The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
Korezaan
Con (against)
Winning
35 Points

government should intervene more with alternative fuel

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,833 times Debate No: 2263
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (16)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

why the government should intervene more with alternative fuel.

people say the market will take care of itself. in the end, it will. but at what cost in the mean time? we should act now because we'll look back and see how much we've wasted on gasoline.

companies say they can make alternative biodesial fuels for a dollar a gallon. (using algae farms, or any organic material using bacteria to make ethanol from hte cellulose material, switch grass and other things more entergy intensive than corn etc.. and exemplified by brazil etc who are energy dependant right now from gas)
but, there's a catch 22 occuring. comanyies make alternative companies but often must put operations on hold. why? because there's no demand. the consumers who make demand say there's no supply. who can afford as a consumer to buy altnernative vehicles? the richer. does the rising prices right now of gasoline hurt them? not as much so they don't buy. but, even if they bought cars sometimes as they are now, there's still not much there in way of an infrastructure for the supply side.
the rich won't start buying more until it really starting hurting them. the poor won't do it cause they can't. the middle won't do it, probaly for the same reason. it's conventional wisdom that the rich are the ones who start these new technologies... and the conventional wisdom is probably true here too.

but, unlike many situations with conventinoal wisdom... for altrnernative fuel, waiting till the rich start teh technology isn't in the best interest of the country right now. that's because... for many other things, like buying a DVD player... fuel isn't something that's simply a perk as much, and isn't such a regular and substantial cost for the consumer. it has a noticable affect on the economy. fuel is the opposite.
while we're waiting for the rich to convert, what's happening? in the mean time, the poorer are spending their money on gas, or not being as productive as they could with cheaper gas or some gas at all. the middle class largely too. consider all that money they're spending on that, when they could be spending on an array of other things. all that money could have been going to the economy at large, instead of the pockets and costs of a few. (and foreignors, which is a major concern in and of itself)

to make it more of a practical example. say a new biodesial machine at a gas station costs fifty thousand. all that money that the poorer are wasting right now would have been more than enough to either subsidize or lend to that station. (you could lend the money to them... and ensur ethey make a tidy profit before they ever have to pay it back, if ever considering there's a risk they might not make money) if we invested in them as a government then, the effects would be much sooner, and the poorer and middle class would save more, and it'd be a boon to the economy. (plus all the jobs involved with the transitioning infrastructure) there'd be so much savings, you could even lend or subsidize biodisal plants too, though it'd probably not be needed for them.

government intervention is the way to break the catch 22 sooner when it'll make a difference for hte economy, than later when we'll look back and see all that wealth that has been squandered.
Korezaan

Con

Because it takes 12,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of ethanol, I negate.

__________________

Gonna refute her individual points first.

"comanyies make alternative companies but often must put operations on hold. why? because there's no demand.the consumers who make demand say there's no supply. who can afford as a consumer to buy altnernative vehicles? the richer. does the rising prices right now of gasoline hurt them? not as much so they don't buy. but, even if they bought cars sometimes as they are now, there's still not much there in way of an infrastructure for the supply side.
the rich won't start buying more until it really starting hurting them. the poor won't do it cause they can't. the middle won't do it, probaly for the same reason. it's conventional wisdom that the rich are the ones who start these new technologies... and the conventional wisdom is probably true here too."

---What I get out of this is that if the government subsidize corporations in research for alternative fuel or subsidize in order to increase demand. I don't believe that subsidizing will increase demand at all; it will just lower the costs for corporations.

"but, unlike many situations with conventinoal wisdom... for altrnernative fuel, waiting till the rich start teh technology isn't in the best interest of the country right now. that's because... for many other things, like buying a DVD player... fuel isn't something that's simply a perk as much, and isn't such a regular and substantial cost for the consumer. it has a noticable affect on the economy. fuel is the opposite."

---I don't understand any of this except for the last two lines and the first. To the first, I don't think the economy of the world rests solely on the 'leadership' of the rich; I don't think that we all look to them to what we buy. I'm pretty certain that I didn't buy my Lego Bionicle Phantoka toy because some rich kid bought one as well. As to the last two lines: Fuel doesn't have a noticeable effect on the economy? What????

"while we're waiting for the rich to convert, what's happening? in the mean time, the poorer are spending their money on gas, or not being as productive as they could with cheaper gas or some gas at all. the middle class largely too. consider all that money they're spending on that, when they could be spending on an array of other things. all that money could have been going to the economy at large, instead of the pockets and costs of a few. (and foreignors, which is a major concern in and of itself)"

---I have no idea what she's talking about here. Affirming this topic won't get anywhere in terms of the poor and the middle class spending too much money on gas; which I'll get to later.

