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

We should invest in alternative sources of energy

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,909 times Debate No: 6264
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)




Along with the current economic situation, we are now facing a problem that is detrimental towards the environment and will eventually lead to mass pollution and as a result, poor air quality and drinking water quality.


I thank my opponent for the opportunity to debate on this issue.

As CON, I will try to prove that an alternative energy source is something that is either a loss or a draw for the United States. In order for PRO to win, judges, my opponent must prove to you that an alternative energy will pull us out of the economic crisis and will be beneficial to our environment.

I am deciding to allow my opponent the opportunity to bring some forms of alternative energy to the table. It's not practical for me to organize arguments against alternative energies, only to have PRO state that my argued forms of energy aren't the ones we, as a nation, should pursue.

So then, PRO, which form(s) of alternative energy would you like to see implemented in today's society and why?

I look forward to an interesting debate and wish you luck as well
Debate Round No. 1


There are many alternative sources of energy available, and I believe that those that are both renewable and non-toxic would help the environment best. Such sources are solar energy, hydropower, and wind energy. Alone, these kinds of power have seemed to be less-than-needed by the large population, but when put together could have a tremendous positive effect on the economy and the overall homeostasis of Earth.

Solar energy is energy gathered from the wavelengths of light produced from the sun, which can be captured with solar panels that contain light-capturing cells. Instead of wasting some of this energy powering huge electrical appliances, it could be kept in it's primitive form to heat houses, water, and small hand-held devices such as calculators, watches, etc. It can also be converted into electricity through various machines. If the United States were to further invest in Solar Power, the citizens themselves would be able to spend less money on house electricity and thus result in more money to the Federal Government, which could be used for multiple things to better our situation with other countries, such as China, to which we owe enormous debt, and as the National Debt decreases, the value of American currency will increase and we will slowly but surely achieve a better political and economic condition.

Hydropower and Wind energy are could be used to move rotors or wheels, and the resulting movement would create electricity. These, if used correctly, would greatly decrease the amount of money we use to buy foreign oils and the National Debt would decrease further and the previous results would occur in a quicker time.

I thank my opponent for accepting this challenge and wish them luck in the following rounds. :)


I thank my opponent for specifying which alternative energies should be used. As I understand it, my opponent proposes to use a combination of:

1) Solar
2) Wind and
3) Hydropower

in order to stabilize Earth and the United States economy.

I would like to spend the bulk of this speech focusing on the effects the aforementioned alternative energies have on the economy.

First, I'll start with solar:

1) Silicon prices are skyrocketing [1] (This cost will undoubtedly be passed on to the consumer)
2) Solar costs 25 cents a kilowatt hour [2] {ctrl f "25 cents"}
3) Coal costs 1.75 cents a kilowatt hour [3] {ctrl f "1.75"}

I apologize for the lengthy articles, but they do contain relevant information considering price. I take a break here to crystalize the above information. Currently, solar costs 25 cents per kWh vs coal at 1.75 cents. When you do the math, solar is roughly 14x more expensive than coal. What this means for consumers is that if we use solar, energy bills will increase fourteen fold! When you apply this across the entire nation, our economy simply can't handle it. It means America would be paying fourteen times more every single year.

Solar also has some negative effects as it is, but I won't go into that unless my opponent would like me to. This debate has a focus on the economy and so that is what I'm debating.

When we look at wind energy, we find that

1) To use wind energy, we'd have to increase fossil fuel use. To create enough wind energy, that's 25x current world peak production [4] {ctrl+f "100"}
2) Wind turbines can't power the U.S, they have to be supplemented [5] {ctrl+f "anywhere"}
3) Resource shortages are driving up the cost. [6] {ctrl+f "shortage"} This cost will be passed on to consumers.
Analytically, this shortage also means that wind energy can't be used as expansively as it would need to be, not to mention it can't power the U.S. anyway.
4) Wind costs 7 cents a kWh [7] Wind is 4 times more expensive than coal... energy bills are still increasing, exactly the opposite of what America needs right now.

Again, I apologize for the long articles. Feel free to read them if you want to, but searching for the words/numbers in quotes will get you the information I'd like you to pull out of it. Wind, as shown above, can't help the U.S. Not only is it more expensive, but it's getting more expensive as the disparity of resources grows greater.

The last form, hydropower, has several sub-sects. Two general sub-sects are hydroelectric (primarily though dams) and hydrokinetics (primarily without dams) Both are refuted below, and I'd like my opponent to specify which form was intended for debate, if there was a conscience decision between the two.

