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That preventing climate change is futile

(PRO)
1 point
(CON)
5 points
YUDB8M8?YUDB8M8? (PRO)

Introduction

    I’d like to thank my opponent for willing to engage in debate on this topic, and I hope that we’ll have a substantive debate. That said, before I move into my primary arguments, I’m going to move into the establishment of the framework of this debate, so we can narrow down a fairly broad resolution into a specific case statement that can be debated cogently and clearly.

Definitions and Framework

    I’m going to define “preventing climate change” as “multilateral legislative or policy action taken by international organizations(such as the United Nations) or the general international community to halt or reverse the relatively rapid shift in global and regional climate patterns predominantly caused by the increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”. Thus, my burden as Pro is established as such: I must fulfill my burden of preponderance of evidence and argumentation-that is, I must provide superior argumentation, analysis, and evidence to show that legislative and/or policy efforts by international organizations would be futile in stopping or reversing climate change.


Let’s now get into my arguments. 

Point 1: Futility of International Policy 

    First, I’d like to argue that efforts on the part of international organizations and the general international community have generally failed to effectively prevent climate change, and further efforts to do so will continue to fail, in part due to the nature of the policies or agreements enacted by the international community. We can see this through analysis of two of the more(if not most) notable international climate agreements of the past few decades: The 1997 Kyoto Protocol(and the subsequent Doha Amendment), and the more recent 2015/2016 Paris Climate Accords. For the purposes of context, the Kyoto Protocol was an agreement by 192 sovereign nations to prevent climate change, with a goal of accomplishing a five percent reduction in carbon emissions. By the end of the Protocol’s first stage in 2012, global carbon emissions had risen by fifty-eight percent[1]. Using the metric of the Kyoto Protocol’s goal of preventing climate change, it’s been a clear failure. Sadly, it is likely that similar ineffectiveness will be seen from the Paris Accords, and any other future international policies, due to the fatal flaw that these agreements share: A lack of effective enforcement. With the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement with binding targets, the worst that its Compliance Committee would be able to do to any noncompliant nations would be to send strong words and impose a “negligible financial fear factor”, which are rather ineffective in the face of substantial impacts to local and national economies from cracking down on the not insignificant industries that produce greenhouse gases[2]. In regard to such enforcement, the Paris Accords are even worse, because the fulfillment of the set emissions targets are not a legally binding obligation[3], which means for developing nations or nations heavily reliant on fossil fuels, there is no actual impetus or mandate to reduce emissions.


   The fact of the matter is that it’s virtually impossible for the international community or international organizations to enact and effectively enforce a legally binding agreement with the intention of preventing climate change, because sovereign nations, for some odd reason, are unwilling to undermine their sovereignty in order to enforce an agreement that could lead to negative economic repercussions. This is what happened to cause the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, what will ensure the ineffective nature of the Paris Accords, and what will render futile any future policy or legislative efforts by the international community to prevent climate change.


Point 2: Earth's Positive Feedback Cycle of Carbon Emission

    Second, it must be acknowledged that preventing climate change is not only impossible due to the nature of multilateral international agreements, it’s also scientifically impossible, due to the nature of soil and ocean carbon storage. As a result of the increasing global temperatures wrought by the greenhouse effect, the amount of soil-stored carbon released to the atmosphere increases, which in turn exacerbates the greenhouse effect, leading to a vicious cycle of increasing temperatures as soil-emitted carbon increases global temperatures which in turn increase the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere from Earth’s soil[4]. According to Dr. Thomas Crowther of the Netherlands Institute for Ecology(formerly of Yale Climate and Energy Institute), this vicious cycle of increasing soil carbon emission has reached the point to where “we have passed the point of no return on global warming and we can’t reverse the effects”[5]. Unfortunately, this vicious cycle of rising global temperatures and increasing amounts of carbon emission isn’t just limited to the soil. Earth’s oceans have also seen decreases in carbon storage capacity and increases in the emission of stored carbon corresponding with the increase in global temperatures, and this is likely to worsen with continued climate change[6]. Similar feedback cycles are present in regions with formerly substantial permafrost, which would release stored methane as the permafrost melts, further exacerbating climate change[7].


