Secondary Round 1. Skyfloating v LDragonFire: Supressing Energy

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posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 09:33 PM
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The topic for this debate is "Some supression of alternative energy sources is an economic necessity".

Skyfloating will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
LDragonFire will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.


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posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:01 AM
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"Some supression of alternative energy sources is an economic necessity".

I have been assigned the pro-position on this. I will therefore be arguing that alternative energy sources must be introduced to society in a slow and gentle manner as not to throw society and its economy into chaos and collapse.

Definitions

The term "alternative energy" is generally used to describe an alternative to fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) which make up around 86% of our energy production. Some of the "alternative energies" are:

Hydroelectric Energy (6.3%)

Nuclear Energy (6.0%)

Geothermal Energy

Solar Energy

Wind Energy

Wood

Waste

The last five items on the list make up around 0.9% of our energy production.

Source


Argumentation

The ratio of fossil fuel dependence compared to alternative energy dependence already shows that a quick shift to alternative energies is not possible or recommendable at the moment. This is why we need to "hit the brakes" a little, or as the debate title suggests, temporarily apply some suppression.

I will be arguing that we should continue to research, introduce and expand on alternative energy souces in a slow and controlled way...in the hope of having more energy options to choose from in the future.

I would also like to point out that rather than placing all of our hopes in energy sources that are currently not financially efficient, we should also be focussing on not wasting but saving the energy sources we do have.

As to why we will and must continue to rely on fossil fuels in the near future: Cost efficiency. This article pretty much sums up the realism of my side of the debate and what we, as a humanity, have planned for the future: Fossil Fuels in the 21st Century. An extract:



Fossil fuels are assumed to dominate energy supply for much of the 21st century as a consequence of their relatively low cost. As China and India develop, coal will be used more, largely for direct combustion, in the early part of the 21st century, with production of coal-sourced liquid fuels assuming increasing importance later. Nevertheless, it is assumed that by the end of the 21st century, nuclear power, biomass, and other renewable energy sources will provide almost half of global TPE.



While I wish my opponent the best of luck with his side of the debate, I doubt that he will be able to show how relying too heavily on alternatives such as wind and solar power could be realistically viable.

Unless something new is invented or discovered, we need to rely on fossil fuels while expanding on alternative energy sources only step by step



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 01:40 PM
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I would like to thank The Vagabond and ATS for the opportunity to participate in this debate. I would also like to thank Skyfloating as I know this will be an entertaining and hopefully educational experience for all. Good luck!
_______________________________________________________________
Opening Statement:

This debate "Some suppression of alternative energy sources is an economic necessity". In a nut shell, is that energy sources other than oil, coal, and natural gas should be phased in rather than used on a grand scale, because of the financial implications it would cause to current energy providers. I completely disagree with this mindset, and I will attempt to show that this is not a good idea, and that this just might not be possible.

I agree with my opponent on his definition of alternative energy. Throughout this debate I would like to discuss each alternative energy option the pros and the cons of each. I will also like to show how our dependence on fossil fuels mostly from foreign sources is not good for our country, and I would like to show that the only ones that really benefit from this dependence on fossil fuels here in the USA and the Western world are the giant oil companies. The public will be the ones to gain form a varied energy output, both environmental and in price.


Rebuttal to Argumentation:

The ratio of fossil fuel dependence compared to alternative energy dependence already shows that a quick shift to alternative energies is not possible or recommendable at the moment. This is why we need to "hit the brakes" a little, or as the debate title suggests, temporarily apply some suppression.


I disagree with this statement. Dependence is not a good thing, at the present time we are dependent on oil and natural gas, mostly foreign oil and natural gas. This oil is produced world wide for our use and must be shipped here; most of this oil is also refined here. The problems with this are the variables that are beyond our control, the price of oil is mainly set by foreign governments and organizations. The amount produced worldwide is also set by OPEC a foreign organization. We also have the uncontrolled variables, of shipping vast amounts of a very unstable environmentally wrecking product worldwide. Ocean tanker ships are huge, and when they have an accident or sink it causes massive environmental damage.


I will be arguing that we should continue to research, introduce and expand on alternative energy souces in a slow and controlled way...in the hope of having more energy options to choose from in the future.


I agree we must continue to research these alternative forms of energy, but not in a slow or controlled way. We should be pouring massive amounts of money into alternative energy sources, and I would like to include hydrogen power cells into the above mentioned mix. I also think we should be using these alternatives, what better way of improving the practical application and use of such energy sources, by real world testing and modifications.


I would also like to point out that rather than placing all of our hopes in energy sources that are currently not financially efficient, we should also be focussing on not wasting but saving the energy sources we do have.


I will show in this debate that the use of solar energy has almost caught up to being just as efficient as fossil fuel power. Using alternative energy sources both in practical applications and in research is in no way wasting energy, when the outcome will be a more environmentally friendly energy supply, and will free us of our dependence from foreign governments and organizations. The use and research into alternative energy sources is a win win situation.

The article you provided shows crystal clear why we need to rid ourselves of this fossil fuel dependence. We need a more wide variety of energy sources to insure that the demand for energy is met, even in not so idea situations. Our dependence on foreign energy needs didn’t stop the disruptions that occur during storms or blizzards, but if we had a more varied energy production system, plus a modern distribution system, such as underground cables, we might be able to avoid many of the outages we have today.

America suffers from structural decay, we need to rebuild our infrastructure, and what better time to do it than now, and to include many of these alternative energy production facilities where we can. This should be a massive effort, if we can spend $500 billion on Iraq, why not do the same here.


