Instigator / Pro
Points: 24

Capitalism is ill-equipped to deal with climate change

Finished

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After 4 votes the winner is ...
Uther-Penguin
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Science
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Six months
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
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Contender / Con
Points: 22
Description
Burdens:
-By "equipped", Con must argue that our current economic system can realistically expect to be able to keep global warming temperatures below 1.5 degrees within the next twelve years.
-This includes "mixed economies" or capitalist societies where the state has a share in the means of production or intervenes in the economy.
Rules:
-This debate assumes that climate change is man made and poses a significant threat to human civilization.
- This is *not* a debate on capitalism vs socialism, not is it about any socialist alternatives to environmental protection,
-Burden of proof is shared
-No squirreling
-Be civil and follow the format.
Terms:
Capitalism: "An economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets" i.e The current international economic system.
ill-equipped: Incapable of achieving, in the context of this debate. Incapable of containing the global average temperature to below 1.5 C degrees within the next twelve years.
Climate change: Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e., decades to millions of years). We will be focusing on anthropogenic climate change, climate change caused my humans.
Format:
Round 1: Acceptance only, no arguments.
Round 2: Opening Cases
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing closing cases/ Counter-rebuttals (Now new arguments)
Round 1
Forfeited
Published:
I accept this debate.
Round 2
Published:
In this debate I will be arguing that modern capitalism, as we have it now, is ill equipped to deal with the issue of climate change. This includes forms of capitalism that involve state intervention, such as in China and the EU. I will start off by shortly explaining the current climate crisis, then explain how the private sector has failed in this regard, how government intervention and internationalist efforts have failed. Lastly, I will demonstrate how this crisis is an inherently capitalist issue.
 
Crisis:
According to recent reports from the UN and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, anthropogenic carbon emissions are projected to increase the global temperature to above 2.0 degrees Celsius. With the implications of such spelling potentially apocalyptic implications for our climate [1]. Including but limited to drought, flooding, extreme heat and increased poverty in the decades to come [2]. With the potential flooding of major world cities like Shanghai and Miami. The likes of which could cause a humanitarian crisis likes of which the world has yet to see. In order to prevent this disaster, climate scientists recommend curbing temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. But to even reach 2 degrees requires unprecedented radical and unprecedented change in our global carbon emissions and how we consume energy [3].  
 
Sources:
1.      https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2018/07/SR15_SPM_version_stand_alone_LR.pdf
2.      https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/world-was-just-issued-12-year-ultimatum-climate-change-180970489/
3.      https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/02/SR15_Chapter1_Low_Res.pdf
 
Pillar One: Failure of the private sector


It is in this type of crisis that the private sector, namely, major oil & energy companies, have demonstrated a complete refusal to engage in anything meaningful. Despite media portrayals of climate change as being an individual issue. Carbon emissions made as a direct result of individual consumption make up for only a minority of our collective carbon footprint [4]. In fact, over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions can be traced to just 100 companies. The majority of whom come from the fossil fuel and energy industry [5]. And how have these corporations thus responded to the issue?
Well, for one, we have a long standing track record of climate change denialism being deliberately perpetuated by oil companies [6]. In 1991, for example, a group of coal utilities devised a propaganda campaign that would also recruit scientists to “reposition global warming as theory (not fact)” [5]
 
A decade later in in 2000, American Republican pollster Frank Lutz produced penned a memo for the energy industry and anyone else challenging the science of climate change. Lutz wrote:

Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate. [8]

Oil companies have shown a clear commitment to misleading the public about climate change. A peer-reviewed, academic study of ExxonMobil’s deliberations has confirmed a clear understanding from the part of Exxon about the actual impact being made on the climate, followed with a deliberate attempt at deceiving the masses [9]. To quote said study;


"On the question of whether ExxonMobil misled non-scientific audiences about climate science, our analysis supports the conclusion that it did," Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University wrote in the study, published today in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters. [10]
Fossil fuel interests don’t just stop at denialism, but go further into lobbying government entities, directly interfering with the democratic process in some countries. For example, in the US. According to a 2018 article from the Yale School of Environmental studies, Fossil fuel interests have outspent green advocates 10:1 in climate lobbying. These corporations are willing to outspend the public by ten times to one-up any activist action in the American government,
“Special interests dominate the conversation, all working for a particular advantage for their industry,” Brulle told ThinkProgress. “The common good is not represented.” [11]


In short, the evidence is simply overwhelming demonstrate the modern and historical hesitancy on part from the private sector to deal with global warming. We see a consistent pattern of either being unwilling to commit to action, to deliberate deception on the part of ExxonMobil. The fact that it is these companies that contribute the most emissions yet actively oppose any meaningful action, should be telling.
Sources:
4.      https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/10/12/17967738/climate-change-consumer-choices-green-renewable-energy
5.      http://fortune.com/2017/07/10/climate-change-green-house-gases/
6.      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/mar/05/doubt-over-climate-science-is-a-product-with-an-industry-behind-it
7.      https://research.greenpeaceusa.org/?a=view&d=2950
8.      https://www.motherjones.com/files/LuntzResearch_environment.pdf
9.      https://insideclimatenews.org/news/22082017/study-confirms-exxon-misled-public-about-climate-change-authors-say
10.    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa815f
11.   https://e360.yale.edu/digest/fossil-fuel-interests-have-outspent-environmental-advocates-101-on-climate-lobbying
 