   The evidence is clear: we’ve reached a point in time where so much carbon and other greenhouse gases are in the atmosphere, that climate change has become a self-sustaining phenomenon. Even if at this very moment the international community as a whole managed to drop human carbon emissions to zero, climate change would still continue, with any preventative efforts being rendered thoroughly futile.


Summation

    At this point, I think it’s fairly clear that I’ve upheld my burden as Pro on this side of the debate. I have given a preponderance of evidence and argumentation, using substantial and substantive arguments, evidence, and analysis thereof to quite clearly show that the international community, international organizations, and international actors can not prevent climate change, due to the ineffectiveness of enacted agreements and policies, and also due to the now-unstoppable feedback loops of carbon and greenhouse gas emission from Earth’s oceans and soil. Thus, I affirm this resolution, and respectfully await a response from Con.



Sources:

  1. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/kyoto-climate-change-treaty-sputters-to-a-sorry-end-1.1184986

  2. https://www.the-ies.org/analysis/what-would-be-consequences-not

  3. https://www.c2es.org/international/2015-agreement/paris-climate-talks-qa

  4. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature20150.epdf?referrer_access_token=vS0oPGsXDJaQkP3_OmFvT9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0Mik0TTmks8PdSiUZYeb2RTXh0fcXCzT3docMWWowBCsPVEhOQ66rB-Q8f6Ci_PSlSueC50hM-GG16LYR-eVNVp6w0Ofwrl_Rk4DqQ2i-EfLxT0HlVzyEXuu5X7HiXIGcJtkAmIreLrfg6h2hh0-Ma6YVydFUsmYgn6BXailnbQY-TAK2VC8cpWXOpTltaqms3Yo1D_DmDtrcy0rzEdcRO_7XEbtWH9A7tIefFLvGSBggko9vtdsatgOqxoc1wMk6dy-AMeBe8hdOCUrd_7GYG0&tracking_referrer=www.independent.co.uk

  5. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/donald-trump-climate-change-policy-global-warming-expert-thomas-crowther-a7450236.html

  6. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCarbon/

  7. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/oct/13/methane-release-from-melting-permafrost-could-trigger-dangerous-global-warming


Return To Top | Posted:
2017-06-21 10:17:16
| Speak Round
SubutaiSubutai (CON)
I would like to thank YUDB8M8? for presenting his arguments. 

Before I go into my actual arguments, I'd like to loosen the definitions a bit, because the resolution, the way that it's worded, is ambiguous, as "preventing climate change" is not necessarily restricted to "multilateral legislative or policy action taken by international organizations", but rather to any action that alleviates either the cause or symptoms of climate change. This mostly makes my opponent's first argument irrelevant. And even if it wasn't, global emissions are projected to peak in the 2020-2030 timeframe, and are expected to halve in the 2050-2060 timeframe, so these sorts of policies are clearly not ineffectual.[1][2]

I. Methods for Fixing the Climate

My opponent is indeed correct that, given the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, even completely ceasing the emission of greenhouse gases would fail to stop the Earth from warming. But this is a rather one dimensional argument. There are other ways to fight climate change, such as carbon sequestration and cloud seeding. And these methods actually reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, would would have a positive effect on the environment instead of the decreased negative effect which comes from reducing greenhouse gas emissions.[3][4]

For instance, for carbon sequestration, "...the estimated amount of geologic
sequestration in the U.S. over the next
century is projected in one model to be
substantially smaller than the cumulative
emission reductions anticipated from
changes by all other methods." Even so, it should be added that there is a "widely held view" among scientists working on this area that simply implementing carbon sequestration is insufficient for climate change reversal, and that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are also necessary.[3]

