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Should developing countries prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict?

Asked by: msmith0126
  • Prioritizing environmental protection will bring economic development in the long-run.

    The world spends about 20% of its budget on the military, on "defense". A.K.A. Fighting countries for oil and sacrificing lives because we don't have sustainable energy. If we can spend at least 1/10 of that money, the earth could be saved. Environmental protection is keeping one’s physical, chemical and social surroundings from harm. The definition for environment includes the social and cultural influences on an individual and on a community. Unless that can be protected and kept from harm, a developing country can never become a developed country. The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson said that “Environmental protection is good for economic growth. Don’t get me wrong – environmental regulations are not free. But the money that’s spent is an investment in our country – and one that pays for itself. Cleaner car standards will mean 950 million tons of carbon pollution cut from our skies; $3000 in savings for each driver of clean cars, and $2.3 billion that can stay at home in our economy rather than buying oil from overseas.” Better environmental policies mean less usage of fossil fuels and more efficient use of energy and therefore efficient use of money. For example, a 2007 study by the Alliance to Save Energy said that if only all Christmas bulbs were replaced with LED bulbs, U.S. would save $17 billion dollars per one year. When fossil fuels and minerals deplete, sustainable energy will bring economic safety in the long-run. Merriam-Webster dictionary says that something sustainable is “able to last or continue for a long time.” Developing sustainable energy will bring economic opportunity in domestic land rather than depending on oil nations for power. Americanprogress.Org says that the American Clean Energy and Security Act can generate roughly $150 billion per year and about 1.7 million jobs. Resources extraction will cause resource depletion which will cause an economic downfall, but investment in environmental protection will protect the society in the future.

  • People over economy

    The trade-off developing countries get for their resources is usually money. They are participating in the global commodity chain. This is how they continue to exist in most cases so I am speaking specifically about countries that do this. The money the country does end up getting is not nearly enough to actually stabilize their economy and the vast majority goes to the small amount of rulers instead of the masses. Algeria is a perfect example. It extracts oil and has a lot of business, but the rulers take all the money. In the process of extracting, they pollute and destroy the environment. Now, 57% of the people of Algeria have no access to clean water and the vast majority of the country is poor. It is listed as one of the worst places to be born on earth. So the country valued resource extraction over protecting the environment and Its people are far worse off now than before. At least in poverty they had clean water rather than being poor and unhealthy. Its conditions like this that cause conflict rather than solving it.

  • YOLO, Holla For a Dolla!

    You see, there is only one earth. Developing countries are developing for the future. A future that may last for an infinite amount of time. If we plan only for the present, we lay a weak foundation for our future. If developing countries do not value the preservation of the environment, there will be no environment for their posterity.

  • We only have one planet

    We cannot let war, or any other human conflict be an excuse to forget we only have one planet. We cannot stand by as our planet dies. No more excuses. There needs to be a program where each country has a neutral environmental person in the UN so during times of war there can be negotiations of environment done even in the worst times of conflict.

  • We need change

    This is my debate topic. I know that the opposing side argues... "mankind" is so important. Well, if we don't protect the earth, there will be no mankind. We are in the largest extinction. YES, the largest in earth history. Why? Because humans are too busy with money and finding the most crap to help their economy

  • Block against- Silly Argument - The Environment is Expendable

    What a load of nonsense! How is the environment expendable? Once an animal or plant goes extinct, there is no bringing it back. Every year, 240 species go extinct about every year creating a problem called bio diversity lost (there are other names for it) which is when in the ecosystem, the different types of animals become less and less and they lose their food or survival needs completely collapsing the ecosystem. If we kept on causing oil spills like the Gulf incident killing the fish, it will cause the ecosystem to collapse (see how I used the same word again) and not only that, it will even affect the economy. Stocks in the fish market will fall and there would be losses of money that can amount to millions. Nature is not expendable, of course we need the resources, but it is sort of like killing the gooses that lays golden eggs. Bull**** to who ever wrote that argument.

  • Life over Death

    If we do not priortize environmental protection, then we will all be wiped from the earth soon. The human race as a whole is too dependent on resources such as oil and petroleum, what happens when they run out? Because they will run out.
    Because of the extraction of resources, such as oil, we are polluting the air with our extraction methods as well, as destroying our environment. If we destroy our environment then we will have no place to live to use the resources we extract. Its really simple, its just the reasons tacked onto it by people are complicated and useless.
    What would you rather, Living but without certain resources such as electricity and oil, of die because of our continual refusal to let go of our IPads and fancy luxury cars meanwhile the world around us (the natural world) is dying?

  • People will live for a longer period of time.

