The Instigator
bestdebater
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheDiabolicDebater
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

World Environment issues should be the priority

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
TheDiabolicDebater
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/22/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,142 times Debate No: 22261
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

bestdebater

Pro

Hi, thanks for accepting this debate.
I would like to make the rounds do the following:
first round acceptance
second round argument/and rebuttal in your case
third round summary and why you should win
TheDiabolicDebater

Con

I accept. It will be my burden to prove that there is at least one issue that should be a higher priority than the world's environment.
Debate Round No. 1
bestdebater

Pro

Global warming has been a growing problem over the decade, and with our destruction of forests, use of factories and pollution has undoubtedly contributed to it. As my opponent has stated, it will be his burden to prove that there are other priorities other than the environment, and my burden will be to prove that environment should be the priority over these other issues. I would like to define the following:
World environment issues: the current hole we have in the ozone layer, amount of carbon dioxide we are releasing, pollution we are causing, cutting down trees, harming the land by mining... and so forth. Also, this not only contains the actions that are ruining the Earth, but also the ones that happen accidentally, such as oil spills.
Priority: issue that is considered first over others
Contention 1,
Even the current actions aren't doing much to save the environment
The Kyoto Protocol, foundations of renewable resources, and many actions have been taken to slow down the Global Warming. However, what good has it done? Sure it reduced the amount of Carbon dioxide we produce, but it still has been rising over the years continuously. See in the example of China. (I couldn't copy the chart on here so you'll have to go on the site to look at it) [1] In 2009, the total amount of carbon dioxide emission was 31,629,955 and in 2010, it was 33,508,901. [2]
Contention 2,
The world is not safe with these issues unsolved
Sub point A. oil spills
From the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we briefly know how dangerous a spill can be. I will show you how exactly it will be harmful to us.
Firstly, the fish and the birds die. Birds die from oil spills if their feathers are covered in oil. The bird will then be poisoned because it will try to clean itself. Animals may die because they get hypothermia, causing their body temperature to be really low. They may die from really low body temperature. Oil may also cause the death of an animal by entering the animal's lungs or liver. The animal will then be poisoned by the oil. Oil also can kill an animal by blinding it. The animal will not be able to see and be aware of their predators. If they are not aware of other animals, they may be eaten.[3]
Secondly, humans are affected. The cleanup workers exposed to crude oil often suffer acute effects — stinging eyes, rashes, nausea, dizziness, headaches, coughs and other respiratory symptoms. Exposure to oil did induce DNA damage that was greater in those with more exposure. DNA damage can be the first step along the path to cancer.[4]
Lastly, even if the companies manage to clean all of the oil, they can't do it perfectly, and some of the traces will still be left in the ocean. This will continue to kill the sea life and marine birds, and suppose that people ate that fish. The people will be poisoned and even if people don't eat this fish, there will be less fish for the fishers to catch.
Spills may take weeks, months or even years to clean up.[5] So if an issue like this come up, the government will have to make this a priority because it can take a long time to clean up, and if it is left alone, then it will harm animals and people.
Sub point B. decimation of forests.
Decimation of forests will soon lead to too much trees being cut down, and we won't have enough trees to use, and the air to be filtered. Air is the necessity of life, but if we cut down too much trees, someday in the future, we won't have enough air for the entire population of the world.

Deforestation affects the amount of water in the soil and groundwater and the moisture in the atmosphere. Forests support considerable biodiversity, providing valuable habitat for wildlife; moreover, forests foster medicinal conservation and the recharge of aquifers.

With forest biotopes being a major, irreplaceable source of new drugs (like taxol), deforestation can destroy genetic variations (such as crop resistance) irretrievably.

Shrinking forest cover lessens the landscape's capacity to intercept, retain and transport precipitation. Instead of trapping precipitation, which then percolates to groundwater systems, deforested areas become sources of surface water runoff, which moves much faster than subsurface flows. That quicker transport of surface water can translate into flash flooding and more localized floods than would occur with the forest cover.

Deforestation also contributes to decreased evapotranspiration, which lessens atmospheric moisture which in some cases affects precipitation levels downwind from the deforested area, as water is not recycled to downwind forests, but is lost in runoff and returns directly to the oceans.

According to one preliminary study, in deforested north and northwest China, the average annual precipitation decreased by one third between the 1950s and the 1980s.

Long-term gains can be obtained by managing forest lands sustainable to maintain both forest cover and provide a biodegradable renewable resource.

Forests are also important stores of organic carbon, and forests can extract carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, thus contributing to biosphere stability and probably relevant to the greenhouse effect. Forests are also valued for their aesthetic beauty and as a cultural resource and tourist attraction.

Sub point C. the overall unstable environment of the world
The upper safety limit for atmospheric CO2 is 350 parts per million (ppm). Atmospheric CO2 levels have stayed higher than 350 ppm since early 1988. [6] According to this, our world is not safe enough for us to rely on the atmosphere. Eventually, something really bad will happen because we just keep continuously emitting carbon dioxide, we'll reach a point where the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is too high.
Sub point D. the results of all these issues
Scientists warned that as the hole closes up in the next few decades, temperatures on the continent could rise by around 3C on average, with melting ice contributing to a global sea-level increases of up to 1.4m.[7] This is only if the hole in the ozone layer stayed that way. But with the rate we are polluting the Earth, it is not going to stay that big, but it is going to get bigger. If we then try to wait for it to fix itself, the warming of Antarctica is going to continue, and in the end, we'll have oceans so high, that most coastal cities will be underwater.
A new Ice Age could come from all this. If enough cold, fresh water coming from the melting polar ice caps and the melting glaciers of Greenland flows into the northern Atlantic, it will shut down the Gulf Stream, which keeps Europe and northeastern North America warm. The worst-case scenario would be a full-blown return of the last ice age - in a period as short as 2 to 3 years from its onset - and the mid-case scenario would be a period like the "little ice age" of a few centuries ago that disrupted worldwide weather patterns leading to extremely harsh winters, droughts, worldwide desertification, crop failures, and wars around the world.[8]