Unless something new is invented or discovered, we need to rely on fossil fuels while expanding on alternative energy sources only step by step


Slowing or suppressing the development on alternate energy will only guarantee profits for the big oil companies, profits for foreign government and organizations including some not so friendly human right governments. It will also continue the pollution we currently have. Nothing new will be invented until the use and more research are done, and this needs to be done.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:22 PM
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As much as I´d love for us to be independent of oil...as much as I´d love alternative energy sources....we have to go slow and gentle




Originally posted by LDragonFire
This debate "Some suppression of alternative energy sources is an economic necessity". In a nut shell, is that energy sources other than oil, coal, and natural gas should be phased in rather than used on a grand scale, because of the financial implications it would cause to current energy providers.


Yes, except that the grand scale shift away from fossil fuels would not only have financial implications for energy providers but for us all as it would lead to an international disaster. Considering that from the U.S. all the way to China the demand for transportation (cars, trains, planes) and plastics (which come from oil) is increasing by the minute we need a very slow transition indeed.

If a quick grandscale shift to alternative energy were viable, even oil companies themselves would start investing more in them. You would start investing in them as well. If something is economically viable, it spreads like the flu.

Socratic Question #1: If alternative energy is so damn viable, why dont we start investing in it on a grand scale?

Socratic Question #2: If "alternative" energy were a real alternative to our increasing energy demands, dont you think oil companies would have started investing in it a long time ago?



I will also like to show how our dependence on fossil fuels mostly from foreign sources is not good for our country, and I would like to show that the only ones that really benefit from this dependence on fossil fuels here in the USA and the Western world are the giant oil companies. The public will be the ones to gain form a varied energy output, both environmental and in price.


Yes, which is why we are feverishly looking for alternative ways. But we shouldnt be dumping oil until we´ve found a viable alternative.

Socratic Question #3: Are you implying that you havent and arent benefiting from fossil fuel-based products?



Dependence is not a good thing, at the present time we are dependent on oil and natural gas, mostly foreign oil and natural gas.


Yes, dependence is not a good thing. But a collapse of our economy is even worse.



The problems with this are the variables that are beyond our control, the price of oil is mainly set by foreign governments and organizations.


Yes. I personally believe oil can be sold at a much cheaper price. And, by living more consciously, we can also save much more oil.

On a few ocassions our politicians have considered banning any other cars than electrical ones in crowded cities and rush-hour traffic while allowing them for longer trips. This little shift in behaviour alone would transform the entire picture.




I agree we must continue to research these alternative forms of energy, but not in a slow or controlled way. We should be pouring massive amounts of money into alternative energy sources


We´ve already been pouring massive amounts of money into alternative energy sources...at considerable costs and very low return on investments.

We cannot be "pouring massive amounts of money" into pipedreams (no pun intended).

Now, before you try to paint me as anti-green, anti-environment, let me point out that even greens agree with me on this. This article might help enlighten you. Some excerpts vital to this debate:


The one major hurdle to many of the alternate energy sources is economics. Oil is a very efficient energy source and there is still plenty of it. Not many products can produce 18,000 BTUs per pound, and cost almost the same as bottled watter. Right now, it is as profitable as ever and the demand continues to grow- year after year



Economic wise, it will continue to make sense to harvest more oil, as long as demand continue to grow. This will not be reduced unless the price of oil is so high that people completely change their habits. In plain English, as soon as the oil reaches 10 or 15 dollars per gallon we’ll start seeing changes. This is not going to happen until oil starts to become scarce.


And concerning your support of Hydrogen:


Hydrogen- Requires changes to the cars we drive. Additionally, requires specialized facilities to distribute and contain it. It is still very expensive. It is said that it takes a lot of fossil energy with today’s technologies to harvest hydrogen. The pollution caused by producing hydrogen, outweighs the benefits it produce.



As much as I applaud alternative energy research and promotion, we cant be doing this in the haphazard way suggested by you and populist politicians who like to use the idea to garner votes but fail to mention the implications.





Socratic Question #3: Is it the oil companies who are responsible`for our dependence on oil, or is it our demand and the fact that its still the cheapest grand scale option?



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:13 PM
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Yes, except that the grand scale shift away from fossil fuels would not only have financial implications for energy providers but for us all as it would lead to an international disaster. Considering that from the U.S. all the way to China the demand for transportation (cars, trains, planes) and plastics (which come from oil) is increasing by the minute we need a very slow transition indeed.


The transition could be accomplished in less than five years IMHO. All we need is One act from Congress, one signature by our president, just like when they passed the Americans with Disabilities act. We could start replacing gas and coal operated power plants with solar, wind and hydro electric ones possibly huge hydrogen fuel cell plants, when one alternative plant comes online, shut down a gas or coal even if we must double up on these alternative plants to meet increasing demand then so be it. Retrofit all public Gas stations and parking lots at grocery stores, malls, businesses, and the like; make 40% of parking spaces in America equipped with electric plug-ins for electric cars. The largest downfall for the electric car is not having ready places to recharge on long trips.

Right now cars made in China are more fuel efficient that American made vehicles, enact legislation to make all cars more fuel efficient. By using more alternative energy plants there will be less demand for oil, and the price of oil will fall. If we did just these things, we still would have cheap plastic.