Cloud seeding doesn't quite work the same way, but it results in the same desired effect. "Though high-altitude cirrus clouds reflect some incoming solar radiation, they also strongly absorb heat radiated from the Earth’s surface, causing temperatures to rise. Some climate scientists argue that dispersing tiny aerosol particles in the atmosphere would allow the ice crystals that make up cirrus clouds to grow larger, and thus fall faster, reducing the cloud lifetime. Altering clouds with particle injection would thus reduce cirrus coverage and allow more heat to escape the earth." So, while greenhouse gases are not actually being reduced, the overall temperature still is.[8]

There's still a place for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases though. Doing so, even a little bit, will slow down the pace of climate change (and thus all of its effects), which will give humanity more time to come up with technological and scientific solutions, like carbon sequestration and cloud seeding that I mentioned earlier, to either alleviating or fighting climate change and its effects. It would also allow more time for developed countries to fully switch to renewable energy, while it would allow more time for developing countries to understand and affect the benefits of renewable energy and start shifting their energy consumption to renewables, which would further help to stabilize the environment.

So not only are there still quantifiable benefits to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, there are other, more permanent ways of fighting climate change as well.

II. The Effects of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emission on Human Health and the Environment

There are benefits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions besides climactic reasons.

First, there are health benefits to cutting greenhouse gas emissions (and this translates to less being spent on healthcare). The reduction in pollution and the improvement in overall air quality does a world of good for human health for fairly obvious reasons. For economic reasons, "A team of scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), RAND Corp., and the University of Washington, has calculated that the economic benefit of reduced health impacts from GHG reduction strategies in the U.S. range between $6 and $14 billion annually in 2020, depending on how the reductions are accomplished. This equates to a health benefit of between $40 and $93 per metric ton of carbon dioxide reduction."[5][6]

Second, the reduction in pollution and the improvement in overall air quality also does a world of good for the environment and every non-human being as well, also for fairly obvious reasons. Reduced ecosystem destruction, decreased amount of harmful materials like oil and smog entering animals' bodies, and overall improvement in biosphere vitality.

And third, there's a monetary benefit to making the effect to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well. Plummeting renewable energy prices makes renewable energy more affordable than ever (while non-renewables like coal are becoming more expensive due to taxes and economic mood changes), energy efficiency as a whole reduces energy waste, which saves consumers money, the investment price of renewable vehicles like electric cars, much like renewable energy itself, is plummeting, coupled with the increased investment price of conventional vehicles, and other reasons make these sorts of actions make monetary sense, especially in the long run.[7]

Of course, these benefits don't directly affect the climate, but they do improve the environment  which, ultimately, makes these sorts of solutions worth it. Plus, they create a better environment to do research anyway, 

Thus, besides gaining an increased timeframe for other research and development in climate change reversal, reducing greenhouse gas emissions also have several non-climate benefits as well. So there are many benefits to not just pursuing carbon sequestration, but to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well.

Conclusion

My opponent's first argument about the inefficacy of international agreements to fight climate change is irrelevant, due to there being an ambiguity present in the word "prevent", and, even if the resolution were better defined, these sorts of agreements do actually work, which we can see by the fact that emissions will be peaking in the next 5 to 15 years. My opponent's second argument hinges on reducing greenhouse gas emissions being the only way to fight climate change, but there are several other methods, methods which actually reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which would help actually reverse climate change. Even so, there are still a number of benefits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including gaining an increased timeframe to study and implement those sorts of strategies, improved human health and overall environmental quality, and less monetary waste, particularly for consumers, especially in the long run. Overall, there is no reason to believe why preventing climate change in any sense is futile. 