Pillar Two: Failure of Government intervention:


Now I am aware that the private sector is not the only means at which we can approach this. One can reasonably assume that my opponent may try to cite examples of government intervention in the market, or internationalist endeavors to deal with climate change. However, time and time again one can demonstrate that world governments are either incapable or unwilling to take the action necessary to lower carbon emissions
For example, the Kyoto protocol was one of the first internationalist efforts against climate, yet it quickly fell apart as certain countries failed to meet the goals set before them. As well as major world powers, such as the US and Russia, demonstrating an unwillingness to commit. [12]
History is repeating itself once more with the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016. As the US has once again dropped from the agreement. With the current American Trump proving himself to be a blatant climate change denier [13]. As of 2019, The Paris Agreement is failing. As the National Post puts it:

“More than two decades ago, the world agreed to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in our air to prevent dangerous climate outcomes,” said Rob Jackson, an energy and climate expert at Stanford University, referring to the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change that set international negotiations in motion. “To date, we have failed.” [14]
 
Coincidentally, it seems that the countries with the largest emissions have demonstrated the greatest failure to adapting. Such as Brazilian president Bolsonaro aligning himself with Donald Trump, a known climate change denier. As well as the Brazilian foreign minister describing concerns of Climate change as being part of a “Marxist plot” [15]
-Saudi Arabia has even gone as far as threaten to block the UN Climate report [16]. An interesting note here would be that Saudi owned oil company Aramco is one of the 100 companies responsible for 71% of greenhouse emissions.
The current policies of Canada, China and Russia could drive our global temperatures to a disastrous 5 degrees Celsius is the status quo kept according to the scientific journal Nature Communications. [17}

To sum up, past government interventions have failed and major world leaders have consistently proven an inability to competently deal with climate change. Countries with the highest emissions have demonstrated an unwillingness to commit (i.e. America, Russia, Canada, Brazil).

Sources
12.   https://www.forskningsradet.no/en/Newsarticle/Why_the_Kyoto_agreement_failed/1253963392536
13.   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46351940
14.   https://nationalpost.com/news/world/to-date-we-have-failed-worldwide-nations-struggling-to-meet-goals-outlined-in-paris-climate-agreement-two-years-ago
15.   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/jair-bolsonaro-brazil-environment-climate-change-amazon-deforestation-a8663596.html
16.   https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/saudi-arabia-threatens-to-block-key-un-climate-report
17.   https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07223-9
 
Conclusion

The issue of climate change, may not be directly caused by capitalism, but is certainly being aggravated by it. The reason for our government’s inability to competently handle global warming is simple, their pockets are lined by the fossil fuel industry. And the reason for said industries to not want to do anything is also simple, it’s more profitable. To effectively climate change requires radical action and reform in terms of how we consume energy. And for the profit-driven interests of the fossil fuel industry, this a direct threat to their model of business. But to humanity, their actions are a direct threat to our very existence.
The problem of climate change cannot be pinpointed to an issue of individual lifestyle or character, the vast majority of emissions come from just 100 companies. All of whom are more interested in making a profit than lowering emissions. The private sector has consistently shown a complete inability and at times, an active opposition to any practical action against global warming. The liberal capitalist model of either market forces or state intervention as a means to handle climate change has shown time and time again to be a complete failure. Thus showing that capitalism, as we have it now, is ill-equipped to deal with climate change. With that, I rest my opening case.
 
On to you Con.

Published:
CC = Climate Change
Cp = Capitalism

What is Capitalism?

Capitalism is an economic system where private entities own the factors of production. The four factors are entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and labor. The owners of capital goods, natural resources, and entrepreneurship exercise control through companies. The individual owns his or her labor. The only exception is slavery, where someone else owns a person's labor. Although illegal throughout the entire world, slavery is still widely practiced.

What is being equipped to deal with CC?

If Capitalism is sufficiently equipped to deal with climate change then it lacks he necessary tools capacity to prepare for the climate changing, yes?

How is Capitalism sufficiently equipped to deal with CC?

Alright, so people sit there and point and blame Cp for harming the environment but it is a logical fallacy to assume that the partial catalyst of an issue cannot be part of the solution as well. One is not mutually exclusive to the other... Cp can both lead to negative CC and be a significantly equipped system in which to combat said climate change. With that out of the way, let's get on with such a simple brutal concept that Pro will not be able to win.

