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Debate Info

56
72
Agree Disagree
Debate Score:128
Arguments:71
Total Votes:145
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 Agree (30)
 
 Disagree (40)

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Individual effort is futile in conserving the environment.

What can the individual do in conserving the environment?

Are these efforts going to make a difference to the conservation of the environment?

Agree

Side Score: 56
VS.

Disagree

Side Score: 72
3 points

I agree. A million people recycling or cutting back on gas usage may help a little, but these things usually just distract people from the fact that huge factories dump slug into their air and drinking water, or that car companies continually fight fuel efficiency standards tooth-and-nail.

Fixing those two problems would have a far greater impact that millions of individual effort.

Side: agree
3 points

Individuals can definitely help to influence others to join in the effort, but one person or family cannot significantly lower greenhouse emissions or save natural resources on any scale. In order to conserve the environment, many people must get involved, all over the world.

Side: agree
3 points

I agree that individual effort is futile in conserving the environment.

One such example has to do with air pollution. Can someone actually help reduce the rate of air pollution just by playing his or her own part? Yes some may argue that every person's effort when put together will help to reduce the amount of pollutants in the air, but the truth is that collaboration with various international organizations will have the greatest impact on saving the environment.

If only one person or one county were to reduce and control the amount of pollutants being released into the environment, yet other countries are not playing their part, the individual efforts will definitely be futile. Therefore even though individual efforts to help in some ways, the collaborated efforts, i believe, will have a greater impact in helping to conserve the environment.

Side: agree
1 point

I feel that every person can make a difference. If every individual makes an effort to conserve environment, the small efforts made by everyone can make difference when put together as a whole. (: HENCE, I FEEL THAT every effort is futile in conserving environment.

Side: agree
hellopanda97(1) Clarified
1 point

I think you have mistaken the definition of futile.

Futile: Pointless.

Side: Agree
1 point

in a setting where only one person does it for the rest of his life and no one else ever does, than yes.

but, this is the real world. the fact is, individuals each do their own version of w/e and other people do it as well.

take a look at me. i don't really care what others do, but i conserve energy and use way less plastic bags just because it helps me economically.

corporations benefit the most from going green. they actually get more people to buy their shit by showing how they use less plastic or how their products are more green.

and, supermarkets use way less plastic bags (which save them a shit load) and actually SELL the green bags to the customers.

the individual CEO just got everyone of their customers to help.

Side: agree
1 point

The efforts of the international committee is more visible as compared to those of the individual. The Kyoto Protocol managed to gain the support of at least 55 nations and created an agreement between these countries to reduce their carbon emissions by 2015. In this, we can see that international committees are able to gain the attention of audiences throughout the globe about a matter, and help implement plans to conserve the environment.

In addition, the international committees(eg. UN) have more power then a smaller, individual organisation. Most of the time, they are able to successfully carry out a certain plan as they have the capital, tools and connections to do so. This advantage over the individual organisations would eventually allow the international efforts to be more rewarding.

Side: agree
1 point

i agree. Conserving the environment is not a one-man show. It requires the cooperation of all nations around the world. This can be proven by the constant effort of international agreements to get different nations to minimise their damage to the environment. So what if you reduce,reuse and recycle, when big, industrialised nations are still selfishly emitting indefinite amount of greenhouse gases. Nonetheless, while it may be true individual effort is far less significant, it is still necessary in an attempt to conserve the environment. Keep it going!

Side: agree
1 point

When talking about conserving the environment, there are many ways where we can do it, be it individual or group. However, it must come down to effectiveness in conserving.

Individual may be easier to handle, where it starts out from your home, then it will spread slowly. The impact made would be minimal. Also there is bound to be break down in the 'spreading' of conservation as our modern society are more liberal and active in their views. Time is also a factor in determining effectiveness. What is the use when individual efforts will take 100 years to solve climate change when the effect will be felt in 50 years time, or faster?

By conserving as a group, the effects felt would be much greater. In fact the bigger the group, the more impact felt, it is more effective in conserving. With more people conserving, time taken to solve global problem is faster. People also tend to 'follow the crowd' as big organizations represents unity, where most people are attracted to.

Therefore based on effectiveness, group effort is much better than individual. Just imagine, a community planting trees to fight pollution and climate change as compared to you trying to keep your wilting plant at home alive.