Sources

[1]: https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3097/pdf/CarbonFS.pdf
[2]: https://cen.acs.org/articles/94/i22/Does-cloud-seeding-really-work.html
[3]: https://www.theccc.org.uk/tackling-climate-change/the-science-of-climate-change/setting-a-target-for-emission-reduction/
[4]: http://eciu.net/assets/peak-emissions/
[5]: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X03001396
[6]: https://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/11/18/new-research-quantifies-health-benefits-of-reducing-greenhouse-gas-emissions/
[7]: http://www.wri.org/blog/2014/10/numbers-how-us-economy-can-benefit-reducing-greenhouse-gas-emissions
[8]: http://climate.yale.edu/news/cloud-seeding-geo-engineered-response-climate-change

Return To Top | Posted:
2017-06-25 08:13:49
| Speak Round
Cross-Examination
YUDB8M8?: In the intro/definitions framework section of your argument, you contend that "preventing climate change" as explicitly stated in the resolution would be equivalent to "any action that alleviates either the cause or symptoms of climate change". Does that mean that you believe that the prevention of a issue or problem is equivalent to the alleviation of the impacts of that issue or problem as they occur? If so, that seems like a particularly abusive attempt to rewrite definitions in your favor, especially given the reduced burden on the part of Con.
Subutai: Sorry for not responding sooner. This is my first debate on this website. Once I submitted my argument, I thought any cross-examination would appear as part of the debate, so, when I didn't see any, I assumed you were skipping it. I only just saw this.
Subutai: As for your question, no, prevention and alleviation are not equivalent. But, one, in my first argument, I gave two ways that climate change could actually be reversed instead of just alleviated, and, two, alleviation is still not futile, as it would result in making the world better able to handle climate change, which itself would result in lives being saved, livelihoods being kept, and other benefits, so even alleviation is still not futile.

Return To Top | Speak Round
YUDB8M8?YUDB8M8? (PRO)

Thanks to Con for responding.

Framework:

1) Future Peak

-Con argues that “global emissions are projected to peak in the 2020-2030”, claiming that as evidence that current environmental policy is effective. However, Con has no actual evidence as support. The two sources that Con cites for that section don’t even mention global emissions projections.

-Looking through the rest of Con’s sources, it seems only the 4th source could be interpreted to support Con’s claim. The chart explains that the “graph shows scenarios that give a 50% chance of keeping global warming below the 2°C ceiling”[1]. What Con’s graph shows is when global emissions should peak in order to keep global temperatures stable, but not actual projections as to when global emissions will actually peak. According to actual projections, global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase well on through 2030[2][3].


2) Prevent=Alleviate

-Con tries to redefine the term “preventing climate change”. Instead of Pro's definition of “action taken...to halt or reverse [climate change]”, Con attempts to define the prevention of climate change as “any action that alleviates either the cause or symptoms of climate change”. The problem with Con’s proposed definition is that it makes the debate about something that isn't topical to the actual text of the topic. Con’s attempt to equate prevention and alleviation are akin to a doctor telling an ill patient that a cure is the same as hospice. It’s factually wrong(something that Con themselves has acknowledged in cross examination). Using Con’s definition of the topic would undermine the integrity and balance of this debate, and thus I urge that Pro’s definition stand. Con’s arguments about the benefits of alleviation are non-topical and only distract from the question presented by the topic: “Can we stop climate change?”.


3) International community

-Con wishes to disregard international entities in this debate. The problem with doing that is if we do so, we’ve devolved from a debate about real world issues into straight out fantasy. It is imperative to consider the bureaucratic and political factors present in any attempt by the international community to implement a global solution to the global problem that is climate change, because not arguing the flaws in the practical implementation of climate change prevention measures would render this debate moot.

-As the only entities with some international agency, international organizations such as the UN are the only viable actors for any attempt to prevent climate change. Thus, they should be considered, and Pro’s definition of the topic should stand.


Con Points

1: Climate Fixing

 Carbon Capture

-Con claims that carbon sequestration, also known as carbon capture and storage(CCS), can help attain an overall rate of removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, known as “negative emissions”. Unfortunately, Con’s argument is based on technology that doesn’t exist at the scale needed for practical implementation.