"to make it more of a practical example. say a new biodesial machine at a gas station costs fifty thousand. all that money that the poorer are wasting right now would have been more than enough to either subsidize or lend to that station. (you could lend the money to them... and ensur ethey make a tidy profit before they ever have to pay it back, if ever considering there's a risk they might not make money) if we invested in them as a government then, the effects would be much sooner, and the poorer and middle class would save more, and it'd be a boon to the economy. (plus all the jobs involved with the transitioning infrastructure) there'd be so much savings, you could even lend or subsidize biodisal plants too, though it'd probably not be needed for them."

---Alright, so here's where I present my argument: DairyGirl is basically saying that if we subsidize now then we'll get the technology and then suddenly everyone's saving money because biodiesel is cheap. I don't agree with this on two levels.

First of all, it doesn't work that way. You don't just get the technology, the biodesel engine, and then ding! it's done. No, biodiesel has an ongoing cost. To get biodiesel we have to grow plants, corn, and various other things in order to grind them and process them into a burnable form inside an engine. In the case of ethanol, the costs that go into producing the corn outweigh the benefits that it produces, which even then, are none. As I mentioned earlier, it's a 12,000 to 1 (that's a .008%) ratio of water to the production of ethanol: The water used in ethanol can be used elsewhere, and with droughts sprouting up around the UNITED STATES, the use of water in the production of ethanol is wasted. And even then.... it's still pretty ridiculous. 12K:1? Are you serious?

Second, EVEN IF Ethanol didn't take that much water to produce, it is empirically proven that theres more MPG in using normal gasoline/petroleum than in using E15 or E20.

"government intervention is the way to break the catch 22 sooner when it'll make a difference for hte economy, than later when we'll look back and see all that wealth that has been squandered."

---Counterplan: Fund Alternative ENERGY. Alternative FUELS are just gonna take this country, and the world to sh*t. Or, the USFG should implement more liberal laws about the MPG requirements of cars; requiring like, say, 60MPG by 2015. With all the money corporations have, I'm sure they can handle it. Japanese companies are already well on their way there: God, even my family's 10 year old Toyota has better mileage than a 2008 Chevrolet. And if they CAN'T handle it, well, we'll just subsidize them.

Necessity is the mother of invention, yes?
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

yes, you're going to have to cite your source about that 12000 to 1 or whatever it was citation. here are mine.
there you can find fuel for a dollar gallon produced, and two dollars sold.

http://www.wired.com...
http://blog.wired.com...
http://www.wired.com...
http://www.businessweek.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://media.cleantech.com...
http://media.cleantech.com...
http://crave.cnet.com...

the real argument, though, i'm posing is that we should not be against the government's intervention, just because.
you give an good idea about raising fuel standards... cause if they did that, then it'd be effectively like us paying two dollars a gallon again. but, eventually, the government should bail us out when we can't raise the standards anymore.

you did a good job pointing out some of my unclear points, and have some good ideas, but my ultimate argument that the government should intervene, primarily with fuels (at least eventually), hasn't really been dismantled. (though i could see how you'd disagree given the fuel efficiency argument.. but at this point we'd just be bickering and not talking about the government eventually intervening which is the real point)

you never responded to the substance of my argument: that having the fuel economy would save us money. i understand that our premises are different, as per your ideas about how much water it takes... but anyway here is where the debate should be headed should you rightfully accept my premises about the cost of alt fuels in those links:
if we wait until the richer can feel it, all that money that's being squandered by teh poor and middle class isn't going to the economy at large
cause one thing i wasn't very explicit on. if they can make it for a dollar a gallon, and even if they sold it at 2 a gallon, which is what they say they'd be doing, it'd still work out right.
consider, that my google search says the average station produces 700000 gallons of fuel a year. if we have a better infrastructure sooner than later, then taken to the extreme that'd be instead of 3*700k it'd be 2*700k, with a 700,000 saving per station. that, in one year, would be more than enough to pay for a machine there. instead, we're waiting till the rich get pinched... we're wasting at most 700000 dollars a year per gas station.
i realize dthe numbers are made optimally for me, and there's a trasition period, but.
what the free market fundamentalist would say....wait till gas is 12 dollars a gallon... cause that's the only way the rich and the fuel stations are going to start doing anything: they're not going to do it sooner, cause the richer don't want to be inconvenienced by limited stations, and the stations won't do it, cause they have no consumers. and then, if we did it the free mar fun way, we'd have to wait for those new cars to trickle down.
not all things... lke that toy you pose as an example... come from the rich... but things like cars, which people notoriously buy used... is completely different, with that example as irrefutable proof.

