Debate Aff Case

I affirm the resolution Resolved: Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict. Environmental protection is something that will; to just benefit the developing countries, but everyone in the world and generations in the future. Therefore, my value is Quality of Life and my criterion is Utilitarianism.

Contention 1: Environmental destruction causes extinction. Mankind finds itself engaged in what Prince Charles described as ‘an act of suicide on a grand scale’ [4], facing what the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor John Beddington called a ‘perfect storm’ of environmental problems [5]. The most serious of these problems show signs of rapidly escalating severity, especially climate disruption. But other elements could potentially also contribute to a collapse: an accelerating extinction of animal and plant populations and species, which could lead to a loss of ecosystem services essential for human survival.

These are not separate problems; rather they interact in two gigantic complex adaptive systems: the biosphere system and the human socio-economic system. The human population size now is above the planet’s long-term carrying capacity is suggested (conservatively) by ecological footprint analysis [18–20]. It shows that to support today’s population of seven billion sustainably would require roughly half an additional planet; to do so, if all citizens of Earth consumed resources at the US level would take four to five more Earths.

Adding the projected 2.5 billion more people by 2050 would make the human assault on civilization’s life-support systems disproportionately worse, because almost everywhere people face systems with nonlinear responses [11,21–23], in which environmental damage increases at a rate that becomes faster with each additional person. This is why environmental protection must be prioritized over resource extraction; environmental damage will cause extinction and we must do something to protect earth.

Contention 2: Oil spills devastate oceans. There are big plans for oil exploration in the Caribbean, not far off the coast of Florida. A Spanish company recently began drilling in Cuban waters — just 55 miles from Key West. The well is the first of several exploratory wells planned in Cuba and the Bahamas. The drilling has officials and researchers in Florida scrambling to make plans for how they'll respond in case of a spill. The U.S. currently doesn't allow any drilling for oil off its Atlantic coast or in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. One reason is what's at stake.

Florida's tourism-based economy depends on its beaches, fishing and clear Caribbean water. The U.S. ban on drilling off of Florida, however, doesn't affect America's Caribbean neighbors. The exploratory well being drilled off of Cuba has many concerned, including people like Richard Dodge, who is the dean of Nova Southeastern University's Oceanographic Center, and what he's really concerned about is coral. Florida is home to more than three- quarters of the nation's coral reefs — and they haven't been doing so well. Development and warming oceans have already weakened many.

"The site that will be drilled," he says, "is only about 50 miles from Key West. We're worried that it could get into that stream fast and therefore, within days, impact our coastal ecosystem and coastline,” Complicating matters is the fact that this new well is being drilled in the waters of a country that's under a strict U.S. embargo. Unless they apply for and receive special permission from the government, U.S. companies are banned from doing any work on the well — even if there's a spill. This further shows one damaging thing to the environment can (and will) affect many other people worldwide who had nothing to do with it.

Contention 3: Environmental pollution causes disease. According to the Sokine University of Agriculture, Morongo, Tanzania, environmental pollution is a major problem in the mining areas of Geita District. Continuous disposal of mine wastes contributes to air and water contamination, which are detrimental to human health, livestock and wildlife biodiversity, and have serious effects on the welfare of the mining communities, especially groups of women and children.

The health and safety of miners and the nearby communities are at risk from a variety of factors, ranging from the inhalation of mercury fumes and dust, to water contamination and poor safety procedures. The results from a survey taken (2002) show that people working in mining communities have a higher chance of diseases (such as Malaria) when compared to those who don’t. Rainy seasons form breeding grounds for disease vectors such as mosquitoes and housefly e the agents that spread malaria and water borne diseases.

The results indicate some of the common diseases mentioned in the study area. The dust pollution mainly originating from explosives in Nyakabale village has been reported by local people to increase the rate of female miscarriage and air borne infections. Migration of young ladies into mining centers in search of non-existent jobs according to District medical officer has increased prostitution and the spread of venereal diseases including HIV and AIDS in mining regions

Large numbers of animals were killed immediately after the Exxon Valdez spill, including as many as 300 harbor seals, 900 bald eagles, 2,800 sea otters and 250,000 seabirds.