-Peer-reviewed scientific journals state CCS is “applicable to large CO2 point emission sources” and “not proven at full commercial scale”[4]. Essentially, the very best carbon sequestration technology available at hand for the slightest possibility for feasible implementation at a global scale can only reduce the amount of emissions produced by power plants, much less halt or reverse emissions entirely. In fact, it’s unlikely that CCS will even be able to reach that point. According to Sami Yassa of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “There is no scientific basis for assuming that [bioenergy with carbon capture and storage] can deliver ‘negative emissions’”[5].

-Even experts on carbon sequestration agree that carbon sequestration can’t take carbon emissions out of the atmosphere, but only reduce the amount being added to it. Con’s argument that carbon sequestration combined with emission reduction can reverse climate change is negated, because even with hypothetical emissions reduction, the best carbon sequestration can achieve is slightly more emissions reduction, which is a far cry from the “negative emissions” needed to actually prevent climate change.   


Cloud Seeding

-Con argues cloud seeding as a potential technology to reduce global temperatures. Literally all of Con’s cited articles about cloud seeding state that there’s no conclusive evidence about its effectiveness.

-However, if cloud seeding was implemented(and somehow successful) globally, there are two logically deduced results.

-First, cloud seeding works, and unprecedented amounts of water vapor are drawn from the atmosphere to create more dense heat blocking/releasing clouds. Unfortunately, since cloud seeding doesn’t generate water vapor out of nothing, vapor is drawn from other sources of atmospheric moisture, which would be Earth’s cloud cover. Thus, in exchange for having more efficient heat blocking/releasing clouds, Earth has fewer clouds to block sunlight, increasing the amount of solar energy hitting the earth, and increasing overall global temperature.

-The second possibility is that cloud seeding results in a zero-sum game of atmospheric moisture draw, because when you implement cloud seeding globally, that means that there’s no non-seeded atmosphere to draw moisture from. Therefore, there’s no actual change, because each seeded region is drawing moisture from and having moisture drawn from them by other seeded regions.

-Cloud seeding doesn’t have any effect at the very best, and worsens climate change at the worst.

-Con point clearly falls, because I’ve clearly shown  why Con’s suggested “permanent ways of fighting climate change” are ineffective at best and harmful at worst, and how such efforts in the end do nothing to prevent climate change.

2: Benefits of Reduction

Con brings up economic and health benefits of reducing emissions. None of these benefits are relevant to the international community’s ability to halt climate change, aside from creating “a better environment to do research”, for which Con has failed to provide any supporting evidence or logic.

Pro Points

1: Politics

Con hasn’t addressed this point, so it still stands. I’ve shown why Con’s presented means for fixing the climate won’t work, but even if Con presents a technology outside the realm of scientific possibility capable of removing greenhouse gases en masse, climate change would still not be prevented. In order for any global solution to have actual impact, there needs to be actual consensus and enforcement by the international community. I’ve shown why that won’t happen, due to the impossibility of getting nations to forfeit sovereignty.

2: Cycle of Emission

Given that Con acknowledged my correctness on this, this point stands. The chances of Con’s stated technologies of attaining the mythical “negative emissions” are nonexistent, and Con has failed to show how climate change prevention efforts have done or will do anything to stop the vicious cycle of Earth’s increasing emissions.

Conclusion

The result of this debate boils down to one question: “Has Pro succeeded in showing how climate change can’t be prevented?” Here, the clear answer is yes. I’ve shown how Con’s arguments have no logical or factual basis, and fulfilled my burden of providing superior argumentation and evidence to show that it would be futile to stop or reverse climate change due to the political and scientific impossibility of such endeavors. I affirm.

