The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Cars have a negative impact on this world

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2013 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,221 times Debate No: 36939
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)




This is a debate on our everyday machine, the Automobile. Pro will be trying to prove that cars are bad. Con will try to prove that cars aren't bad and have a positive or neutral impact.


1st round: acceptance and definitions ONLY
2nd round: Arguments/contentions/points/assertions ONLY
3rd round:Arguments/contentions/points/assertions AND Rebuttal
4th round: rebuttal ONLY

Definitions can also be clarified or given at any time.

No foul language or personal attacks.

Now that I have cleared the rules let's get down to the definitions.

Particulate Matter (n.)-
a small discrete mass of solid or liquid matter that remains individually dispersed in
gas or liquid emissions (usually considered to be an atmospheric pollutant).

Automobile (n.)-
a passenger vehicle designed for operation on ordinary roads and typically having four
wheel sand a gasoline or diesel internal-combustion engine.

Road kill (n.)-
the body of an animal killed on a road by a motor vehicle.

Car Accident (n.)-
when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction, such as a tree or utility pole. Traffic collisions may result in injury, death, vehicle damage, and property damage.


As with Pro i feel a few more terms need definition for Con:

Carpooling - (n. & pr. prog. v.) use of the same single vehicle (usually an automobile) for mass transport.

Responsible - (adj.) wise, aware, and courteous with vehicle use.

Designated driver - (n.) as the word implies, the one elected to drive a group to a destination; has to be qualified and sober.

Walking distance - (n.) as the word implies, a distance within a maximum in which a given individual can travel on foot to a destination with very few to no troubles.

Efficiency - (n.) the ratio of the minimum energy usage per unit of fuel, compared with the actual usage. Or, a similar ratio, accounting also for fuel and distance, when transport jobs, particularly carpooling, are concerned.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for his quick acceptance and I encourage him not to forfeit.

Now for my case:

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than half of the air pollution in the nation is caused by mobile sources, primarily automobiles.

Assertion 1:- Automobile pollution is bad for humans
The majority of Automobiles today are gasoline powered. These type of cars send out emissions into our air. Automobile emissions are toxic and are hazardous to humans. This argument will focus on the effects of automobile emissions on human beings. Some of the harmful emissions include unburned hydrogen carbon, carbon monoxide, Water, Ozone, Fine Particulate Matter (FPM), Particulate Matter(PM), and Nitrogen Dioxide. Unburned hydrogen carbon is proven to cause cancer and many other health problems. This gas also reacts with nitrogen and sunlight to form ozone. Ozone up in the sky protects us from harmful rays but ozone near the ground is smog. This smog is a lung irritant that causes lung damage and a variety of respiratory problems. The effects that smog can have on a person's health include breathing difficulties, lung tissue damage, coughing, and chest pains. Since our atmosphere is composed of more than 70% nitrogen you can see how that chemical reaction can be a problem. PM10 is considered by the EPA the most harmful pollutant. It is considered the most harmful because it is comprised of tiny particles that contain a variety of chemicals in liquid drops that remain suspended in the air for short or long periods of time, and when the particles finally do settle, the particles are breathed in by humans and other animals. Once breathed in, these particles settle deep into the lungs where they cause a variety of problems. Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) is much smaller than PM10 but is equally bad for lung health. Both of these can cause health effects such as coughs, phlegm, wheezing, asthma, cancer, lung damage, heart attacks, and premature death. In 2003, emissions were at an all time high at 6.8 billion tons, having quadrupled since 1950, and they are predicted to keep going up at an alarming rate. Car emissions are destructive forces that threaten to kill us all. My evidence is an article on titled “The Effect of Car Emissions on Human Health” by Curtis Shoemaker.

Assertion 2:- Car Accidents
“Motor vehicle crashes in the United States result in more than 40,000 deaths per year,” says the Institute in the journal Injury Prevention. “That is, on each of the 6,209 consecutive days included in this study, an equivalent of a plane load or more of people died on the roads.” In our team’s 1st assertion we explained how car emissions can kill. In this assertion we aim to highlight the deaths of humans because of car crashes. According to in an article entitled “Car Crashes Kill 40,000 in U.S. Every Year,” The death toll for a single day can range from 45 to 252 people but the average is more than 100 deaths a day. According to the Wikipedia article entitled “List of motor vehicle deaths in U.S. by year,” in 2005, 43,510 died in the US because of car crashes. In November 2010, 573 pedestrians were run over and killed. From 1979 to 2005, the number of deaths per year decreased 14.97% while the number of deaths per capita decreased by 35.46%. In 2010, there were an estimated 5,419,000 crashes, killing 32,885 and injuring 2,239,000. According to a similar the Wikipedia article entitled “List of motor vehicle deaths in Thailand by year,” there were 104,642 car crashes in 2003 in Thailand, a developing country. I have proven that cars kill through accidents by giving a list of statistics and quotes which agree with our point.