Starting with hydroelectric:

1) Dams require a huge amount of capital. [8] Definitely not what our economy needs right now
2) Hydroelectric is incredibly inefficient [9]

Hydroelectric would require enormous amounts of money to get a project up and running, and would then be more expensive because the energy output is unacceptably low, meaning it takes more land, and therefore more money, to get the same amount of power.

And then moving to hydrokinetics:

1) Ocean pressure creates a challenge. [10]
2) Ocean power won't be significant for decades. [11] {ctrl+f "contribution"}
3) Wave energy is too intermittent [12]

All of this means that hydrokinetic energy is years away because of technological difficulties, and monetary setbacks, and even if it does enter mainstream society, it's too unpredictable to even get a feel for how much energy will be produced.

When you look at the three sources of energy my opponent wishes to see in society, they are all expensive: initially, in use, or both. With the amount of damage our suffering economy has right now, we can't afford this. The money to do this would have to be borrowed, which only adds to the national debt [13] because we have to pay it back PLUS interest. Not a good deal for anyone to say the least.

I'd like to thank my opponent once again, as well at the readers and judges. I'm sorry for the long post, but there was a lot of information that needed to be presented on these energies. I tried to make things as easy as possible, but with 13 sources, that can be rather difficult. I also apologize if you go on overload from reading this and the sources; I know I have a headache just from typing it.

I look forward to the response from my opponent...

Debate Round No. 2


closeurfacehole forfeited this round.


With no arguments to combat, I guess I'll use this speech to basically recap all of my arguments and explaining why I feel I have won this round. I'd like to pull all my arguments through to the last round...

For a summation of my arguments:

On solar
* Silicon (the material used in solar panels) is becoming expensive. This is because the supply is dwindling. When we take this into consideration, we won't be able to make enough solar panels unless we find several more deposits of silicon. I'd also like to bring up that silicon is a main component in many computer chips, forcing any technology (computers, cell phones, video game systems, etc.) to increase in price as well.
* Coal is really cheap. Plus, the U.S. has lots of coal deposits; we're actually a leading exporter of coal. Using coal provides no further harm to the economy, as it's status quo.
* Solar is excessively expensive. In fact, it's 14 times more expensive, meaning our electricity bills would increase 14 fold... an unreasonable shift in our economy.

On wind
* Would need more fossil fuel usage. Something has to make turbines and transport them. And those would be factories that use coal/oil and trucks that run on diesel. We're not making the environment any better by using wind
* Wind needs to be supplemented with other forms of energy.
* Resource shortages are driving up the cost, and no company is gonna foot that bill; it will fall upon consumers' shoulders.
* Wind is 4 times more expensive than coal, so it also drives up the cost of electricity.

On hydro (I'm going to group them together this time, my opponent can do the same)
* Dams require a large amount of money to build, something that's lacking in the current system
* Hydro power is inefficient
* The oceans massive pressure creates a problem
* Won't make a dent in U.S. consumption for decades
* Too intermittent

And that pretty much covers my last speech.

I've referenced it a couple times, and my opponent did in the first speech, "it" being the environment. Should my opponent like to say that the extra cost is worth fixing our environment (despite the fact it's not. Our economy is experiencing overwhelming losses in every sector), I'll respond with the fact that the three forms of energy my opponent brought up all replace coal. Nothing on that list replaces oil. Coal only makes up 25 percent of our energy demands [1] {second slide} My opponent's proposed energy forms don't account for 55% of the fossil fuels!

The above arguments (from this speech and the last) prove that:
1) Using my opponent's proposed energies will not fix the environment and
2) Using my opponent's proposed energies will not fix the economy.

For those reasons, I strongly urge a CON ballot.

I'd like to thank my opponent for starting the debate, the readers for taking time to read this, and the voters for reading and taking interest enough to voice their opinions.

I'd like to ask the judges to judge only on the merits of the debate and not to bring personal opinions into the matter. Also, when judging, if you would like to leave comments as to why you voted the way you did, they'd be greatly appreciated.

Good luck to my opponent, and I await the response...

Debate Round No. 3


closeurfacehole forfeited this round.


After two dropped rounds, I have nothing further to add...

I feel as if I should apologize to the readers and voters, since my opponent isn't going to do it. I, personally, wish my opponent wouldn't have started this debate and walked away... I'd have loved to see the clash!

All I ask is you vote CON. All my arguments still stand, and I believe all my points are stronger than those presented by my opponent. Finally, I'd like to ask that you vote on the merits of the debate, and not whether you think we should have an alternative form of energy or not.

Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dvhoose 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07