Side: agree
1 point

Environmental preservation will not come about through the individual contributions of individuals or non-profits, but through the action taken by the government to ensure sustainability. Thus is the nature of capitalism, and while many corporations currently appear to be hopping on the environmental "green bandwagon", it is all just publicity to drive profits. No, this current fad for "going green" will accomplish nothing until the government begins mandating harsher changes. Otherwise, people's interests will overcome the common interest to preserve the environment.

Side: agree
1 point

if you give yourself the right not to contribute, then everyone will give him/her self the right not to contribute..

the problem will get bigger and bigger,,, am sure your kids will have tough time being your children, lol

Side: agree
1 point

Companies are the biggest source of pollution and the ocean is something that we need to survive .

Side: Agree
1 point

We must do our part instead and make alternative resources, like us we do converting landfill waste in our community.

Side: Agree
8 points

I disagree, individual effort is paramount to the conservation of the environment. I strongly believe in the cliche of "Think Globally, Act Locally". By limiting one's own impact on the environment, one can reduce their carbon footprint and hopefully influence others to do the same.

Simply thinking that it's "other people's problem to solve" is the exact apathy that leads to mass environmental damage. If everyone were to do their part to conserve the environment this world would be a much better place.

Side: Disagree
2 points

All of that is true, but I don't think the Government should be evolved in forcing people to reduce their carbon footprint. Besides maybe the obvious things like littering being against the law. I can understand that.

I just don't think it's the governments place. Look at the Boy Scouts Of America. They do so much to help and encourage others to help, but nobody is being forced.

Side: agree
ledhead818(637) Disputed
3 points

"I don't think the Government should be evolved[sic] in forcing people to reduce their carbon footprint... I just don't think it's the governments place."

But you do think the government should force people to have children if they get pregnant, prevent people from drinking alcohol, prevent people from smoking marijuana, prevent people from smoking tobacco, and prevent gays from getting married?

Sounds to me like you have a classic case of Conservative Cognitive Dissonance™. You should see your doctor, they have this new drug out called Truth® made by Logic and Rational Thinking inc.

I just want to get this straight in my head. You think the government has no place in preventing people from doing something that harms the entire world, but you think it is okay for the government to prevent people from doing things that harm only themselves?

Side: agree
jessald(1915) Disputed
2 points

If everyone was a saint, individual effort would be enough.

Sadly that's not the case.

We can preach conservation til we're blue in the face, but a lot of people won't go through the trouble unless government pushes them to.

Side: agree

Well stated Borme...I agree to the last word you've written.

Side: Disagree

I was really happy to read this article as well: http://solveclimate.com/blog/20090519/retired-generals-call-military-citizens- step-climate-challenge . Now let's just see if the US military takes on some responsibility and helps out with the efforts.

Side: Disagree
5 points

Individual effort is not futile as each one of us, collectively, makes up the people of this world. A person by himself may seem to be insignificant to the other larger global efforts going on. However, we should not forget that people are able to influence others; a single effort may gradually evolve into a larger scale project as more people participate actively.

A story goes of a man picking up starfishes stranded on the beach and throwing them back to the sea. While the act may seem futile since there are thousands of other starfish stranded on other beaches, the man stated simply that he had made a difference to each starfish that he saved. In the same way, we can apply this to the environment. Our actions make be minor, but each conservative or recycling action we take, we reduced the impact of Man's negative action on the environment.

Side: Disagree

I disagree. As a vegan, I'm well-accustomed to people telling me that one person can't change anything. What a load of horse hockey! One person's efforts plus another person's efforts plus another person's efforts equals the world's efforts! Thus, one person can make a world of difference.

As Mahatma Ghandi tells us, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Side: Disagree
3 points

thats not true! if i want it, the environment will conserve itself :)

Side: Disagree
3 points

"A small effort goes a long way."

Individual effort is very important in conserving the environment. If everyone can play a part in conserving the environment simply by utilising both sides of the paper or recycling plastic bottles, bags or containers, it would help to conserve the environment. How is it going to help? Well, if there is less usage of these resources, in other words, the demand for the resources are very low, because people are using them at a slow rate, companies will manufacture less of the materials at any given time. Hence, the raw materials obtained to produce the products for consumers to consume will be much lesser, since companies may not find it profitable to supply the products in the market. There will also be less carbon emissions that may pollute the environment - global warming, due to the burning of fossil fuels to manufacture the products. Thus, saving the environment. So, individual effort is thus important as it may create snowball effect in terms of the consumption of the natural resources by companies and firms to produce goods and services for us, consumers. Each and every one of us have the ability to save the environment by just conserving our environment today. For example, if possible, do not order takeaways which package food in disposable packages and using disposable utensils. Instead, try to bring along luchboxes if we want takeaways or if even better to dine at the place if we are able to afford the time spend there. So, bear in mind that a small effort goes a long way.