We don’t need a slow transition, we need to get up off of our rear ends and get to building these energy plants. The sooner the better. If we can reduce or dependence on oil and gas for our electric needs by using Solar, Wind, and Hydro Electric power we could once again stand proud as Americans in leading the way in the world, by leading by example, and other countries would follow our lead.


If a quick grandscale shift to alternative energy were viable, even oil companies themselves would start investing more in them. You would start investing in them as well. If something is economically viable, it spreads like the flu.



Socratic Question #1: If alternative energy is so damn viable, why dont we start investing in it on a grand scale?


Answer to question #1: The price per barrel of oil reached $108 last week, the oil companies are making record profits we in my opinion have reached the end of cheap oil, and it’s a boom time for the oil industry, I don’t think they are interested in fixing what in their opinion isn’t broken.

If this statement is true then why the oil industry does have such a huge lobby group in Washington protecting their interests, it is Not in their best interests for competition to spring up from alternative energy companies producing energy. It would very much affect their bottom-line, and the political weight they have being the only producers of energy.


Socratic Question #2: If "alternative" energy were a real alternative to our increasing energy demands, dont you think oil companies would have started investing in it a long time ago?


Answer to question #2: The exact opposite it true I believe that big oil has suppressed alternative energy methods, products and technologies. From carbonators that run with water instead of gas, to the very existence of the electric car industry itself. They have created a monopoly in the energy industry, and they have used predatory practices to keep them on top.

Just as Edison and Henry Ford were about to go into business together to offer a low cost electric car comparable to the Model T, a suspicious fire destroyed nearly all of Edison's West Orange, New Jersey research facility, curiously bypassing areas where the most flammable chemicals had been stored. Within months World War I would engulf Europe and eventually America and the dream of the electric car would fade into obscurity, a curious, forgotten footnote of history.
A 'Black' History of Our Oil Addiction

This is a good read of what happened to the early electric car industry.

Cheap oil has driven the oil based economy were all familiar with, in fact it’s the base of our entire civilization. Our food production, medicine, industry, entertainment, everything is driven by oil; it is like the heroin the world so desperately needs on a daily basis.
This right here is why they won’t suddenly change what they are doing when it concerns our energy needs:

OPEC


Yes, which is why we are feverishly looking for alternative ways. But we shouldnt be dumping oil until we´ve found a viable alternative.


We are well on our way:

The "tipping point" will arrive when the capital cost of solar power falls below $1 (51p) per watt, roughly the cost of carbon power. We are not there yet. The best options today vary from $3 to $4 per watt - down from $100 in the late 1970s.
Cheap solar power poised to undercut oil and gas by half


Well it seems we are well on our way but wait what’s this?

Produced at less than $1 per watt, the panels will dramatically reduce the cost of generating solar electricity and could power homes and businesses around the globe with clean energy for roughly the same cost as traditionally generated electricity.
New Low Cost Solar Panels Ready for Mass Production

Alternative energy is viable, and now its going to be as cheap as carbon based energy, we need to start replacing these old power plants with these newer options.

Socratic Question #3: Are you implying that you havent and arent benefiting from fossil fuel-based products?


I’m not sure why you would ask this, I’m using a computer made of plastic, and it’s plugged into my wall using electricity, I do think it nuclear energy for that, I shop for groceries at a store like you do, these products had to get there some way. So no I’m not implying anything of the sort.

However, I don’t own a car; I use public transportation, buses that run on bio diesel, and light rail powered by electricity. We as a country are making stride in the right direction. We are the largest producer of oil, and the largest consumer of oil, we could easily take the lead in the world in ridding us of our dependence of oil.


Yes, dependence is not a good thing. But a collapse of our economy is even worse.


I don’t see it this way at all. We need to rebuild our infrastructure anyway {bridges, sewers, water systems, underground power lines}, we could include what I’m saying in that, it would put millions to work and the end result would be a more modern, efficient, cleaner energy infrastructure.

I’m not saying we should end the use of oil entirely, but really how long can our economy cope if we are indeed at the end of cheap oil like it appears we are. It seems to me that we can Choose to change or be forced too.

We already are on the verge of economic collapse, and the price of oil is apart of why we are here.

As for the hydrogen issue, this is what the Department of Energy has to say:

Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. Their only waste product is water vapor. In the last five years, their power density - the ratio of power output to size - has increased ten-fold while their costs have decreased ten-fold. Every major automobile manufacturer has a program to develop fuel-cell-powered vehicles, and many experts predict that hydrogen-powered electric cars will appear on American roads in a few years.
Nuclear plants may be clean hydrogen source




Socratic Question #3: Is it the oil companies who are responsible`for our dependence on oil, or is it our demand and the fact that its still the cheapest grand scale option?


If the oil companies did indeed conspire to suppress alternative energy technologies such as the electric car, then yes they are guilty and are responsible.

Socratic Question #1: Have the oil companies suppressed alternative energy methods, products and technologies?

Socratic Question #2: Do you think we have reached the end of cheap oil?

Socratic Question #3: Do you think OPEC can meet the demand of the world oil needs indefinitely?



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 11:01 AM
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The short-term goal is efficient energy use while gradually implementing more and more alternative energy, rather than going "cold turkey" on oil


Originally posted by LDragonFire
The transition could be accomplished in less than five years IMHO.


Thats your opinion. How about backing some of your claims throughout this debate up with data, statistics, evidence?




We could start replacing gas and coal operated power plants with solar, wind and hydro electric ones possibly huge hydrogen fuel cell plants, when one alternative plant comes online, shut down a gas or coal even if we must double up on these alternative plants to meet increasing demand then so be it.



