The Instigator
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
xxx200
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points

What is the biggest threat to humanity right now?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,560 times Debate No: 18656
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (3)

 

imabench

Con

There are many many things in this world that threaten the existence of mankind. They range from a super deadly flu virus to a catastrophic meteor strike, but of ALL the threats that exist which one do you feel is currently the biggest threat to mankind?

Let me say right now that the threat you choose is the threat that you believe has the greatest and likeliest chances of destroying ALL of mankind, where after the catastrophe ends there will be no more humans left....

He or she who accepts the debate will state what they believe is the biggest threat in round 1 and will be allowed to begin to defend their case....

I will be arguing why your threat may not be the biggest threat to mankind....

5 rounds, max character amount, go crazy :)
xxx200

Pro

to me, the biggest threat to mankind is global warming. if it is not checked it could certainly kill all mankind in future.

many changes in our atmosphere and environment is noticed due to global warming. such changes are harmfull. for example, melting of ice caps in polar area. this ice caps, if melted, can cause flood so great, that it can destroy city after cities. you can see the movie, an inconvinient truth to find out more harm of it.

Debate Round No. 1
imabench

Con

Global warming is indeed a big problem and a threat, but if all the ice in bot ice caps melted, ocean sea levels would rise just over 200 feet. That would be catastrophic to low lying areas, including my home state of Florida, but such an event surely would not destroy all of mankind. If Sea levels rose more than 200 feet it would certainly be catatstrophic to any nation that has an extensive border with any ocean. But such an event would not be the end of mankind as we know it. The midwest and rocky mountains of the US and Canada would be unharmed in a massive flood, as would most of Central Asia, central Africa, most of South America, and mainland Europe. A great majority of people do live within 50 or so miles of the ocean (including me and just about everyone i know) however a 200 foot rise in sea levels would surely not lead to the destruction of all mankind.

http://www.usatoday.com...
^
how much sea levels would rise of all the ice caps melted...
xxx200

Pro

the global warming has many impacts amongst which sea level rise is one. considering only one impact would be unwise to judge the nature of global warming.

here are impacts of global warming listed below:

physical impacts: sea level rise, changes in climate extreame (hot and cold days),decline in arctic sea ice extent, glacier retreat

social impacts: malnutrition, infectous disease,migration & conflict,decrease in food production etc.


besides the above effects, there are many negetive impacts of global warming.
source:http://en.wikipedia.org...

so my opponent did not assess the impact of global warming correctly. entire human race may be eliminated by such global warming alone.

thats why i think it is the biggest threat to humanity.


Debate Round No. 2
imabench

Con

The Con only listed one side effect of global warming in his introduction, i responded to the example he gave i cannot offer a rebuttal for every example that he did not mention. Do not assume i am stating that sea level rises would be the only effect of global warming i was only responding to your introduction because last time i checked thats how a debate works....

As for the other side effects of global warming, one of them you (kind of) listed would be extreme changes in climate. Climate by definition is the average, or typical, weather conditions observed over a long period of time for a given area.
http://www.weatherquestions.com...
Since climate is defined as weather conditions over a long period of time, I would believe that climate change itself would not occur in a few days or weeks, it would be a very gradual process that mankind could take measures to prepare for and limit the damage that such change would bring about. People could still be killed but with enough early warning many many more could be saved.

Decline in arctic sea ice would not actually raise sea levels. If the ice is already at sea and it melts that would not raise sea levels, glaciers that are on land that melt on the other hand would raise sea levels. However that too is a gradual process that does not happen in a matter of days so once again with enough warning mankind could again take measures to limit the potential harm that slowly raising sea levels could cause...

The Social impacts you listed include malnutrition, I fail to see how malnutrition is even linked to global warming. If it is linked though consider that people around the world are already suffering from malnutrition. The world produces enough food to feed the world, the reason why some people are suffering from malnutrition is because we simply cannot get food needed to areas that cannot grow or purchase food themselves.
http://www.worldhunger.org...
global warming may theoretically increase malnutrition, but that would only occur in areas and countries that already suffer fro malnutrition, but the nations that produce an overabundance of food, one of which would be the U.S. would not be affected by malnutrition. This would mean that malnutrition would not be a threat to the elimination of all of mankind.

