The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

The USFG should initiate a public contract bid for a pilot lunar terraforming project.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,625 times Debate No: 31317
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (43)
Votes (2)




Some quick definitions.
Terraforming: Deliberately modifying a celestial body to make habitable by humans.
Lunar: Relating to the moon.
Pilot: A small scale project, perhaps only a few square meters in area.
Contract bid: A process in which the best qualified company with the lowest bid will be granted the contract.

So my position in this debate is that the United State Federal Government should offer a contract bid to all U.S. companies / entities. The bid will be for the winner to create a pilot terraforming project on the moon. Since this will be a pilot project, the area would be contained and only that area would be terraformed. In other words, the atmosphere, temperature, ecology, and topography would become amenable to human habitation within that confined space. Or at least, that would be the focus.

Anyone care to oppose? First round is acceptance, 2nd and 3rd round are debating, and the fourth round should be for rebuttals.


I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Sweet! I would like to first thank my opponent for accepting this debate. And now I will delineate just a few advantages.

First I'll say that enabling space technology fuels technological innovation. After all, the technology required for successful spaceflight has often been used to create novel medical and industrial equipment on earth. Since terraforming the lunar surface is a new pursuit, the technology required will likely be as novel.

My second argument is that this allow human's to move beyond the earth in their colonization attempts. Although we have been successful in inhabiting the international space station, for long term sustainability we require resources. These resources can be synthesized as long as we have access to base materials such as asteroids, moons, or other planets. Terraforming the moon gives us a way to sustain human life off of earths surface, which is pretty awesome when you think about it.

And finally, I'll argue that this pursuit could probably help industry. After all we're offering the contract bid to industry which indicates that they would be the benefactor. So not only does this help us in space, but also here at home.

With that said, I await with baited breath for my opponents reply.


Renewable Energy Tradeoff Disadvantage:

a) Clean energy is at the top of Obama’s agenda- he recently proposed spending $2 billion on renewable energy research [4].

b) Moon Base unpopular, both Bush SR and JR called for lunar bases and the issue went nowhere; when Newt Gingrich called for a lunar base during the Republican primary he was laughed at from both sides of the aisle. Lunar bases are seen ad pie in the sky unnecessary spending. Undertaking such a massive endeavor would tank Obama’s political capital.

c) The massive costs associated with lunar terraforming make it a political millstone, dragging down anyone who advocates it; in this case that means the Obama administration.

d) Clean energy is key to reducing oil dependence, which is key to national security. Foreign dependence on oil forces the US to protect volatile regions like the Strait of Hormuz and oil money frequently winds up in the hands of terrorists and destabilizing organizations like Hamas. Clean energy is key to preventing global warming, which poses a threat to the survival of the human race as climate shifts causes the desertification of farm land and the collapse of ecosystems.

e) There are 2.7 million green energy jobs in the US, and the clean energy sector is manufacturing and export intensive [5]. This turns Pro’s industry advantage- Green energy is much more important to industry.

Spending Disadvantage:

a) Current US budget negotiations are rocky but both sides express optimism that a deal will emerge. Secretary Lew said March 14 that “we can get there.” However, the deal hinges on reducing spending [1].

b) A budget deal is key to reducing the deficit- reform of structural issues like Medicare, the tax code, and defense spending are key to long term solvency [3].

c) Terraforming the moon would be massively expensive. NASA priced a moon base at $100 billion, the actual price would be in the range of $250-$500 bil [2]. But the Resolution calls for not just a moon base but the development and implementation of non-existent terraforming technology on the moon. This would entail a massive Research and Development project that would make the endeavor a multi-trillion dollar affair.

d) Pro’s low-bid contract mechanism is no different from the type of government contracts used to build F-35’s. A company will be awarded the contract based on the bid documents and the government will have to foot the bill for the company’s work throughout the project.

e) The plan will collapse the possibility of a budget deal by introducing massive spending into delicate negotiations. Additionally, the long term spending will independently add to the deficit. Unchecked deficits will ultimately lead to the economic ruin of the US.

CP1: The USFG should increase its investment in clean energy research.

1) CP1 guarantees passage of research in clean energy. CP1 is orders of magnitude less expensive than Pro’s advocacy, so it will not trigger the spending disadvantage. Pushing for a massive technology expenditure on lunar terraforming will trade off with energy research; given a choice between the two we should choose alternative energy.

2) Research shows the Alternative Energy is the future. A commitment to alternative energy could yield a 158% growth in the US economy and total independence from non-renewable energy sources.[8]

3) Funding of alternative energy research is key to solving financial barriers to private adoption. These barriers include things like electric vehicle (EV) battery life, economy of EV charging stations, cost of solar cells and batteries.

