Debate Info

Affirmative Negative
Debate Score:5
Total Votes:7
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 Affirmative (1)
 Negative (1)

Debate Creator

PolicyDebate(116) pic

This is a private debate. See the FAQ for more info.

Challenge Debate: USFG should subst. increase alt. energy incentives in US

Please no plan flaws- 08-09 policy topic


Side Score: 3


Side Score: 2


We are currently headed for an energy crisis.

Oil and Gas Journal, '03. (

"Various measures of US energy security indicate that the US might be heading for an energy crisis. Many of the warning signs that existed before the energy crises of 1973 and 1979 exist today and they indicate that the current situation could be even worse. US dependence on petroleum imports has grown steadily for over a decade and has been at record levels for several years. Petroleum inventories are low and the ability of Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) and commercial petroleum stocks to cope with an interruption in imports matches the historic lows preceding the 1973 and 1979 energy crises."

Wind energy lacks funding.

American Wind Energy Association, ’07 (

“During the year 2003 alone, federal energy subsidies ranged from $37 billion to $64 billion, according to a study prepared for the National Commission on Energy Policy.

Wind energy accounted for less than 1% of the total.”

THUS THE PLAN: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States by increasing farm subsidizes to develop wind energy.


A. Uniqueness- Oil prices have set a record high at $134 a barrel.

Tuttle, June 18, 2008. (;=aqCjVZeYbJ0A&refer;=germany)

"Crude oil for July delivery rose 9 cents to $134.10 a barrel at 9:37 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price, which reached a record $139.89 a barrel June 16, is up 94 percent in the past year."

B. Link- We will reach peak oil within the next 7 years.

Jacquot, 1-26-08 (

"Regardless of which route we choose, the world's current predicament limits our maneuvering room. We are experiencing a step-change in the growth rate of energy demand due to population growth and economic development, and Shell estimates that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will no longer keep up with demand."

C. Internal Link- Demand for oil will continue to increase while supply decreases.

Savinar, May ’08 (

“If 2005 was the year of global Peak Oil, worldwide oil production in the year 2030 will be the same as it was in 1980. However, the world’s population in 2030 will be both much larger (approximately twice) and much more industrialized (oil-dependent) than it was in 1980. Consequently, worldwide demand for oil will outpace worldwide production of oil by a significant margin. As a result, the price will skyrocket, oil dependant economies will crumble, and resource wars will explode.”

D. Impact- Without energy transition, 5 billion will die.

Stein, 10-16-2005 (;=48)

"The former oil-industry executive Jan Lundberg reckons the crisis will be sudden. "Market-based panic will, within a few days, drive prices skyward," he says. "And the market will become paralysed at prices too high for the wheels of commerce and daily living." So forget the price at the pump: when oil becomes truly unaffordable, you will be more worried about the collapse of distribution networks, and the absence of food from local shops. Ecologists use a technical term, "die-off", to describe what happens when a population grows too big for the resources that sustain it. Where will die-off occur this time? Everywhere. By some estimates, 5 billion of the world's 6½ billion population would never have been able to live without the blessed effects of fossil fuels, and oil in particular: oil powered the pumps that drained the land, and from oil came the chemicals that made intensive farming possible. If oil dries up, we can assume, those 5 billion must starve. And they won't all be in Africa this time. You too may be fighting off neighbours to protect a shrinking stash of canned food, and, when that runs out, foraging for insects in suburban gardens."


A. Uniqueness- The greenhouse effect causes solar energy to be blocked by various gases from leaving the atmosphere.

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), 12-27-07 (

“The "greenhouse effect" refers to the natural phenomenon that keeps the Earth in a temperature range that allows life to flourish. The sun's enormous energy warms the Earth's surface and its atmosphere. As this energy radiates back toward space as heat, a portion is absorbed by a delicate balance of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere—among them carbon dioxide and methane—which creates an insulating layer.”

AND- The greenhouse effect controls earth’s climate- if heat-trapping gases increase, so does the temperature of the earth.

