incorporates radiative forcing into their models 62 times. Hayd’s conclusion, “CO2 won’t do any harm to our planet”, does not follow from the evidence. Radiative forcing is well understood by scientists and is incorporated into every current climate projection model currently available.

Aside from projections already factoring in radiative forcing there are two other reasons this analysis is incorrect. First, while the impacts of CO2 may be marginally decelerating, the total amount of atmospheric CO2 is steadily increasing [9]:

Second, CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas. The run-away global warming scenario articulated in round 2 has more to do with methane being released from permafrost. This is because methane trapped beneath the permafrost is 84x more potent of a greenhouse gas than CO2 [10]. The same report by the Environmental Defense Fund also notes that the largest source of methane release is via the oil and natural gas industry. This analysis indicates that climate change is unique to traditional fuel sources.

Finally, Hayd uses the same radiative forcing argument to argue that air pollution impacts are non-existent. These two things are not related. Radiative forcing is a measure of the balance between solar energy entering the atmosphere vs solar energy leaving the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the air pollution impacts are cause by concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere. I therefor reiterate, switching to green sources has the potential to save millions of lives annually. Hayd argues that only American lives matter but this point holds no weight in a round based on utilitarianism.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

[3] http://tinyurl.com...

[4] http://tinyurl.com...

[5] http://tinyurl.com...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...

[7] http://tinyurl.com...

[8] http://tinyurl.com...

[9] http://tinyurl.com...

[10] http://tinyurl.com...

Hayd

Con

Job Growth in Solar
This large contention can be rebutted very simply. The statistic on the amount of jobs that solar supports is inflated by private installment numbers. Thousands of families in suburbs that want solar energy on their rooftop call up guys to install it. If the US were to develop solar energy this would mean the development of solar power plants, not private installation—private installation is not enough to power our grid. In order for this argument to have any impact Pro would have to compare the job capacity of solar power plants vs. traditional ones. Pro does not do this because his numbers are inflated by private installation. Thus this argument thus has no impact.

A world with free energy changes everything
All impacts of free energy stopping world poverty and hunger are irrelevant because the US does not have to take the welfare of the world into account when making decisions.

The second impact that Pro brings up is that traditional energy causes wars over acquiring the resources. This is irrelevant for the US though because we have the world’s largest supply of coal [3]. These wars are not a necessary result of traditional energy and thus have no impact.

Framework Issues
Pro argues that my moral theory stipulates that governments are still obligated to all sentient creatures—including animals and foreign citizens, and thus that any negative effect of traditional energy on them has impact in this debate. I will respond to each of the two claimed inclusive categories separately.

Only human beings are morally relevant because animals are not morally capable—meaning that they cannot return moral promises. They are thus not able to be members of a moral community. Because rights exist through a moral community animals do not have rights.

A moral right is a promise for someone to *have* something, or to prevent encroachment on something. For example, I have a right to legal defense (a lawyer) when accused of a crime or a I also have a right to not be unnecessarily tortured (not have my mental state encroached upon.) These rights can only exist—can only be validated—if there is a community of moral agents able to enforce them. For example, people that are able to give valid legal advice must exist in order for me to have a right to a lawyer, and there must be people able to defend me against villains in order for me to have a right to homeostasis.

Animals can only receive moral consideration if they have moral rights, and a being can only receive moral rights if they are a part of a moral community. Animals/plants cannot be a part of a moral community because they have no ability to protect the rights of other members of the community. It is unfair for a being to receive right protection without putting forth the ability to protect other beings’ rights. For example, members of a state (as in nation) have their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness protected by law enforcement in exchange for their tax payment that goes to perpetuate the law enforcement to protect the rights of other members of the community. A civilian that is unable to pay the taxes and only leeches off the ability of other members of the moral community should not be allowed into the state. The state has a right to refuse them on the principle of fairness. In this way nonhumans are rightfully not a part of the moral community and thus do not receive moral obligation.