CP2: The USFG should institute prize-on-delivery awards for lunar and asteroid mining endeavors

1) Prize-on-delivery awards are monetary compensation for companies which accomplish certain tasks, in this case the retrieval of precious metals from the moon or nearby asteroids. This mechanism is much cheaper and more reliable than low-bid contracts because:

  1. a. The government sets a fixed cost for the deliverable and is free from project expenses.

  2. b. Multiple companies can actively compete for the award, whereas a contract goes to only one company.

2) Prize-on-delivery has a history of success; the X Prize award successfully motivated 26 companies to compete to build private space craft, with a winner emerging in 2004 [6].

3) Since multiple teams compete, CP2 better stimulates development and dispersion of new technology throughout the private sector. Prize-on-delivery engages a wide talent base and mobilizes the private sector.

4) Linking prizes to space mining rather than terraforming better engages the capitalist motivation toward profit. Companies have the monetary incentive of the prize as well as the promise of a wide open mining operation for profit beyond the prize claim. The monetary award effectively acts as a combatant to the high entry cost of the lunar mining market.

5) Award Prizes are much more reasonable in cost than permanent contracts- the Google X Prize is $20 million [7].

6) The more modest cost of CP2 means it does not trigger the Spending Disadvantage. CP2 represents an expansion of economic development into space, making the rationale more accessible to the public and avoiding political blowback. The small cost and engagement of the private sector also avoid the political unpopularity of large spending.

Pro’s Case:

1) Technology

  1. a. Pro gives no explanation of what technology would emerge out of lunar colonization or why we should care about this technology in particular.

  2. b. It would be much more efficient to just fund technology research directly without growing flowers on the moon in the process. If we want new medical equipment, we should fund research in medical equipment.

  3. c. My CP1 and CP2 both promote technological development much better than the Rez.

2) Space Colonization

  1. a. Pro gives no reason why we should value space colonization other than it is “pretty awesome.” I actually think not bankrupting the USA and achieving oil independence is “pretty awesome;” I might even go so far as to call it frickin’ sweet.

  2. b. Pro gives no analysis on the likelihood or timeframe for space colonization; obviously we do not have the means to sustain ourselves as a species anywhere beside Earth. Earth is our species’ only home and we must prioritize the care of Earth above pie-in-the-sky science fiction.

  3. c. My CP2 also offers a path to space colonization.

3) Industry

  1. a. Pro offers no warrant or explanation on how the plan helps industry.

  2. b. Destroying the US economy via massive deficit spending renders any possible bump to private industry meaningless.

  3. c. My CP1 and CP2 both promote private industry growth much better than the Rez.

4) Feasibility

Multiple factors make lunar terraforming infeasible.

a) Lack of shielding from solar radiation means atmosphere is periodically stripped away [9]. My cite is about Mars, but lunar conditions are similar. [10]

b) The moon’s atmosphere is nearly non-existent; conditions are similar to those in the vacuum of space, meaning there are no molecules such as CO2 for plants to use.

c) Lunar soil is abrasive and glassy, making it physically antagonistic to possible lunar life.











Debate Round No. 2


I would have wrote an aff... but I knew Con would do it for me.

AT Disad1:

A. Terminally non-unique: no political capital now.
  1. Opp's source 4 argues republicans need major concession. Also that republicans are unlikely to compromise on energy because of the Solyndra failure. Obama has no plans to grant oil concessions.
  2. Republican fillibuster use is at an all time high. This demonstrates no political capital for Obama. [1]
  3. CPI proves that even some concession will not mollify republican leaders. [2] They are stalwart.
  4. Massive failures in bipartisan action over the last 9 months (see budget debate sources) indicate that Obama's political capital is at an all time low.
  5. Obama will not be able to pass Alt Energy plans with his current political capital.
B. Straight Turn: Republicans view Lunar Tech as an olive branch, as long as they control the funding.
  1. The resolution states that the USFG initiates a contract bid. It does not state that the USFG will fund a contract. Ultimately republicans, who hold fillibuster power, get to decide. If the price is too high, or the offer unsatisfactory, then they can refuse.
  2. Republicans want lunar tech... extend my opponents arguments stating that Bush junior, senior, and Newt Gingrich all advocated for it. He argues that Newt Gingrich was laughed at... Newt Gingrich won key space coast states in the primary because of his position! Also Romney's only position was that it would be expensive, extend the fact that republicans get to choose the price.
  3. Republicans desperately want to privatize the moon, as evidenced by the Tea Parties new pro lunar exploration platform. [3]
  4. The olive branch mollifies republicans on the energy debate. It gives them a quid-pro-quo for accepting the $2 billion budget. This indicates that I control the directionality of the DA 1 debate and that it functions as a Net Benefit to case.
AT Disad 2:
A. Non-unique: Budget Talks Will Fail SQ.
  1. Con cites the one man who's job is to paint a rosy picture for the budget talks. Too bad for him that the decision doesn't depend on the treasury secretary. John Boehner indicates no desire to compromise with Obama, frequently citing an fathomless idealogical divide. [4]
  2. Extend the CPI analysis from above. This proves no compromise will occur SQ.
  3. Budget talks have failed three times previously. In fact, with looming credit downgrades from Moody's and S&P republican leaders still failed to agree on the budget. [5] This is a massive argument propensity indicating that budget talks will fail barring some kind of major concession.
B. Straight Turn: Case Solves the Budget Talk Crisis
  1. Extend the olive branch and "republicans decide spending" analysis.
  2. Con argues that this would be uber expensive for NASA. Luckily the private industry is not NASA. Elon Musk recently stated that launching the Dragon Spaceshuttle cost only $800 million. [6] This was the first private industry launch, and indicates the massive cost saving through privatization.
  3. Notice the resolution delineates "pilot program" and not "FULL FLEDGED MOON BASE OMG!". The cost of terraforming one cubic meter of the moon is likely much less than the current trips to the ISS that SpaceX already conducts.
  4. My opponent briefly argues that the government would have to keep spending in the same way that they do for F35 fighters. Not true, government contracts can be drafted as "fixed price". [7]
  5. Case rectifies the link debate because of promotion of bipartisan politics. Stepping across the isle and giving republicans control on the Space Program is an unprecedented step for the Obama administration. This has a high propensity of pacify Boehner on the spending debate, which means that I control the direcitonality of this scenario.
AT CP 1:
A. Perm do both. The CP is not mutually exclusive and does not suggest an opportunity cost.
B. Links to DAs:
  1. CP1 supercharges the clean energy DA link level. Powering through some clean energy spending without bipartisan support makes republicans much less likely to support the $2 billion budget.
  2. CP1 externally link to the funding DA. In a world where Obama strongarms energy spending republican leaders are loathe to compromise on a budget. Passing CP1 suggests reckless partisan spending.
  3. Con tries to hedge arguments about CP1 not tripping the link level. He doesn't define spending levels for either CP1 or a brightline for the DA2. The only difference between this CP and plan is that plan allows republican leadership to choose spending or not. The counterplan mandates some spending level which is a link to the disad.
  4. CP 1 fails to turn either DA meaning they function as net benefits only to the case and the perm. Extend the solyndra argument from Con's own source. This is not an olive branch to republicans.
C. CP 1 fails to garner the advantages of Case.

AT CP 2:
A. Perm do both. The CP offers no mutual exclusivity. It is not an opportunity lost.
B. Links to DAs:
  1. CP 2 fails to rationalize the non-uniques of either disad, this indicates that both scenarios are terminally non-unique in a world of just CP 2.
  2. CP 2 fails to offer an olive branch, it mandates prize levels from the get go. Republicans are precluded from making a funding choice which is partisan in nature. This neither pacifies republicans on the budget debate nor does it allow them to choose spending levels on the alt energy debate.
  3. Furthermore CP 2 does not engage in the republican premise of moon colonization. A pilot terraforming program is an obvious step in this direction where as asteroid and lunar mining is not.
  4. CP 2 "industrial support" is captured by case as well. The private industry taking on the job indicates a Net Benefit for the private sector.
C. Non-unique x-prize is already offering a prize for lunar rover technology. Rover technology is the lynchpen for mining operations because it solves the transportation issue. Extend con's arguments about x-prize being solvent. [8]
D. The CP does not capture the try-or-die advantge on case. Meaning even in a world where CP somehow avoids the DA, it still is outweighed magnititudinally on case.

Case Advantage: Try-or-Die
A. Stephen Hawking and prevelant thinkers suggest that life on earth is vunerable to a serious extinction threat within the next 100 years. This may occur via asteroid collisions, accidental nuclear launch resulting in thermo-nuclear war, oceanic methane pockets rupturing, ocean acidfication via the carbonic cycle, and various other man-made/natural phenomena. [9]
B. Case provides the necessary first step to getting off the rock. It begins the technological innvotation necessary for creating habitats on other stellar bodies. This is an advantage over space stations because allows proximity to necessary resources.
C. Con makes arguments about no atmopshere being an impediment to implementation. Luckily terraforming is partially the process of creating an artifical atmopshere. A pilot-project would do so within a contained space where it would not be lost to vacuum.
D. Con also makes some arguments about the scary soil (c'mon you're an engineer dude...). Contained spaces solves for lunar dust as does technological innovation.
E. Ultimately this advantage outweighs all other impacts in the round. It is a try or die scenario for human and all other forms of life. Neither CP isolates this. Time-frame analysis is pretty pointless in a world where it is our only chance.

Misc Case Attacks
A. This won't bankrupt the economy since republicans have budget control and the fillibuster.