If it wasn't for Cp, we wouldn't have had the sufficient competition necessary to encourage the production of the best research equipment that led to us knowing about CC. Socialist regimes have basically done nothing good for the environment and are never, not even once, the Green Party Communist type. From USSR to modern day Cuba and North Korea, the environment is nothing but a means to an end and wastage is... well, it's a 'waste' to deal with for them. I don't need to prove this, it's up to Pro to even remotely touch on Communism or Socialism being sufficient in dealing with climate change. If they are totally obsolete than no matter how 'ill' you may first think Capitalism is, it's relatively the most equipped alternative out of the options available. Pure anarchy in the non-communist sense, would be a third alternative and that is what I'm going to go into now:

NASA and equivalents for other nations, that serve the State in an official capacity in searching for environment changes and such, are all equipment fought over brutally by private corporations (no, I'm not referring to the rockets that they send to Space, that's their own thing). From the drills used in Antarctica to the very visual equipment for the Radar and such, it's all Cp at work. If challenged on this, I'll prove it in R2. If not, we can leave this as an agreed upon notion. 

This goes further. From the moment that Callendar endeavoured privately to look into climate change against advice of both the rich and the government of his time slowly inspired things to be looked into that now NASA and NOAA, which are state-enforced admittedly, to open atmospheric science to even be a thing. The study of it isn't solely public, that's just the authority. This isn't about unfettered Capitalism and this is the key thing to understand. 

Imagine if we were still in the days before science and medicine being officially developed. Anarchy, pre-society proper Communism or proper anarchy where we had no economical hierarchy and were fending for ourselves. Let's imagine that we stayed ignorant, do you realise how much pure good luck it is that if we'd left things as they are we'd have lived? Look at the dinosaurs, they got murked by not knowing enough or having the tech to stop the climate change that made them extinct, right? It was only after we used resources from the environent, invading territory of other animals and taking the Earth to be our own that we were able to pinpoint what is positive or negative climate change. We now can see an earthquake coming and some day, thanks to tech developed by competing science corporations, it's likely that all earthquakes will be barely causing casualties at all as the seismometers and ability to foresee them is very rapidly developing. Even if that isn't sufficiently achieved, the point is that it's not going to be saved or achieved by sticking our head in the sand and saying 'leave the trees be, let all animals roam and pray that the environment isn't changing negatively despite us refusing to be economically productive or technologically advanced in a privately-funded sense'.


The Center for Climate and Life is a program housed at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Its focus is channeling climate change research toward tangible impacts. The work both informs the scientific community and is conducted with the hope of educating the public, which will ideally bring about policy changes.

Programs like the Center for Climate and Life have historically been kept afloat through a variety of funding outside of the university. Researchers seek grants from a variety of public and private sources. Public and government sources are anything but stable–some years the funding is plentiful, other times it’s more meager–and programs like the Center for Climate and Life continually look for private funding so it does not have to rely on changing political climates.

The struggle to combat climate change brings out the best and worst of capitalism. Decarbonisation of the economy requires alternatives for coal and cars that run on diesel, and that plays to capitalism’s strengths. Innovation is what capitalism is all about, and there has been staggeringly rapid progress in developing clean alternatives to coal, oil and gas. The cost of producing solar- and wind-powered electricity has collapsed. Great advances are also being made in battery technology, which is vital for the new generation of electricity-powered vehicles. Humans are endlessly creative. In the end, they will crack climate change.

I am going to leave my cases as that. My victory will be about destroying Pro's angles and case and less about building my own.

Round 3
Published:
Thanks to RM for his argument, I’ll start off by re-asserting the burden of this debate, and applying that lens to the rest of his case.
 
Burden of Proof:
Before I begin my rebuttals this section has two purposes
A)    To create a criteria to evaluate RM’s arguments
B)    To address several fallacies and red herrings have been made.
In RM’s case, he veered off quite a few times from what the debate was originally about, at one point very blatantly shifting the burden of proof. Therefore, I’ll address these fallacious steps here and move one. But first, to quote from the rules of the debate that my opponent has accepted
 
By "equipped", Con must argue that our current economic system can realistically expect to be able to keep global warming temperatures below 1.5 degrees within the next twelve years.
 
Pro gives his own definition for what it would mean to be equipped, and while that definition does not conflict with mine, it does leave out one fundamental component. Not just on whether Capitalism has the means to combat climate change but whether it realistically can. It’s simply enough to show that Capitalism has the means to combat climate change, but can we expect it too.
Now to address where Pro shifts the burden of proof. As was explicitly stated in the debate rules
                                             “This is *not* a debate on capitalism vs socialism, nor is it about any socialist alternatives to environmental protection,

 
It’s here that Pro has veered the most off track, he has an entire argument where he tries to compare capitalist’s deal with climate change to socialism.

 
Socialist regimes have basically done nothing good for the environment and are never, not even once, the Green Party Communist type. From USSR to modern day Cuba and North Korea, the environment is nothing but a means to an end and wastage is... well, it's a 'waste' to deal with for them”


This argument has no impact on this debate. Even if everything in that statement were right, it wouldn’t make a difference to my argument. If “socialist regimes” proved completely incapable of combating climate change, that doesn’t mean capitalism can. I would be tempted to refute his point, but doing so would steer us away from the topic. This is a blatant red herring.
On the subject of fallacies, right after this argument, Pro tries to shift the burden of proof

                 “ I don't need to prove this, it's up to Pro to even remotely touch on Communism or Socialism being sufficient in dealing with climate change. 