Side: Disagree
2 points

Individual effort is not futile in conserving the environment as everyone has a significant role to play in conserving the environment so as to prevent further degradation of the Earth. With a mentality that individual effort will not be significant in such a global issue, no one would feel the pressure to do something to conserve the environment.

Although individual efforts may not seem to have obvious direct impacts on the Earth, individual efforts would have great impact so long as everyone is committed to do so.

Side: Disagree
2 points

I disagree. Individual effort is not futile in conserving the environment. Futile means "serving no useful purpose : completely ineffective" (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). I believe that, so long as we put in the effort, we will have an impact on the environment. If there is an impact, no matter how small, I believe we cannot say that the individual effort is completely ineffective. Thus it is not completely futile.

Side: Disagree
2 points

This is a basic economics question. Socialist or not, if you follow each to their end.

Realistically, and to be accurate to the question, an individual's effort is never futile. If anyone studies up enough and is truly dedicated to conserving the environment it'll spread beyond their personal reach.

Take for instance the man who built a home in Boston for ~$170k that will by next year be paying for itself via selling excess electricity to their power grid. This means less pollution from the power plants too. If everyone was as dedicated to conservation, they would all be doing the same thing. Scraping older houses and replacing them with completely self sustainable homes and selling power. He doesn't even need a job anymore, after spending $170,000. All he has to do is keep up the house and it'll supply him with everything he needs.

Also, my father used to work for Frito-Lay, as a technician. On his spare time he'd go through the facility and make it more efficient. He's still doing it today as a maintenance technician for Saputo. Just by changing the architecture, a little at a time, of the factory he can save the business millions of dollars a year in energy savings. He's always been one to conserve energy too, that's just his thing, even at home.

While I agree, a great part of it is the businesses responsibility, that doesn't mean that you as an individual can't change it. The more people you have caring, the more the business sector will tune in and do their part, that's obvious.

Even if you believe that it doesn't make a difference where it counts, it's like religion in that it gives people something to do that is more worth while than sitting around the television and complaining about everything. It's a healthy alternative to people's daily bullshit.

Side: Disagree
2 points

I disagree. Yes, individual effort only contributes minimally, however, it is not totally worthless in conserving the environment. It is not fair to say that individual effort to conserve the environment is futile only because the result of it is not so significant as the results of various international collaborations. I believe that, however small it may be, small individual efforts, like swithching off electrical appliances when not in use, walking instead of driving whenever possible,do help to conserve the environment.

Moreover, individual effort is what it takes for global effort. When every individual is doing their part to conserve the environment, it will certainly create a difference. While it is true that individual effort can only do so much to conserve the environment, that cannot be an excuse for not doing our part.

Side: Disagree
2 points

I strongly disagree over the above subject. Yes we firstly have to acknowledge we are part of the components of the environment and so as, all the things we do have a great impact on the environment. Having come to this reality, individuals taking the responsibility or actions to protect and conserve the environment deserve accolades in that regard. Need I have to say individual actions at the local level contribute to the global environmental problems we have as at today. So efforts pull by individual to conserve the environment is not futile but remarkable. We are all environmental Stewards our duty is to keep and to protect the environment. Contrary action is however unsustainable and highly detrimental to the planet as a whole.

What individuals can do include,

1. Accept you are an environmental vanguard or steward

2. Dispose your waste responsibility, reuse and recycle, however reject when it's not needed

3. Plant tree, flowers, encourage backyard gardens

4. Live and eat sustainably

5. Buy re-useable products

6. Use renewable energy

7. Turn your electrical appliances off when not in use

8. Conserve water, avoid wastage of this potential resource

9. Join an environmental group, participate in voluntary clean-up, create awareness, build networks and create eco-synergy to developing eco friendly solutions to arising problems in the wake of growing development and technology advancement.

Side: Disagree

Actually, the problem is that people think that conserving the environment means dramatic life changes, when in fact there are plenty of simple changes that can be made.

One very simple one is to eat less. Yes I said it, eat half of your portions and you are helping the environment. (this sounds like nothing, but if everyone where to do this it would take a huge toll of the agricultural carbon foot print-which is one of the largest) If you want to go one step further, consume less meat-which you don't need that much as it is. And you've all heard it, eat local foods if you can, etc etc.