    Already, we know that our planet will run out of resources soon enough. If we allow all countries that are developing to use the amount of resources needed to become fully developed rather than paying attention to the environment, we won't have an environment to protect. Having become accustomed to extracting resources, we'll change as human beings once those resources run out and eventually our planet won't have life on it. Because us not prioritizing environment protection won't only affect humans, it'll affect all life. All because we didn't prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction.

  • Developing Countries Need to Find Better Solutions

    I do not see how just destroying much needed parts of nature to get temporary resources would help us. For example, in Nigeria, oil companies are destroying forests and wildlife just to harvest oil which a quarter of the product harvested is spilled into water such as the Niger Delta. The developing companies should ether enforce or create policies and laws to punish these companies or, better yet, get rid of the companies performing illegal and unjustified actions upon the poor people in the country. Plants and animals are going extinct from these companies like Shell or PetroChina. Another reason why developing countries should prioritize the environment is because it puts them in debt. Imagine, how all the companies cause all these issues in which the country must handle with their already weak economy. These "accidents" are not performed by the developing country, they are produced by the companies. All in all, the developing countries should prioritize the environment over resource extraction.

  • Without the Environment, We Won't Survive.

    It doesn't make since to destroy the environment for resources that will eventually disappear. People keep saying that humans come first. Well, if that's true, than we should try and take care of the things we rely on, especially since we want to make sure that future generations are able to survive. At the rate we're slaughtering Mother Earth with our deforestation, our over distribution of CO2, and our numerous chemical spillovers, our children will end up living on a planet that closely resembles Mars. If we actually believe that humans are more important then our HOME, WE deserve to go extinct, not all of the animals and plants that are jut trying to survive in the poisonous world that we have created. You on the opposing side argue that it will all grow back once the county is developed, but it WILL NOT HAPPEN. Once it is gone, it's gone unless we make a concentrated effort to remedy it. We only have one Earth, one that we are slowly destroying. If we don't get the ideal that "humans are more important" soon, it will be too late for everyone.

  • The Environment is the reason we are still alive.

    The environment provides with oxygen, food, minerals, and shelter. If we don't have any of this, how are we living? We should be thankful we have all of these things for free. So, why extract all of these precious things, because that is a PERMANENT SOLUTION FOR A TEMPORARY PROBLEM.

  • The resolution is simply too problematic to properly debate over this.

    The term developing countries is too conflicted. There is no true definition of the word, and also all you people have been forgetting that we are discussing developing countries. That means we're not talking about the UK, or the U.S.A. We are talking about places that have a lower living standard that developed countries, and the problem with that is the fact that is that these developed countries have decided which countries are developing. I negate the resolution, not because I think developing countries should prioritize resource extraction, but because the resolution is flawed.

  • Minimum 3 Words

    Franklin D. Roosevelt said "A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." A lot of damage is done to the environment due to resource extraction. Extracting resources is important, but when the two are in conflict, environmental protection should be held higher. One example is Afghanistan. It has a lot of environmental problems such as soil degeneration, air and water pollution, and deforestation because its rapid resource extraction. As a result of the excessive amount of trees being cut down, within two decades, Afghanistan lost 70 percent of its forests. Specialists say that this has made the country increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters. Often times, plants that create natural buffers from storms and natural disasters, are burned by the citizens of the country for fuel. In addition to that, in 2007, over 80 percent of Afghanistan's soil was subject to erosion. The chairman of the Afghan Organization for Human Rights and Environmental Protection said that the misuse of natural resources was one of the reasons Afghanistan has so many environmental issues. Afghanistan’s standard of living level is extremely low due to excessive resource extraction, which is exactly the opposite of what should be happening within a developing country. Another problem with choosing resource extraction over the environment is what is called the resource curse. The resource curse is when a single country’s GDP is almost entirely based off of resource extraction. This causes many problems. For one it causes both internal and external conflict of people fighting over those resources. Once the resource has been extracted the country will have a larger population then it will be able to handle. Causing starvation poverty and riots. What of the younger generation? Do we leave them in a destroyed world where it is almost uninhabitable? This is wrong. We have a responsibility for the future generations and the way we are going there will not be one. When environmental protection takes precedence over resource extraction in instances of conflict, the citizens are provided with a high quality of life and a good end result. Failure to protect the environment will just end in more problems than we can handle. If we continue the way we are going we will have a big problem. I mean like a mass extinction problem. There is a famous Chinese Proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” We need to do something before it’s too late.