The second premise that Pro argues is that the US has an obligation to the citizens of other nations; explaining that the US ought to stop a genocide even if it didn’t directly benefit us. This premise is weak in multiple ways. Firstly, Pro does not substantiate this claim at all; it is unwarranted. Why is it wrong to think of genocide in terms of US social interests? Pro leaves this open ended and thus this can be dismissed. Secondly, my argument from the first premise regarding moral communities applies here as well. Citizens of other nations can only receive moral consideration if they are a part of the moral community. Citizens from other nations do not pay the taxes to maintain the law enforcement that protects US rights, and thus the US has no obligation to protect the moral rights of the other nation. This logic is unnecessary though because stopping a genocide is in the interests of the US because purposely ignoring it would bring harm from the international community and endanger the rights of the citizens (via war), and thus the US should still stop the genocide. My moral theory still wins out against any counterpoint Pro has offered.

Resolution Burden
Pro argues that he does not have to affirm clean energy in its current form, but rather a future form of this. If Pro is advocating for a future form of clean energy, this would mean that the US would continue to support traditional sources of energy until this new technology arises. This does not advance his burden. Pro has to immediately discontinue support for traditional energy in favor of clean energy to advance his burden. This entails a reduction and gradual replacement of traditional with current clean energy. Pro cannot continue to support traditional energy for indefinite amount of time and still uphold the burden.

Defense of C1
Pro argues that the high cost of solar is the result of personal rooftop installations rather than a power plant cost, and that wind power is already lower than the traditional sources. The graph that Pro uses is misleading though because it is cherry-picked. Just going to the “Cost of electricity by source” Wikipedia page and scrolling through the cited studies shows scientific consensus; in general Solar PV is more expensive [1]. Literally every study given shows traditional energy being cheaper.

What makes Pro’s study more valid than the studies that I have cited? Because the graph that Pro cites does not account for the carbon tax already put onto traditional energy production. When this added cost of production is removed, the low price of traditional energy is revealed. Note the cost of CCGT (natural gas) and OCGT (oil) plants in comparison to Solar PV.

Pro then attempts to counter the intermittency problem by arguing for hydrogen storage. But this raises more problems than it solves, namely in the extremely high price of acquiring a hydrogen storage technology [2].

Defense of C2)
Pro responds to this by arguing that the results of climate change will counteract the positive effect of CO2 on vegetation. Pro argues that heat waves and extended droughts will harm vegetation, and thus that the contention is negated. This argument does not work because only a handful of specific areas would be affected while every other part of the world will experience greater vegetation.

Environmental Harms
Pro argues that loss of plant/animal life is harmful to humans for the following reasons: loss of food sources and potential human extinction events. The latter is unwarranted, and the former does not work because climate disasters or droughts would not wipe out domestic crops—only wild ecosystems (not a food source.)

Pro then argues that natural disasters are up 14% from the previous decade and that deaths are only lower now because of increases in medicine. Neither of these statements helps Pro. The 14% trend does not show anything because as all of the graphs cited thus far show, the trend isn’t constant. A 14% increase does not mean that more natural disasters are going to happen in the future. Even if we did accept that, the trend over the last hundred years would be a better indicator since a macroevent is better shown on a macroscale. My graph over the last hundred years predicts a decrease of climate disasters in the future. Medicine can only help the few who survive and get to a hospital, this change in a few lives saved does not change the conclusions drawn from the trend.

Pro then argues that CO2 does warm the Earth regardless of its decelerating effect because his evidence incorporated “radiative forcing” in their prediction. Radiative forcing *is not* decelerating CO2, it is the difference of the energy reflected back into space and absorbed by the Earth. Mentioning that his evidence took into account the greenhouse effect does not negate what I said. What I said is that humans have added CO2 to the atmosphere and that it has warmed the Earth, but because the more CO2 you add the less of an effect it has on greenhouse, and thus will barely affect the Earth in the future. Pro’s graph that CO2 is increasing has no impact, as the only negative effect of CO2 that Pro has brought up is the greenhouse effect. I have proven that CO2 will not increase the greenhouse effect in the future because it is a decelerating phenomena. Pro has failed to disprove the decelerating phenomena, thus I win this point.

Pro next brings up that drilling for traditional resources releases methane into the environment which accelerates the greenhouse affect. This is not a problem due to bacteria that absorb the gases. More methane is removed from atmoshphere than is added. This argument has no impact.