and you never addressed the fact that demand would indeed be created or argued how it wouldn't. you simply asserted that no demand would be created... that it's just reducing corporate costs only.. just an assertion. if someone can get cheaper fuel, the catch 22 no longer exists, and they'd be more willing to go for an alt fuel car. it's really not hard..
Korezaan

Con

Sure. Here it is.

http://youtube.com...

As for your own "one dollar produced, two dollars sold", that doesn't matter if we're going to be using all that land and all that water for producing gasoline, when it could be used for other things. I don't need to provide any citations that the production of corn for ethanol will take up a lot of land. It's common sense.

"the real argument, though, i'm posing is that we should not be against the government's intervention, just because."

---Just because period? Please give some explanation.

"you give an good idea about raising fuel standards... cause if they did that, then it'd be effectively like us paying two dollars a gallon again."

---The problem with this argument is that there are two different choices from two different backgrounds. In the world of the PRO, the government would be "effectively paying two dollars" but then thered be more usage of gas and more usage of ethanol leading to more usage of land and more usage of water, whereas if you negate, then you have the same "two dollars" except only without all the other disadvantages of ethanol.

"you did a good job pointing out some of my unclear points, and have some good ideas, but my ultimate argument that the government should intervene, primarily with fuels (at least eventually), hasn't really been dismantled."

---I honestly don't see why I have to attack directly and up-front the idea of government intervention. If I can prove that alternative fuels in general are bad, that's breaking down one of the premises you need in order to affirm, and that's all I need to do as the CON.

"you never responded to the substance of my argument: that having the fuel economy would save us money."

---Yeah, I didn't. I never mentioned money at all in my case. I don't see why it matters, and I see different things that matter. Is there a problem?

"cause one thing i wasn't very explicit on. if they can make it for a dollar a gallon, and even if they sold it at 2 a gallon, which is what they say they'd be doing, it'd still work out right."

---And I'm saying that regardless of how much money you make off of this, that doesn't suddenly mean that Earth has the water to supply ethanol. So what if you make money? You're wasting water, and I'm sorry to say, but resources are not unlimited. If they were, fine, your plan would work. But we don't. So that's why your argument fails.

"and there's a trasition period, but."

---No transition period arguments here. I think those are stupid.

"not all things... lke that toy you pose as an example... come from the rich... but things like cars, which people notoriously buy used... is completely different, with that example as irrefutable proof."

---Fine. Let's talk about cars then. I want to buy a Scion xD. It's like, 17K. Not a Lamborghini. Rich people don't give a crap about Scions. I like the xD because xD is a emoticon i use a lot on AIM. Therefore, the rich are not leading the economy when it comes to "what do the people want to buy". But regardless of my personal desires, you haven't given any evidence of how the rich DO lead. If you can give so many links for the ethanol stuff, I'm sure you can find some things on this. Please give me links in R3.

"and you never addressed the fact that demand would indeed be created or argued how it wouldn't. you simply asserted that no demand would be created... that it's just reducing corporate costs only.. just an assertion. if someone can get cheaper fuel, the catch 22 no longer exists, and they'd be more willing to go for an alt fuel car. it's really not hard.."

---Ohhhh I get it now. So you're saying that if we fund alternative fuels, then things will become cheaper and people will want to buy that instead of Gasoline. I see. I'm sorry, my comment earlier was based on a misconception of what you were trying to say.

But still. You're wrong.

I'd like to point out to the audience that DairyGirl has basically disregarded my case merely by saying that 'I'm not hitting the real point'. I believe I AM hitting the point very well: I'm saying that the government should not intervene in alternative fuels because funding ethanol leads to really bad results. I have shown this through the 12,000 gallons of water to 1 gallon of ethanol ratio.

Also, there are arguments that she didn't respond to that still stand true in this debate: Ethanol has less MPG than normal petroleum, and since cars can't run on pure ethanol and must use 15% or 20% mixtures, the overall result is that there is more gasoline usage, and more problems caused. Another is the benefits that will arise out of the government funding alternative energy programs (not alternative FUEL), and the benefits of implementing laws for higher MPGs. She merely disregards these, again, with an argument saying that 'I'm not hitting the point'.

