The Instigator
94MX5
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The Contender
Madhatterdebater
Con (against)
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The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,393 times Debate No: 53824
Debate Rounds (3)
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94MX5

Pro

Background: According to altenergy.org "alternative energy sources are renewable and are thought to be "free" energy sources. These include Biomass Energy, Wind Energy, Solar Energy, Geothermal Energy, Hydroelectric Energy sources." The website goes on to state that conventional energy is seen as fossil fuels and nuclear power.

P1: At the moment, the primary source of energy around the world is fossil fuels. In fact, close to 81% of the energy consumed is from non renewable fossil fuels, that being gasoline, oil, and coal. With these figures in mind and a continuation of this trend, Physicist Martin Hoffert estimates that the World will be completely out of fossil fuels by around 2050 (http://theenergycollective.com...). To make matters worse, each year the US consumes over a quarter of the World's annual fossil fuel production, which makes up around 80% of our current energy needs (http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org... & http://www.umich.edu...). But by increasing out alternative energies this would lessen our fossil fuel consumption, extended our fuel supply and give the United States more time to transition over to a more environmentally friendly, renewable energy consumption infrastructure.

P2: Alternative energy sources would improve the quality of life in the United States in a number of ways. For instance, there are a number of health and environmental issues with our conventional energy sources, like air and water pollution, breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. But, by "replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy has been found to reduce premature mortality and lost workdays, and it reduces overall health care costs" (http://www.ucsusa.org...). In other words, alternative energies like wind, solar, and hydroelectric have all the energy benefits of fossil fuels, but without any of the health and environmental risks. Another quality of life benefit that alternative energy sources would have is that they would create jobs and stimulate the economy. For example the Union of Concerned Scientists found that by having a "25 percent renewable energy standard by 2025...would create more than three times as many jobs as producing an equivalent amount of electricity from fossil fuels"resulting in a benefit of 202,000 new jobs in 2025" and "would stimulate $263.4 billion in new capital investment for renewable energy technologies, $13.5 billion in new landowner income biomass production and/or wind land lease payments, and $11.5 billion in new property tax revenue for local communities". (http://www.ucsusa.org...). Another financial benefit would be alternative energies would not only increase United States profit, but would keep more of that profit within the country as less money would need to be spent on foreign energy sources. In short, the quality of life increases would be better health, more jobs, a healthier, stimulated economy, and more money in the pockets of hard working Americans.

Conclusion: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.
Madhatterdebater

Con

P1: Although the speaker brings about a truly interesting proposition, it simply yields to the fact that fossil-fuels fuels are "readily available" as stated here. This is perhaps the explanation of why it is consumed in the first place. To add, it also seems as though the facts do not align, since it was stated that the fossil-fuels fuels will deplete by 2050, yet the optimistic estimates indicate that coal will actually decimate in 417 years on the given link. As no one disapproves of finding alternative energy sources (in fact that is how we have electricity today) to "substantially increase" it remains in question. There are probably more priorities of concern than fixing something that is not broken.

P2: Unfortunately, when describing renewable energy, individuals always tend to visualize windmills, solar panels, or other romantic concepts of the like. Even though they are a part of renewable energy, they are not the only forms. In fact according to
ANS Nuclear Cafe: it would take 2077 (2-Megawatt Generator) to produce the same amount electric hours as 1 (1154-Megawatt Power Plant), in addition to it being varied. Obviously, scientists have already thought of this and that is why they are using them in the first place. Regarding that, nuclear power can be radioactive and thereby toxic. They are also unstable and form into compounds if unattended. Oddly, nuclear energy is probably the strongest alternative to fossil-fuels fuels, yet the most dangerous. Another fact would be the boom in American fossil-fuels-fuel industry, which reportedly has an additional 150,000 new jobs as stated by the New York Times. To remove fossil-fuels-fuels altogether would remove those jobs as well. In addition, America is about to be the biggest producer of fossil fuels by 2015 being reported by Bloomberg. It just seems as though the speaker is again trying to fix something that is not broken.

P3: Although everyone wants to live in a utopia, it literally is unpractical now. As we are achieving that goal in a sequential manner, it still is unwise to forgo the pragmatic for the hypothetical. We should look for better changes, yet we do not have to give up energy itself for that purpose. For Americans, it is in their best interest to find legal jobs that yield enough to support a family, which avoids the slippery slope of just one path. If that means using what is readily available and other alternatives, then so be it as it will better for the American people and science as well. Engineering is needed not only for smarter technology but for the defense as well, so taking a unified approach is beneficial for everything and wins the role of the ballot.

C: The United States federal government does not need to substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.

*All citations here and further are provided as hyperlinks to converse space*

Debate Round No. 1
94MX5

Pro

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Madhatterdebater

Con

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Debate Round No. 2
94MX5

Pro

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Madhatterdebater

Con

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Debate Round No. 3
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