"[T]hanks to methane-hungry bacteria, the majority of Arctic soil might actually be able to absorb methane from the atmosphere rather than release it. Furthermore, that ability seems to become greater as temperatures rise.
The researchers found that Arctic soils containing low carbon content — which make up 87 percent of the soil in permafrost regions globally — not only remove methane from the atmosphere, but also become more efficient as temperatures increase...Axel Heiberg Island in Canada’s Arctic region consistently took up more methane as the ground temperature rose from 0 to 18 degrees Celsius (32 to 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit).” [4]

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Yraelz

Pro

Resolutional Burden: I agree with Hayd, “Pro … entails a reduction and gradual replacement of traditional with current clean energy.” Thus, keep in mind that arguments about the status quo do not necessarily apply to a world with increased support for clean energy.

Framework:

Animal/plant argument dropped for space.

Hayd mischaracterizes my second point as, “the US has an obligation to the citizens of other nations”. My point is only that general human lives matter as an impact in this debate. Under Hayd’s framework countless atrocities are justified if they are net beneficial to the U.S. populous. For instance, if the U.S. committing a genocide would procure sufficient resources, which would save sufficient U.S. lives in the long term, then it would be justified to commit the genocide. Example2: it would be justified to do covert ops extractions on Somali villages to get healthy citizens and use their bodies to solve the U.S. organ shortage crisis. These examples illustrate the absurdity in a framework which only weighs U.S. citizens and indicates that the general framework is preferable: “to act in ways that bring about the most overall good.”

Hayd states, “Citizens of other nations can only receive moral consideration if they are a part of the moral community.” He warrants, “It is unfair for a being to receive right protection without putting forth the ability to protect other beings’ rights.” This assertion contradicts Hayd’s own premise by excluding various U.S. citizens, including: babies, sufficiently young children, some of the disabled, and even people in comas. The assertion also doesn’t hold weight for non-citizens. While the U.S. has no obligation to protect the global community it still shouldn’t willfully act to harm non-citizens. Indeed, Hayd’s original argument regarding every sentient being, is a preferable paradigm.

Regardless, arguments about how the U.S. approaches decision making are irrelevant to weighing debate impacts. Millions of lives saved globally are still net utilitarian, irrespective of citizenship.

A World with Free Energy:

Hayd drops that free energy results in “disease cures, new antibiotics, securing off-world colonies, lifespan longevity breakthroughs, and general advances in science that contribute to the quality of life for humanity.” Since disease cures and antibiotics alone have the potential to save millions of lives, even just in the United States, the plan is net utilitarian. As I made this argument in rounds 2 & 3, Hayd should not be permitted new responses to it in his rebuttal.

Hayd also says that resource wars don’t affect the U.S., citing excess coal. However, reread my warrant from round 2: As of this writing, the wiki article on ‘oil wars’ documents 11 distinct wars and many more campaigns: http://tinyurl.com...;. Five of the listed wars include U.S. fatalities.

Hayd’s C1:

Expensive. My opponent says that Lazard’s study is “cherry picked” and cites a 2012 AETA model as proof.

Counter Arguments:

1) The AETA (Australian Energy Technology Assessments) study is only considering the NSW (New South Wales) district of Australia. It has zero relevance to U.S. economics.

2) The 2012 AETA model does not predict 2017 performance. Meanwhile, Lazard’s unsubsidized LCOE by year (December 2016) does [1]:

Intuitively, the 2012 point in Lazard’s study is near AETA’s 2012 point for single axis PV.

3) The Lazard study was not cherry picked, in fact it is the unsubsidized (without taxes) LCOE (the study clearly articulates this):

Lazard also analyzed the LCOE with tax subsidies and found that utility PV absolutely demolishes traditional sources – demonstrating that the plan will be net utilitarian:

4) 2017 is the first full year where the unsubsidized solar LCOE outcompetes traditional fuels [2]. This indicates that analysis from past years, is not a viable counterpoint. The World Economic Forum (WEF) notes, “the unsubsidized LCOE for utility scale solar photovoltaic, which was highly uncompetitive only five years ago, has declined at a 20% compounded annual rate, making it not only viable but also more attractive than coal in a wide range of countries.” [3]

Unreliable. Hayd has dropped the argument that batteries are on track to solve intermittency. He should not be permitted new arguments on this front.