Another condition you list is infectious disease. I can understand how warmer and wetter climates could lead to new strains of diseases, however every year a new flu virus mutates and infects people in the world, and every year scientists study the disease and manage to successfully create a vaccine for the flu. Any new strand of virus, bacteria, or parasite that evolves from global warming could easily be contained given enough time by scientists to develop a cure. Unless such a disease was ultra lethal and ultra contagious then mankind should be able to survive the disease and in enough time produce a vaccine or cure that could then save millions of others.

You also listed migration and conflict as one of the causes that could lead to the destruction of mankind. If people migrate from one area to another it would again be a gradual process, unless it were due to a sudden natural disaster. Such natural disasters that cause large migrations would only affect one particular part of one or more countries, it would not affect the whole world at the same time. Such mass migrations would only cause conflict if the migrations put a massive strain on one or more already poverty stricken nation, most likely those in central Africa, southeast Asia, central America, or in areas of the Indian subcontinent where there are already a massive amount of people with few resources they have access to. Migrations and conflicts would again cause millions of deaths in parts of the world, but it surely wouldn't affect the whole world which then would certainly not cause an end to all mankind.

Lastly you listed decrease in food production. Global warming could, if severe enough, cause fertile land to become infertile or more likely, less fertile, but again this is a condition that would only affect certain types of the world. Only farmland that lies near the equator would be damaged by global warming, and again this is a condition that would not occur all at once, instead this process would take years to take effect and mankind could concentrate on utilizing other land for food production.

On the other hand an increase in temperatures may actually open up NEW areas that could be used for farmland. If over time areas such as Canada, Russia, northern lying nations such as Norway and Sweden may actually be able to utilize new land for food production that before were not fertile enough to be used for food production. Canada and Russia, the two largest nations in the world, suffer from cold temperatures but global warming could over time benefit these nations because new farmland could be created with gradual temperature increases.

Unless the Con is hiding other side effects of global warming that he did not care to list then I would believe that global warming would not cause the extinction of mankind because the side effects of global warming affect most, but not all people, and because this is a gradual process that mankind in some cases could prepare for and survive...
xxx200

Pro

xxx200 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
imabench

Con

Ill just use this round to summarize my entire previous argument...

Global warming is not the biggest threat to the existence of mankind because the many effects of global warming would only have a dire impact on parts of the world, not the whole world. The effects of global warming would also be a gradual process and transformation, so mankind in some instances could prepare for such changes and save millions of people
xxx200

Pro

my opponent has 3 arguments:

1] the many effects of global warming would only have a dire impact on parts of the world,not the whole world.

2] The effects of global warming would also be a gradual process and transformation.

3] mankind in some instances could prepare for such changes and save millions of people.

i have read carefully the previous arguments of my opponents but i fail to see the source of his knowledge. from which source my opponent comes to know that global warming is a gradual process and mankind will be able to prepare for global warming.

also how come my opponent can predict that in future global warming will remain a gradual process and not speed up.

on infectous disease my opponent told that scientist will find a cure for all disease. how can he predict that in future there will be no such disease which is incurable ?

pls show evidence for argument number 2 and 3.
if in future there is an incurable disease because of global warming, the entire mankind will be wiped out.
Debate Round No. 4
imabench

Con

These are the consequences of global warming,

1) Sea Level rise, http://en.wikipedia.org..., sea levels have risen only 25 cm over the past 120 years, 25 cm is about the size of this woooooooooooooooord. Seeing as how it took 120 years for sea levels to arise just 25 cm, it would take many hundreds of more years for sea levels to rise to their catastrophic heights of 270+ FEET

2)Extreme climate change, http://www.cotf.edu..., climate change is a gradual process. It took 120+ years for the temperature of the world to rise 1 degree Fahrenheit in temperature, this illustrates how climate change would take years and years before any drastic effects of it could be felt.

3) Melting of glaciers, http://www.nichols.edu..., near the bottom of this article it shows how glaciers have uniformly been retreating about 1.8 meters every year as of 2001. In 1950 glacial retreat was about .7 meters every year. Glaciers are huge masses of ice that stretch for miles and miles, so even a 1 meter acceleration of glacial loss per year means it would still take quite sometime for glaciers to melt completely.

4) Malnutrition, http://www.who.int..., only a problem in developing countries such as central Africa, southeast Asia, etc. This is not an issue that would devastate the world it would only cause chaos in these developing countries.

