For the past week, I took part in a debate camp at a local school. While I was there, I made lots of new friends and met many amazing debaters! Since I have only been debating for less than a year, I found that there was lots to learn about debate formats and techniques.
On our final day of camp, we held a tournament with four rounds of competition, two of which were prepared. I was thrilled to learn that our prepared resolution was “This House Would Assign All Countries A Carbon Cap”. This topic was right up my alley!
So for your viewing pleasure, I have decided to mix it up a bit and include the text of my arguments in favour of this resolution! (credit also to Ben, my debate partner) I will include any annotations that you might need to understand (if you aren’t a debater) in a blue box below.
It’ll look like this!
I hope that you enjoy! And, if you have any questions or Points of Interest (POIs), leave a comment and I will get back to you!
This should be fun! Here goes!
THW assign all countries a carbon cap
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a real climate crisis on our hands. Our world carbon emissions in 2013 measured a terrifying 35,669,000 kilotons. But, by implementing the resolution before us today, we on side proposition firmly believe we can begin to repair the damage that we are doing to our planet.
For this reason, we on side proposition firmly believe that this resolution must, and will, stand.
“Side proposition” is the team that agrees with the resolution (statement)
Today, we have been presented with the resolution, “This House Would Assign All Countries A Carbon Cap”. I would like to begin with some definitions of the resolution, then I will explain a model. Finally, I will present the three points that I have for you on side proposition. As I have no partner, I will be explaining all three points myself. (lol)
A “model” is a method of carrying out the resolution. In this case, it explains HOW we will assign all countries this carbon cap.
I have chosen to define this house as all of the countries in the United Nations. I have defined carbon cap as a limit to industrial carbon emissions.
We would achieve this resolution in the following ways.
- We would use a cap-and-trade system, similar to systems that are already in place in Russia, Switzerland, Mexico, Brazil, and Turkey.
- Cap: We would regulate the carbon emissions that industries can create per year. Over the next 4 years, countries will decrease their emissions by 5% each year. Countries that exceed their carbon emissions in the first two years will be given a warning. If they continue to exceed their emissions by the third year, economic sanctions may be imposed on that country until they make an effort to curb their carbon emissions.
- Trade: As explained by the Environmental Defence Fund, “If a company is able to cut its pollution easily and cheaply, it can end up with extra allowances. It can then sell its extra allowances to other companies. This provides a powerful incentive for creativity, energy conservation and investment — companies can turn pollution cuts into dollars.”
Now, I will proceed with my points.
- Contributions of air pollution to climate change
- Health impacts of air pollution
- Encouraging countries to move to more sustainable methods and fuels
Firstly, air pollution has been known to contribute to climate change. Climate change is the warming of the earth due to excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases trap the sun’s heat in, slowly warming the planet over time. Carbon dioxide is a MAJOR GREENHOUSE GAS! This doesn’t just mean that we will have warmer weather. Climate change causes flooding, melting of polar ice caps, hurricanes, and much more. But by requiring countries to curb their carbon emissions, we can begin to repair the damage that we have done to our climate.
Next, the health impacts of air pollution. Air pollution has been known to cause problems such as birth defects, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, cancers, and many more. In fact, a US study conducted last year determined that carbon based pollutants kill about 4000 people in China (an country notorious for pollution) every day. By setting a limit to the amount of emissions per year, we will be cutting down on the health impacts of air pollution.
Finally, encouraging countries to move to more sustainable methods and fuels. Fossil fuels account for approximately 82% of the world’s primary energy use. To create electricity, fossil fuels are burned so that they can heat water. The steam from the water turns a turbine. This burning creates HUGE environmental impacts. But aside from these effects, fossil fuels are a limited resource. Countries are going to need to move to more sustainable fuels anyway, and we believe that by implementing this resolution, we will help encourage a faster transition.
For these reasons, we (I) on side proposition believe that we have won this debate today. Thank you.
Do you have any questions or Points of Interest? Are you a debater too? Leave a comment below!