The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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The ecological crisis should be more focused on than the economic crisis.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/21/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,626 times Debate No: 39247
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)




Good luck to the opponent; serious entries only please :)

Round 1 - Acceptance and introduction of your position
Round 2 - First arguments
Round 3 - Rebuttal
Round 4 - Personal conclusion

As stated, my position is that the ecological crisis deserves more attention than the economical crisis. I will try to firmly make a case for this opinion in the second round!


Good luck to you as well, I look forward to a good debate. I am taking the con (against) side of this argument because I disagree with the statement that "The ecological crisis should be more focused on than the economic crisis." To the contrary, we should the economy going again before we focus on the ecological crisis, and in this debate I will work to prove this.
Debate Round No. 1


On the topic of not underestimating the ecological crisis in comparison with the economic crisis.

Firstly, I would like to point out the length of the ecological cris in comparison with the economic crisis. The existence of the ecological crisis is, ofcourse, commonly known. The latter applies to the economic crisis as well. Though, there is a significant difference in first noticeable negative change. The economic crisis started in the autumn of 2008 with the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers. The ecological crisis however is noticed much earlier. Being first of all initiated by the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, the rise of Co2 in the atmosphere started rising, without stopping.

The percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 0.028 in 1700 to 0.035 in 1990.
(Note 1)

In the following graph, the correlation between the rise in Co2 density and temperature rise can clearly be seen. This correlation is one of the fundamental dangers of the global warming. As recently pointed out by the IPCC (Note 3), the International Panel on Climate Change, this temperature rise is irreversibly caused by the human kind:

'Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system. '
(Note 4).

(Note 2)

To conclude, the ecological and economic crisis are evenly proven. Though, the ecological crisis is a much longer lingering problem, and should thus deserve more attention, concerning the more advanced stage the problem is in.

Secondly, I'll mention the characteristics of the effects of both crises. When taking a look at the history, economic crises are common. Observe that the economic crises were always contested and overcome. This could be explained by the general incentive to develop a more sustainable economy. A period of welfare often follows upon an economic crisis, and vice versa. The traits of these cycle always differ, but are there.

(Note 5)

Notice that climate change is irreversible as stated in the IPCC document:

'Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts 
of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has
risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased. '
(Note 4)

This difference in the effects of the ecological and an economic crisis should be thoroughly considered when debating about this topic.

Lastly, I would like to direct Con's attention to the following graph, where global economic growth of the past 2000 years. When you compare this graph with the former graphs, there is an obvious relation. The rise in economic welfare matches the trend in the earlier graphs. This indicates that the world financially corresponds with it's climate change. This correspondence can be explained by the general increase in world population, a result of the economic development, or for example by the rise in frequency of economic activity. Acknowledging that the ecological crisis is a forthcoming effect of the economical situation, one should always take the ecological status in mind when evaluating future development of the local or world economy. This implies that the ecological crisis should be considered when talking about the economic crisis. When combined with my first and second argument, my point that the ecological crisis should be higher prioritised than the economic crisis is logical.

The graph can be expanded into a simple line chart which shows the stupendous growth of the United States, Western Europe and Japan since 1800
(Note 6)








Here are my arguments for why I disagree with the statement that the ecological crisis, e.g. climate change, should be focused on more than the economic crisis.

First however, I would like to assert a few things. I do not disagree with the theory of global warming and I do not oppose taking actions. I am arguing that the economic crisis should take priority. Also, I will not be giving suggestions on how to address the economic crisis. For instance, stimulus bills, tax cuts, printing money, or any other actions a government may take to address an economic crisis. I will simply make the case that something along these lines should be done to address the economic crisis first. Lastly, while our economy is not necessarily good, the economic crisis is technically over so I will present my argument as being what should have been done in 2008 after the most recent economic crisis but as if that time was now.

With that being said, my first point is that the timing of the economic crisis is very short in comparison to the longer ecological crisis. There is much more time to fix the ecological crisis and it takes longer to address while an economic recovery can be done very quickly. That is why it is possible to solve both problems but to do this, the economic crisis must be addressed first. By using the methods I stated earlier, a speedy recovery can be made which will alleviate the pain of the economic crisis, and by doing so, it will open the door for a more meaningful approach to address climate change.

Using the following links, you will see that at the time of the economic crisis, government revenues dropped about as quickly as it's spending increased. Note how the revenue and spending changed around the time of the GDP changing.

The significance of this is simple. The faster we fix the economic crisis, the faster revenue rises and spending goes down. With deficits down, there will be a greater willingness to spend additional funds on clean infrastructure, alternative energy, and investments in green technology research and development. This will be an even more efficient method of confronting climate change than in a slow recovery where the willingness to allocate additional funds to new green programs will not be present. A speedy recovery will quickly bring about this willingness and make a larger ecological impact in the long run.