Oh yeah? Have you done your math on this? Ive already shown how the demand for fossil fuels is so high and the ability of these "alternatives" to meet our demands so low, that this cant be done within the time-frame you suggest.

You´re a good dreamer, I´ll leave you that...but you also have to do your math. As shown, the science-communities consensus is that we will be able to make a transfer to 50% fossil fuels and 50% alternative energy (as opposed to the current 90%-10% now) within the next 50 years.



Right now cars made in China are more fuel efficient that American made vehicles, enact legislation to make all cars more fuel efficient.


Right on




Answer to question #1:

...the oil companies are making record profits we in my opinion have reached the end of cheap oil, and it’s a boom time for the oil industry, I don’t think they are interested in fixing what in their opinion isn’t broken.

...it is Not in their best interests for competition to spring up from alternative energy companies producing energy.


Well, normal business practice is to invest into the future. The oil companies having so much money to invest, would have started investing on a grand scale a long time ago...also in order to protect themselves from this supposedly "massive competition". The same applies to your answer to my second socratic question.

Face it: We are not ready for a shift to alternative energy across the board and must suppress the urge to overthrow the entire system.



What happened to the electric car...


As already mentioned, I believe in the electric car to be a good alternative in mid-term future. Truly, I agree with the debate title: Some suppresion, some "hitting-the-brakes" most be applied. But nobody will deny that sooner or later we need to free ourselves from oil dependence.

In therapy you dont take the drug away from the addict at once, leaving him in agony, but over a slow and gentle period of time. Much more so on a mass-population/society scale where removal of what we are dependent on would cause the standstill of the entire industry. Next I would like to QUOTE YOU to support my case:




Cheap oil has driven the oil based economy were all familiar with, in fact it’s the base of our entire civilization. Our food production, medicine, industry, entertainment, everything is driven by oil; it is like the heroin the world so desperately needs on a daily basis. This is why we wont suddenly change what we are doing....


Exactly





(Quoted from external source) The "tipping point" will arrive when the capital cost of solar power falls below $1 (51p) per watt, roughly the cost of carbon power. We are not there yet. ....


Thats right, we are not there yet. While I appreciate your fair and honest presentation of source materials, notice how some of them actually confirm what I am debating here.



Well it seems we are well on our way but wait what’s this?
(external source) Produced at less than $1 per watt, the panels will dramatically reduce the cost of generating solar electricity ....


And there´s hope for the future. My intention is not to stifle hope in alternative energy but to point out the obvious: Our entire economy is currently dependent on oil which is why the cries for speedy change do more damage (economically) than good.





Socratic Question #3: Are you implying that you havent and arent benefiting from fossil fuel-based products?

I’m not sure why you would ask this, I’m using a computer made of plastic, and it’s plugged into my wall using electricity...




The reason I asked this is because you said "The only people benefiting from oil are the oil companies". Stripped from the green-activist rhetoric, the truth is that we have all benefited from oil immensly. You could say that our entire progress since the 19th Century is based on it.



Skyfloating: "Yes, dependence is not a good thing. But a collapse of our economy is even worse"

I don’t see it this way at all. We need to rebuild our infrastructure anyway {bridges, sewers, water systems, underground power lines}, we could include what I’m saying in that, it would put millions to work and the end result would be a more modern, efficient, cleaner energy infrastructure.



Who´s going to pay for energies that dont generate nearly as much return on investment as fossil fuels???




As for the hydrogen issue, this is what the Department of Energy has to say:


Which kind of defeats your claim that there´s cover-up of alternative energies happening. As I said, once it becomes truly viable (and it wil become more viable in the future), our government is only too willing to look for solutions.

Replies to your Questions


Socratic Question #1: Have the oil companies suppressed alternative energy methods, products and technologies?


The conspiracy-theorist in me can even imagine that so-called free-energy has been suppressed. But an examination of hard factual evidence shows that we are responsible, our insatible demand is responsible for the current situation. Of course oil-companies have exploited our addiction...no doubt about it...but we are the ones who demand and use more and more and more. It should also not be too much of a stretch to realize that if everyone could profit from alternative energies they would have been established along time ago. Humans love profit. The reason alternative energy is not yet established as our main source of energy is because no overall profit is involved. Who´s going to deny that?




Socratic Question #2: Do you think we have reached the end of cheap oil?


I dont know. If we had, Id think our government would be working harder on finding alternatives. I hope we reach the end of cheap oil some day because that would speed up the process you dream of.



Socratic Question #3: Do you think OPEC can meet the demand of the world oil needs indefinitely?


I dont know. But no matter if they can or not, I agree that we need to lessen our dependence on oil step by step.

Here´s a moderate asking Are alternative energies economically viable?

The predictable answer: Not yet.

Also, I would like to remind you that, strictly speaking, the debate topic is not about the environment but about the economic aspect of alternative energy.

Here is an interesting article detailing the non-feasibility of alternative energy (for now):

Bush´s failed attempt to become more independent of oil

Like me, article also tends toward favouring more efficient energy use rather than the alternative energies proposed by Bush. Excerpts:


WASHINGTON — President Bush set an ambitious goal in his State of the Union address: break the country's addiction to oil and move beyond a petroleum-based economy.



But those goals have remained elusive. In 1973, the United States consumed 17.3 million barrels per day of oil. Today, that number is up to 20.7 million barrels per day. The percentage of imported oil has risen more sharply over the period, increasing from nearly 35 percent to 60 percent.




...experts said, substantive change may be many years away.

"Oil is very deeply entrenched in our economy," said Peter Tertzakian, author of the new book, "A Thousand Barrels a Second: The Coming Oil Break Point and the Challenges Facing an Energy Dependent World." "And every year, we consume more and more oil, and it becomes more and more entrenched."



The president said technological breakthroughs encouraged by his plan "will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025."




The White House wants to accelerate research into the production of "cellulosic ethanol" from plant fiber, an abundant renewable resource. The president talked about making the fuel from wood chips, stalks and switchgrass, which is commonly found in North America.



"He didn't propose anything having to do with energy efficiency, which is something that could help in the next 10 years, while he's developing all these new technologies," Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. "How about making our vehicles more efficient? He didn't mention one thing about that."


Its not hard to see that the goal is the year 2025 and critics even say thats unrealistic.


Socratic Questions:

#1. Do you agree that currently we´d need to build a huge amount of alternative energy stations in order to get the same output as a single power plant?

#2. Do you concede you cannot show how we are supposed to become completely independent from oil within the next five years?



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 02:28 PM
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The short-term goal is efficient energy use while gradually implementing more and more alternative energy, rather than going "cold turkey" on oil


The topic of this debate is: "Some supression of alternative energy sources is an economic necessity".

I’m not reading it as we have to go cold turkey regarding oil. I’m reading it as we must hold back the use of alternative energy sources so the ones making the big money off of oil continue to make the big money off of oil.


Thats your opinion. How about backing some of your claims throughout this debate up with data, statistics, evidence?

Oh yeah? Have you done your math on this? Ive already shown how the demand for fossil fuels is so high and the ability of these "alternatives" to meet our demands so low, that this cant be done within the time-frame you suggest.

You´re a good dreamer, I´ll leave you that...but you also have to do your math. As shown, the science-communities consensus is that we will be able to make a transfer to 50% fossil fuels and 50% alternative energy (as opposed to the current 90%-10% now) within the next 50 years.



“You can say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” John Lennon

You want math and stats, the stats you are providing are based on the statues quo, if we don’t do anything different this is how it’s going to turn out. If we continue at a snails pace in fifty years we will finally be, just Less dependant on foreign oil.

We went to war in Iraq to control their oil, to ensure our present way of life, but we didn’t have too. The $500 billion we have spent there could have been used to completely retool our energy production needs. Will we ever see a return on the investment we have made in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Now at this point in time, has the war helped our economy, is our economy doing well? Do Americans have the benefit of cheap pollution free energy? Now if the government decided to enact an overhaul of our energy infrastructure, wouldn’t this create jobs? This would be a real economic stimulus package compared to the really little band-aid they are giving us.

We have the means to build whatever and wherever we want, we have the technology to build these new power plants; all we need is the money, and the will to make it so.

Below are a few of the power plants we could be building right now.


Wave Power Plant


A Scottish company will deploy sausage-shaped tubes off Portugal to create the world's first commercial wave power plant, providing electricity to 1,500 homes from 2006, a partner in the Scottish firm said on Friday.
Newest Alternative Energy - Portugal's Wave Power Plant


Solar Power Plant

Nobody can fault Ausra for lack of ambition. The solar power-plant maker has released a peer-reviewed paper claiming that solar-thermal electricity could power 90% of the US grid, with enough left over for plug-in hybrid cars. "The company estimates that such a changeover would eliminate 40 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions with a land footprint of 9,600 square miles, about the size of Vermont".
Ausra: Solar Power Around the Clock, Enough for 90% of U.S. Grid


You hear what they are saying, 90% of the US power grid!!! W00t w00t!!!!!


The lucky sunny state of Arizona is about to become home to the world’s largest Solar Plant! Thanks to a just-announced contract between Abengoa Solar and Arizona Public Service Company (APS), the enormous solar plant called Solana will power up to 70,000 homes, and will be the first example in the country of a major utility getting the majority of its energy from solar. The 1900 acre plant will be completed by 2011
World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Coming to Arizona in 2011

There is so much more to post but I can’t because of the limitations.
Bio Diesel Power Plants

Biofuels Power has opened up a 5-megawatt power plant that runs entirely on biodiesel--and it plans to follow up with another facility that can produce twice as much power.
Texas power plant runs on biodiesel


And the list just goes on and on, not dreams, but real power plants we could be using to replace fossil fuel plants, for cleaner cheaper energy. Tidal power, Wind power, Solar thermal, Nuclear, and possibly geothermal.

All of the alternative energy sources I have listed are a reality, they are not pipe dreams or theory, but Fact, except for geothermal, not sure if we have real uses for that yet.



The conspiracy-theorist in me can even imagine that so-called free-energy has been suppressed. But an examination of hard factual evidence shows that we are responsible, our insatible demand is responsible for the current situation. Of course oil-companies have exploited our addiction...no doubt about it...but we are the ones who demand and use more and more and more. It should also not be too much of a stretch to realize that if everyone could profit from alternative energies they would have been established along time ago. Humans love profit. The reason alternative energy is not yet established as our main source of energy is because no overall profit is involved. Who´s going to deny that?


I was going to bring up Tesla and zero point energy in this debate, but really I have no way of proving if it’s true or not, and I’m trying to dwell on real applications using technology we already have.

Not one alternative energy will replace oil as out chief provider, it must be a multiple of sources, and that means many more jobs, and that will also boost the economy. I still think form what I have read that we can produce energy as cheap or even cheaper than we do with fossil fuels now.


I dont know. If we had, Id think our government would be working harder on finding alternatives. I hope we reach the end of cheap oil some day because that would speed up the process you dream of.


The deal with peak oil is that it’s either occurring now or will occur in fifty years, my point is why wait, lets do this before we are forced too, doesn’t it make since if we only have a good 50 year supply left, to save as much as possible for future use?


Also, I would like to remind you that, strictly speaking, the debate topic is not about the environment but about the economic aspect of alternative energy.


Alternative energy is much cleaner than fossil fuels, hence it make the environment cleaner, which makes us all healthier, and that very much does impact our economy.

As for what Bush’s goals are concerning oil and it’s use, lets just say Bush is a oil man, as is his whole family, I don’t believe for one minute that he has any intention to reduce our dependence on oil.

Just Google Bushes tax breaks for suv’s, even though I think they have ended it


#1. Do you agree that currently we´d need to build a huge amount of alternative energy stations in order to get the same output as a single power plant?


From the link I posted above, Ausra claims to be able to produce 90% of the US electrical grids needs using 1% of our deserts, or an area the size of Delaware. It might just be a fact that we need more power plants to replace the old ones, or at least a larger area of land for them to operate on regarding solar and wind for sure, but with oil over $100 a barrel, I still think in the long run alternative will be cheaper, and the next middle east war will have no effect on our supply or price. Wow think about that for a minute “no effect on supply or price”


#2. Do you concede you cannot show how we are supposed to become completely independent from oil within the next five years?


I meant dependant on foreign oil!

Absolutely not, the government could very much make this happen, At this point in this debate, I have shown we have the technology to build multiple alternative power plants, which are as cheap as, and much cleaner than fossil fuel power plants. I have shown the electric car, biodiesel, and hydrogen powered vehicles are a viable means of transportation if they have the infrastructure that supports them.

You have shown that if we do what we are already doing, if we allow the oil companies with their lobby groups in Washington to control our energy policy, we will continue to be at the mercy of these mega corporations, who are depleting our world of our lives and natural resources. It doesn’t have to be this way.



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 04:19 PM
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A very close look at these "alternative" energies


Without disposing of the common dream me and my opponent share, lets look at the hard reality of the "alternative energies" my opponent proposes and ask ourselves: Are these really alternatives to fossil fuel?


Geothermal Energy

* Is unfeasible because geothermal reservois are often too far away from population centers
* Geothermal Power Plants release many dangerous pollutants
* Very noisy
* Release twice as much heat as nuclear power plants
* Plants not foolproof, hazardous disasters possible
* Pumping and reinjection of thermal fluids can cause earthquakes
* Drilling costs two to three times as much as oil drilling


Ocean Thermal Power

* Expensive, capital-intensive (consumers depend on large corporations for power)
* Foreign dependence (best sites for OTP plants in tropical regions)
* Engineering (extremely large pipes) and Environmental problems (marine life killer)
* Toxic material and pollutants involved


Solar Energy

* Sunlight is free but the technology for concentration and storage is extremely expensive.
* Still cant compete with houses heated by fuel or gas (most solar houses have backup nonsolar systems...go figure)
* Problems with durability and reliability
* Need for new zoning laws and mass-teardown of buildings (because of the buildings that would block other buildings sunlight)
* The production of silicon solar sells itself consumes huge amounts of energy


Tidal Power Plants

* Only 15 possibly suitable tidal power plant sites exist in the world
* The power generated from them would amount to only a tiny percentage of our demand
* Requires building massively expensive dams
* Interference with normal tidal cycles and marine life
* Building high voltage lines around the landscape wont be pleasant for many people.
* Wind does not always blow
* Wind-generated power cannot be economically stored

Source

Conclusion: The cons of these "alternative energies" dont outweigh the pros...even less when matched up with fossil fuels. My opponents proposals are not only wrong but even dangerous...economically and environmentally

Lets look at a few others proposed by my opponent:


Biodiesel: So rather than giving food to the poor in Third World Countries, we are supposed to put it into our cars? Sure, lets just give the foods to the rich, not to eat, but to burn.


Hydroelectric Powerplants: Are much, much, much more expensive than other power plants.

Nuclear PowerNo known system exists that would recycle radioactive trash...which is highly poisonous and almost impossible to dispose of for good.

Wind Energy: Apart from aesthetic reluctances, the efficiency of wind turned into electricity only reaches 25-30%.

An interesting general article that debunks my opponents stance even more:

Can alternative energy compete?

As for my opponents comment on Tesla/Free Energy: I agree we might just find out some day that "alternative energies" is only a distraction/deflection from something much, much better. Unfortunately this is not the place to talk about it.

As for your comments on Bush, I disagree: Because he is an oil man and keenly aware of the situation he would love to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Thats the very reason he tried promoting alternative energies. But he failed.

While I agree with my opponents feelings on alternative energy...I feel the same...I dont agree with the math and practical issues involved. For the reasons listed right here.

"Some suppresion of alternative energy is an economic necessity" because its way to early to allow this country to rely on energies that are not yet reliable in terms of economic feasibility, environmental safety, infrastructural integrity.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 01:16 AM
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In this part of the debate the only links I’m going to use are the ones provided by my opponent. I’m going to show that the reason we are not using more alternative energy is because the government is actively suppressing these energy sources.

The first link is from my opponent’s opening statement the link is:
AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
My problem with his source is the time it was written and submitted, the date on the article is February 24, 2004, and to me this information is outdated.
In my opponents first reply he uses this article:
Why we are not switching to renewable energy sources?
While the article is up to date, it does not include all the newer information about alternative energy and costs involved. If you take the time to read the comments people have made on this site, well they don’t agree with it, and I have clearly shown that the costs of alternative energy is compatible with fossil fuel, and if it is not, it soon will be.

In my opponents second reply he uses this link:
How feasible are Bush's U.S. energy goals?
Now according to this article it states this:

The current U.S. dependence on oil is deeply rooted in government policies, the economy, national infrastructure and consumer habits. Unless Bush puts forward dramatic initiatives that alter the basic landscape, which now favors gasoline-powered automobiles, experts said, substantive change may be many years away.


This is what I have been saying all along, our government is influence by the oil lobby special interests groups, there goal is to protect their interests, and it is not in their interests for the use of alternative energy resources, and in fact, they are suppressing their use. It is in the citizens best interest to be changing over to the alternative resources, but it is occurring at a snails pace. As I have already stated our infrastructure {bridges, water, and sewer} must be over hauled anyway, so why not take the opportunity to overhaul our nation’s energy infrastructure at the same time. The reason why we haven’t is because big oil doesn’t want us too.

The last link I’m going to provide from my opponent comes from his last reply where he lists Geothermal, Ocean thermal, and Solar, and Tidal power sources. The link here:
Arguments For and Against Alternative Energy Sources
This information is from The People's Almanac that according to this The_People's_Almanac

The People's Almanac was a series of books published in the 1970s and 1980s by Irving Wallace, the novelist responsible for co-authoring the series The Book of Lists.

And IMHO is very outdated information, and not relevant to this debate.

One of the arguments my opponent has used is the lack of investment in alternative energy.

If a quick grandscale shift to alternative energy were viable, even oil companies themselves would start investing more in them. You would start investing in them as well. If something is economically viable, it spreads like the flu.


Socratic Question #1: If alternative energy is so damn viable, why dont we start investing in it on a grand scale?


Socratic Question #2: If "alternative" energy were a real alternative to our increasing energy demands, dont you think oil companies would have started investing in it a long time ago?


Well, normal business practice is to invest into the future. The oil companies having so much money to invest, would have started investing on a grand scale a long time ago...also in order to protect themselves from this supposedly "massive competition". The same applies to your answer to my second socratic question.


Well according to this:

The report says investment capital flowing into renewable energy climbed from $80 billion in 2005 to a record $100 billion in 2006. As well, the renewable energy sector's growth "although still volatile ... is showing no sign of abating."
Investors Flock to Renewable Energy and Efficiency Technologies

This link confirms this:
Study: Investment in clean energy topped $100 billion

Alternative energy is being suppressed in the USA, where big oil and big government doesn’t wish to change the status quo. Suppressing this is not good both economically and environmentally {health}and is in no way in our best interests.


As for your comments on Bush, I disagree: Because he is an oil man and keenly aware of the situation he would love to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Thats the very reason he tried promoting alternative energies. But he failed.


I did agree, in a nutshell I think he lied and gave false hope about his so called plans. His administration is the one that put the leading oil companies in charge of our energy policy that encourage the Use of fossil fuels; you can’t have it both ways.


"Some suppresion of alternative energy is an economic necessity" because its way to early to allow this country to rely on energies that are not yet reliable in terms of economic feasibility, environmental safety, infrastructural integrity.


The only thing that is holding us back is the suppression by both big oil and big government. It is not good for us considering that our present economy is going down the tubes as we speak. It’s time to invest in more than talk from our politicians, it’s time to rebuild our crumbling USA to a more modern environmentally friendly hence healthy country, we should be leading by example for the rest of the world, but many of the alternative energy power plants are being or have been built overseas.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 07:24 AM
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Closing Statement: We will have to come up with something better to replace oil

At the beginning when I was assigned the topic I thought "Damn, how am i supposed to argue that?". Normally Im the dreamy-eyed person who will place trust in things unverified. But as I started reading up on the subject matter for this debate...I learned a lot...and my opinion shifted. I have learned that many of these "alternatives" also cause pollution, also make us dependent on foreign countries, and even cost each and every one of us much more. It is in this debate that I learned that these "alternatives" are not alternatives...yet. It is in this sense that I thank TheVagabond for setting up the debate topic.

In his last post my opponent tries to wipe out my entire construct with the argument that my information (the weak points of "alternative" energy) derives from the 1970s. However, the source was put up 2004 because this information is valid today. In 2007 pollutants are still pollutants, Biodiesel is still food (that could go to third world countries instead of into our cars), aforementioned power plants are still not feasible due to location, engineering and capital problems. This new and up-to-date source lists the ame constraints and problems.

My opponent failed to adress or debunk ALL of the points raised, acting like they are "outdated" and saying they are irrelevant to this debate.
Get that...Irrelevant.

My opponents second main argument throughout the debate has been that there´s some sort of "conspiracy" by lobbyists. While this may be true to a small extent, his claim denies our responsibility. If demand is so massive and fossil fuels so useful and comparitively cheap, and if every other country in the world follows similar policies, how is this a lobbyist-conspiracy of the U.S. Government? My opponent has failed to prove this while I have succeeded to prove that its the demand and usefulness driving the oil market (not too difficult to prove though).
My opponent goes on to show that we are investing in renewable energy. This

a) Contradicts his conspiracy theory
b) Does not prove that a grand-scale change is currently viable. It rather proves what I said...the winds of change are coming, but slowly...and hopefully gently.