Hayd uses an early 2013 DOE grant proposal to paint hydrogen storage as expensive. Counter arguments:

1) Hayd’s DOE proposal does not analyze the LCOE of hydrogen storage nor does it say “expensive” anywhere in the proposal.

2) The NREL evidence I cited (18 months more current) does explicit LCOE analysis for hydrogen and concludes that it is competitive with battery technology.

Hayd has dropped my points on solar efficiency steadily increasing, indicating increased energy availability. Hayd has also dropped the argument that a progressively shrinking conventional energy backbone solves short-term intermittency issues.

Hayd’s C2: Con asserts that only a handful of areas are affected by heat waves, extended droughts, and sustained food shortages (no warrants). However, the IPCC analysis specifically notes that extended heat-waves are a key risk for the North American region. This is particularly bad for the United States because heat-waves destroy/preclude crop growth [4].

Jobs: Hayd asserts that solar job creation is inflated by private installation numbers. Counter Arguments:

1) This is an argument that supports Pro. Since the plan will lead to general increases in solar technology we can expect that the price of private installations continues to fall at an expedited rate. While energy security will come via utility/commercial installations, the plan also has the benefit of boosting job growth via increased private installations.

2) Recall from round 2 that $1 million invested in solar creates 13.7 jobs compared to 5.2 in traditional resources. The DOE study does the breakdown by sector:

Using the ratios provided, we find that $1 million invested in solar creates 7.5 residential PV jobs and 6.2 Utility/Commercial PV jobs. These numbers still both out-compete the 5.2 jobs via traditional sources.

Environmental Harms: Hayd argues that biodiversity loss wouldn’t affect domestic crops. However, biodiversity losses can disrupt fisheries & wild game (both food sources), increasing dependence on domestic crops (heat wave sensitive). Hayd states that extinction events are unwarranted; I’ll re-note the potential for irreversible and run-away system shifts in the IPCC report.

Natural Disasters. Hayd asserts that non-constant natural disaster data cannot be analyzed. This is false; the average trend is what is important in a physical system – outliers do not invalidate statistics. My source indicates that natural disasters increased 14% in the last decade. The normalized economic losses (from Hayd’s source) indicates that every year after 1986 was more devastating than every year prior (excluding 1976 and 1980). The IPCC also predicts natural disaster increases. Hayd says that medicine only helps people who get to a hospital. I note (a) hospital spatial coverage has vastly increased this century and (b) my source indicates that flooding is the most common disaster, indicating that people often have the capacity to reach hospitals.

Climate Change. Con misunderstands radiative forcing. The evidence that Con posted indicates that GW is a decelerating phenomena because of radiative forcing [5]. Radiative forcing, via CO2, causes some solar radiation to be “reflected” back into space. Con says, “because the more CO2 you add the less of an effect it has on greenhouse, and thus will barely affect the Earth in the future.” Yes, it’s true that each additional molecule of CO2 has a lessened affect compared to the last molecule. But no, this doesn’t mean that each additional molecule has zero effect. The IPCC projections conclude that even with radiative forcing (the decelerating phenomena) climate change continues severely. With the current rate, adding roughly 2.4 million pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere per second, global warming worsens remarkably.

Methane. While it’s true that Arctic bacteria acts as a sink, this does not imply consumption of all methane. The study that Hayd’s article is citing does not suggest this, nor does the study imply that even much methane will be consumed by the bacteria. Instead, the study suggests that the bacteria may be “partially” responsible for a minor dip in atmospheric methane during summer months (~50 ppb) [6].

Pollution. Hayd has fully dropped my contention on air pollution and the associated 3 million deaths annually. I’ll reiterate, the decelerating phenomena associated with carbon dioxide does nothing to limit the effects of air pollution. Thus, this becomes an independent and compelling reason to vote Pro.

Conclusion: For perspective, I will weigh this round based on the worst-case scenario. If Hayd wins every argument, he wins that (a) only U.S. citizens are impacts, (b) clean energy is more expensive (c) climate change has no impact, and (d) plants grow better. Hayd has attached an impact only to point d, asserting that increased food production decreases the mortality rate. Though, he never specifically warrants this for the U.S. nor quantifies how many people it would affect.