Second, consume less energy, non-food related, this can be done in all kinds of fashions. One of the biggest losses of energy in a house is by not having it air tight. This simple adjustment can not only help the environment, but help the consumer save hundreds to thousands of dollars on their energy bills.

Those are just two ways that will truly help the effort. (more than you know)

One last point. I was at a case study last week on building a sustainable home. For 145,000 usd a man here in Chicago bought the land, rebuild the house, and made it sustainable. That is peanuts. By next year, he'll be collecting checks from Com Ed.

Side: Disagree
1 point

I disagree as well. Individual effort makes up the bulk of the community's effort in conserving the environment. If the individuals all play a part in conserving the environment, the impact would be much greater.

However, this also depends on the community you live in. A community of people with higher living standards would be more likely to consume more goods, therefore the extent of damage done to the environment would be greater. Thus, government;s effort in promoting the conservation of the environment to the people is important as well.

Side: Disagree
1 point

Individual effort has a direct impact on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The production of goods and services which in the process produces these greenhouse gases as by-products is affected by the demand of consumers. Therefore, individual effort can significantly reduce the number of activities producing greenhouse gas emissions if they choose to boycott goods which produce large amount of pollutants.

Side: Disagree
1 point

I posted this for Jake, already. but I think everyone should see it.

RECYCLE
Side: Disagree
1 point

Individual effort is futile in every large-scale problem. But if we all put forth effort, our efforts are no longer individual they are collective.

So this defeatist attitude only works if you are relying on everyone else to fail. If, instead, you hope that some will succeed, then your efforts will join theirs, making a bigger difference than any of you alone could have.

Side: Disagree
1 point

Even though individual effort might be too small to cause any changes to the big Earth, if every one of us put our heart into conserving to environment, individual efforts will gather together to become a group effort, and of course the effort will increase, thus individual effortt is never futile if only each and every one of us is willing to put in the effort.

Side: Disagree
1 point

I disagree, in fact i would think that individual will and effort is one of the key factors to environmental conservation.

Only when the need to conserve the environment comes from within, such that individuals feel the inherent desire to conserve the environment, can environmental campaigns have maximized efficiency. For example, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, having recognized the inhumane way used to prepare shark fins, has taken up the cause to advocate against consumption of the ‘delicacy’. He has since garnered support for his cause and influenced many to change their consumption patterns by not eating shark fins. while some may argue that such an individual effort is insignificant compared to the cultural tradition of consumption of shark fins, however, I am inclined to think of this as a rippling effect, where the awareness of such movement can spread across networks of people, further enhanced by the advancements made in social networking technology. Therefore, I think that individual effort is not futile in conserving the environment, and it is pertinent to consider individual effort, rather than wanting governments to do everything for us, in environmental conservation.

Side: Disagree
1 point

A lot of things we can do, it is how we just manage and responsibly do it.

Supporting Evidence: manure to energy (www.biogas2.com)
Side: Disagree

This is a retarded idea, if everybody realises that they as an individual can make a difference as a group of individuals, then a difference will be made. Is this possibly the great American fear of helping anybody else with anything lest you become collectivists manifesting itself?

Side: Disagree

Conserving our environment is a large scale effort. It requires contribution from a large number of individuals, much less from a single person. If change is to happen, we cannot leave the work to others and sit back and relax ourselves.

However, all movements begin from an individual. The Chipko movement began from one man, the movement for black civil rights began from a single woman.

Thus, ultimately, it is the individual that makes the difference.

Side: Disagree
1 point

With greater interconnectivity, more rapid industrialisation and urbanisation in today's world, environmental problems are becoming more and more severe at an alarming rate. The effects of environment problems such as climate change, pollution, resource depletion have started to terrorise the people. With extreme weather conditions like the recent heat waves in the United States (US), where temperatures reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius, and the increasing prevalence of natural disasters like the flooding in China which affected over 30000 people in July this year, environmental conservation is rapidly gaining popularity. However, this brings about the controversial issue- who should be responsible for protecting and preserving our natural environment? While many individuals believe that the government should bear this responsibility in preserving Mother Earth as individual efforts would be insignificant in improving the plight of our environment, others argue the individuals still play a very important role in doing so. I am more inclined to the views of the latter. After all, though one individual’s actions, like conserving, protesting, or recycling won’t solve big problems, an individual’s consumption decisions can influence those of others, which is especially important since it is not practical to force people to practise environment conservation by implementing rules and regulations. Collectively, individuals can lay the groundwork for social movements that will enable major policy shifts and help adapt our energy-intensive lifestyles to a changing planet.

Side: Disagree