The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/19/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,778 times Debate No: 42592
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I'd like to start by saying thanks to my opponent.

In the position that: Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict, that I feel compelled to affirm today"s resolution. For clarity in the purpose of this debate, I will provide the following definitions:
Developing countries
what is a developing country? We know, right? It's a country that is in the act of developing. But then again, development is a kind of on-going process so...
The word "should" is used to express condition or obligation (Merriam Webster). Used in the context of resolution it conveys the same meaning as "ought". Note the Cambridge Dictionary defines "should" as" used to say or ask what is the correct or best thing to do
Merriam Webster - "to organize (things) so that the most important thing is done or dealt with first".

the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded; the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival; the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community
to cover or shield from exposure, injury, damage, or destruction; defend; to maintain the status or integrity of especially through financial or legal guarantees
In affirming this resolution, I offer the following contentions:
Contention 1: Resource Extraction Fosters Violence

Contention 2: Violence Harms Countries and the Environment

Contention 1: Resource Extraction Fosters Violence

In such instances, local and national governments, resource extraction firms, or rebels who control natural resources may feel that they have no choice but to use violence or the threat of violence to protect their resource extraction activities. Violent actions and threats of violence might include the forced relocation of local residents; the use of police, military, or mercenary forces to break up protests, arrest protestors and provide mine security; and the repression of local indigenous people from whose ranks protestors have emerged or might emerge. Violent actions might also include military conflict with groups that threaten resource extraction activities and foreign military aid and training to local police and military forces. Of course, armed violence may occur even in the absence of protest. For example, forced labor may be used to decrease labor costs or because working conditions are horrendous, and forced removal may occur in the absence of protest to either forestall protest or because there is no way to extract resources with people living on or near the extraction site. In either case, violence or threatened violence will likely be necessary because most people do not want to be forced to work or leave their homes. Developing countries work with international partners to exploit/extract their natural resources. These partners, whether other governments or more commonly, international corporations have productivity demands which exert enormous pressure on the stakeholders. The pressures push the governments of developing countries to do whatever it takes to meet its obligations. For example, structural adjustment programs imposed on developing nations by the World Bank and IMF often force developing nations to maintain high levels of raw material exports (Bello et al., 1999); and in cases where mining projects require political risk insurance, developing nations are sometimes forced to agree that they will pay out potentially large insurance claims if mining activities are disrupted in any way (Moody, 2005, 2007). Developing nations" high levels of debt and their resulting dependence on wealthy nations, the World Bank, the IMF, and corporate foreign investment also force developing nation governments to worry about how these organizations and states evaluate their activities. As a result, developing nation governments may feel that regardless of their own motives and interests, they have to use all means necessary to protect resource extraction activities so as to meet their debt obligations, ensure continued foreign investment, and minimize conflict with more powerful nations and institutions.

Contention 2: Violence Harms Countries and the Environment

Violence harms people, nations and environments. Its seems as if the stress of extraction and associated environmental degradation, erupts into violence which further degrades the environment and a kind of spiraling degradation occurs. There is little incentive or will for the stakeholders to break the cycle.
...armed violence plays a critical role in facilitating natural resource extraction, without which ecological unequal exchange could not occur and much environmental degradation would not occur. We have, therefore, achieved the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the article. More importantly, when one combines the evidence presented in this article with prior sociological research on ecological unequal exchange and the direct environmental consequences of armed violence, militarism, and war, it quickly becomes apparent that armed violence and the environmental degradation associated with it are intimately woven into the everyday lives of core nation citizens through the purchases they make and the fuels they consume. It also becomes apparent that armed violence is a key driver of the global ecological crisis and that this is likely the case because other key drivers of natural resource exploitation, such as the IMF, World Bank, WTO, and global marketplace, cannot, on their own, guarantee core nation access to and control over vital natural resources...Currently there is no environmental ethic focused on meeting wood needs locally and little criticism of consumption behavior. Instead, an anti-logging ethic reigns and degradation of the global environment ensues. A new environmental effort is needed to expose this illusion of preservation. This effort will depend primarily on greater discussions concerning the ethical implications of excessive consumption joined with indiscriminate protectionism. The message could become stronger and more locally relevant in the context of programs that reduce wood use and encourage ecologically sound harvesting.