UCS, previously cited

Without it [greenhouse effect], the average surface temperature would be 0°F (-18°C), a temperature so low that the Earth would be frozen and could not sustain life. “Global warming" refers to the rise in the Earth's temperature resulting from an increase in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

B. Link- Fossil fuels are the main contributors to the rise in said heat-trapping gases.

“Scientists have concluded that human activities are contributing to global warming by adding large amounts of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Our fossil fuel use is the main source of these gases. Every time we drive a car, use electricity from coal-fired power plants, or heat our homes with oil or natural gas, we release carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the air. The second most important source of greenhouse gases is deforestation, mainly in the tropics, and other land-use changes… Since pre-industrial times, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by 31 percent. Over the same period, atmospheric methane has risen by 151 percent, mostly from agricultural activities like growing rice and raising cattle… As the concentration of these gases grows, more heat is trapped by the atmosphere and less escapes back into space. This increase in trapped heat changes the climate, causing altered weather patterns that can bring unusually intense precipitation or dry spells and more severe storms.”

C. Impact- the earth will explode without addressing global warming.

Dr. Tom J. Chalko, 2004. (

Consequences of global warming are far more serious than previously imagined. The REAL danger for our entire civilization comes not from slow climate changes, but from overheating of the planetary interior… The Earth’s interior, as any nuclear fission reactor, will continue to release heat whether it is sufficiently cooled from the outside or not. It is very important to note that in a nuclear reactor heat is generated in the entire volume of the nuclear fuel, but cooling can occur only at the surface. The temperature inside the reactor’s core depends on the amount of cooling. The better the cooling - the lower temperatures inside the reactor core. When the cooling is reduced - temperatures inside the nuclear reactor rise… The cooling of the reactor called Earth is determined and controlled by the atmosphere. It is well known today that burning fossil fuels on a large scale produces large amounts of gasses that make the atmosphere ”trap” progressively more solar heat. This increased capacity of the atmosphere to hold more of the solar heat is called today the “greenhouse effect”. Any reduction of the cooling capacity of the atmosphere causes a corresponding increase of the interior temperatures. Appendix 1 clearly demonstrates that the tiniest reduction in the cooling capacity of a spherical reactor, when sustained for a sufficiently long time, causes extreme temperature increases at the center of the reactor… When there is a “meltdown” in the inner core of a planet - it is likely to occur at the hottest point - in the center of the core. From there - there is nowhere to “sink” and nowhere to “disperse”. The molten nuclear fuel just remains molten. If the molten volume of the inner core is large enough for a sufficient amount of time - the continuing stratification of isotopes will eventually lead to some of them achieving a ”critical mass”. When this occurs - the nuclear energy that was scheduled to be released over many millions of years may get released very quickly. A chain reaction will result in a gigantic atomic explosion.


Wind energy is the energy of the future.

American Wind Energy Association, ’07 (

“Wind power is ready to be a significant source of American energy. Diversifying federal support to include newer, non-polluting, domestic energy industries like wind is smart energy policy.”

Wind energy will never run out.

Energy Information Association, Nov. ’07 (

“Wind is called a renewable energy source because the wind will blow as long as the sun shines.”

Subsidies provide incentives for farmers to create wind energy by providing tax breaks.

AWEA, Previously cited.

“The main incentive for wind, the production tax credit (PTC) is an effective policy to facilitate wind power development, as evidenced by today’s growth in the use of wind power. Wind project owners receive tax credits only for energy produced; thus they have an incentive to use better wind sites and better technology – harvesting the most energy possible from every wind turbine.”

Subsidies have been effective in the past.

AWEA, previously cited.

"U.S. subsidies for oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydro power totaled approximately $500 billion from 1950 to 1977 (in 2004 $).1 In the last century, this investment created an abundance of affordable domestic energy, powering strong economic growth. It also contributed to a heavy reliance on fossil fuels. Today’s rising energy demands – and volatile prices – reveal a need for a more diverse energy supply."

Side: Affirmative
1 point

Harms Violation--

A. No link to Global Warming from plan- Global Warming will not result from not converting to wind power. Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming besides fossil fuels.

Stock and Rochen, ( Although all consequences of deforestation are potentially serious, perhaps the most serious consequence is that of climate change due to the loss of trees... The only way to help moderate the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is through plant life. Alive plants and trees absorb the carbon dioxide from decaying plants and trees. With a decrease in trees and plant life (due to deforestation) it is much harder to moderate these levels. Ultimately, the amount of carbon will increase due to a lack of plant life present to keep the carbon dioxide levels in check.

Since plant life is the only way to help moderate CO2, not converting to wind power and instead applying the incentives to conserving forests would help rid global warming faster. Thus, not converting to wind power does not result in the earth exploding, as global warming would not necessarily occur.