Sources

1.http://eciu.net/assets/peak-emissions/

2.https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/summary_global_nonco2_projections_dec2012.pdf

3.https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26252

4.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032114005450

5.https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-experts-assess-the-feasibility-of-negative-emissions#yassa



Return To Top | Posted:
2017-07-04 12:02:36
| Speak Round
SubutaiSubutai (CON)
I would like to thank YUDB8M8? for this debate.

I. Future Emissions Peak

Apparently my sources got mixed up. Sources 3 and 4 were supposed to be the ones backing up my claims as to when global emissions would peak. Unfortunately, for some reason, source 3 is no longer working (even though I know it worked when I posted my argument not 10 days or so ago). Source 4 was meant to work in conjunction with source 3 as a graphical way of showing how the current decrease of emissions indicates that emissions will peak in the 2020-2030 timeframe.

This article has a good quote on how emissions have been declining rather significantly over the last 15 years. "The new analysis finds global fossil fuel emissions grew by 0.7% in 2014, then held steady in 2015. Provisional data for 2016 predict a very small rise, of just 0.2%. This is a notable slowdown in emission growth, compared to an average rate of 3.5% in the 2000s and 1.8% over the most recent decade, 2006-2015." At this rate, the global change in emissions will be negative in a few years or less, matching what I said previously.[1]

II. Preventing vs. Alleviating

I've already explained how my opponent's arguments against my attempt at a redefinition of the resolution are misguided (see the cross-examination). Recapitulating what I said earlier, no, prevention and alleviation are not the same. The former is clearly better than the latter. But, even if, in attempting to prevent climate change, only alleviation is achieved, there are still benefits that make the effort worth it, benefits that I've explained before, meaning that such attempts are not "futile". Even so, I've shown how there are ways to not only alleviate, but prevent climate change as well.

I don't want to repeat this point during all of the following arguments, but it is often implied.

III. The International Community

I am not disregarding the international component to preventing climate change. What I am actually saying is that it is not just through international policy that climate change should be prevented, although it is still the most important. At the end of the day, it is at the local level that the appropriate actions are taken. But, beyond that, the regional and national levels are also important.

This part isn't as important in my attempt at a redefinition of the resolution, but it's something to consider nonetheless given the way the definition was worded.

IV. Carbon Sequestration

My opponent is correct that the most common type of carbon sequestration is the direct capture of carbon dioxide being emitted by factories, but this still greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted.

Plus, there are other methods of carbon sequestration. For instance, forests can be used as a way to capture additional carbon dioxide through either reducing deforestation, afforestation, reforestation, or conscious forest management. All of these policies increase the number of trees on the Earth, which would suck additional carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Other classes of methods include hydrodynamic and solubility trapping, which is where carbon dioxide is trapped as a gas under low-permeability cap rock and dissolved as liquid respectively. A combination of these two methods is particularly effective. The former method is very easy to establish, and the latter two are very promising.[2][3]

V. Cloud Seeding

Stating that my sources on cloud seeding concluded that the idea was "inconclusive" is a blatant misrepresentation of what they were saying. Source 8 said that, "Done properly, however, cloud seeding could undo decades of warming." Source 2 was a little more qualified, saying that there were still a few concerns about cloud seeding, but merely states that more research needs to be done on cloud seeding to prevent those negative effects and to make it more efficacious.[4][5]

My opponent's first argument about how cloud seeding reduces the total number of clouds in the atmosphere (which has an overall heating effect on the climate) is nonsensical. While it is correct that some clouds that would have been created if cloud seeding had not occurred won't actually be created, cloud seeding creates clouds itself. Plus, "Because clouds represent a modest portion of the moisture in the atmosphere, a cloud-seeding effect of 15% would only remove about 1–2% of the total water vapor in the seeding area, he contends." So there's an overall positive effect on the production of clouds in the atmosphere, not negative.[5]

My opponent's second argument, for similar reasons, is unfactual. Again, while cloud seeding does have negative effects, overall, the effects are positive. At the Wyoming Weather Modification Pilot Project (WWMPP), "Measurements from the high-resolution snow gauges on the ground indicated that seeding elevated snowfall by 5–15%... Another climate modeling experiment conducted over eight winters in the WWMPP study area, however, estimates that about 30% of winter precipitation in the region comes from seedable clouds."So there was a net positive effect on moisture and precipitation as well.[5]

VI. Benefits of Reduction

Even if alleviation is secondary to prevention (which I've admitted), these still count as benefits (although not directly beneficial to the climate), making such efforts not futile.