Oh yeah, I'd also like to point out:

How the heck is she affirming? The resolution says "government should intervene more with alternative fuel". Well.... Intervene where? How do you intervene with more alternative fuel? Does the government like, go somewhere and douse people in ethanol? Her case has absolutely no link to what the topic is.

Since the PRO has not refuted my points and I have proved that affirming the topic leads to many negative results, the CON is winning the debate.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

You say it's common sense that we can't use all that land and so facts and such don't matter.
If you read those links I gave and my intro statement, the fuel doesn't come from land, like corn... it comes from organic material like corn husks, other cellulose material, switchgrass (more energy intensive than corn and not corn), algae farms (which cna be grown in the dessert), and other non-harmful to us methods.
If we used algae... it'd take the land size of maryland. see the wiki links.
Again, Brazil is energy independant on sugar cane... just one type of alternative, but the point is made that it's possible generally.
You're creating a problem where there is none.

"the real argument, though, i'm posing is that we should not be against the government's intervention, just because."
---Just because period? Please give some explanation.

Your argument seems to be that goverment intervention is by definition the least economical way to do things... but you don't provide any arguments to refute my points other than vague "invisible hand" rhetoric. (and some misguided factual info on your part)

Really, the argument shouldn't be so much on the science of whether it's possible, but rather, if it's possible and at the 2 dollar level etc that they claim, should the govenrment intervene? You're finding so many ways to actually avoid actually arguing th point of the debate with me.

"---The problem with this argument is that there are two different choices from two different backgrounds. In the world of the PRO, the government would be "effectively paying two dollars" but then thered be more usage of gas and more usage of ethanol leading to more usage of land and more usage of water, whereas if you negate, then you have the same "two dollars" except only without all the other disadvantages of ethanol."

I acknowledged raising the fuel standard would mean we shouldn't be using ethanol, right now. I said we'd have to postpone intervention till later, perhaps.
This is just a misreading on your part, and doesn't attack whether the gov should intervene at some time.

""you never responded to the substance of my argument: that having the fuel economy would save us money."
---Yeah, I didn't. I never mentioned money at all in my case. I don't see why it matters, and I see different things that matter. Is there a problem?"

Well, the problem is that you should be addressing my points more. Even if it's just a theoretical argument... cause that's the point of this thread.
Plus, you might not be so right abotu the factual nature of th sitaution, ie how much water is used or land.. etc. So you need to argue other things more.

"you haven't given any evidence of how the rich DO lead."
THen you can afford to buy cars, and you're better off than most people. Even if you're poor and you put all your money into cars, you're the exception to th e rule. The general rule is that, and this is common knowledge so i'm not sure why I'm even debating this, poorer people get their cars from the richer. Most people drive used cars. This is not rocket science.

"How the heck is she affirming? The resolution says "government should intervene more with alternative fuel". Well.... Intervene where? How do you intervene with more alternative fuel? Does the government like, go somewhere and douse people in ethanol? Her case has absolutely no link to what the topic is."
I said in my initial post that gas stations get subsidies and or loans... and perhaps fuel plants... and i suppose i'd add to that deductions for alt fuel ussage to car buyers.

also, incidentally... i looked at your candidate mike gravel's site...
http://www.ontheissues.org...
and he thinks wind power can get us off gasoline in five years.... that's very hard to believe cars and all that would work. but anyway, whatever method we use, the government should intervene. you'd almost have to have them intervene if we went to wind.
again, my main point is that if there's a viable alternative out there that's relatively cheap, gov should intervne. you've avoided this issue, the whole poit of this debate, like the plaque.
Korezaan

Con

"If you read those links I gave and my intro statement, the fuel doesn't come from land, like corn... it comes from organic material like corn husks, other cellulose material, switchgrass (more energy intensive than corn and not corn), algae farms (which cna be grown in the dessert), and other non-harmful to us methods.
If we used algae... it'd take the land size of maryland. see the wiki links."

---You're correct, I didn't. But even then, you're saying that it will take the size of Maryland, and already you're wasting all that land for the production of a fuel that will eventually lead to more gasoline usage anyways. My argument here is that regardless of how much land it uses, the water consumed is unnecessary and will only lead to more global warming anyways. There are multiple impact levels to my argument.

"Your argument seems to be that goverment intervention is by definition the least economical way to do things... but you don't provide any arguments to refute my points other than vague "invisible hand" rhetoric. (and some misguided factual info on your part)"

---I have no solid opinion on government intervention in general, and I don't think you're right in placing me under that umbrella of judgement when I have given you no points that would lead you to that sort of conclusion. In fact, I have even advocated government intervention.