These can be weighed against the contentions that Hayd dropped: (a) Pollution alone kills hundreds of millions annually, (b) free-energy leads to disease cures and new antibiotics, (c) free-energy prevents death via respiratory illness (indoor pollution), and (d) the plan keeps the U.S. out of future resource wars. Even in this worst-case scenario there is no contest between the magnitude of impacts, a vote for Pro saves millions of lives while a vote for Con grows more plants.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

[3] http://tinyurl.com...

[4] http://tinyurl.com...

[5] http://tinyurl.com...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...

Hayd

Con

This is my last response of the debate. I would like to thank Yraelz for doing this debate with me—I enjoyed writing up all of my argument rounds and learned a lot about this issue. My post this round will be in response to everything that Pro said in R4.

Framework
Pro attacks my moral theory by giving two examples of situations that would be justified under my theory. My answer is yes, they are justified under my theory. What reasoning has Pro given that these examples are not justified? He has given none. I have given solid argumentation for my moral theory, while Pro’s only response to this are bare assertions. Pro needs to explain why these examples are morally wrong, rather than just assuming that the judges will accept his view at face value. The judges have to accept my moral theory here because Pro has brought no reasoning against it.

Pro then argues that many beings cannot secure the rights of other people, such as the disabled, or babies, or people in comas and thus by my reasoning they have no rights. This is not true for every given circumstance. Babies have rights because at some point in the future they will be able to secure the rights of others. This is the same for the disabled and people in comas because at some point in their lives they were not disabled and not in a coma and thus were able to secure the rights of others. But even regardless of their physical capabilities, every US citizen pays taxes. This perpetuates the existence of a government whose sole purpose is to protect the rights of the citizens. Thus, every US citizen contributes to the securement of rights in the moral community, regardless of their own physical ability to secure rights. Non US citizens contribute nothing to secure the rights of US citizens, thus the US has no obligation to secure their rights. Thus I win this point—only the wellbeing of US citizens has any impact in this debate.

A World with Free Energy
Pro continues to argue that use of fossil fuels will cause wars abroad with the need to acquire resources. The reason I cited the US having the largest supply of coal was to show that the US doesn’t *need* to use any oil or natural gas. The US can survive purely off of coal for centuries. Because the US has the world’s largest supply of coal, we don’t have to get fossil fuels from any other part of the world, meaning that no wars have to occur. Pro’s argument is that use of fossil fuels necessitates acquiring fuel from foreign nations which can cause wars (as evidenced by his source.) But I have shown that it is not necessary to acquire fuel from foreign nations, thus this argument is negated.

Hayd’s C1)
Expense
I argued that fossil fuels are cheaper than clean energy because the data showing fossil fuels as more expensive include a carbon tax, which is not representative of the technology. Pro attacks my evidence showing the cost without carbon tax by arguing that:

1) It only considers Australian data and thus has zero relevance to U.S. economics.

There is no reason to believe that the costs would be different because they are using the same technologies. Because they are using the same technologies as in the US, the cost of them without a carbon tax would be the same as in the US, as well.

2) Pro further cites recent evidence that solar and wind will have prices as low as $100/MWh in 2017. This evidence does not help Pro’s case though because my graph from last round showed coal as having a price range of $75-100/MWh. Because coal is cheaper than clean energy, my premise that traditional energy is cheap still stands.

3) Pro then argues that the Lazard study shows the unsubsidized cost of clean energy. But this does not help Pro’s case because I cited the levelized cost without a carbon tax. If we compare the naked cost of traditional (without carbon tax) and the naked cost of clean energy (without subsidy), coal is the cheaper source. Thus I still win this point.

4) Pro argues that 2017 is the first year when solar has outcompeted traditional. This does not make sense because all of Pro’s data shows wind being cheaper. If we compare wind to coal, coal wins out. Thus I still win this argument.

Unreliability
Pro argues that I drop the argument that batteries are “on track to solving intermittency problems.” If batteries are not ready yet to solve intermittency problems, this means that the US would have to continue to support traditional energy until this is invented. Pro does not fulfill his burden this way.

1) Pro argues that my evidence of hydrogen being does not warrant my claim. My evidence shows different kinds of hydrogen tanks having a total system cost of $30-40/kWh. This is expensive. Regardless, hydrogen is not competitive at the moment (as Pro admits), and thus cannot be used for Pro, as explained earlier.

