This House Would Assign All Countries A Carbon Cap (a debate)

This House Would Assign All Countries A Carbon Cap (a debate)

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.

Asha Mior
My debate squad 🙂

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.

  1. Contributions of air pollution to climate change
  2. Health impacts of air pollution
  3. 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!

-Asha M.

4 thoughts on “This House Would Assign All Countries A Carbon Cap (a debate)

  1. Your points and model are really well written! I chose a different format for my model on how we’d implement this motion but I can definetly invision how this would work to reduce carbon emmissions and benefit different countries.

    Also just to add onto the topic, climate change not only impacts humans but also the majority, if not all, of the other species on Earth as well. We’ve impacted many animals through hunting and poaching but climate change has driven many species to extinction. This messes with cycles and food chains which creates new unexpected issues. For example the development of new predators or even the lack of them. Although many animals also do help to combat climate change such as the sea otters who eat sea urchins therefore helping the growth of kelp forests that reduce CO2.
    (All while being adorable little furballs!)

    Anyways that’s just some food for thought and this comment is long enough. Great job and hope to see you again at debate camp next year!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Michelle! Absolutely, that’s a great point about animals. I was going to use that as rebuttal, but I wasn’t too sure how it would work out as a point…you know how cold-hearted and emotionless some debaters can be! LOL! I thought side opp would probably come back with all kinds of questions about how the motion affects HUMANS instead of animals. How did it work out for you?

      1. Hey Asha no problem! When I debated what I did was smush the lives of humans and animals point together and made a separate one on how it impacts the Earth as well as one other point. So it worked for my partner and I but we did leave out some things that you talked about because it’s such a big topic so I’m sure that a lot of the other teams also had their own new and individual points. Also I can definitely understand how people would rebut to the animals point; we got lucky and actually didn’t get any POIs’ asking about it! Although you do bring up a very good point with the impact of the motion which I hadn’t thought about that at the time. However, if we did get questions concerning it then I’d probably say that although the motion is directed towards humans, by having a carbon cap our actions would have the power to impact the world as a whole. We’re the ones who created the problem or at least drastically extenuated it, cleaning up our act would benefit anyone being impacted by climate change which overall is everyone.

        1. Well said! I think you tackled that point perfectly by combining humans and animals. That way, the other side could only potentially attack PART of the point, rather than take the whole point down in rebuttal.

          It was great to meet you and the rest of the gang at debate camp! Hope to see you next year 🙂

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