Here is a graph to support my point:

01/2010 2290 4785 427
02/2010 2016 4340 386
03/2010 2423 5087 407
04/2010 2777 5775 404
05/2010 2934 6066 418
06/2010 2795 5809 348
07/2010 3095 6763 456
08/2010 3083 6549 428
09/2010 3024 6309 511
10/2010 3056 6382 543
11/2010 2795 5842 573
12/2010 2597 5417 548

This graph shows monthly deaths in 2010. Take note of how many pedestrarians died.

According to a similar the Wikipedia article entitled “List of motor vehicle deaths in Thailand by year,” there were 104,642 car crashes in 2003 in Thailand, a developing country. Who knows how high the casualties will go to when it reaches the present day American economy (more cars will be one the road).

I have proven that cars kill through accidents by giving a list of statistics and quotes which agree with our point.

I look forward to my opponents response.

I encourage a proposition vote.


Here are my counterpoints:

- Adoption of carpooling: it would be more than advisable if we got used to sharing rides and having the same automobile driven by several different people. I do see though, that it has the shortcoming of confusion because of the two different mechanisms of transmission, those being automatic and manual; luckily most AT cars are fitted with a "manual" option allowing the driver better (or at least more) control of the gearbox. All that though, would be way more than made up for already by the practice of carpool which would mean that due to automobiles being available for larger sections of a populace, that being a neighborhood of persons, there would be less cars on the road at a typical time, and thus less pollution thanks to this fact.
- Cycling and walking: as we as humans were built to be doing, as it is said, i find we can reduce pollution by way of traveling on foot to run errands we know are walking distance away, as well as by bike if just one person is needed for a given job especially with light to no cargo. In fact, if every human made a habit of this, we'd also become a fitter global populace with a more responsible outlook with our travel habits. There are many fitness clubs around today and health education in schools generally require the topic of fitness and exercise habits so i myself don't see why that should be so big a problem.
- Road safety awareness: this is a big point, knowing the casualties per year on the roads as brought up in the table by Pro; i have reason to believe that a big part of those accidents is due to heavy traffic and reckless drivers, those being generally irresponsible and uncourteous whether on highways, back streets, or freeways. It is also vital to teach youth for two to three days a week regarding road safety, and enunciate the importance of designated drivers in cases where alcohol is involved.
- By doing a combination of the first two above, we would by right reduce the traffic of vehicles on the roads and so make them somewhat safer, and fulfill the goal of my third point, to improve awareness of safety and reduce other rates as those of road kill and automobile pollution.

In addition, i have the extra contention that not all automobiles have those dirty fuels of diesel/gasoline, and in fact engineers are designing cleaner fuel systems as electric propulsion, or fuel cells (see articles on and even hybrid systems. That, as any decent topic of debate, this matter is not readily clear and doesn't simply have a yes/no answer, or OK/wrong, etc.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his quick response.
His points are just refutations to my arguments and didn"t say anything about cars being good. I will first state my points then refute his refutations.
Assertion 3:- Roadkill
Cars run over animals every day. In fact road kill "is estimated to be responsible for 50% of deaths ofFlorida panthers, and is the largest factor forEuropean badgerdeaths in England. (1)" "Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People Newspaper estimated that" 41 millionsquirrels, 26 million cats, 22 millionrats, 19 millionopossums, 15 millionraccoons, 6 milliondogs, 350,000deer(1)" are killed every year. I have proven my point about cars killing animals.

Carpooling- It"s true that carpooling lessens emissions but the emissions, but electric trains are much more environment friendly.
My opponent"s second point about walking and cycling helps me because that"s what I"m suggesting. This shows alternatives to the car. My opponent helped me.
Reckless drivers- 43% of car crashes didn"t happen solely because of reckless drivers.
Environment Friendly cars- There are not too many EF cars on the road.
I have refuted my opponent"s refutations. Since he has no points of his own, vote pro.



I may look like i have helped Pro in being more convincing, but i do have some more refutations and contentions up my sleeve:

- First of all, there's problems with city planning; we can't just place electric railways through every single suburb (or neighbourhood) in a region; it is costly to say the least, and generally the longer the work takes (or the greater the total rail length itself) the bigger the impact on the city budget. Also there's the possibility of noise pollution; sensitive persons who give aversive reactions to noise would naturally avoid lodging near train stations with perhaps thousands of commuters, acknowledging the fact that no two individuals are the same. Back on budget, electric trains are bad enough, but maglev (MAGnetic LEVitation), though quieter and faster, would be even worse. There is also the probable problem with EMP (electromagnetic pulse), which interferes with most pocket devices and other electronic equipment, thereby disrupting communication, like this, and some forms of entertainment, like the very devices we access this site from.

- Second, trains ARE designed for mass transport, and so there are limits as to arrangement of track; tight kinks in railways, especially on switch junctions, would force the transport to slow down due to the danger of derailment; trains are all-too-often heavy, and the more carriages the greater the danger it would derail. And if that isn't enough, passengers' own inertia would result in discomfort for them at such points, being the "centrifugal force" that results from it. Meanwhile, done well, automobiles don't have those problems or they're at least mitigated, especially not being confined to railways on which trains can't just switch lanes at just any given time. As transport for on asphalt road, automobiles are thus more versatile which further increases their compensation for the shortcomings of trains and automobiles' own supplement of positive impact. Again, especially with the habit of carpool.