Hayd’s C2)
Pro argues that droughts and heat waves will affect the entire North American region , thus hurting crop growth. First of all, if this were true then we would see a decrease in vegetation across the world. This is not true, as my evidence shows an increase in vegetation across the world. Even though droughts and heat waves hurt some crops, this does not change the fact that on average crops have been improving. I have shown that they have been improving because of CO2, and Pro has not contended this. This proves that CO2 is on balance more beneficial to crops than it is harmful, regardless of the presence of droughts and heat waves.

Jobs
1) Pro argues that the amount of workers employed by solar installations is a good thing. This ignores my point. If the US were to develop clean energy, this would mean Solar power *plants*, because only those would be able to power the energy grid. If only the development of solar power plants is what we are discussing in this debate, then only the employment of those sites are relevant. Bringing up the employment of private installations is non topical.

2) True, for every million dollars invested it creates one more job.

Environmental Harms
Pro argues that biodiversity loss would affect fisheries and wild game. This is not true because most fish put into the fish market are domesticated. For example wild salmon make up 0.05% of the salmon market [1]. Domesticated markets are not affected by biodiversity loss because they are not in an ecosystem.

Natural Disasters
Everything I need to say about this contention was said last round. Thus I refer the judge to that.


Climate Change
I concede what Pro said. But note that the only impact that Pro has from global warming is the harm to biodiversity, heat waves, droughts, and natural disasters. I have proven that the first is a nonimpact because of moral theory, that heat waves and droughts are outweighed by the increase of vegetation caused by CO2, and that the last has been on a decline over the last 60 years and thus cannot be linked to global warming. Although I concede Pro’s premise, all impacts he has drawn from it are negated.

Methane
Pro argues that the presence of bacteria does not help the global problem. Yes, but the bacteria has the potential to eliminate all of the methane in the atmosphere if developed correctly.

Pollution
The judges cannot accept Pro’s source on 3 million deaths because this is worldwide. Only deaths in the US is relevant, which Pro has failed to provide. Even if we accept that an unknown fraction of these deaths occur in the US, because CO2 impact has decreased to such a point that any massive addition would have fractional impact. For example, see my graph that I cited in R2, although the world has multiplied its carbon output many times over, the increase in the potency is fractional. Any discontinual use of traditional fuels will not make much of a difference.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
64 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Logical-Master 11 months ago
Logical-Master
It's Yraelz! Far out! This site won't let me respond to PMs for some reason. How's it going?
Posted by Yraelz 1 year ago
Yraelz
Definitely implicit in most resolutions. Outside of a policy debate round it never makes sense to mention fiat. Inside of a policy debate round it only makes sense to mention fiat if the resolution doesn't include words like ought/should.

Example Resolution: This house would open the door. (yes, some resolutions are this vague)

Pro might run that the USFG should open all borders as an interpretation of this resolution. They would specify that their "fiat"ed action, to test the resolution, is passing the legislation through congress. By claiming this fiat they are presenting a framework through which to debate on a hopelessly bad resolution. Con can decide to engage (if they feel the framing is fair) or they can make arguments about why fiat is unfair under said resolution.
Posted by FourTrouble 1 year ago
FourTrouble
Seems implied in normative topics...
Posted by Yraelz 1 year ago
Yraelz
It's essentially this. Policy debaters in the 80's would occasionally run arguments like, "well that action would never actually happen in the real world" against resolutions that said, "the [actor] should do [action]." Policy debaters defending against this got sick of making long arguments to the extent of, "even if it wouldn't happen in the real world the resolution asks what 'should' happen not what 'could' happen." They posited that resolutions with 'should'/'ought' wording gives the affirmative a right to compare a world where the action does happen against the status quo - even if that action wouldn't be implemented in the status quo. They called this right "fiat" or essentially "let the action be done." As more and more teams won those arguments, long argument blocks were shortened to a simple statement: "we claim the right to fiat".

When new debaters pick up debate they'll sometimes be trained to say that statement without being trained on the underlying logic. This occasionally leads to unfortunate circumstances where debaters believe that saying the word "fiat' is a requirement to debate. I've had the displeasure of witnessing a few teams in high school out rounds lose because their college judge (novice) thought that not saying fiat meant they couldn't support their case.