A. Even in a world where republican leaders strike down all proposals and do not fund anything the case is net beneficial. It invigorates industry to consider the problem which is still a form of progress. No case pacifies DA links.



1) Obama"s energy plan will pass- it is budget neutral by allocating federal revenue from oil and gas and it is built on Republican policy suggestions. Bipartisan support for the plan already exists, Republicans are just making noise for pro-oil concessions. Obama is expected to offer concessions on issues like Keystone pipeline to placate Republicans [1]. This just shows that the issue is at the brink, controversial spending only stands to hurt negotiations.
2) Pro"s source 3 says Tea Party favors PRIVITZATION of space and notably cites the prize-on-deliver Space X program as one the Tea Party supports. Pro is just the government contracting space development out, just like we do with military equipment. CP2 actually incentivizes private sector space engagement; Pro"s source [3] proves CP2 does not link to the tradeoff DA.
3) Republicans want to cut NASA funding and NASA funding is viewed as an issue Obama supports [3] Pro has private companies execute the job, but all funding is still provided by the USFG, making it tantamount to NASA spending:
4) Republicans want a balanced budget, any major spending will tick them off- even spending on a lunar colony [2].
5) All Pro"s olive branch arguments are bogus, he offers one piece of evidence that only says the Tea Party wants a US moon (via the private sector) in the face of massive Republican opposition to spending and NASA funding.
6) Alternative energy is crucial to preventing catastrophic impacts of global warming. Global warming is an immediate and present threat to the survival of the human race, if we don"t act now we face the destruction of earth. The extinction threats cited by Pro (e.g. asteroids) are low probability " we have plenty of time to develop technology to solve. Prioritize immediate and solvable issues like global warming and oil dependence.

1) Key Republicans like Paul Ryan think budget deal is possible, the key issue is a balanced budget. There is light at the end of the tunnel but massive long term spending will make a balanced budget impossible. [2]
2) My argument functions on two levels: the first is that major long term spending kills budget compromise, the second is that major long term deficit spending is independently undesirable given the current state of the US deficit. This second level impact is directly proportional to the amount of spending a plan requires; the more money spent the more damage done to the US deficit. Even if I lose that budget compromise will happen (which I won"t), I still win that deficit spending is undesirable.
3) Even if NASA isn"t the agent, my dollar estimate is still the most accurate- comparing the research required to develop terraforming technology, develop a way to implement it, then actually terraform the moon is a massive undertaking not at all comparable to the Dragon Spaceshuttle. Pro says he isn"t advocating a moon base, but later says terraforming could occur in an "enclosed space;" I guess he"s technically advocating a moon greenhouse? The fact is terraforming technology is science fiction at this point so no realistic cost estimate exists- such a program would be a trillion dollar decades long R&D effort.
4) Fixed price contracts have a history of failure, especially on non-standard research projects [4]. Pro"s bidding mechanism is just an incarnation of defense contract work- more inefficient government spending.

Pro Case:
1)Pro concedes he only calls for bids but doesn"t guarantee funding. This means his case has no guaranteed solvency- Republicans will shut down funding, cross apply my DA1 arguments.
2)Calling for bids does nothing to spur industry- all it does is get some companies to price out the contract. Companies will do the minimum work required to put together a competitive bid and nothing more. Pro does literally nothing to help colonization.
3)Extend that terraforming the moon faces immense technical difficulties: solar radiation means the moon atmosphere is periodically destroyed, preventing atmosphere cultivation; enclosed structures face the problem of bombardment by space debris (think of all the craters on the moon); lunar soil IS a problem as it is fine and highly abrasive- it damages equipment and finds its way into everything. These are up front technical problems that will require extensive R&D, making Pro"s plan extremely expensive.
4)Even if the plan is put out but not funded, it still triggers DA1 and DA2- extend that NASA funding is viewed as an Obama issue. The right will view it as a massive push for government spending, tanking any hope for compromise on the budget and aggravating compromise on alternative energy.
5)Cross apply [4] that fixed price contracts have a history of failure, especially on cutting edge tech projects. Even if funded, Pro will fail.

I will concede the perm- CP1 is not a reason to reject the resolution.

1)Perm fails
a.Space privatization is the true olive branch- cross apply that Tea Party wants space privatization. Only CP2 privatizes space, meaning CP2 turns both DA1 and DA2 via the olive branch mechanism explained by Pro. Pro"s case is just another government space program, linking to DA1 and DA2. The Perm links to both DA"s while CP2 alone straight turns both.
b.CP2 is factors of magnitude less expensive, meaning any risk of linking to spending DA is marginal compared to Pro. CP2 alone is best option.
c.Extend my On-case: Pro is a do nothing plan while CP2 solves case. The massive solvency deficit means CP2 alone is best option.
2)Privatization of space solves industry and tech innovation infinitely better than Pro. CP2 links development of space technology to profit motives, ensuring long term commitment to development of space; Pro relies on continued government funding for solvency. Privatization spurs innovation through competition and engaging wider base.
3)Pro concedes CP2 solvency in his point 3) by saying X Prize solves- this effectively says status quo will solve case, which means Pro is still undesirable since he links to DA 1 and DA2.
4)Extend my R2 [6] " a $10 million dollar prize cause $100 million in private investment; this demonstrates the massive potential of prize-on-delivery for spurring private industry and the magnitude of cost efficiency involved.
5)Development of asteroid mining tech solves Pro"s extinction scenario- in case of emergency just shoot Bruce Willis into space while I look after Liv Tyler.
6)Resources are a prerequisite to colonization- Mining operations ensure access to minerals, hydrogen, etc. needed to sustain colonization. Mining better solves colonization than plan.
7)Mining anchors colonization efforts to industry- economic drive for mining access will spur technology needed for space colonization. CP2 establishes momentum for private sector drive for colonization, better capturing try-or-die scenario of plan.
8)Privatization offers best path to economically viable colonization. Private efforts ensure that most feasible space colonization effort emerges through free market innovation and economic pressure. Pro forces expensive R&D down the path of lunar colonization, ignoring the possibility that alternatives might be better.
9)If I win that CP2 alone solves colonization at least as well as the Plan, then any risk of DA1 or DA2 is a compelling reason to vote Con. CP2 best spurs industry and space colonization, so there is no reason to add trillions to the deficit on a government terraforming program, nor risk angering republicans with a massive spending proposal and tank the budget talks and Obama"s alternative energy plan.

Debate Round No. 3


These are the rebuttals which mean two things. First new arguments shouldn't be considered, and second, previously dropped arugments are dropped. My opponent drops a few too many arguments to win this debate.

DA 1:
A. Uniqueness Debate
  1. Dropping CPI is a death knell to my opponent. Republican leaders blatantly stated that concessions on chained CPI would allow them to vote for the budget deal. When Obama agreed to concede chained CPI they literally retracted their position and refused to compromise. This demonstrates that republicans have no desire to compromise on the issue no matter the concession offered to them. My opponent tries to say keystone concessions will work... but he fails to interact with my concessions argument. Additionally, Obama has already struck down keystone once and my opponent's source is inaccessible. These are all indicators that republicans will not collaborate on renewables.
  2. My opponent also fails to interact with either my fillibuster or failed budget analysis. These are all indications that there is no chance of the alternative energy plan passing. Con articulates that this plan not passing means that global warming will overtake the human race and cause extinction. He also articulates that this is the most plausible and largest impact which I will concede. The dropped uniqueness means that extinction is going to happen status quo, case only has a chance of saving us.
B. Straight Turns:
  1. Con argues that plan doesn't privatize space. Yes it does, it offers money to a private company to do something in space. It is a shift from NASA (a government organization) to a company (the private industry) doing space missions. The definition of privatization is "the process of transferring a public enterprise to the private sector." Let's consider for a moment that plan and counterplan are effectively doing the same thing. They both take money from tax payer dollars and they both give them to a private organization.
  2. Con briefly says that my plan is tantamount to NASA spending. No it's not, it gives the money to a private organization to do the job. Counterplan also gives money to a private organization to complete a job. They are not functionally different on this level.
  3. If I stopped there, we could conclude that CP and Plan are equal. But my opponent drops his three examples of key republican leaders wanting moon bases. He's also drops that the tea party specifically wants a "Lunar Base" This is an indication that my plan has a much better chance of turning the DA1, since CP does not advocate lunar bases.
  4. And finally, my opponent straight loses the debate with his final arugment on this turn. Con states, "Republicans want a balanced budget, any major spending will tick them off". Which is the beauty of my case, and the reason the counterplan fails. Case allows republicans to choose the spending level, meaning it is viewed as the ultimate olive branch. Meanwhile counterplan, as written by my opponent, states that a prize will be given. This means that counterplan gives republicans absolutely no say over the number one issue that they care about.
  5. Remember voters, I only need a risk of prevening extinction to win this debate round. Plan is simply an olive branch to republicans from democrats. Instead of a concession, it gives them the ability to run a program. It doesn't pigeon hole them into spending; the counterplan does pigeon hole them. Additionally the counterplan spending is never specified which indicates that it still has a major risk of biting this DA.
DA 2:
A. Uniqueness
  1. I need very few arguments here. My opponent cites that Paul Ryan is hopeful. Too bad the person in control is John Boehner, the house majority leader. My source indicates that he won't compromise, meaning Paul Ryan's hope is vapid.
  2. My opponent briefly articulates that deficit spending is bad. I still say it happens anyways. Extend the arguments about CPI and the deficit talks failing three times. In fact, I articulate in round 3 that republicans wouldn't compromise on the deficit even when the United States was on the verge of a double credit downgrade. There is absolutely no chance that they compromise now.
  3. This means long term deficit spending is going to happen status quo and there is only a chance of turning it around.
B. Turns
  1. Con tries to argue again that terraforming is expensive. He says it would be more expensive than launching the dragon. There is no chance that this is true. The dragon was a full scale space flight to the ISS, it was not a small scale pilot program. Creating a tiny terraforming area on the lunar surface does not even necessitate human involvement. Consider for a moment that developing a fully automated robot (Curiosity) and sending it to planet 100x further away (Mars), required only 2.5 billion dollars. And now remember that this is a private company (cheaper) doing the mission much closer to earth.
  2. Regardless case rectifies the link debate by offering the republicans an open check to do with what they please. If they think it is too expensive then they can not do it. This indicates that the olive branch argumentation is true and that case turns this DA. CP2 doesn't for the same reasons as above.
  3. Finally my opponent argues that fixed price contracts have a history of failure. Maybe in general, but not in space: see SpaceX contract from NASA lololololol [1]. But also the argument doesn't interact with my turns. On a timeline the turns preceed whether or not the program succeeds because they functions based on republican perception of an olive branch.
A. Extend my opponent's #3 argument where he says, "by saying X Prize solves- this effectively says status quo will solve case." Now extend my argument where I say that X-Prize is already offering my opponents counterplan. This means that the try-or-die scenario is solved SQ and that DA1 becomes the largest/only impact in this debate round. My opponent also argues that DA1 is the most probable.
B. This also means plan and CP have no meaningful difference excepting how they interact with DA1. My opponent's arguments about industry invigoration are meaningles in a world where the prize is already being offered.
C. However, while the CP and Plan don't have impacts anymore, they are different in-so-far as they associate with DA1. Con makes a mistake by dropping my argument stating that x-prize is already solving the CP. This is an indication that republican leaders will view CP as a redudancy. Meanwhile, plan is a novel concept, which is advocated by republican leaders and the tea party.

A. I don't need any of these arugments. My opponent concedes that x-prize is already solving the try-or-die, it's not an impact in this round.

A. Why I Win.
  1. The only tangible impact in this debate round is DA1.
  2. Too many dropped arguments on DA1 uniqueness indicates that extinction will happen now. Case and CP only have a chance of solving this.
  3. First, CP2 fails to turn DA1 because it is not a lunar base. Both my opponents argument about republican leaders and my arguments about the tea party call for steps to a lunar base.
  4. Second, CP2 mandates spending, which my opponent dileneates as the #1 hot button issue for republicans. It does not give republicans the option of saying no. My opponent never specifies the cost of CP2, which means I win risk that it further alienates republicans.
  5. Third, CP2 is already implemented status quo via x-prize. This means republican leaders will view any spending on CP2 as UBER useless.
  6. For all these reasons CP2 has no risk of being the olive branch that republicans are looking for. Plan does.
  7. First, plan advocates a lunar base.
  8. Second, plan gives republicans the purse strings, they can decide if they'd like.
  9. Third, plan is not an already existant program.
  10. For all of these reasons, plan is the olive branch republicans need. It only has a risk of solving the GW extinction scenario.
  11. As a bonus, plan turns DA2!


Pro concedes that CP2 is competitive via the DA"s, so if CP2 is even marginally preferable to the Rez you should vote Con.

DA 1:

1. Pro says "no new arguments in rebuttals" then proceeds to give a brand new argument on CPI- his R3 CPI response was a one line statement with no explanation, NOT an argument; The entire CPI point should be thrown out.

2. Pro gives no explanation as to why filibusters and failure on other issues means GOP will shut down a bipartisan energy bill that is that brainchild of a GOP Alaskan Representative. The same can be said on the CPI issue- it just isn"t relevant. Prefer my analysis because it is topic specific- GOP wants Keystone concessions and Obama is preparing to make them, the energy bill is budget neutral. I am reposting my R3 evidence because it is now behind a pay wall (sorry!) [1]

3. Even if I lose Uniqueness, CP2 turns the link so DA1 is a net-benefit AND superior CP2 solvency gives a reason to vote Con if DA1 disappears.

B. Straight Turns:
1. Pro pays a company to do R&D on behalf of the government, the same way we pay Lockheed to build weapons for the military. Just like with military spending, as soon as government funds dry up, the jobs dry up; all the technology would be property of the government (i.e. the people who paid for it); theres no market force driving space exploration; etc.

2. Pro is using large amounts of government money to fund space research on behalf of the government- if it looks like NASA and it quacks like NASA, it probably isn"t a duck. Extend my evidence that Republicans want to defund NASA- the reasons they want it defunded isn"t because they don"t like the acronym, its because they don"t like the idea; Pro follows the idea of NASA.

3. PRO HAS NO EVIDENCE THAT REPUBLICANS WANT A LUNAR BASE. His initial R3 cite on this point says the following: "Tea Party in Space platform states, "Our goal is nothing less than the expansion of American civilization into the solar system." And "TEA Party in Space wants is to stop the SLS program and put it all in the hands of private enterprise." Pro"s own evidence explicitly states that the #1 concern is privatization and doesn"t support the moon being special. ONLY CP2 privatizes space, so only CP2 turns DA1.

4. CP2 isn"t major spending- extend my solvency that prize-on-delivery gets $100 million private investment for a $10 million prize; on top of this CP2 doesn"t require the creation of sci-fi terraforming technology and so will be much cheaper. The magnitudes of difference in cost means CP2 will look like a reasonable expense to mobilize a private sector takeover- remember GOP wants privatization; whereas plan is a government funded research project, CP2 is the cost of getting the government out of space.

5. Pro"s olive branch narrative makes zero sense. His premise is that offering the GOP the chance to vote against spending they don"t like will somehow foster bipartisanship- Dems let the GOP shoot down spending they don"t like ALL THE TIME. Also extend that NASA is viewed as an Obama issue so plan will look like Obama backed government spending and generate ill-will toward the president"s agenda. The true olive branch is CP2, a cheap way to privatize space.

DA 2:
A. Uniqueness
1. Pro"s source only indicates Boehner wants a balanced budget and doesn"t think Obama want one- this just shows theres work to be done. Optimism from Lew and Ryan shows both sides of the aisle still think a deal will happen.

2. Even if deficit spending happens now, every additional penny is a step in the wrong direction. Common sense says you pick the cheapest of two equivalent options.

3. Again, even if I lose Uniqueness I still turn the link via an olive branch. Worst case, no-uniqueness means DA2 is a wash while DA1 and CP2 solvency give a reason to vote Con.
B. Turns

1. Pro"s plan isn"t a small scale program. Pro calls for development of technology not even close to existing, and of a means of implementing it on the moon, then actual implementation. The dragon was a repetition of a task we"ve been doing for decades. The expensive part of the plan is the massive R&D involved. Extend also that a moon base would cost $500 bil and Pro concedes he needs an "enclosed structure."

2. Again, case is just a chance to deny spending not an olive branch. CP2 is the real olive branch.
3. Hey, let"s see what Republicans think of Space X in Pro"s R4 [1]: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Shelby said that the Obama administration's plan to elevate new contractors like SpaceX "is a plan where the taxpayer subsidizes billionaires to build rockets that NASA hopes one day will allow millionaires, and our own astronauts, to travel to space. The administration claims that if we build up this so-called commercial rocket industry, the private sector market will magically materialize." Fine, I will grant that the plan "functions based on republican perception of an olive branch." Its almost as if I paid a senator to restate my argument for me. Note: this is not a new argument, this is the first opportunity I had to respond to Pro"s evidence and it just affirms points already made.

A.I never concede X Prize solves case, just that it proves prize mechanism solvency. Nothing about X Prize incentivizes space mining, which is key to tying space development to profit motive and establishing a resource supply line for colonization. Pro gives no evidence that X Prize does any of this, because it doesn"t.

B.Pro drops all my arguments about how CP2 solves infinitely better than case. Only by tying market forces to space development do we create a long term mechanism for space colonization, spur competition and innovation, etc. The mining aspect is crucial to developing resource lines for future colonization. Plan will never receive funding, and even if it did its solvency would be contingent on continued government support.

C.CP2 solves case while Plan doesn"t- this means if you buy Pro"s argument that the energy bill won"t pass, you sure as heck better vote Con and hope that we privatize space before global warming kills us all. Either way, I am winning the DA1 link debate.

A. Try-or-die is an impact: X-prize only proves mechanism solvency, the direction of space mining is crucial to CP2 solvency.

A. Why I Win.

1.Pro concedes that CP2 solves case better than plan- this means all I have to do is show that CP2 is on balance neutral with the plan as far as DA1 and DA2 are concerned.

2.Pro concedes privatization of CP2, guaranteeing solvency to try-or-die.

3.Only CP2 solves try-or-die; it offers the only hope of colonizing space and avoiding extinction. I could concede his uniqueness on both DA1 and DA2 and win the debate on try-or-die alone.