B. No link to 5 billion dying from plan- Your statement is "Without energy transition, 5 billion will die". Surely there are other energy transitions besides merely wind power, thus your not implementing your plan will not result in the death of 5 billion people as other energy transitions are probable.


There is no reason to increase the incentives if they are already working. Your AWEA quote says that “Wind project owners receive tax credits... thus they have an incentive to use better wind sites and better technology.” The farmers are already given incentives and they already work. Thus, there is no reason to offer more incentives.

Ecological DA---

Lloyd, 2007 Lloyd Crawford, Director of National Wind Watch. (

Even just five percent [of the US electricity generated by wind farms] by 2030 would require 160,000 megawatts of wind, almost ten million acres -- most of it rural and wild -- turned over to 400-foot-high machines and their motion, noise, and lights. That's not a green solution, but a huge disaster any way you look at it.

Link- Wind farms cause major problems with birds of prey, proportional with how many wind farms there are.

Ritter, 2005, (

But for just as long, massive fiberglass blades on the more than 4,000 windmills have been chopping up tens of thousands of birds that fly into them, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, burrowing owls and other raptors. After years of study but little progress reducing bird kills, environmentalists have sued to force turbine owners to take tough corrective measures. The companies, at risk of federal prosecution, say they see the need to protect birds. "Once we finally realized that this issue was really serious, that we had to solve it to move forward, we got religion," says George Hardie, president of G3 Energy. The size of the annual body count — conservatively put at 4,700 birds — is unique to this sprawling, 50-square-mile site in the Diablo Mountains between San Francisco and the agricultural Central Valley because it spans an international migratory bird route regulated by the federal government. The low mountains are home to the world's highest density of nesting golden eagles. Scientists don't know whether the kills reduce overall bird populations but worry that turbines, added to other factors, could tip a species into decline.

Internal Link-- These problems will cause severe imbalances of populations and/or extinctions to the bird populations.

Impact-- Human extinction-

Diner ’94 - David N. Diner. Major and Judge Advocate in the General’s Corps. “The Army and the Endangered Species Act: Who’s Endangering Whom?” 143 Mil. L. Rev. 161. Winter 1994.

By causing widespread extinctions, humans have artificially simplified many ecosystems. As biologic simplicity increases, so does the risk of ecosystem failure. The spreading Sahara Desert in Africa, and the dustbowl conditions of the 1930s in the United States are relatively mild examples of what might be expected if this trend continues. Theoretically, each new animal or plant extinction, with all its dimly perceived and intertwined affects, could cause total ecosystem collapse and human extinction. Each new extinction increases the risk of disaster. Like a mechanic removing, one by one, the rivets from an aircraft’s wings, [hu]mankind may be edging closer to the abyss.

Nuke War--

Magnitude – U.S. economic collapse will cause nuclear war- this outweighs everything else.

The U.S. Is in a recession-

Mauldin, 2008 ( Real (inflation-adjusted) retail sales have been flat for the last six months. Incomes are stagnant. Consumer spending is showing every sign of slowing even more. Unemployment is rising (see more below). Consumer sentiment is at 25-year lows. You can count on it that the NBER will show a recession starting the fourth quarter of last year and continuing at the least through the first quarter of this year. This one could last another six months. I still think long and shallow with a very slow recovery. One last point. The US population grows by about 1% a year. Thus economic growth should increase by at least 1% for the US to stay even on a per capita basis. Thus, at least with regard to GDP per capita, the US is definitely in a recession. And if you use real-world inflation data, we are also in a mild recession.

Additional stress to the economy in a time of recession combined with other global issues will lead to a U.S. economic collapse. Providing additional funding and incentives for wind energy would be this stress, pushing the US economy over the brink to a collapse.

A U.S. economic collapse leads to global economic depression-

Walter Mead, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, March/April, 2004

America’s Sticky Power, Foreign Policy, Proquest

Similarly, in the last 60 years, as foreigners have acquired a greater value in the United States-government and private bonds, direct and portfolio private investments-more and more of them have acquired an interest in maintaining the strength of the U.S.-led system. A collapse of the U.S. economy and the ruin of the dollar would do more than dent the prosperity of the United States. Without their best customer, countries including China and Japan would fall into depressions. The financial strength of every country would be severely shaken should the United States collapse. Under those circumstances, debt becomes a strength, not a weakness, and other countries fear to break with the United States because they need its market and own its securities. Of course, pressed too far, a large national debt can turn from a source of strength to a crippling liability, and the United States must continue to justify other countries' faith by maintaining its long-term record of meeting its financial obligations. But, like Samson in the temple of the Philistines, a collapsing U.S. economy would inflict enormous, unacceptable damage on the rest of the world.