"You're finding so many ways to actually avoid actually arguing th point of the debate with me. "

---I am, again, arguing the premises of your points and disregarding the rest: The rest, being this whole money thing you're talking about. What I'm saying is that all this money doesn't matter, because affirming this topic will only lead to the overusage and unnecessary usage of water, along with the unnecessary usage of more oil. It doesn't matter if Ethanol will get 'cheaper', because the environment outweighs the economy, and EVEN IF that's a new argument and a different debate, I still prove that you impact back worse to the economy because you're causing unnecessary land usage and PRO uses more oil than CON does.

"I acknowledged raising the fuel standard would mean we shouldn't be using ethanol, right now. I said we'd have to postpone intervention till later, perhaps.
This is just a misreading on your part, and doesn't attack whether the gov should intervene at some time. "

---If you acknowledge, you negate. I said it's a counterplan, which means we raise the MPG standards INSTEAD of intervening and funding corporations in the alternative fuel field. To the audience: Since my opponent has basically agreed that my position is correct, you vote for me.

As for this whole "doesn't attack if the government should intervene".... I've responded to this already, and since it's basically her only defense left against all the responses I've already made to her case, she basically has already lost.

"Plus, you might not be so right abotu the factual nature of th sitaution, ie how much water is used or land.. etc. So you need to argue other things more."

---Okay, so if you choose to disregard my evidence because it "might not be right", that also applies to your evidence, This sort of argument is nonunique; it's a problem that's inherent in all statistics. Alright, I agree that my evidence doesn't work at all. But then that means yours doesn't work either. Therefore you get no impacts and therefore there is absolutely no reason to vote PRO.

"THen you can afford to buy cars, and you're better off than most people. Even if you're poor and you put all your money into cars, you're the exception to th e rule. The general rule is that, and this is common knowledge so i'm not sure why I'm even debating this, poorer people get their cars from the richer. Most people drive used cars. This is not rocket science. "

---Thank you for clarifying this in R3. I get the same impacts in the sense that if there is instead funding of alternative energy and the implementation of a law that states MPG must be higher by some year, then that means poor people will be driving those cars later; you can cross-apply my arguments to come to the conclusion that if we use these ethanol cars that you're talking about, then the poor people will just be using those cars later, and that leads to more gasoline usage, and more ehtanol usage, whichis more water usage, blah blah blah stuff I talked about in R2.

"and he thinks wind power can get us off gasoline in five years.... that's very hard to believe cars and all that would work."

---Just because some of the things he says seems ridiculous to you doesn't mean that the fact that I cited him for, 12,000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol, is false. And even then, I'd argue that it's not ridiculous at all, it's just ridiculous to you: The words OBVIOUS, REASONABILITY, FEASABILITY, and RIDICULOUS are all specific to our own cultures and experiences. Just because something seems ridiculous to you doesn't mean it seems ridiculous to some other people, and EVEN THEN, just because it seems ridiculous doesn't mean it is suddenly false.

"you've avoided this issue, the whole poit of this debate, like the plaque."

---I am not avoiding it at all. If you want to talk about government intervention, that's another debate. I'm saying that funding alternative fuels, and you basically talk about ethanol, I'm saying that funding that area at all is BAD. Therefore if I attack one of the premise needed to affirm, I'm doing my job.

(Is it just me, or am I just repeating myself?)

So basically since DairyGirl has not responded to my case AT ALL, every single impact I have talked about since R1 still holds true, and that means Ethanol has lower MPG, that measn that 12,000 gallons of water will still be used to produce one gallon of ethanol, that means she still bites into all the impacts I place on her, and that already is enough reason to negate the topic, But even then you can look to my case and you can see clearly that the counterplans that I propose, se; the usage of that same money to fund alternative ENERGY instead of alternative FUEL, and the implementation of more liberal laws, leads to much better results and has none of the harms and disadvantage that her case causes.

Because of all those reasons, you vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
I want to seriously know why you people are voting against me?
Posted by kato0291 9 years ago
kato0291
If anyone happens to read Scientific American, there's an article in the Jan 08 issue that discusses in great detail an ingenious plan for the US to switch to an almost purely solar energy-fueled infrastructure (thanks in no small part to a government subsidy).

Here's the link:
http://www.sciam.com...
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
I'm gonna bring up a no-link argument in R2.

Get ready :)
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