The weakness of my opponents debate (as much as I appreciate his efforts) lies in the lack of financial do-ability. He has clearly stated that he wants to overhaul our entire system and replace it with "alternative" energies within the next 5 years. In other words: He wishes for a removal of that which our entire economy, society and infrastructure are based upon. He might not be aware of that, but at the end of the day he wants economic collapse and chaos across the board

Now, whether the downfall of our society would be good or not is a matter of another debate. But this debate focusses on the economics of alternative energy. And as Ive shown, if you put yourself in the shoes of the economist, stifling/suppressing these so-called "alternative" energies is absolutely vital for our continued survival as a regularly organized society A side-note: Making alternative energies only a little bit economically feasible would have to be done in an artificial way: By heavily taxing oil or by making alternatives tax-free.

Concerning my opponents claim that "alternative energies" have become an investment alternative to oil:

In 2007 Exxon Mobil reported $404 Billion in sales. This is more than five times the entire alternative-industry combined (and thats just ONE oil company).

In an attempt at fairness toward my opponent I havent stressed the fact that the "alternative" energies may not even be "alternative". The Oxford Dictionary says:


energy fueled in ways that do not use natural resources or harm the environment.[1]


We´ve already seen how most of the options proposed by my opponent do indeed harm the environment.

So in addition to "alternative" energies not being feasible, they may not even be alternative!


The debate topic "Some suppression of alternative energies is an economic necessity" should be decided in my favour because my opponent has

* failed to show convincing economic calculations for his plans
* failed to at a convincing rebuttal of nearly all the points brought up in my last post
* instead focussed on off-topic comments about lobbyism and supposed oil-company conspiracies (even if there is a "conspiracy", show me how your proposals will not devestate our economy).

In closing I still stand by my belief that we must gradually become independent of foreign oil. Assuming oil ressources are limited Id even say we must become indepdendet of fossil fuels altogether. We must do more research and investing in order to find better ways than my opponent suggests. But we mustnt and neednt do this at the expense of our economic stability.

The sources I cited and the sources my opponent cited speak of a slow and gradual change with estimates at 2030, 2050 and some even further in the future. As shown there´s a good reason for this stilfing (some suppresion).

As the debate topic clearly talks of some suppression, this indicates that not all avenues of alternative-energy growth are to slowed down. The ones that should be promoted are those that are environmentally sound and financially sound. My opponent has helped in showing us what some of those might be.

Thank you for an educative debate. I also appreciated the comparitively friendly tone we had in this debate.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 10:41 AM
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Closing Statement

I would like to thank The Vagabond for hosting this tournament; I’m really digging the debates involved!


I would like to thank and agree with Skyfloating for an awesome clean respectful debate. Unlike my opponent I’m not going to lay claim to victory, personally it is too close to call and the judges will have fun judging this one.

In this debate "Some supression of alternative energy sources is an economic necessity".

I have tried to show several things
1. That alternative energies can compete as in being as cost effective as fossil fuels.
2. That alternative energies are as effective as fossil fuels.
3. That there is suppression in the use of alternative energies via the lack of infrastructure. This could be remedied in just a few years.
4. Our dependence on foreign governments and organizations for fossil fuels doesn’t serve our best interests.
5. I have tried to show that our current economy as everyone knows is in really bad shape, and if the government invested heavily in alternative energy and infrastructure that it could create a boom for our economy.
6. Using these alternative energy resources would be much more beneficial to our environment hence healthier to our society both globally and locally.
7. That there is a conspiracy to introduce these alternative energies into our society at a snails pace to protect big oil profits, while forcing the consumer to continue to pay the huge amounts of money for gasoline for cars and heating and cooling there homes, and it’s now effecting the price of food and merchandise.

”Some supression of alternative energy sources is an economic necessity".
I believe the exact opposite is true, I believe if we invested heavily in these technologies, it would turn our economy around, and could spark a worldwide effort to use real reusable energy resources that in the long run would be more cost effective and much more environmentally friendly.

I didn’t bring up a couple of topics mainly because they are debates within themselves and since I can’t prove them, I attempted to stay with Real technologies that exist right now.
1. Tesla and zero point energy
2. Global warming

Well thanks ATS for providing the opportunity to participate in this debate, hopefully we have all learned something.

LDF



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 11:13 AM
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Skyfloating has won.


This debate was an excellent example of back and forth proof, contradiction and vacillating argument. Both sides presented excellent arguments, but neither seemed to capitulate on their presentations.

The one recurring overall fact presented by Skyfloating that LDragonFire was unable to refute was the economic impact of a sudden shift in a primary energy source.

LDragonFire attempted to assuage that particular argument by suggesting simple legislation is the answer, but in so doing actually supported Skyfloating’s stance by correctly admitting the economic dependency on oil.

LDragonFire also spent a little too much time demonizing the Bush Administration taking him off topic, while Skyfloating joined him, Skyfloating was able to recover more fully and continue on with the debate topic. LDragonFire also made several statements that in my opinion actually supported Skyfloating’s stance.

Skyfloating wins the debate, but it was close



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 11:27 AM
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I would like to congratulate Skyfloating, on a awesome and well earned debate WIN.



I'm 0-2 but ready to get into the ring again.


[edit on 16-4-2008 by LDragonFire]



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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Thanks LDragon and thanks to the judge.

This was difficult for me because I dont know much about the subject matter and had to learn some stuff before posting.

Thanks for a good back-and-forth and see you around LDragon





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