At the same time, as this article shows:

The economic costs of environmental regulations are significant, and for these to be put in place during an economic crisis would only exacerbate the problem. The positive impacts of these regulations are undeniable, but these should be implemented in a strong economy that is able to bear the burden of these regulations without jeapardizing our economy or economic recovery. That is why we should solve the economic problem first, because we can then move on to regulating the environment without causing a significant economic impact in a weak economy.

With these things being said, I will conclude by stating that while it is important to address the ecological crisis, it would be more prudent to solve the economic crisis first, before moving on to the ecological crisis. There is a huge amount of time before the full effects of climate change are upon us, while the economic crisis is here now. It should take priority.
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank my opponent for his arguments and his first statement, which was really spot-on.

Though, while reading his first argument, I couldn't agree with it. Con's statement that a economic crisis can be solved quicker than an ecological crisis is ofcourse valid. However, his solution for the economic crisis is unclear. I acknowledge that this debates isn't about the details of solving any of these two crises, but my point is this: as Con stated, many measures can be applied to possibly solve the economic crisis. While every economic crisis has different causes and effects, one can not rely on proposed solutions, hence the massive debates about the solutions for the economic crisis. And this is exactly the problem: for the economic crisis, one is not sure about the solutions; for the ecological crisis, solutions are reayd to be put in use. The point is that the governments need to adopt them. That being a side issue, if the governments put the economic crisis in front of the ecological crisis because it is possibly quicker to solve, this will only worsen the ecological crisis. The uncertainty is key for the economic crisis in contrary to the ecological crisis.

Furthermore, on the topic of Con's second argument. I would like to notice Con on the fact that his second argument depends on his first argument: íf we fix the economic crisis, the measures mentioned in his second argument can used. This is, again, based on uncertainty. Directing to this article:

The article states that the most useful thing one can do in times of uncertainty, is to be informed. That being said, the main area of the uncertainty in the economic crisis is the one of the customer. I believe that the economic crisis shouldn't be approached from a governments point of view, but from a customers. From this, one can conclude that the customers in fact are in the end the one to recreate or solve the economic crisis, whether or not supported by the government. To conclude, the uncertainty this argument is based on makes the argument almost invalid. For solving the uncertainty, this should not be by government spending or saving, but, as mentioned, but by stimulating the people/customers.

Lastly, I would like to note that currently, enough ecologically safe options are available that are economically viable. Hydrogen engines in use for example do match their costs. The same goes for solar panels, as mentioned in the following article:

The point is that as the technology improves, the viability to implement this in the current economic situation grows. This implies that solving the ecological crisis while being in a period of low economic activity is not only possible, but also economically interesting.

Concluding, I believe that the arguments I put show that the ecological crisis is in fact the wiser option to choose when talking about priority. It is not only more urging to solve the ecological crisis in comparison with the economic crisis, but again, also economically doable. I hope Con agrees, and if not, I'm eager to see why in round #4.


I made clear that my reason for not providing a suggested solution for the economic crisis is that that is another debate because there are so many options. However, it appears as if Pro would claim that my argument is invalid due to my not providing suggestions so I will elaborate more. There are numerous things the government and federal reserve can do to combat the effects of an economic crisis. First, a stimulus package of sorts that invests in infrastructure, education, AND some of the more minor environmental projects that can be put in place would make a positive impact on both crises while keeping the focus on the economic crisis. Second, governments can cut taxes in addition to stimulus in order to increase consumer spending. The Federal Reserve can do several things too. By keeping long term interest rates low, buying bonds in the process called quantitive easing, and lending to banks, the Fed can stimulate the credit market and get the economy going.

These solutions have all been tried and have all shown some success. While there is debate over which of these to use, there are plenty of options that can be taken to promote growth. As for Pro's suggestion that growth must come by stimulating consumers. This is true of course, however, pro forgot to mention that all of the stimulus suggestions I made are designed to pump more money into the economy and into the wallets of consumers. Therefore, this argument is invalid.

Pro stated that the reason that my arguments are invalid is that they are based on uncertainty. This is not true. My arguments are based on the truth that there are steps that can be taken to stimulate growth. Even in the slowest recovery, the economy would still recover before the ecological crisis is upon us, and so my argument is not invalid or based on uncertainty. There is uncertainty in a recovery, but this uncertainty is based on how fast the economy will recover, not whether or not it will. The uncertainty is also mainly based on which recovery strategy is best, not based on if a specific strategy will help.