Tl;dr - Fiat is derived from the word 'should' or 'ought' in a resolution. It means "let's imagine the outcomes of doing an [action] even if that action probably wouldn't be implemented in the status quo." It means "let's ignore arguments like 'the President would never support a carbon tax!' because the resolution asks what ought to happen not what would happen."
Posted by FourTrouble 1 year ago
FourTrouble
I don't even know what the word fiat means...
Posted by Yraelz 1 year ago
Yraelz
@Tejretics - Thank you for the in-depth RFD. I agree that lack of probability framing is problematic in general. However, I was comfortable buying probability-mitigated impacts in this round because there are no implementation-to-climate-change solvency arguments from Con. Also, since Con's arguments were largely reliant on plan solvency, I didn't mind the probability wash.

If Con had made probability arguments I would have put more work into that front. I chose a $40/ton carbon tax because it is one of the ideas that has been floated in the House of Representatives and so there exists economic analysis for its solvency. Realistically speaking, I think the probabilistic solvency on this topic is going to be a little difficult to quantify since we're talking about averting impacts that have not yet been realized. Thus, probability quantification relies on economic projections saying "this is how big the impacts will be" combined with economic projections saying, "action X will be capable of averting the projected world." Had the debate gone there, I probably would have relied on arguments like, "economic analysis suggests that a $40/ton carbon tax will decrease atmospheric carbon by X amount over Y years - this is the equivalent of decreasing the threat level by Z in the IPCC analysis."

Thanks again. I appreciate 'no persuasive debater is going to use the word "fiat" outside of a Policy debate context'.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
RFD - Part 1

Con's framework here is grossly uncompelling, because, as Pro points out, Con's initial utilitarianism itself protects non-American lives -- there's no escaping that. Pro defeats the argument on the enforcement of rights by saying the U.S. shouldn't *actively* violate the rights of other people, which is more than sufficient for me. But this didn't really matter that much to the offense in the debate.

Con *drops* the impact from pollution entirely, which means Pro already probably saves a few million lives. (Con says "only deaths in the U.S. are valid," which is a bad response because (1) Pro wins framework, so other deaths are valid, (2) it's a new response in the final round, so I can't credit it anyway, and (3) Con needs to show that *none* of those deaths were in the U.S. to win that.) Pro doesn't give me a probabilistic analysis as to the effect of his plan on solving pollution, but there's sufficient solvency there to give him a mitigated impact.

The key issue in this debate is climate change (I'll explain why it's the *key* issue later on). Con claims that all of Pro's impacts from solving climate change are negated. That's absolutely not the case. Con's response to the natural disasters impact is uncompelling, because he drops entirely the response that medical technology caused a decline in deaths, and the direct ties between climate change and natural disaster are presented by Pro pretty clearly. All Con says in Rd. 4 is that he said everything last round, which is a really silly excuse for dropping Pro's final round response. Con drops massive threats to water availability, public health crisis, and similar massive impacts from the IPCC report.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
Part 2

The only response to food production is that "increased CO2 allows for more crop yield," which Pro dismantles by extending the IPCC analysis and proving that climate change is a greater threat to food production. The idea that "only a handful of areas will be affected" directly contradicts Con's own U.S.-centric framework, and Pro proves that the U.S. will be affected, which means Con loses the argument under his own framework. I also buy that impacts from pollution and natural disasters outweigh because Con doesn't quantify his impact specifically regarding Pro's plan.

On impact analysis alone, Pro's impacts are much larger on magnitude alone. Since the debaters don't really discuss probability [which I think is a serious problem since I need more analysis from Pro on solvency to climate change related impacts], I vote on magnitude alone. Thus, I vote Pro.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
I'll try to vote on this soon.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
"Plans of implementation" are really irrelevant to debate; insofar as it is possible, and it is typically Con's burden to show that it would not be possible, because, for instance, it costs too much.

However, "it's not going to happen" is hardly a valid argument, because of fiat.

And, ideally, no persuasive debater is going to use the word "fiat" outside of a Policy debate context. No one should.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
YraelzHaydTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by paintballvet18 1 year ago
paintballvet18
YraelzHaydTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: See comments for RFD. It's a very Policy/LD type RFD, so do ask.
Vote Placed by FourTrouble 1 year ago
FourTrouble
YraelzHaydTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments.