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#1 datamanc3r

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 11:33 AM

Resolved: That, by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks be powered by alternative fuels.


Resolution Analysis


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* 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.
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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.

Aff arguments

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.
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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?
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#2 Vesper

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:18 PM

Don't worry the free market will deal with it.

#3 datamanc3r

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 08:15 PM

Nice sarcasm.

I'd say that if automakers wanted government bailouts, the government could've tacked on a condition saying that from now on they'll need to make alternatively fueled cars. Perfect timing, y'see?

Anyway, I'll agree with you there. There are a number of reasons why the 'free market' isn't picking up on alternatives. For one, there isn't a market for it. If this res hypothetically passes, there will suddenly be cars for an alternatively fueled infrastructure to develop. But we don't have that now. Two, oil companies are pretty powerful lobbies. Legislation mostly favors oil. And, come election time, oil money makes a fat warchest. Politicians love oil.

Basically, in order for alternatives to be viable, we need to A.) Not accept 'free' money, and B.) Mandate that our entire infrastructure be changed, which although makes money in the long run, costs billions of dollars in the short run. "A" will never happen. Money is politicians' lifeblood, and alternatives will never raise enough money to lobby politicians as effectively as the oil companies do (there is no market for them in the first place). And "B" pretty much depends on whether "A" passes. Money rules politicians. They're not going to vote against their constituencies. So we're fucked.

At any rate, I'm personally more aff than neg. Which is why arguing the neg is going to SUCK (I have to argue both).
"I would be totally embarassed to write this, even as a fakepost. it's not funny except in how you seem to think it's good. look at all the redundancies, for fuck's sake. "insipid semantics, despicable mediocrity" ugh gross gross. I want to take a shower every time I read your prose." -Steel

#4 Mr. Actionist

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 11:49 PM

I thought the reason people were so against ethanol was because they thought it would rape their car engines. Seems to be the issue in Australia, anyway.
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#5 Boulvae

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 12:17 AM

Here in Canada Biofuel is the main big thing driving our prices up in both groceries and anything involving food. Since more areas are reserved for Biofuel less are reserved for food, also should we theoretically completely move on to Biofuel what would end up happening is we'd be using said fuel to harvest the source of said fuel which would make our emissions worse.
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#6 datamanc3r

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 03:01 AM

I don't think your cars can run entirely on ethanol. The reason why you mix it with gasoline is because ethanol won't ignite at colder temperatures. But at any rate, I'd like to see how successful algae-based fuels become. It'll allow us to eat cheaper!

I thought the reason people were so against ethanol was because they thought it would rape their car engines. Seems to be the issue in Australia, anyway.

Now obviously, it depends on the engine. Unfortunately, because I don't know too much about engines, I don't know whether conventionally powered engines (gasoline, diesel) can be run by ethanol, but it sounds like a bad idea. Are your engines flex-fuel engines?
"I would be totally embarassed to write this, even as a fakepost. it's not funny except in how you seem to think it's good. look at all the redundancies, for fuck's sake. "insipid semantics, despicable mediocrity" ugh gross gross. I want to take a shower every time I read your prose." -Steel

#7 Mr. Actionist

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 04:23 AM

I honestly have no idea. We have a gas-ethanol blend of petrol called e10 (10% ethanol) that's currently being used as well as regular petrol, but I have no idea how many people are using it, despite it being slightly cheaper.
Upon arriving the attending doctor could find no abnormal physical symptoms other than extremely dilated pupils. After spending several hours terrified that his body had been possessed by a demon, that his next door neighbor was a witch, and that his furniture was threatening him, Dr. Hofmann feared he had become completely insane.

#8 Beasley

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:35 AM

there is enough renewable, clean energy in the world to last us forever. there is no excuse for anyone to not endorse it. rumors about the exaggerated "weakness" of air, solar, and tide energy are false! energy is as common as air, and it's amazing we've found a way to somehow convince the public that these much more destructive, weaker, and unreplenishable sources of energy are somehow the only practical ones and worst of all that we should be paying for it. one state of wind air could charge the entire nations battery's. oil and gas companys saturate the united states government with lobbyists and the over-representation is rampant. thankfully, this could all go way. public support grows stronger heh!

no one should/needs to live without heat or energy.

#9 the_hoodie

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 06:12 AM

Wow, negative is really difficult to argue for this resolution and the wording doesn't help you at all either. Basically what you said in your second post is essentially what your arguments have to be. You don't have to say that the alternative sources are bad, and in fact, you should agree with your opponents on that note, but you simply have to argue that it is not a viable option for America.

Money's a big part, as you have said, because it's very important to government that they have it, and big oil is a large provider of that.

As for the other arguments, I'd need to do a bit more research to figure something out. As I said, it's a very difficult side to aruge, but feasbility is your best option here.

#10 datamanc3r

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 09:51 AM

I'm pretty much going to run feasibility, esp. noting how expensive alternatively fueled cars are today. If gasoline over time were to be eliminated, and people were forced to buy these newer cars, they'd have a lot of trouble paying them off. This has severe economic ramifications. My dad's having trouble just paying off his Toyota Corolla. If he had to pay any more, he'd go broke and he'd be without a car to get to work. On a massive scale, this means less money for everyone...especially for poorer people.

I've asked someone to do a little detective work on just how expensive this'd be.

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The Prius is your standard alternative fuel car. And the Corolla is a comparable car to the Prius. Assuming that gas is a consistent $4 per gallon, it takes 6 years to make up the difference -- even if these cars are more fuel efficient, they are too expensive! We're not even factoring repairs, etc. People need cars to get to work. And they need money to spend. Thus, forcing people to essentially pay more for their transportation is bad and intrusive policy.

Now, to impact that out even further, because everyone has less money, less money goes to government, and therefore less to education, less to infrastructure, less to everything. And if I wanted to go Republican all over my opponent's ass, I'd say that to make up this difference, the government would have to tax more, and people would have even LESS money to buy stuff...LESS money to buy CARS in the first place!

...Heh...that's assuming that gasoline won't be available for older cars (they'd just use older cars then)...and that alternatively fueled cars stay more expensive than conventionally fueled ones (in 30 years technology WILL get better)...

I could also argue a transition-cost argument -- the idea that it'd cost too much to implement -- but it won't be as powerful as joe the plumber not being able to get to work.
"I would be totally embarassed to write this, even as a fakepost. it's not funny except in how you seem to think it's good. look at all the redundancies, for fuck's sake. "insipid semantics, despicable mediocrity" ugh gross gross. I want to take a shower every time I read your prose." -Steel

#11 Boulvae

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 03:04 PM

Well that pay-off problem has never really gone away for Americans, Canadians don't seem to have that much of a problem. But then again Americans and Canadians have very, very different views of spending so I can't really say.

However they can't scrap all the older cars, because some (or almost all) cars use chemicals which are for all thoughts and purposes are non-recyclable (the chemicals are just reused for cars that use the chemicals).
A tool is a tool regardless. I mean if you suck, you suck, and not even the most perfect tool could save you. And if your damn good then even with the worst tool ever conceived you could chug out some high quality shit.

#12 Soulmman

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 03:15 PM

It's probably more like 2050, but if anything I'd suggest a more proper research in solar energy and Fusion energy.

Fusion energy is the same processes that go on inside the sun, Deuterium and Tritium gets mixed at a temperature of 200 million degrees celsius and can extrude incredible amounts of energy from one small handfull of litium. Rumour is, however, that some huge oil companies bought up that information and stockpiled it so that it wouldn't get used or researched in.

#13 idiot kid

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:18 AM

I've asked someone to do a little detective work on just how expensive this'd be.

The Prius is your standard alternative fuel car. And the Corolla is a comparable car to the Prius. Assuming that gas is a consistent $4 per gallon, it takes 6 years to make up the difference --


wait where the fuck is gas $4 a gallon, i am pretty sure it has been under $3 for like a year and presently under $2
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#14 the_hoodie

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:43 AM

Well, sounds like a have pretty solid arugments for both sides. Good luck!

When's the debate, by the way?

#15 Kobra108

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:21 PM

2040? Try 2010 and I might support it.

Here's a short list of alternative energy ideas off the top of my head:
+ Geothermal (A self-contained system would be ideal here.)
+ Solar (A blog post on Pharyngula mentioned a new material that converts 99% of the sun's energy into electricity)
+ Wind
+ Tidal
+ Biofuels
+ http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Perepiteia <- I wish

wait where the fuck is gas $4 a gallon, i am pretty sure it has been under $3 for like a year and presently under $2

No, it was ~$4.30 a gallon in North Fort Myers, FL during July 2008. That was less than a year ago. :P
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#16 idiot kid

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:00 AM

No, it was ~$4.30 a gallon in North Fort Myers, FL during July 2008. That was less than a year ago. :P

fine but that is not a national average or anything and probably not a good approximation for the next 30 years :Q
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#17 Boulvae

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:41 AM

That last with the wikipedia article mentions that could be an extremely effiecient motor, and if it is that fact alone would make that a pretty big deal (even if it wasn't a perpetual motion thingy).
A tool is a tool regardless. I mean if you suck, you suck, and not even the most perfect tool could save you. And if your damn good then even with the worst tool ever conceived you could chug out some high quality shit.

#18 datamanc3r

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:34 AM

fine but that is not a national average or anything and probably not a good approximation for the next 30 years :Q

You're only helping my argument. If I were to use today's gas prices, it would take as many as 12 years to break even! But the premise of the resolution is that we will 'run out of oil' and gas prices will rise, so I think 4 dollars is a good average. I certainly hope I'm not being hopeful. At any rate just before the holiday season it was nearly $4.80 in CA, so I might be a little too optimistic.

I'm definitely looking into this motor. You don't just GAIN ACCELERATION which is why this is really bizarre. It's gotta be converting something into mechanical motion, maybe radio waves.
"I would be totally embarassed to write this, even as a fakepost. it's not funny except in how you seem to think it's good. look at all the redundancies, for fuck's sake. "insipid semantics, despicable mediocrity" ugh gross gross. I want to take a shower every time I read your prose." -Steel

#19 Kobra108

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 11:01 AM

You're only helping my argument. If I were to use today's gas prices, it would take as many as 12 years to break even! But the premise of the resolution is that we will 'run out of oil' and gas prices will rise, so I think 4 dollars is a good average. I certainly hope I'm not being hopeful. At any rate just before the holiday season it was nearly $4.80 in CA, so I might be a little too optimistic.

I'm definitely looking into this motor. You don't just GAIN ACCELERATION which is why this is really bizarre. It's gotta be converting something into mechanical motion, maybe radio waves.

I'm going to try to build a small-scale version that can be used in electronics. Hook it up with a battery to get it started and (possibly?) free electricity.

I haven't put a whole lot of thought into this yet, though. It might not work.
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#20 Chaos Emerl

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:51 PM

I heard there was a certain type of Algae that produces fossil fuels.  With a little bit of research into how it works, Oil could be turned into a renewable resource.

what





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