In addition, my opponent brushes aside my point that such benefits have a positive effect on climate research without much thought. Health and environmental benefits make it easier for people to concentrate their time on fixing climate change than otherwise. The monetary benefits are particularly apparent - that additional money can be put towards further climatological research. The implication there is fairly obvious.

VII. Politics

I've already talked about this in another form in point 2, but, still, most of the developed and developing world seems responsive to reducing their carbon footprint as a way to alleviate, and eventually prevent, climate change. The Paris Accord is an example of this (which, by the way, "...establishes a set of binding procedural commitments"). Even China and India are gradually working towards reducing their emissions over time. And even the U.S., which has pledged not to join the Paris Accord, has had its emissions being reduced for a while.[6][7]

My original point still stands here, but this addition refutes the entirety of my opponent's argument here anyway.

VIII. Cycle of Emission

While I do agree with my opponent's argument here, he is wrong that achieving negative emissions is impossible, as I have shown above. So while my opponent's premises here hold, his conclusion does not.

Conclusion

I have shown how, through methods like carbon sequestration and cloud seeding, negative emissions can be achieved. Plus, I have shown that, even methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which only alleviate climate change, are still beneficial, beneficial enough to be pursued. My opponent's arguments have either been too restrictive (because of the resolution and the way it was worded and defined) or non sequitur, and I've explained the details of the problems. Overall, I have shown that the resolution is affirmed.

Sources

[1]: https://www.carbonbrief.org/what-global-co2-emissions-2016-mean-climate-change
[2]: https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/niacs/carbon/forests/carbon_sequestration/
[3]: http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Midcarb/sequestration.shtml
[4]: http://climate.yale.edu/news/cloud-seeding-geo-engineered-response-climate-change
[5]: https://cen.acs.org/articles/94/i22/Does-cloud-seeding-really-work.html
[6]: https://www.c2es.org/international/2015-agreement/paris-climate-talks-qa
[7]: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/opinion/paris-agreement-climate-china-india.html

Return To Top | Posted:
2017-07-17 03:22:23
| Speak Round
Cross-Examination
YUDB8M8?: You state "it is at the local level that the appropriate actions are taken" in regard to climate change, and cite the possible usage of multiple hypothetical technologies for use in generating negative emissions. Without active and united participation on behalf of national and international governments, how will these technologies receive the funding or logistical and bureaucratic support needed to even actualize these technologies at a commercial level and get them implemented at a global scale?
Subutai: I stated that it was local, regional and national governments, in addition to international actions, that actions to rectify climate change are taken, not just local. At the local and regional levels, highly motivated individuals (often times with the backing of universities, national labs, and companies) create and modify the technologies necessary to to prevent climate change. Funding often comes from the national level. The international level is mainly for proliferation more than anything else.