  • Humans do not rule the world

    This environment existed far before humans came and decided that they should destroy everything. We should not destroy more nature than we already have to get more resources that we could find alternatives to. We can replace resources, not the environment after we have destroyed it. In the long run, preserving our environment will prove to be a valuable resource for our survival.

  • All Negative Arguments are Illegitimate Due to Corruption

    There is civil war, pollution, and a bunch of other arguments for the affirmative (involving people dying) backed by legitimate evidence. All negative has is some sort of money gain (and other arguments depending on this money gain) that wont actually happen because most developing countries have corrupt leaders who just take all of the money anyway which fuel war and are not helping anyone.

  • The earth wont replenish

    The earth doesn't just grow back after we constantly pick parts of it away. We have to think about the future generations and what they will have to deal with as a result of our negligence. We can think just about how our generation is going to get ahead especially when it is at the cost of the one thing keeping us alive, the earth. We wont realize what we have until its gone

  • The environment is essential for survial

    For example Water is a natural resource and water is essential to life. Without it, all life on Earth would cease to be. Trees are a natural resource and trees are essential to the water cycle, and other aspects of everyday life. They take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, a function which, if non-existant, would leave us all gasping for our last breath before we die. They filter water both through their roots and through a sub-process of photosynthesis, called transpiration. Animals are a natural resource from which a vast majority of the human population gets most of its' food. Without animals all would surely die. Not only are they relied on for food, but they also play an integral role in the ecosystem, as every animal is interconnected to the ecosystem. These are only a few examples of the tremendous effect that the environment has. Without environmental protection then we could lose the necessities of life.

  • It's essential to find balance.

    That can be a tough decision to make when environmental versus development comes into play. It requires a great deal of effective government leadership and business stewardship to make it happen. I think it can happen, but only if the country is judicious in selecting very principled leaders to help it make those decisions.

  • Humans will lose.

    The problem is that after the countries conflict ends and their reasources are gone, you don't know if the area will still be able to support life. What if when its all over and done with their were no more humans, because they didnt protect the environment well enough to sustain life in the area. You could kill everything

  • Humans are more important.

    Should we protect the environment? Yes. Definitely. Should we put the environment ahead of mankind? No. We are more important than the environment, and if we wish to survive, it is necessary for us to extract the necessary resources from the earth and, if we so choose, also have enough to make it easy to survive.

  • Developing Countries don't have a strong enough economy

    While supporting the environment is great, I can't see how developing countries are able to provide economic sanctions while trying to grow their economies. Most developing countries have a wealth of natural resources (oil, minerals, etc.), and sometimes you can't put economic restrictions on the ability to extract these resources. For developed countries, sure. Developing ones are too weak economically to comply.

  • Circle of Life

    The world as a whole is a vicious cycle that revolves around the environment as much as humans. Without trees, humans cant survive and by killing the environment you're simply killing yourself at the same time. By extracting resources you're killing off our already suffering planet and giving these countries a higher risk of becoming less developed

  • A country's main priority is to people.

    In underdeveloped nations, it is paramount to start your economy. If a country cannot stand economically, it cannot stand at all. If a country goes into complete poverty, it cannot defend from invaders or supply for its citizens. People are saying that it is important to protect the resources we rely on, but most resources are in plenty, or aren't relied on. Diamonds are a natural resource of income, and those have almost no use other than jewellery, and there are far too many alternatives to oil for us to rely on that which is extracted.

  • Medicine and World Starvation

    The term resource extraction defines anything that is taken out of the environment. This could include medical herbs, food and research & development necessities. Many people living in third world countries need these resources to survive. There are millions of people that are plagued with malnutrition and diseases. We can't simply deny the lives of innocent children and adults in the effort of saving a RENEWABLE resource. And let's not forget, these innocent children could very well help the environment in the future. Environmental protection seems futile and tiny compared to the ever growing numbers of the sick.

  • The resolution is simply too problematic to properly debate over this.

    The term developing countries is too conflicted. There is no true definition of the word, and also all you people have been forgetting that we are discussing developing countries. That means we're not talking about the UK, or the U.S.A. We are talking about places that have a lower living standard that developed countries, and the problem with that is the fact that is that these developed countries have decided which countries are developing. I negate the resolution, not because I think developing countries should prioritize resource extraction, but because the resolution is flawed.

  • A False Choice

    Depending upon the technology employed, it may permit resource rich developing countries to experience economic growth without any enduring or profound impact upon the ecosystem. The resolution speaks of environmental protection not maintaining pristine conservation or nature preserves. When the overall environment is safe, human development prevails over nature worship.

  • That which is gone can be replaced

    Should developing countries prioritize environmental protection? Certainly. However, spending millions on a faraway goal may cause instability. This is a developing country. The government desperately needs funds. Resource extraction is only one of the several ways to get money, but it is money that will eventually come back to protect the environment.