Whether a recovery is fast or slow, it will still be complete far before the ecological crisis is upon us. Because of this, I am baffled by pros suggestion that we should ignore the crisis that is already on us and instead focus on one that will not be fully felt for another half century or more. Yes, there are economically viable options that can and should be taken during a recovery, but these will not solve the entire problem. In order to fully solve the ecological crisis, there are many things that will have to be done including several things that would hinder a recovery. By solving the economic crisis using the methods I proposed, minor steps could be taken to fix the ecological crisis first, then when the economy is better, major actions must be taken to reverse the effects of climate change. This strategy allows us to fix both problems in a timely manner.

It is not a smart strategy to solve a distant ecological crisis instead of an economic crisis that is already here. The quickest and best method would solve both and it would involve addressing the economic issue first, and then the ecological issue second. This strategy solves both problems and it is clearly the most efficient strategy that could be taken.
Debate Round No. 3


I would like to thank my opponent for his arguments. While going through his response, it seemed that some of his views were based on misapprehensions, which I would like to correct.

First of all, Con suggests I disagree with his first argument because of him not elaborating enough on suggestions for solutions. I would like to repeat my last sentence from my first argument in Round #3: 'The uncertainty is key for the economic crisis in contrary to the ecological crisis.' By this, I meant that one can not be certain of effects of certain measures Con mentioned on the current economic crisis. That's the difference with applying measures for solving the ecological crisis: their outcome is certain in this current situation.

Secondly, Con states that my argument of his argument being invalid because of uncertainty does not work out. In my second argument of Round #3, I believe I stressed enough that Cons second argument was based on the uncertain scenario of the economic crisis being solved, meaning his second argument is based on a presumption. I believe that the content of arguments should not be meant to be applied in a future moment, but in the present. The future is insecure, the present is not.

Lastly, on his response to my first arguments. I'm of the opinion that Con responded insufficiently, taking my three arguments as a whole, and not responding directly to either of them.
Con states that the cological crisis is not yet upon us; I think I proved the opposite with, for example, the graphs and citations taken from Note 1, 2 and 4 in my arguments from Round #2. Furthermore, Con stated that my approach was to ignore the economic crisis. I think that I made clear in for example my last sentence, that I meant not to exclude the attention for one crisis from the other, but to prioritise the attention.

I hope that Con can agree with me on the above. From my point of view, Con had not, in Round #3, adequately disproved my arguments from Round #2. For that reason, I suppose the outcome of the debate is for now, evident. As proposed, the ecological crisis should be prioritised above the economic crisis. I would like to thank my opponent for his debate so far. I await his entry for Round #4, and look forward to the Voting Period.


First, I agree that there is some uncertainty in which methods will be effective, however, it is certain that the economy will eventually recover. It may be fast or slow but it will happen and so I disagree with Pro saying that when there is uncertainty in something then you should not do it.

Next, Pro suggests that I said that the ecological crisis is not here yet. That is not true, I said that the full effects of the ecological crisis are not yet here. Also, the reason I did not rebut Pro's first arguments was because they were not false. I clearly stated that I do not disagree that Climate change is coming and those arguments were proving that it was. Why would I rebut a statement that I agree with?

Finally, Pro never rebutted my argument that it is unwise to solve a problem that is already here as opposed to one that will not be fully felt for another half century or so. Millions of people are directly affected right now by the economic crisis and if we work to fix this problem now, we will be able to effectively combat the ecological crisis once the current suffering has been alleviated.

Throughout this debate, I have consistently proven why it is not a good idea to focus on the ecological crisis over the economic crisis and I hope that voters see this. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Stijn 3 years ago
Don't worry, I noticed, I'll take a good look at it.
Posted by ChuckieH 3 years ago
I would just like to point out that while my post may be far shorter than your the content size is very similar. I do not have the capacity to copy and paste graphs onto the debate page so I instead used links. If you add this in plus a few quotes that I could have highlighted but I chose to simply have links to, our posts would be very similar sizes. I just wanted to point that out so that it does not appear as if I am putting in far less effort.
Posted by Stijn 3 years ago
If anything is unclear about my round, don't hesitate to ask!

By the way, by rebuttal in Round #3, I imply countering the arguments mentioned in Round #2. Could have been a bit unclear.
Posted by ChuckieH 3 years ago
Not a big deal at all.
Posted by Stijn 3 years ago
Thanks, same to you! Just for your information, I'll probably submit my first round quite 'late', since I got a busy day tomorrow.
Posted by ChuckieH 3 years ago
Alright. Thanks. Good luck!
Posted by Stijn 3 years ago
Yes, and the ongoing causes for it.
Posted by ChuckieH 3 years ago
By ecological crisis do you mean global warming?
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