Return To Top | Speak Round
SubutaiSubutai (CON)
Apparently this round is supposed to be for each participant to summarize their arguments. However, I said all I wanted to say in round 2, and I even wrote what I consider to be a complete conclusion at the end of that round, so I really don't have anything to add. I will though take this space to again thank my opponent for engaging in this nice debate.
Return To Top | Posted:
2017-07-26 19:49:11
| Speak Round
YUDB8M8?YUDB8M8? (PRO)
Again, thanks to my opponent for debating.
    I'll keep it simple here-essentially, the topic my opponent and I are arguing about boils down to who can provide a more convincing response to the following question: Will any efforts attempting to stop climate change actually be effective in stopping climate change?
    I've shown that the answer to the question is a resolute no, providing undeniable data, clear historical precedent, and the analysis of some of the foremost experts in environmental and political science showing that stopping climate change is not only scientifically impossible, but also politically and bureaucratically infeasible.
    My opponent has responded with multiple arguments, including a counter-definition that they themselves have conceded to being no longer valid, the proposition of implementing hypothetical technologies that will be ineffective at best and detrimental at worst, and the contention that somehow localized ordinance and action can bypass national and international coordination to fix a global problem.
   In regard to the topic of climate change itself, I'll be honest and gladly acknowledge that I believe that humanity should make efforts to address climate change, if not for helping it prepare and adapt to the changes in the environment, then for the tangential economic and health benefits which would be accrued(which my opponent did touch on). However, when it comes to the question of whether or not it's possible to actually halt climate change, I have presented a preponderance of evidence and argumentation showing that there's only one clear answer: No. Therefore, I urge a judgment in support of Pro.


Return To Top | Posted:
2017-07-31 06:35:31
| Speak Round


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SubutaiSubutai
What am I supposed to post this round?
Posted 2017-07-22 14:38:45
adminadmin
@YUDB8M8? I'm aware of that and working to fix it. Currently new arguments should be unaffected, but I'm looking at ways to solve the problem for past arguments.
Posted 2017-07-12 02:43:20
adminadmin
@YUDB8M8? I'm aware of that and working to fix it. Currently new arguments should be unaffected, but I'm looking at ways to solve the problem for past arguments.
Posted 2017-07-12 02:42:07
YUDB8M8?YUDB8M8?
@admin
Also, it appears that quotation marks and apostrophes in my posts have been replaced by a series of question marks. Is this a one-off thing as a result of the server move, or is there some way I should reformat my posts before entering them into the site?
Posted 2017-07-11 20:27:33
adminadmin
Oh right. I meant allowing him to make his post (as has been done now), due to the downtime and other issues with the site caused by the unexpected server move.
Posted 2017-07-11 03:02:25
YUDB8M8?YUDB8M8?
@admin
Posted 2017-07-11 02:11:03
YUDB8M8?YUDB8M8?
Could you clarify what exactly is meant by "resetting"? Is it in regard to this specific debate in particular, or the reuse of this resolution for future potential debates?
Posted 2017-07-10 02:34:27
adminadmin
@YUDB8M8? I will be resetting this debate later on today.
Posted 2017-07-09 19:16:08
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Previous Judgments

The time to judge ends in 2017-07-31 06:35:31
2017-08-10 13:25:47
Tommy DollmanJudge: Tommy Dollman
Win awarded to: YUDB8M8?
2017-08-10 16:48:16
Houssem SaafiJudge: Houssem Saafi
Win awarded to: Subutai
Reasoning:
I think that PRO ended up trying to shift the main question of the debate when he felt he was losing it by changing it from would preventing climate change be futile to whether preventing climate change is doable or not! In the other hand, Subutai has given some argument that falls under the main question of the debate and proved that preventing climate change would benefit our planet on many different levels. So basically there I was a feeling for me for most of the debate that YUDB8M8? went off the subject and discussed points that don't really relate to the topic which is something I think he should reconsider.

Feedback:
In the second round, PRO showed some good arguments that showed some weakness in the CON argumentation but he again neglected the most important argument and the point through which the whole debate is based. THE BENEFITS OF PREVENTING CLIMATE CHANGE. PRO again didn't argue a lot about this point leading to the judges to assume the fact that indeed preventing climate change is beneficial and so it's not futile, and only this point proven by CON leads us to give the win to Subutai.
1 user rated this judgement as exceptional
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2017-09-12 21:50:09
Lenox IgbadumheJudge: Lenox Igbadumhe
Win awarded to: Subutai
Reasoning:

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