Citations
[1] http://www.eia.gov...
[2] http://cdiac.ornl.gov...
CDIAC: Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions by Nation
[3] http://library.thinkquest.org...
[4] http://www.npr.org...
[5] http://vimeo.com...
Hindsight and Foresight, 20 Years After the Exxon Valdez Spill" . NOAA. 2010-03-16.
[6] http://co2now.org...
[7] http://www.guardian.co.uk...
[8] http://www.commondreams.org...
TheDiabolicDebater

Con

The pro is arguing that the most important issue currently facing the world is related to its environment. I will be giving several examples of important world issues. If I can prove that at least one of these examples is more important than the world environment I have fulfilled my burden of proof, and therefore I should win.


We are humans, therefore the survival of humans and the minimization of human suffering should be our highest priority. The importance of an issue in this debate should be determined by the potential consequences of ignoring the issue. If the consequences of issue X are more severe than issue Y, then issue X becomes the top priority by default.

My Case

Issue 1: Maintaining and Improving International Relations.
Planet Earth has come a long way in the past couple thousand years. The most notable advancement humans have made is in technology. As of now, Syria, North Korea, and Iran are all in possession of nuclear weapons[1]. Three very unstable nations possessing nuclear weapons which are obviously capable of immense destructive power. If a Nuclear War was ever to occur, the loss of human life would be absolutely devastating. It is estimated that after a nuclear war, more than half of the world’s population would be wiped out[2]. Nuclear war has the greatest potential for severe consequences, therefore avoidance should be our highest priority.

Issue 2: The Water Crisis.
Currently, 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease. 84% of the people who die are children between the ages of 0-14[3]. Obviously this is a significant loss of human life. Especially over such a trivial matter such as the availability of water and the sanitation of said water. This is a higher priority over the global environment because this crisis is occurring right this second. The pro’s issue of the global environment is not causing such a significant amount of death as with this crisis.


Issue 3: Global Overpopulation
Due to advancements in modern medicine, decreased mortality rates, and increased fertility rates; the human population is growing exponentially. This exponential growth will eventually lead to earth reaching its carrying capacity for human beings. What this means is that we will one day reach a point where the Earth will not longer be able to sustain the human population with its resources. This will result in mass starvation and chaos. The average scientific estimate for Earth’s carrying capacity is between 10-15 billion people[4]. Human beings will likely reach 9 billion people by 2050[5]. This is a serious and imminent danger. It may not directly affect us within our lifetime but we have an obligation to prevent human overpopulation because of the amount of suffering and death it would inevitably cause if left to continue.

Pro Case

Contention 1: Even the current actions aren't doing much to save the environment

I’m not going to dispute the fact that CO2 emissions have been rising, but what are the potential consequences of this? What makes this important enough that it should be the highest priority? The pro needs to make an argument instead of just listing facts.

Contention 2: The world is not safe with these issues unsolved

Sub point A. oil spills

The first half of this sub-point touches on the deaths that will be caused to animals. The priority here is human life so unless this disaster could drastically affect human life then it should definitely not be the highest priority. As for the human suffering associated with cleaning up the oil spills, I have to ask how? Do they not wear protective gear when cleaning up a biohazard? Regardless, pro has only stated that it would essentially just cause pain/irritation and MAYBE in some cases cause cancer. The issues I will address in my case supercede this point because the potential consequences are much more deadly to the human populace.

Sub point B. decimation of forests.
"Decimation of forests will soon lead to too much trees being cut down, and we won't have enough trees to use, and the air to be filtered. Air is the necessity of life, but if we cut down too much trees, someday in the future, we won't have enough air for the entire population of the world."
I would really like to see a source to verify your claim that someday we won’t have enough air. Until I see evidence this is just a bare assertion and can be dismissed as such.

As for the rest of the contention, flash flooding is a very minor issue compared to the ones I have addressed in my own case. Once again, I must ask, what are the potential consequences of ignoring the issue? Pro once again merely has a lengthy list of scientific information and no argumentation. What makes this issue so important that it must be the highest priority?

Sub point C. the overall unstable environment of the world
"The upper safety limit for atmospheric CO2 is 350 parts per million (ppm). Atmospheric CO2 levels have stayed higher than 350 ppm since early 1988. [6] According to this, our world is not safe enough for us to rely on the atmosphere. Eventually, something really bad will happen because we just keep continuously emitting carbon dioxide, we'll reach a point where the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is too high."
Eventually, something really bad will happen...Like what? What will happen when we reach this point where the CO2 is too high?


Sub point D. the results of all these issues
Pro never really addresses the results of ALL the issues listed above. They merely discuss the coming of a second ice age. I’m assuming this is related to the high CO2 emissions mentioned early, but I am not certain. While I must admit that the global environment is an important issue, it is not the most important. It is simply not the highest on our list of priorities.

So with that, I eagerly await my opponent's response!
Debate Round No. 2
bestdebater

Pro

bestdebater forfeited this round.
TheDiabolicDebater

Con

Unfortunately my opponent wasn't able to post their rebuttal. This is a pretty clear vote for con.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by bestdebater 4 years ago
bestdebater
nevermind round 3
Posted by bestdebater 4 years ago
bestdebater
or at lest for round 2
Posted by bestdebater 4 years ago
bestdebater
sorry I forgot about this until now and I have like only 1 minute to post my arguments so I don't think I will be debating this anymore
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
bestdebaterTheDiabolicDebaterTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: pros FF leaves all of cons arguments untouched.