- On top of all that is the problem with scheduling train routes. The lines can only accommodate so many trains at one time, most often If the routes planned by the very bodies who run the train lines don't have efficient routes, that transport mode is of less use, possibly to the point of being virtually useless. And especially if switch junctions are to be used a lot which gives a greater chance of collisions (crashes between trains). While a comparatively small community of persons could comparatively easily work out a carpool schedule of their own, at any time, for any arrangement of everyday tasks. Which we inevitably would need because we don't have infinite capacity for fatigue, i.e., we will inevitably tire.

Check out these sources

All in all, my final contention for this round is that the automobile issue is a gray area as i pointed out before, and should not be dismissed as all negative, as in fact if we begin to employ the methods of automobile transport that both Pro and i have mentioned above, it can - and will - supplement a positive impact that would more than compensate for the negative. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3


I thank my opponent for his timely response.

This is a refutations-ONLY round (but you may bring up evidence to support your refutations) :

My opponent only gave one reason why cars are good, which is that if you apply the methods that he gave cars won't have such a negative impact in the future- and perhaps a positive one.

The methods that he gave are carpooling, walking and cycling, Road safety awareness, and using environment friendly cars. I will refute them one by one.

Carpooling- Already established train systems are better alternatives. In suburban areas walking and cycling will do the trick. After all cars still give off the same emissions.

Walking and Cycling- This is what I'm suggesting. My opponent is supporting the fact that we should walk and bicycle more. These are alternatives to car driving which is what Pro is supporting. My opponent is helping and agreeing with me!

Road safety awareness- He is suggesting that car accidents are always solely the driver's fault and the vehicle had nothing to do with it, but I have stated in Round 3 that 43% of car crashes are not solely the driver's fault.

Eco-friendly cars- "Surprisingly, the hybrid vehicle market only makes up three percent of all cars on the road today.(1)"

To answer his speech about building a railway system, I was actually referring to already-established train systems in Round 3.

My opponent did not refute any of my points (not including the trains) and has helped me, in fact. The choice is simple; vote pro.



This is what you were waiting for; my final rebuttal to the position that cars negatively impact our world;

If you remember Round 2 and the mention of road fatalities and road kill, and my suggestion to carpool in order to lower those figures, Pro didn't seem to counter my enunciation of road safety education. In fact he just brought up more details on annual road fatalities without ever addressing any possible problems with relevant education to combat those.

In mention of reckless drivers, i must reveal the strawman on the part of Pro; while i did say that a big part of accidents were due to reckless driving, i did NOT say they were ALWAYS SOLELY the reckless drivers' fault; i never said those two key words ("always" or "solely").

More on train systems - schedule is in fact a big factor in the usefulness of even already-established systems; if there aren't enough trains in service or the schedule is unfavorably-timed its usefulness diminishes. I say again, that is a major reason for our inevitable need to carpool.

About the emissions from automobiles, we do have a choice, though limited by budget, as to what cars we use. If we choose wisely, and indeed boycott (refuse to buy) cars we know are inefficient and pollute heavily; these sources will give you some food for thought:
That would compound the supplementation of positive impact from carpool.

As for walking and cycling, it's no surprise that both sides agree this is necessary, but as Con i said earlier that "we as humans don't have infinite fatigue capacity"; and indeed walking and cycling expend more energy to move a person - using that person's own energy, thus adding comparatively more to his fatigue; here's a source on it:

Reviewing eco-friendly cars, i believe we can send a message to automotive companies everywhere with the methods we so thoroughly focused on; carpool in its result of reduced demand for automobiles, and the high selectivity in the cars we purchase meaning less money for them from the dirty ones, thereby pushing more demand for the eco-friendly caste. Though they'd cost more, it should be made up for by the money saved through the methods i initially suggested.

So, all in all, i hope my rebuttal was clear enough for you. Granted; i know it looks like i agree with Pro but i really don't. Given that i've clarified seeing the bigger picture, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by truthiskey 5 years ago
we didn't say anything aboout that GDawg, plz vote
Posted by PlightScandi 5 years ago
GDawg Did any of us actually SAY that?
Posted by GDawg 5 years ago
You're right, lets just ban everything because the dark ages were better anyways.
Posted by PlightScandi 5 years ago
You guys, where there is a gray area, a debate WILL rage.
Posted by truthiskey 5 years ago
Pro's thesis is that cars have a negative impact on this world.
Posted by mubaracus 5 years ago
I don't wanna accept the debate until I know your Thesis lol.
Posted by truthiskey 5 years ago
The title is not a claim its the topic sorry for the confusion
Posted by truthiskey 5 years ago
Mikal, it con has to prove that cars have a positive or neutral impact on this world. read the rules anddescription and plz debate this topic
Posted by Mikal 5 years ago
This is an impossible stance to defend. I would take it, if we were discussing the positive impact vs the negative impact. Since you are merely claiming a negative, that is irrefutable.
No votes have been placed for this debate.