5) Infectious diseases, http://www.cbsnews.com..., the problem with global warming and disease isn't that it would create more powerful diseases, it would just increase the range that these diseases can spread to. Such diseases would include malaria, yellow fever, etc. which scientists have already developed cures and vaccines to prevent against. Should global warming increase the range of these diseases world health organizations could simply coordinate which people are at risk for such diseases. Since I established that temperature rise would take quite sometime then such organizations would have plenty of time to analyze who is at risk and prepare for any outbreaks.

Diseases are not all powerful and all lethal that the Pro is trying to believe exists. The deadliest diseases in our history (smallpox, polio, spanish flu, bubonic plague, swine flu, bird flu, measles, chicken pox, etc.) All could have destroyed mankind but they all had vaccinations or cures that saved millions, perhaps billions. In fact I would like to note how such vaccinations have actually wiped out smallpox from the natural environment. If Pro doesnt believe that either, here you go, http://en.wikipedia.org...

6) Decrease in food production, http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com..., http://en.wikipedia.org..., Global warming has accounted for $5 billion in loss of crops over a period of 20 years. The total amount of all food sold in all the world markets is about $3 TRILLION or roughly $3000 Billion, decrease in food production from global warming would only cause havoc in countries with dangerously low food production ability, primarily African nations. Again temperature increases take time so such effects would take years to damage agricultural production, it would not happen overnight or in a matter of days.

"Mankind in some instances could prepare for such changes and save millions of people" How do I know that we could prepare for such changes? WE ALREADY HAVE

1) City of London protecting low lying London from sea rise, http://en.wikipedia.org...

2) Netherlands fighting sea level rises, http://en.wikipedia.org...

3) Techniques to sustain food production, http://en.wikipedia.org...

4) Vaccines for diseases that are not yet widespread, http://www.cdc.gov...

5) People may carry natural immunities to diseases, http://www.bacteriamuseum.org...

6) No disease has a 100% mortality rate, the black plague alone ranged from 30% to 75%, http://www.bacteriamuseum.org...
Here are the mortality rates of several notorious diseases
SARS = 15%, http://articles.cnn.com...
Smallpox = 30%, http://www.who.int...
Spanish Flu = 2.5%, http://caps.fool.com...

7) Laws to prevent against emissions that contribute to global warming, http://en.wikipedia.org...,
http://www.epa.gov...,
http://www.epa.gov...,
http://cfpub.epa.gov...,
http://www.epa.gov...,
http://en.wikipedia.org...,
http://www.epa.gov...
http://www.epa.gov...
http://www.epa.gov...

Here's the best part, those huge numbers of examples are from the US alone......

For those of you who are only reading this final statement rather than the whole argument (Dont worry I do that all the time) Let me summarize this debate.... I feel that global warming is not the greatest threat to the existence of mankind for the following reasons

1) The effects of global warming take many years to take effect
2) The effects of global warming do not affect the entire world, certain effects only affect specific regions
3) Mankind will have time to prepare for the gradual effects of global warming
4) Mankind has already begun to prepare for the effects of global warming and has created agencies and laws to fight back the emissions of gases that accelerate global warming.
xxx200

Pro

my opponent gave evidence or source for his arguement that:

1] global warming is a gradual process

2] global warming affects only parts of the world.

3] man can prepare for global warming

fine, but does he consider the time period of his arguement.

his arguement is based on PAST RESULT and PRESENT CONDITION but not FUTURE OUTCOME.

nobody including scientist can predict the future form of global warming or what it will become in future? better or worse?

wheather man can fight global worming or not in future, nobody knows. if man fails to protect themselves, the entire mankind will be no more.

so, still global worming remains a great threat to mankind.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 2 years ago
Mr.Infidel
imabenchxxx200Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter vote bomb. Forfeit is not good.
Vote Placed by Willoweed 2 years ago
Willoweed
imabenchxxx200Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons arguments were based on misunderstandings of climate change and the effects; he aloused a lot fo irrelevant poitns and logicla fallacies
Vote Placed by Mikeee 2 years ago
Mikeee
imabenchxxx200Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: imabench was able to make a good argument with reliable information, while pro provided none. Pro also lose conduct for forfeiting in round 3