4.CP2 is more favorable to DA1, three reasons:
a.GOP views plan same as NASA, guaranteeing plan triggers the link. Every piece of evidence on this topic proves that GOP don"t want to fund space research, with Republicans specifically citing the Dragon X program Pro models as an Obama plan they hate.
b.Even if I lose Uniqueness, privatization turns the link. Pro"s own evidence shows the right wants privatization, his own evidence shows they view Pro"s plan as more government spending. Only CP2 has access to the privatization olive branch.
c. Even if you don"t buy the CP2 link turn, Plan will always link to DA1 on spending perception.

5. Pro has no claim to olive branch- giving the GOP a chance to not fund a program does nothing for bipartisanship.

6. The plan will always link to DA1 and DA2 stronger than CP2 via spending since plan is magnitudes more expensive- this means CP2 will always be at least equal with the plan.

7. If everything else in the debate is equal- vote con because CP2 is cheaper, its just common sense. The deficit spending link on DA2 is proportional to the magnitude of spending, so CP2 will always come out ahead.

Debate Round No. 4
43 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Dilara 2 years ago
I wasn't really aware if this topic before. I agree with con because he pointed out how dangerous and harmful this action could be. I understand pro but I think the negatives witch con presented outway the positives.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
lol, wild West voting indeed. :)
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
@Yraelz: "At which point, companies that are interested will put together a proposal and submit it. After reading the proposals the USFG can decide WHETHER OR NOT TO FUND ONE OF THEM." (emphasis mine)

I understand the process. You were pretty clear about it in the debate.

Let me lay out how I'm thinking about this.

If your plan was to open the moon to public bidding, so that private companies could bid on rights to terraform the moon, then I could easily buy that Republicans would line up behind this proposal. Why? Because this is not spending, this is REVENUE GENERATION. This helps to SOLVE the budget crisis, and does nothing to exacerbate it. Furthermore, the Tea Party wants this to happen. Great. You win.

However, your proposal dealt with FURTHER SPENDING. This is about as anti-GOP as I can imagine. Raisor brought this up on multiple occasions. His plan on clean energy was also anti-GOP, but at least had strong support from Democrats. He recognized the political realities inherent in budget cuts, and how political capital works.


@Raisor: LOL, ok. I googled "debate fiat". IMHO this needed to be clear in round #1. Most people on this website, including myself, have little if any formal debating experience. I judged the merits of this proposal from my own perspective, which did not assume that this policy or anything like it was going to go through. Regardless, I would have been much more receptive to what I laid out above.
Posted by Raisor 4 years ago
Posted by Raisor 4 years ago
@Yraelz (@F-16)

Don't be sore because someone didnt like your impact calc.


google "debate fiat" and then come back to Yraelz last post directed at you.
Posted by Yraelz 4 years ago
I concede those arguments in the debate Falcon. =) Case likely has no space solvency. I concede them because there is an x-prize non-unique which says that try or die is being solved by the status quo. Which means space privatization has no impact and certainly not one on par with DA1
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
@ Yraelz, what you didn't consider was the scenario where your plan is initiated and fails. The benefits are negligible. Your contentions about technological innovation and colonization won't hold if the implementation of the plan doesn't go through. The point about industry may hold true but to a very limited extent.
Posted by Yraelz 4 years ago
I wish I could explain this in person.. it would be a lot easier. Both my plan and Raisor's counterplan automatically consider a world where they pass. This probably means that deficit spending would happen in both cases. So we consider at multiple junctures, as you suggest, what the ramifications of that deficit spending is.

The difference between my plan and Raisor's is that my plan only initiates a contract bid which costs about nothing. Raisor offers a prize, which costs something unspecified. Money can never preclude Raisor's plan from happening, in order to evaluate it we assume that deficit spending occurred to allow it to happen. Likewise, nothing can stop my plan from happening, we assume a few dollars a deficit spent in order to initiate the contract bid. The difference though is that the 'space advantage' of my plan can be stopped if no contract is accepted. Raisor does not suffer from this limitation, because his plan's 'space advantage' does not rely on solvency steps (or at least I conceded this). So he gets a space advantage which I argue is worthless. However, he spends money while I probably don't, which I argue stops a bad gridlock.
Posted by Yraelz 4 years ago
No... my plan doesn't require money lol. Initiating a contract bid might (at most) require the $15 to pay someone to post the bid.
Posted by Yraelz 4 years ago
Wait... what? Initiating a public contract bid doesn't cost money wrichcirw. In a public contract bid the United States opens a bidding process to any company and states a goal. Usually they state a few restrictions as well like, for example, "please limit your bid to 50 pages".

At which point, companies that are interested will put together a proposal and submit it. After reading the proposals the USFG can decide whether or not to fund one of them. Initiating a contract bid, in no way, requires that funding ever happens. If none of the contracts look good, or they decide that contracts would require too much expense, then nothing happens.

In other words, initiating a public contract bid only requires time and resources from the private companies. It requires very little from the United States.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Comment #21
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: see comment. Yuck.