I accept the debate and negate the resolution resolved: Developing countries should prioritize resource extraction over environmental protection

I thank my opponent for defining the terms, but would like to add that Resource Extraction is the act of using force against nature to receive valued items from the Earth.

Before I refute my opponent's statements, I would like to state my arguments.

My value for this debate is Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority. [1] This is the best value for this round because the greater of the many would benefit the entire developing country as a whole, over just a small group of people.

My first contention is the need for resources.

"With no doubt, the key step to independence in each country is its ability in providing basic needs. Basic necessities, known as food, shelter, education ... providing these necessities is fundamental for economic growth, technology advancement, and creating job opportunities in poor countries."[2]Like the quote explains, the key step to a successful growing country is not being dependent on any other country for recourses. To pursue this, the country needs to be able to acquire their own resources. The most reasonable way to pursue this action is through extracting resources from the environment. Having these resources will most surely help the people overall because in order to have a strong country in general, they need to have all these necessities. "Absolute or extreme poverty is when people lack the basic necessities for survival" [3] In order to get these necessities, people need to obtain them and the best way to do this undoubtedly resource extraction. How would affecting the environment help the country? The ancient Roman's asked themselves this same question. Rome was named one, if not the most, successful civilizations of the ancient world. Their power was not only a strong military, but a strong engineering force. By building structures that would increase the quality of daily lives, people were proud to be part of Rome. Because of their ability to receive necessities of an empire, they were much more stable than the other barbaric groups of their time. "The Romans constructed numerous aqueducts to bring water from distant sources into their cities and towns, supplying public baths, latrines, fountains and private households. Waste water was removed by complex sewage systems and released into nearby bodies of water, keeping the towns clean and free from effluent. Aqueducts also provided water for mining operations, milling, farms and gardens." [4] With these aqueducts, they obtained a major necessity: Water. By having these other advantages, they did not rely on other lands for resources because they can produce it themselves. If a country today were to arouse from independence, extracting resources, like the Romans did, would make them not rely on any other countries which would improve their own economy. By improving the economy, the people would be more successful and the country would also be more successful as a whole.

My second contention is the stabilization of the country's economy

"Economic stability refers to an absence of excessive fluctuations in the macroeconomy. An economy with fairly constant output growth and low and stable inflation would be considered economically stable. An economy with frequent large recessions, a pronounced business cycle, very high or variable inflation, or frequent financial crisis would be considered economically unstable." [5] The article provided in [6] refers to creating economic stability as "to pursue monetary policy to achieve the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates." [6] The best way to have a stable economy is to have the maximum employment. In the situation the developing country is in at the moment, the best way to have a high employment rate is to create government resource extraction programs. Such programs such as mining would be able to not only provide jobs, but be able to have a resource income that can be used and distributed amongst the country to help increase the economy. When the resources are already obtained, the country would be able to trade the products with other countries to even boost their economic situation upward. Another way to ensure economic stability would be having a stable and staple food supply. By creating tools that would increase the amount of food produced, the country would be able to feed it's people so they can spend time more effectively. Referring to the definition provided by link 5, the definition of economic stability states that "an economy with very high or variable inflation, or frequent financial crisis would be considered economically unstable." [5]. How would protecting the environment ensure a stable economy, or one without any financial crisis's?

With the few characters I have left, I will attack my opponent's argument and will continue next round.

"Violent actions might also include military conflict with groups that threaten resource extraction activities and foreign military aid and training to local police and military forces."
"who control natural resources may feel that they have no choice but to use violence or the threat of violence to protect their resource extraction activities. "

How would my opponent know if violence would even be necessary to protect the resource extraction activities? By valuing utilitarianism, The country that would value resource extraction would have a greater popularity and few people would want to even rebel against the projects, knowing that it would affect the country as a whole over themselves. My opponent does not provide any evidence to support his or her claim.