Global economic collapse causes extinction-

Thomas Bearden, Association of Distinguished American Scientists and LTC, U.S. Army (Retired), 2000 ("The Unnecessary Energy Crisis: How to Solve It Quickly", )

History bears out that desperate nations take desperate actions. Prior to the final economic collapse, the stress on nations will have increased the intensity and number of their conflicts, to the point where the arsenals of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) now possessed by some 25 nations, are almost certain to be released.~ As an example, suppose a starving North Korea {[7]} launches nuclear weapons upon Japan and South Korea, including U.S. forces there, in a spasmodic suicidal response. Or suppose a desperate China--whose long-range nuclear missiles (some) can reach the United States--attacks Taiwan. In addition to immediate responses, the mutual treaties involved in such scenarios will quickly draw other nations into the conflict, escalating it significantly. Strategic nuclear studies have shown for decades that, under such extreme stress conditions, once a few nukes are launched, adversaries and potential adversaries are then compelled to launch [nukes]on perception of preparations by one's adversary.~ The real legacy of the MAD concept is this side of the MAD coin that is almost never discussed. Without effective defense, the only chance a nation has to survive at all is to launch immediate full-bore pre-emptive strikes and try to take out its perceived foes as rapidly and massively as possible. As the studies showed, rapid escalation to full WMD exchange occurs. Today, a great percent of the WMD arsenals that will be unleashed, are already on site within the United States itself {[8]}. The resulting great Armageddon will destroy civilization as we know it, and perhaps most of the biosphere, at least for many decades.

The possibility of extinction requires that we address the issue as if nuclear war is the result, no matter how slight the real risk is-

Schell 1982 - policy analyst and proliferation expert, 1982 (Schell, Jonathan, “The Fate of the Earth”, p. 94-5)

We are compelled to admit that there may be a holocaust, that the adversaries may use all their weapons, that the global effects, including effects of which we are as yet unaware, may be severe, that the ecosphere may suffer catastrophic breakdown, and that our species may be extinguished.... In the shadow of this power, the earth became small and the life of the human species doubtful. In that sense, the question of human extinction has been on the political agenda of the world ever since the first nuclear weapon was detonated, and there was no need for the world to build up its present tremendous arsenals before starting to worry about it. At just what point the species crossed, or will have crossed, the boundary between merely having the technical knowledge to destroy itself and actually having the arsenals at hand, ready to be used at any second, is not precisely knowable. But it is clear that at present, with some twenty thousand megatons of nuclear explosive power in existence, and with more being added every day, we have entered into the zone of uncertainty, which is to say the zone of risk of extinction. But the mere risk of extinction has a significance that is categorically different from, and immeasurably greater than, that of any other risk, and as we make our decisions we have to take that significance into account. Up to now, every risk has been contained within the frame of life; extinction would shatter the frame. It represents not the defeat of some purpose but an abyss in which all human purposes would be drowned for all time. We have no right to place the possibility of this limitless, eternal defeat on the same footing as risks that we run in the ordinary conduct of our affairs in our particular transient moment of human history. To employ a mathematical analogy, we can say that although the risk of extinction may be fractional, the stake is, humanly speaking, infinite, and a fraction of infinity is still infinity. In other words, once we learn that a holocaust might lead to extinction we have no right to gamble, because if we lose, the game will be over, and neither we nor anyone else will ever get another chance. Therefore, although, scientifically speaking, there is all the difference in the world between the mere possibility that a holocaust will bring about extinction and the certainty of it, morally they are the same, and we have no choice but to address the issue of nuclear weapons as though we knew for a certainty that their use would put an end to our species. In weighing the fate of the earth and, with it, our own fate, we stand before a mystery, and in tampering with the earth we tamper with a mystery. We are in deep ignorance. Our ignorance should dispose us to wonder, our wonder should make us humble, our humility should inspire us to reverence and caution, and our reverence and caution should lead us to act without delay to withdraw the threat we now pose to the earth and to ourselves.

Nuclear annihilation is bad-

We all die, along with most life.

Thus, implementing the aff's plan would lead to nuclear war and complete global destruction of the human race and most other life forms, though there is no proof that it will save any more lives than a different, less dangerous plan.

Side: Negative