    Also, new advances may let people be sent to Mars and colonize the Moon. We will no longer need to act as if humanity will go extinct. Resource extraction, defined broadly, includes nuclear fuels and renewable energy in addition to woodcutting and coal mining.

    A famous Chinese proverb states that you should not give a single hair for a faraway ideal. This is true, for environmental protection will be achieved by the Environmental Kuznets Curve. While some companies may harvest resources badly, there are much more environmentally-friendly ways of resource extraction than conventional fracking and the like.

    Why do people think every species is valuable? Extinction is a natural process, and there are usually many species performing the same function in an ecosystem. While the demise of one may be a harbinger of doom, it is most likely a warning to step your act up. A single extinction usually doesn't have widespread consequences.

  • That which is gone can be replaced

    Should developing countries prioritize environmental protection? Certainly. However, spending millions on a faraway goal may cause instability. This is a developing country. The government desperately needs funds. Resource extraction is only one of the several ways to get money, but it is money that will eventually come back to protect the environment.

    Also, new advances may let people be sent to Mars and colonize the Moon. We will no longer need to act as if humanity will go extinct. Resource extraction, defined broadly, includes nuclear fuels and renewable energy in addition to woodcutting and coal mining.

    A famous Chinese proverb states that you should not give a single hair for a faraway ideal. This is true, for environmental protection will be achieved by the Environmental Kuznets Curve. While some companies may harvest resources badly, there are much more environmentally-friendly ways of resource extraction than conventional fracking and the like.

    Why do people think every species is valuable? Extinction is a natural process, and there are usually many species performing the same function in an ecosystem. While the demise of one may be a harbinger of doom, it is most likely a warning to step your act up. A single extinction usually doesn't have widespread consequences.

  • Environmental Kuznets Curve

    In the long run, the best way to protect the environment is for a country to develop. According to the Kuznets curve theorem, as a country develops its level of development and the pressure it puts on the environment form an upside down hyperbolic function. Basically, at first it will cause damage to the environment as it develops, but then after it reaches a certain point where it is economically, politically, and technologically advanced enough it begins to repair the damage it did, and then is able to sustain itself from that point onward without doing damage to the environment.

  • We can fix it later, when countries are developed

    Developing countries cause a lot of pollution, then only negative effect if they use their resources wisely. Once they are developed, they can come up with more technologies to fix the negative impact given on the environment that they had when they were developing. Because of this, resource extraction should be prioritized over environmental protection.

  • Economy takes precedence

    The economic development of developing countries should take priority over the environment in said countries. The economy can be supported by this resource extraction. Many will argue imperialist cases, but the reality is that if the country obtains the resources, it can use them or sell them, both boosting the economy. Imperialism is not involved in any way, and corporations can only mine these resources if allowed by the government of the developing country.

  • No, they shouldn't

    They simply don't have the easy resources for their people to be able to prosper while protecting the environment. If we were talking about the United States, the answer would likely be different, but we are talking about developing countries. These countries are poor, and their peoples are poor. Many of them use forms of resource extraction to sustain their countries. We can't take away their livelihoods.

  • Resolutions Say Prioritize

    The fundamental argument here comes down to the fact that we're not eliminating protection of the environment and natural resources, we're putting it on the back burner. It's easy for the people sitting on their computers to say that the environment is paramount when their standard of living is very high. In a developing nation that is not the case and the people have every right to improve their lives by any means. They're not necessarily DESTROYING the environment, just harvesting necessary resources at the cost of a part of the environment that won't be actively protected. Once resources are used to catapult a society into a post-industrial status action can be taken to preserve the environment as seen already around the world by such socities.

  • Pragmatism and the Future: Economies, Effective Policies, and Possibilities

    Protecting the environment means far more than simply not extracting resources from it- protection is an action. Unfortunately, it's an action developing countries are simply unable to take. Such protection is costly in the extreme- laws and law enforcement, preserves, technologies, replacing resources lost in the name of environmental protection, and even something as simple as a public awareness campaign create huge costs. A developing country cannot afford it. At best, they could make the attempt and implement an under-funded, ineffective system of protection. However, this would threaten their already-weak economies and arrest their development. Thus, such action is highly unpragmatic and frankly absurd.
    Combine this argument with the theory of the Environmental Kuznet's Curve (a theory supported by most of human history), and it becomes obvious that not focusing on environmental protection is the wiser course. (Note: I am not saying such protection should be disregarded, only that it should not be prioritized in the situations prescribed by the resolution.) Development would be allowed to continue to a point where countries can implement effective, non-harmful environmental policies.

