Resolved: That, by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks be powered by alternative fuels.
* Ahem *
This resolution SUCKS BALLS. There is no other showcase of dumbassery tantamount to the ball-sucking gayness of this resolution. The thing is so poorly worded that if it were on the grammar part of the SAT the entire frickign sentence would be underlined and WRONG and it's such a pain in the ass that I'm probably going GAY just looking at it. Horrible! I've had this particular topic twice this year...and I've given a number of bullshit speeches about it too. The topic, however, is not the problem. The problem is how it's worded.
Timespan. The resolution basically allows the aff to say that the federal government can sit on its ass for the next 30 years and THEN make the mandate. What kinda bullshit is that? It pretty much forces the negative to argue that we must use conventional fuels for the next 30 years, which SUCKS. It also allows for technological progression arguments, so the aff can pass points about technological breakthroughs that'd take place over this timeframe, making alternative fuel even more efficient.
Scope. WHAT alternative fuels? There are so goddamn many that the aff can pass off a totally obscure form of fuel that NONE of the negs will know about, like Algae Biofuel (which is a pretty decent idea, I'll get to that), so the neg is pretty much clueless as to what the aff might say. Also, the res is so broad that it doesn't even specify whether new cars need to be FULLY or PARTIALLY fueled by alternatives, so the aff might be able to incorporate some of the neg's arguments, like 'foreign dependency = good.'
Bias. Who the HELL is going to like the idea of arguing for conventional oil, esp. against arguments like 'dependence on foreign oil = bad,' 'environment + pollution,' and 'market efficacy.' Aside from the fact that SoCal judges are primarily liberal and are already biased toward the aff, the aff even has arguments that the neg's are ideologically close to, like the 'marketability' of solar power (which I'll get to). On top of that, because the judges don't know jack about how the fuel market works, alternatives simply sound 'cheaper' and therefore the aff automatically wins.
This debate is an uphill battle for the negative, and knowing my luck, I'll get the negative each and every round. This res = suck.
The affirmative basically aims to say that by 2040, the federal gov't ought to make sure that all new passenger cars are run by alternatives. For you government geeks out there, yes, the gov in America is able to do that thanks to the Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to make law over just about everything that moves.
[hide=huhuhu making my post seem shorter so you guys actually read it]
1.Dependence on Foreign Oil = Bad. A number of reasons why this is true. OPEC members are ideologically contrary to the United States, and they have * a lot * of power over us. Obviously, they won't cut our oil supply or anything like Russia did w/ Germany, Poland and Ukraine in 2007, but in the event of war or embargo, we can be pretty much screwed. With our economy as volatile as it is, we really don't want to put our way of life into the hands of historic aggressors.
2.Environment + Pollution. I haven't exactly read Gore's Inconvenient Truth or anything, but the sentiment is pretty much widespread, and although lots of conservatives are citing scientists that say otherwise, the bottom line is that WE'RE SCREWING OURSELVES OVER. I think GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are pretty much self-explanatory. This arg might be a double-edged sword, because some alternatives do pollute. Plug-in electric cars, for example, are ultimately run by coal because coal supplies a HUGE percentage of American electricity and not everyone can have solar panels because well it's kinda not sunny all the time. There are ways to process the dirty byproducts that are burnt from coal, but reprocessing is hella expensive and inefficient. BUT WAIT WE HAVE 30 YEARS TO PERFECT THIS SO FUCK ME.
3.Market Efficacy. Electric Cars have many market benefits. Imagine going to work, and your workplace's parking lot or garage has just installed overhanging solar panels. For a small fee (less than the price of gas) you are able to charge your vehicle while you work. The business benefits because it pays off the price of the solar panels + maintenance (and they eventually make money), the consumer benefits because he's filling up his car for cheap, and the economy benefits because now you can drive around more and shop. Better yet, imagine being able to do this for FREE at a mall or shopping place. “Hey come shop here and we'll fill up your car free!” Fuck yeah!
4.Alternatives fuels are cheap and reliable. Basically used in conjunction w/ the 'dependence on foreign oil = bad' argument, the aff can point out alternatives that can be made cheaply here in the US. Biofuels is one of these. Yeah, before you touch that FLAME button, I know about your crappy ass argument against corn + sugarcane biofuel (ethanol). You're basically gonna say that using these depends heavily on the season (in south america ethanol is GODDAMN EXPENSIVE when corn isn't in season...and imagine what happens when there's a corn BLIGHT!), and that it also drives up the price of food yada yada yada. HOWEVER. There is a potential for us to use ALGAE as a primary source of fuel. An average acre of algae can produce as much as 5,000 gallons of biodiesel each year, whereas an acre of corn produces 400 (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5391). Algae is hardy and can be grown on fallow land bad for sugarcane or corn, isn't as subject to the weather or seasons, and can double its mass multiple times a day. In other words, it's FUCKI:N:G AWESOME. The only reason why it isn't being used today is because there currently isn't a big enough market for it. But under the conditions of this (shitty) res, this is totally feasible.
5.Alternatives can be regional. Flex fuel cars can run both algae biofuel and electricity. Solar power works when it's sunny, biofuels work when it's not. Furthermore, by splitting this up we destroy oil companies' influence and make sure that no single interest sways our politicians. They will adhere to markets in their area, like CA for solar and Kaintuck for its algae. I'll have to research more about the potential balance between these two pricewise.
I'ma think of more arguments later because it's 3:30 in the morning and I'm dipshit tired. Then I'll post my neg args. A big thing for the neg is the oil in the Colorado Rockies, which alone is projected to be able to run the US's transportation needs for the next 150 years or something according to my partner (translation: I'll have to look into it). It'd be pretty awesome for us if we become the next Saudi Arabia. Big exporter of oil. I've also heard that Canada has oil that you can simply mill from the sand. If you guys export that to us, then we don't need to rely on Saudi Arabia...so that aff argument is moot. I'll return to this later.
Anyway, what's your guys' take on these arguments, or on alternative fuels in general?