This does not need much more explanation aside from the one I had given previously. While the burden of proof may be shared in this debate, the fact that Pro has shifted the topic of discussion and asserts a new burden on me is still shifting nonetheless. Now to address the releveant parts of Pro’s case.
 
 
Points of contention

1.      “If it wasn't for Cp, we wouldn't have had the sufficient competition necessary to encourage the production of the best research equipment that led to us knowing about CC.
 
To summarize this point. Pro argues that it is Capitalism that has allowed for public organizations like NASA to produce the equipment required to research climate change. He then brings the example of Guy Callendar, one of the pioneers of modern climate science, arguing that his private endeavours are what allowed climate science to enter the mainstream.
 
Two problems with this argument. One, it’s nonsensical to solely attribute innovation to an economic system and two, the individual pursuits of one scientists doesn’t say much about the economic system in question. If anything, that fact that Callendar faced opposition and backlash from the wealthy and governments of his time only further proves the point that the private sector and the state are uncommitted to any meaningful action. The fact that this consistent pattern of pushback from the bourgeoisie can be seen as far back as the birth of climate science itself simply speaks volumes.
 
Secondly, it’s nonsensical to attribute the technologies of a time purely to it’s economic system. For example, it’s like accrediting the invention of the printing press to monarchy or the first roads to the kings of Sumeria. Now, one can argue that the conditions capitalism creates is one that encourages innovation, and thus you can attribute it to Capitalism, but does it? To bring back my previous example from before, ExxonMobil clearly understood the effects of climate change, but actively sought to mislead the public. To quote said source again

"On the question of whether ExxonMobil misled non-scientific audiences about climate science, our analysis supports the conclusion that it did," Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University wrote in the study, published today in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters. [1]”


But some of Pro’s own sources elaborate this point further.  From the article that Pro cited at the end of his case, it explicitly mentions that the reason that investors are involved in this research to begin with is due to funding cuts from the American government [2]. The same government who’s administration is being run by a blatant climate change denier, the same government who’s received millions from oil companies [3], the same companies that have been responsible for the majority of carbon emissions.

Sources:
1.      https://e360.yale.edu/digest/fossil-fuel-interests-have-outspent-environmental-advocates-101-on-climate-lobbying
2.      https://www.fastcompany.com/3067566/how-wealthy-private-investors-might-save-climate-research
3.      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-energy-202/2018/10/03/the-energy-202-big-oil-and-gas-companies-are-winners-in-trump-s-new-trade-deal/5bb39b531b326b7c8a8d17cc/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.eb64ac7ab2c1
 
 
 
2.      Pro goes further to state:
“Imagine if we were still in the days before science and medicine being officially developed. Anarchy, pre-society proper Communism or proper anarchy where we had no economical hierarchy and were fending for ourselves. Let's imagine that we stayed ignorant, do you realise how much pure good luck it is that if we'd left things as they are we'd have lived? Look at the dinosaurs, they got murked by not knowing enough or having the tech to stop the climate change that made them extinct, right? It was only after we used resources from the environment, invading territory of other animals and taking the Earth to be our own that we were able to pinpoint what is positive or negative climate change.
 
The problem with this argument is simple, Capitalism had nothing to do with the Agricultural revolution. The agricultural revolution was over ten thousand years ago, Capitalism as we know it today didn’t start developing until the 15th century. Furthermore, if the agricultural revolution never happened or human societies remained as “pre-society proper communism”, then anthropogenic climate change wouldn’t be happening in the first place. It also absurd to attribute the very concept of civilization to capitalism.
 
 
3.      “Even if that isn't sufficiently achieved, the point is that it's not going to be saved or achieved by sticking our head in the sand and saying 'leave the trees be, let all animals roam and pray that the environment isn't changing negatively despite us refusing to be economically productive or technologically advanced in a privately-funded sense'.
 
Pro here is presenting a false dichotomy, implying that the only alternative to capitalism is essentially sticking our heads in the sand. Whilst this isn’t a debate on socialist alternatives to dealing with climate change, his is still nonetheless fallacious. Now would also be an appropriate time to demonstrate just how terrible the private sector is at disaster management. In fact, it is a consistent pattern for markets to always find clever was exploiting traumatized regions during times of disaster. Perfect example of this would be during Hurricaine Katarina.

Such as how private contractors used the disasters caused by Kataexploit the disastrous flooding of New Orleans to close down that city’s public housing projects, some of the only affordable units in the city. Most of the buildings sustained minimal flood damage, but they happen to occupy valuable land that make for perfect condo developments and hotels.  [3]

This phenomena, referred to as the “Shock Doctrine”, demonstrates how in times of crisis and natural disasters, private interests jump to any opportunity to make a profit from the oncoming devastation. As climate change worsens, the frequency of natural disasters will certainly follow.
It can be seen that not only has our current economic system demonstrated in an inability to adapt to current science on the climate but also the flagrant exploitation of natural disasters all for the sake of short term profit.

I close my rebuttals with a question for readers; is this the kind of system you would trust with another Hurricane Katarina?

Source:

3. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/06/naomi-klein-how-power-profits-from-disaster

Published:
Correction to R2: I meant 'doesn't lack' when explaining what 'equipped' means.
Capitalism does, if the company's profit is boosted by avoiding helping the environment (or by harming it), enable there to be perpetual detriment to the environment. This is true and I am not going to fight Pro on it. The fact that this can happen in Capitalism is indisputable and is also what I am going to enable to guarantee me an inescapable win in the simplest manner possible.

Pro's arguments revolve around two ideas:

  1. The Private Sector hasn't successfully saved the environment when it's acted against it.
  2. The Government hasn't sufficiently intervened by and large and even when it does, it is unable to do much as parties etc are funded by Corporations that have anti-environmental motives.
I actually expanded on his pillars (especially the second) to help him make his points clearer. The angles are clear to me and I do see what Pro is trying to do here.

Capitalism is a flexible thing. It enables greed to overcome care for the environment but... Wait...

Oh! Isn't it the case that if we planned for the long-term and shareholders are aware that a business is on a losing path that the corporation has to adjust?

So, my counter to absolutely everything that Pro said in Pillar 1 and even Pillar 2, is that when things are so bad that the resources being extracted by the corporation, and harms from the dumped pollutants or even harms and damage that aren't corporate-caused but are naturally occurring climate change,  affect the climate in such a way that it's going to unsustainable leave them with no more to extract and no more room to 'dump' the pollutants that even in the worst case scenario, Capitalism isn't ill-equipped to deal with climate change it just will deal with it as late as possible. This debate isn't about if Capitalism encourages caring about climate change, it's about if  it's equipped to deal with it but to counter the angle that corporations have proven to 'not care' there is an undeniable truth that if they are damaging the environment so badly that the climate change will cause them to no longer be able to profit and produce/supply what they do at the rate they are doing it, that any and all corporations in Capitalism-variants are going to forcefully 'care' about climate change and have severe motive to help prevent it. The argument 'they won't care, they will just invest in a new environmentally damaged means of profiting' is not yet proven by Pro and that which has been raised without evidence can be negated without it.

My counter to pillar 2 is twofold. First of all, government intervention happening while Capitalism is happening is proof that there are ways to keep them 'in check' but furthermore, the entire notion that the government intervention is too corrupt or inefficient to stop the abuse to the climate isn't about Capitalism being equipped to deal with climate change... It's about the government being incapable of harnessing the sufficient equipment. Checkmate. Secondly, there is absolutely no alternative, right? All examples of Communism don't care about the environment at all and anarchy is completely unequipped to deal with climate change, they just change too little to need to do so (or go extinct as they couldn't stop the climate change as happened to the dinosaurs, mammoths etc).

I bring up the point(s) in R2 that Capitalism is fundamentally necessary to properly combat climate change. The reason is that passively assuming that the globe isn't going to freeze, warm, acidify, explode, shift or alter in any other way that can negatively affect us, is pure gambling on nature being kind to us if we leave it be. The dinosaurs did this, the mammoths did this and, actually, every single species that lacked our intellect and strategised research collaboration, funding and concept of competition (Capitalism in the Environmental Science Research Industry) either is thriving at our mercy, is very lucky or has gone extinct.

These points were countered by Pro by saying 'yeah well, it wasn't the economic system that made it happen' and 'any case you bring up is just a case on it's own'. Unfortunately for Pro, I need only to prove that Capitalism has the means and motive to enable sufficient climate-change research and mastery/prevention. I needn't prove that the sufficient equipment is regularly harnessed to a sufficient degree as is.

I leave this checkmate as it is.
Round 4
Published:
So to wrap up my end of the debate I’ll split off this round three fold. Firstly, I will demonstrate the points in which RM has conceded or failed to address. Next I’ll provide a few contentions to Con’s rebuttals, and lastly I’ll end off with my conclusions.
 
Concession from Pro:

The most blatant concession from Pro comes from his first rebuttal to my first pillar. In which he argues that because future climate change will make the environment less profitable, that the private sector will eventually turn around because of a new found “motive”. Then he goes to say:


“Capitalism isn't ill-equipped to deal with climate change it just will deal with it as late as possible. 


If RM has paid attention to the IPCC report (See previous rounds), then he will know that climate scientists give us only about 12 years to curb carbon emissions. 12 years is not a lot of time. 2007 was 12 years ago. The issue of climate change is one that requires urgent and radical change in the short term, the kind of change that a liberal capitalist system is ill equipped to produce. That was my argument and the point of this entire debate.
By admitting that Capitalism will “deal with this problem as late as possible” RM admits that such urgent change, as advised by IPCC, is unlikely to occur. For all intents and purposes, RM has conceded his central point, and has essentially conceded to this debate.
 
Counter Rebuttals:

Now, it appears that RM is operating on a different definition of “ill-equipped”, where in which he defines it in the literal sense of “not lacking something”. While this definition does not necessarily contradict the one I provided, it is clear that he has tried to shift away from that definition. While Pro may be able to sufficiently argue that Capitalism does not literally lack to means to combat climate change, that isn’t his primary burden of proof. As mentioned explicitly at the beginning of the debate however:

By "equipped", Con must argue that our current economic system can realistically expect to be able to keep global warming temperatures below 1.5 degrees within the next twelve years.

I’ve repeated multiple times what this debate’s definition of “equipped” would be and it seems that the majority of RM’s arguments/rebuttals have failed to prove how Capitalism has met any of these criteria. I can only repeat this so many times before this becomes a debate on semantics. But I digress.
RM has made another unwitting concession to my point during his rebuttal of my second pillar:


My counter to pillar 2 is twofold. First of all, government intervention happening while Capitalism is happening is proof that there are ways to keep them 'in check' but furthermore, the entire notion that the government intervention is too corrupt or inefficient to stop the abuse to the climate isn't about Capitalism being equipped to deal with climate change... It's about the government being incapable of harnessing the sufficient equipment. 


 
The entire point of my second argument was that public institutions traditionally associated with “checking” the private sector has failed in this regard to influence from the private sector. Government institutions that are tasked with the responsibility of environmental affairs are constantly faced with budget cuts, lobbying from the private sector and hostile administrations (see previous rounds for sources). Not only is this a point that my opponent has failed to address but has also come to agree with me about. While these intuitions may have the means to do something, does not make them sufficiently equipped.
 
I’ve kept these counter-rebuttals short in order to avoid repeating the same semantic point too much. RM has shifted to his own definition of “well-equipped” whilst ignoring the actual burden of proof that he has in this debate, most of his counter arguments are based of that definition, therefore, I’ll simply refer you back to my first counter point I made in this section.
 
Conclusion:

Aside from shifting the definitions of the debate and inadvertently conceding his central point, RM has failed to provide a sufficient response to the information I’ve presented. Not once has he denied the historical failure of the Kyoto Protocol and the modern failure of the Paris Climate Accord. Not once has he denied the deliberate deception on major oil companies to confuse the public. Nor has he denied the Private sector’s overwhelming role in our current crisis. At one point, pro even agrees with me that the functioning of Capitalism played a large part in our current climate crisis.
It seems that the only relevant disagreement between RM and I is on the conclusion that can be made.
Capitalism has failed in the past to deal with climate change, capitalism is currently failing to deal with climate change, so my conclusion is, it will continue to fail at doing so in twelve years. RM seems to agree to everything I said in the last sentence except for the last part. But has still failed to prove why.
 
That sums up my side of the debate. Your turn Con.

Published:
Motive
Capitalism provides incentive to both harm and to help the environment. Climate Change research has been heavily funded by private donors to Research Projects in the relevant fields of academic study. The severity to which Capitalism does this better than its variants of Socialism and anarchy, is near-infinite in potential of what it can achieve versus what they can (and have).

Means
Capitalism, by the very way that economics works, forces greed and preservation to fight one another but if left to itself it will be very minimalistic in how much it forces to be researched and the means available to do that research with. This is why state-intervention and encouragements to 'channel' the Capitalist manufacturers and research facilities who use the manufactured tools, is a good idea and why I don't support proper right-wing Capitalism for this debate but a more Centrist form of it (Social Democracy as I said in an earlier Round)

Opportunity
All Pro has done in this debate is tried to make it clear that Capitalism enables people to drop opportunities to prevent climate change, and even that Oil Tycoons and such are blatantly going to turn a blind eye as much as they can, due to the profit motive to do so (which Capitalism enables). The tools are all there, the issue is in the harnessing of it. It's still done well enough, we did discover global warming, acidity of the oceans and all that Jazz while Communism has decayed over time and Capitalism is present in almost every nation on Earth other than Cuba and North Korea (Venezuela has Capitalism in its system, as does China the world's leading export-manufacturer of Goods).

The degree of 'ill' that the equipment of Capitalism is, with regards to Climate Change, is unimaginably huger in magnitude and proportion to that of Socialism and anarchy. It's simply the most equipped of all its variants and if it wasn't for competing in a Capitalist manner, very little would have been discovered in any field of science at all, relative to what we've found out to date.
Added:
yeah uther won
#34
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
Ok.
#33
Added:
--> @King_8
These votes would and will be removed on any moderated debates; There are only a very limited number of circumstances in which we remove votes from unmoderated debates: for the reason that they are unmoderated.
In this case the default policy is not to remove votes: however, the benefit of this policy is that others can review the vote and counter it: in a way that itself would not be prohibited on other debates.
The issue here is not bias, it’s the policy we have for unmoderated debates. While I am sympathetic to your issue (and we are still discussing it); the
Voting policy for unmoderated debates has been in place since the start of Dart, and the expectation from these debates are that votes will not be removed. Whilst you likely have a point that there is an argument to be made about changing the rules, that’s not something I can decide without wider input from the community given current debate and vote expectations.
#32
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
RationalMadman put that same exact reason on one of my debates "Rap Battle 6" it was an unfair vote because he did it since he dislikes me and he even mirrored Club's vote on that debate, so whenever you get through, it was also a troll vote. The same energy you're putting into deleting votes that doesnt go with CoC, the same should apply to me. I have a feeling Pinkfreud's votes will never be deleted and same wit RM. This site has nothing but bias and unfair treatment when it comes to mods. It doesnt matter if its a rap battle and it being an "unmoderated" debate. A b.s vote is still a b.s vote.
#31
Added:
--> @TheGreatGameLord
*******************************************************************
>Reported Vote: TheGreatGameLord // Mod action: [Removed]
>Points Awarded: 7 points to pro
>Reason for Decision: I feel as if Uther-Penguin was the better debater here. They added the definitions in one of their rounds which I know is really hard to do. Also RM made a grammatical mistake.
Reason for Mod Action> This voter is not eligible to vote. In order to vote, an account must: (1) Read the site’s COC AND have completed 2 non-troll/non-FF debate OR have 100 forum posts.
Saying that: the vote was also insufficient on all points awarded. Please review the CoC for RfD requirements here: https://www.debateart.com/rules
*******************************************************************
#30
Added:
just finished reading. Great debate 10/10
#29
Added:
--> @Our_Boat_is_Right
*******************************************************************
>Reported Vote: Our_Boat_is_Right // Mod action: Removed
>Points Awarded: 1 point to Con for conduct
>Reason for Decision: Conduct to con for the forfeit by pro. Con kept it respectful throughout and din't have poor conduct, but pro forfeited which was bad for the debate and con as con didn't have an argument to go off of and didn't know clearly what pro's position was.
>Reason for Mod Action: The voter cannot award points merely on the basis of a single forfeit unless the voter is also awarding argument points, which they are not.
************************************************************************
#28
Added:
Capitalism isn't the cause of climate change. Assuming that humans have affected climate change drastically by carbon emissions, though I will withhold my own opinion, then industrialization and the resulting status quo are at fault. Instead of just burning coal and oil for light and heat, we have been also using it to produce electricity for over 100 years.
China was/is roughly equal to/a greater consumer of coal during its communist era than the U.S.
Russia is #5 in oil consumption.
So capitalism isn't the cause of climate change, nor is an alternate system the solution.
#27
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I don't know... you didn't give me a lot of time to consider this. Only 106 days? How can I possibly manage?
In all seriousness, give me reminders and I'll get to this.
#26
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I've been procrastinating this one because the vote time is so long. I promise I'll take a look and feel free to remind me if I forget.
#25
Added:
--> @whiteflame, @oromagi
would appreciate a vote from either/both of you a lot.
Contender
#24
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
“It is better that you think you are tricking me as for some reason you bother to do things like give me the conduct vote here and such.
So, let's say you're right and I'm delusional as somehow you play nicer than you otherwise would since I shut up about it.”
I’m thinking you meant this:
“It’s best you think you are tricking me: as this way you seem to give me some points.
Let’s just keep thinking I’m delusional - you behave better when I don’t harass you for it.”
As quite frankly deciphering what you meant is a bit of a crap-shoot.
#23
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
It is better that you think you are tricking me as for some reason you bother to do things like give me the conduct vote here and such.
So, let's say you're right and I'm delusional as somehow you play nicer than you otherwise would since I shut up about it.
Contender
#22
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
The last 16 times I have voted for you - it’s 12-3-1. I have voted you to win at a rate of 75%, - which is actually better than your win ratio. I’m voting you to win a higher percentage of the time than debates you have actually won.
The draw - there were 2 other votes someone else voted a draw, and someone else voted against you: so my vote was more in your favor than the decision. Out of the times I voted against you in these 16 last debates - one was the only vote (but another voter indicated they would have mostly voted the same way. Two other times were in a rap battle (where supa also voted against you), and a 2 for 2 against an EDM debate.
So not only do I vote for you at a better rate than your overall win rate (so by definition I’m doing better than average), over the last 16 times I’ve voted for you, but every time I’ve voted against you, someone else has too (or at least agreed)
The fact that you appear overly sensitive and appear to be misremembering facts, tells me that this is simply your unwillingness to accept your arguments were not as good as they should have been - that’s what I always vote on.
#21
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
the thing is every single debate you voted against me lately, everyone else is voting for me on or neutral on. This is teaching me indeed, just not what you think it is.
Contender
#20
#4
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D3lDh2x-pWoEW3lgCxYSkuPmGcSf1Yb_0T4S_gWlkhI/edit?usp=sharing
As always, ask any questions if you need a clarification.
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Pro r2
Pro notes the private sector has failed to meaningfully engage about climate change - have acted dishonestly, and repeatedly attempted to mislead about the dangers of climate change.
Pro points out that the Paris accords and Kyoto treaty appear to have failed - and that the biggest polluting countries seem to be the ones that push back the hardest.
Now - thus far I have two issues with pros argument. Firstly that he didn’t show that the dishonesty of oil companies is inherently due to capitalism. Secondly, he mostly implies rather than warrants government intervention is due to capitalistic interests.
Con r2
Con changes the agreed definition with no argument or context. I’m willing to entertain definition changes - but not by fiat like this.
Con talks about socialism. This doesn’t appear to be topical.
Con argues that capitalism produced equipment that has been used to detect climate change - I think this can be true even if capitalism cannot deal with climate change.
Capitalism could produce instruments that detected that the earth would be sucked into a black hole - but not necessarily to deal with it.
It’s not clear from arguments whether he’s claiming NASA is an instrument being fought over by capitalism, or there is a fight to provide instrument - the latter appears more contextually correct, the former makes no sense to me.
The rambling story about pre capitalism appears largely non topical and is not being considered.
Finally, simply copying and pasting quotes with no specific context or argument of your own, is bad form. Considering no other real argument was made - I’m only going to accept them with minute amount of warrant and weight them very lightly.
Pro r3.
Pro points out BoP is shared, and that con adjusted the definition, and moved the topic onto capitalism vs communism. I concur with pro that this is not topical.
Pro also does a good job of addressing cons largest contention. That capitalism supplies eauipment, this was a prima facia bad argument - but pro does okay batting this away by pointing out innovation isn’t limited to capitalism, I think the premise that you’d have innovation without capitalism is fairly valid. The second part was less good - it wasn’t fully clear to me what pro really intended here.
However pro does contrast that while capitalism creates a good environment - it also hinders action. That’s a better argument here.
I won’t consider the rebuttals to cons arguments that were not topical, but what pro does do here, is point out multiple examples of instances where capitalism exploits during emergencies: imo together with what he’s stated about the energy industry, this erodes the possibility that Capitalism will deal with climate change.
Con r3
Cons first argument here is that capitalism will necessarily deal with climate change as late as possible. This isn’t quite his argument, his argument was that they will deal with climate change when there is an economic incentive. Con doesn’t provide an argument that convinces me, or any argument at all - that the point of actions for capitalism is this side of the 1.5 degree line of the full resolution.
Pros whole shock doctrine from the previous round is that the economics are more likely to exploit scarcity than it is correct the error due to simplicity preemptively refutes this.
Con argues that the entirety of pros second pillar isn’t due to capitalisms failures but “government being incapable of harnessing sufficient equipment”, cool! What does that mean? Why do you say that?
Remainder of RfD in comments.
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I feel only pro side addressed the issue of Government intervention into shutting down companies that produce carbon emissions. Defining capitalism as ill equipped to reduce global warming doesn't consider or take into account the idea that the government in most capitalistic countries have the power to shut down their own sources of capital. the concept of capitalism does not negate the influence of government over them. Both sides argue the realistic nature of change on part of the economy however.
I don't believe either side won, primarily because both sides seem unable or fail to address the possibility of a natural, unnatural disaster or a sudden shift in socioeconomic power can shift the co2 emissions in a moment.
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
BoP(shared)
Pro committed a goal tending fallacy by adding a fallacious contingency to the BoP. Specifically the 12 year ultimatum. This forced Con to prove a slippery slope fallacy to win the debate which does not fall in line with the nature of BoP that is already set forth in a structured debate. These types of contingencies should always be avoided. Furthermore, political debates about government vs government carry an extra burden. Practically speaking, there must always be a government in power, so in this case, it was not wrong for Con to ask for a light comparison of socialism and other viable economic systems. BoP should be on the merit of the arguments and not and arbitrary and fallacious contingency.
Pro:
Pillar one: Private failure.
Pro made it clear that there are definitely companies taking advantage of the government and hurting the environment. My problem is that Pro did not make any effort to debunked the idea that other companies could also help the problem. Pro eventually posited a remedy for this thought, saying that technology can come from anywhere, the economy wasn't the only factor, etc. But con refuted all of this (More on con later)
Pillar two: Government failure.
Pro cited specific examples to prove this with ease. My problem is that Con showed that there is no logical connectivity between these two pillars even though they're both true in their own right. I cannot accept the conclusion since I do not accept the premises. The conclusion cannot follow in an argument with invalid structure.
Con:
1. What is being equipped to deal with CC?
More about establishing a definition than a point itself. Still, Pro agreed with this and the point is succinct and tautologous
2. How is Capitalism sufficiently equipped to deal with CC?
Con's fatal blow. Con rightly points out that government and economy are not mutually exclusive which is what tears con's premises apart. Pro tried to get around this by appealing to current behaviors, but did nothing to refute this point practically or logically. Furthermore, Con rightly pointed out there are companies that do help the environment and pointed out times when it would also be financially beneficial. These were the two big sticking points and further arguments did not change the status of this. Con also rightly points out that other forms of government haven't done any better. Even though pro was not happy with this argument, the fact is, that it was relevant and it was a good point to be made and Pro should have addressed it at least to a little more than what was done in this debate.
All other points are tied.