The Instigator
dmarasconhs
Con (against)
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The Contender
AWeindelNHS
Pro (for)
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The modern world needs to eliminate the use of fossil fuels

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2013 Category: Technology
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 597 times Debate No: 39016
Debate Rounds (5)
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dmarasconhs

Con

Most energy use fits into the categories of transportation, industrial and domestic electricity. The entire infrastructure of the modern world was built on fossil fuels, and it would be extremely impractical to complete the tasks that fossil fuels are currently used for with alternative energy sources. Transportation requires fuels that can be stored on board a vehicle. For this reason, methods that allow a large amount of energy to be stored in a form that has little volume and mass per unit of energy are most practical for transportation. The property of energy density is defined by comparing the mass and volume of energy sources to determine which can fit the most energy in a small package. Gasoline and diesel are by far the most "energy dense" transportation fuels. The US Energy Information Administration reports that of the many battery types that can be used to store electricity to power electric vehicles, none are even close to being as "energy dense" as the traditional fossil fuels. Also, the amount of electricity that can be stored in batteries decreases the more they are used. Industrial tools ranging from construction equipment to power washers would all suffer a significant decrease in portability and therefore practicality if they were powered by any source other than fossil fuels. Domestic power is the most feasible of the three to utilize renewable energy, but doing so would require vast expanses of land, whether for wind power, solar power or hydroelectric.
AWeindelNHS

Pro

The world, specifically the US currently has a huge, crippling dependency on fossil fuels. The majority of oil used for energy in the states is imported from foreign countries, specifically from the Middle East. Reducing the US dependency on foreign oil will lessen the want for US intervention in foreign countries, lower energy and gas prices, and prevent major disruptions in the energy supply. If the US created and utilized alternate sources of renewable, efficient energy based out of the US, prices would not be dictated by countries with unstable governments that generally dislike the US and raise the prices based on our relations with them. If the Middle East decides to embargo the US, as has happened before in 1973, the prices of gas will be raised drastically and the economy will be worse off than it already is.

Sources: http://sks.sirs.com...
Debate Round No. 1
dmarasconhs

Con

dmarasconhs forfeited this round.
AWeindelNHS

Pro

Carbon based fuels are a limited supply of energy, there is only so much coal to be mined and oil to be drilled in the world. The production of these fuels are reaching their peak too. With energies such as solar and wind power (while are in no way perfect), that are not in limited supply, the world can slowly adjust to greener energy as we develop new ways to harness these resources. On the other hand there is nuclear power, while it is a great form of energy production, is unpredictably dangerous. It can be stable if nothing goes wrong, but in cases of human error or a natural disaster the world can be looking at another Fukushima or Chernobyl. Even if the production goes perfectly, and the radioactive metals are unable to supply enough energy, they are still dangerous and need to be disposed of in a place where there can be no contact with it for hundreds to thousands of years.

source:
Reed, Stanley. "Power Struggles." International Herald Tribune. 15 Oct 2013: p. 210. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 22 Oct 2013.
http://sks.sirs.com...
Debate Round No. 2
dmarasconhs

Con

In response to your first argument:
The US has immense stores of fossil fuels that are yet to be tapped. New technologies and methods such as hydrofracking, horizontal drilling and tar sand mining mean that we can access more domestic fuel than ever before. Rather than wasting our money chasing the pipe dream of alternative energy, we should invest in these proven methods. Increasing the amount of alternative energy will most likely cost the American tax payers more as the majority of alternative energy installations receive government funding. This funding is being wasted as the new technologies don"t provide the amount of energy that oil and natural gas provide. Investing in alternative energy is bad for the economy as these technologies don"t provide results worth the money. Many people argue that if the US invests in these technologies, it will pay off in the long run when other nations see their value. I contest this argument with the fact that these technologies are not worth it. Other nations will see that our systems aren"t operating as promised. The US Energy Information Administration has been reporting the amount of proved oil and natural gas reserves in the US since 1977. For the last five years or so, the amount of proved reserves has been growing as new technologies are developed and more research is being done. If we invest in technologies to obtain fossil fuels, we will be able to sell our tech to other nations, as well as export excess oil, both of which will be beneficial for our economy.
http://www.eia.gov...
In response to your second argument:
First of all, your argument about the finite amount of fossil fuels makes about as much sense as saying there is a finite amount of hydrogen in the sun; sure, eventually will run out, the question lies in when. Solar and wind power negatively affect the environment just as much if not more than obtaining fossil fuels. It is a fundamental law of science that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Converting sunlight and wind into electricity, especially on the massive scale needed to replace fossil fuels will disrupt many natural cycles. Not as much wind will affect a massive number of organisms. Wind regulates temperatures and composition of the air, as well as assisting many species with their migrations. It also is utilized by many plant species to spread offspring. Converting solar energy to electricity means that it won"t become heat or be reflected back into the atmosphere as it would if it hit almost any other surface. Fossil fuel energy is chemical energy derived from plants and animals that naturally gathered sunlight billions of years ago. There are no organisms that are utilizing this energy while it is in the ground, so using it will not disrupt any natural cycles. Also, you mention peak oil in your argument. This is the concept that as we near depletion of half of all of the fossil fuels available, obtaining the fuel will become increasingly difficult and prices will begin increasing, never to drop again. While a number of individuals may argue that we have already reached peak oil that is not the case; as new technologies are developed, the amount of available fuel increases (Friedman 18). Many of the fears of oil shortages are the result of scams by oil companies themselves. A number of confidential memos from major oil companies that have been leaked, outlining schemes to slow oil production and close refineries in order to increase their profits (Freidman 27). New oil sources are constantly being discovered and new methods make new types of fossil fuels available. Based on these facts, it seems that we are not anywhere near running out of oil.
Friedman, Lauri S. Oil. New Haven. Gale Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
AWeindelNHS

Pro

AWeindelNHS forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
dmarasconhs

Con

dmarasconhs forfeited this round.
AWeindelNHS

Pro

AWeindelNHS forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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