"Violence harms people, nations and environments. Its seems as if the stress of extraction and associated environmental degradation, erupts into violence which further degrades the environment and a kind of spiraling degradation occurs. "

What violence? As stated in the above refutation, people would not revolt against an economy boosting government project.

"armed violence plays a critical role in facilitating natural resource extraction"

Once again, my opponent has not stated any evidence that violence is necessary for extracting resources

Throughout the rest of my opponent's round one argument, he or she fails to provide evidence that violent actions would be necessary in extracting resources. I only have a few characters left to refute the rest of my opponent's argument, so therefore I shall do more in round 2. I await my opponent's response.

Debate Round No. 1


Again thanking my opponent.

In the previous argument I would like to point out my argument did not claim " violence is necessary for extracting resources" I simply claim there may or may not be a necessity for violence.
"may feel that they have no choice but to use violence or the threat of violence to protect their resource extraction activities."
"May" 1.(used to express possibility): It may rain.
1. to promote the growth or development of
Thus pointing out an entire miss conception of my entire first contention

On a side note Id like to thank my opponent for helping me practice for my upcoming LD tournament!


"I simply claim there ... may not be a necessity for violence"

The shortened form of a quote from my opponent's argument would contradict his first and second contentions. His contentions, one being that resource extraction fosters violence, and the other being that the violence harms countries and the environment. If there may not be a necessity for violence, then there is a good possibility that violence would not originate in the first place. If this were to happen, then my opponent's arguments would not be of any use. Since my opponent did not state any new arguments, I shall do the same. I will post my final arguments in round three.

---- [Do not take this into account voters]
As a judge, not as a competitor, I would like to tell Pro that you should think of a different first contention, and your Contention 2 should be solely on how resource extraction would affect the environment. If you want to make your debate stronger you should also find a third contention so if someone were to refute one of them you have 2 others to back it up. Your definition so "May" would not increasingly help your argument and you don't have a dictionary during the test so I would stay away from that. I too am practicing for the January LD tournament, and I would appreciate it if you would want to do another debate, but switching roles on who is Pro and who is Con.
Debate Round No. 2


WalleyKing forfeited this round.


"The ancient Greeks, Romans, and the people of the Han dynasty were most successful because of their ability to obtain resources and necessities." [1]
"By trading these resources, (silk) the Han dynasty lived in prosperity for many years." [1]

In the ancient world, Greece, Rome, and china were very successful due to their resource abundance. They obtained the resources by any means, even if it required damaging the environment. Because of that choice, they were the most successful of the civilizations in the ancient world. Civilization - the stage of human social development and organization that is considered most advanced. [2] How would the developing country be considered advanced if it can not obtain resources, and if it were to be dependable on other countries?

Developing countries clearly have a need for resources such as food, water, and building material. The most reasonable way to do that, is by extracting resources from the environment. Although it could slightly damage the environment, it would greatly expand the countries economy by not being dependable on other countries. By having a strong economy, the country would be more successful as a whole. Valuing utilitarianism, resource extraction would definitely be better for the whole country, including the greatest amount of people. Vote Con, and thank you my opponent for this debate.

[1] Barron's Global History and Geography
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Tanawsomeguy55 4 years ago
I am on cons side because environmental protection is very expensive and in a developing nation that money could go to places like medical care and education instead of saving a mocking jay
Posted by toamatt26 5 years ago
Jan/Feb LD debate. I'm guessing it is the same thing as the real resolution so I'll do it in LD format. I will accept I just need some time to finish my other debates.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by debatinghoe123 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con clearly won. Although pro did state solid arguments in round 1, Con refuted them by showing there would be no need for violence in the first place. Pro forfeited round 3, and did not provided any sources and Con did. Overall, Pro had good arguments, but they could easily be refuted. Although Con's arguments can also be somewhat refuted, Pro did not refute them.