  • Need m oney to pay for protection. Cant get money unless resource extraction takes precedence and priority

    Without resource extraction developing countries will never be able to independantly fund enviromental protection, therefore resource extraction must be considered the priority until a country has developed to the point where they can acomplisgh both without regressing back into an lowly developed country (ldc). Instead they should try and be cautious for the enviroments sake but not to the point where it prohobits growth and makes that country or state dependant on outside aid.

  • No possible way

    One of the first and major arguments that people seem to overlook is the fact that every country that is developing has to go through and industrialization unless someone can give me a specific example of a developed country that hasn't done this then my point stands. This proves that ever country that is going to become developed has to go through industrialization and if you stop that to prioritize the enviorment the country would never become developed. After the country goes through the stage then its the time to prioritize environmental protection

  • Industrialization is necessary for protection in the future

    Pollution decelerates over decades of economic growth. Resource extraction and economic growth must be prioritized because economic growth will lead the best environmental protection over the long-term. The existing scarce long-term data suggest not only non-proportionality of pollution with respect to economic growth, but also non-linearity and concavity.

    This research is confirmed in other studies as well. While the factors which drive the relation are complex and debated among scholars, the empirical data generally confirms the idea. It is said, in keeping with the philosophy of Malthus, the poor have little concern for the environment when they are thinking about their next meal. So, societies which can meet their basic needs will undertake higher-order projects to improve their lives. The relationship between national wealth and environmental impact is described as the Environmental Kuznets' Curve resembling an inverted U-shape curve.

  • It has been shown environmental protection increases after industrialization.

    While protecting the environment is important, Pollution decelerates over decades of economic growth. Resource extraction and economic growth must be prioritized because economic growth will lead the best environmental protection over the long-term. The existing scarce long-term data suggest not only non-proportionality of pollution with respect to economic growth, but also non-linearity and concavity.

    This research is confirmed in other studies as well. While the factors which drive the relation are complex and debated among scholars, the empirical data generally confirms the idea. It is said, in keeping with the philosophy of Malthus, the poor have little concern for the environment when they are thinking about their next meal. So, societies which can meet their basic needs will undertake higher-order projects to improve their lives. The relationship between national wealth and environmental impact is described as the Environmental Kuznets' Curve resembling an inverted U-shape curve. What we can see is we must go through industrialization and protect the citizens so we can protect the environment better in the future.

  • We need to revisit the resolution.

    The resolution states that "Should developing countries prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict?" Nowhere does the resolution refer to only natural resources. Therefore, resource extraction, or the act of extracting resources, can be divided up into two words (extract and resource). The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines extract as to remove something, while it also defines resource as something that a country has and can use to increase its wealth. On technicalities, resource extraction is necessary for any country to develop at all. An economy or industry cannot exist at all without the act of extracting resources. For example, the act of extracting resources is used in factories and shipment companies, where workers remove something from a conveyor belt and place it into a box for packaging. Also, the economy at all cannot exist; people remove money, which is defined as a resource since used to increase wealth, from one bank account and place it into another. The negative stance should win on magnitude since resource extraction is absolutely necessary for absolutely any country to even develop. It is physically impossible to develop without resource extraction.

  • We may need the resources to resolve a conflict.

    What if the other side we are in conflict with wants a resource that we have that is unreachable to other countries, towns, cities, or states. We would need to give them that resource for us not to be in conflict for the reason of them wanting our resources. This is the reason we do not need to prioritize resources over conflict.

  • Silly Arguement - The Environment is Expendable

    Humans are parasites on this Earth. We are from it, and it is only in our nature to destroy it and then eventually ourselves (not necessarily in that order). Just look at the destruction we have already done: According to National Geographic, humans have already deforested 80% of Earth's natural forests. Why not just embrace it? Let the cards fall where they may, and live our lives. No matter what we do, the universe will (to the best out knowledge) eventually end through something known as mass-entropy, or the heat death of the universe. So just live your life. Do what you want. Forget the Earth, YOLO hard core. Really hard core.

  • Post-industrialized nations and the environment

    While I do agree that the environment is important, I see the negative as more beneficial to the environment. It is empirically evident that post-industrialized nations generally have more technology and resources that make environmental protection more achievable. Furthermore, delaying the industrialization process, referred to in the resolution as "developing", would only prolong the inevitable stage all countries go through to become modernized. The common factor with all developing countries is the stress the industrialization process puts on the environment, but worrying about the environment during the process, when the resources to do so are not available, actually prolongs this period and furthers the harm on the environment protection process.


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