Production versus Consumption. Chicken? or Egg?
As per usual, this isn’t meant to be a topic analysis. Just some quick thoughts when I read the 2012 NCFL topic this morning.
Resolved: Increasing US energy production should take precedence over protecting the environment.
First, I think that the question has to be answered as to what type of energy production that needs to be increased. It would be hard to argue that the US isn’t in need of increased energy with an increase in population. Especially since the topic doesn’t say you get to increase conservation efforts if you vote Con.
Obviously the debate wants to be focused on drilling and fracking for oil and building up nuclear plants, both controversial but known sources of energy. Perhaps coal will also be debated. However, I think that a good Pro team would not limit themselves to these sources. In fact, I would keep all energy sources in mind when framing the case and instead shift the burden to the neg to show that in general, over-protection of the environment is stopping energy development. I don’t know if this is true outside of these primary energy production means.
In a lot of ways, I think this is going to be a very circular debate. Almost a “chicken or egg” line of argument. Those on the Pro will say we can’t have productivity and economic growth/stability without internal energy production while those on the Con will contend we need to focus on creating energy efficient products and lifestyles in order to have economic growth/stability. My head hurts just thinking about it.
Here are some interesting articles that may, or may not, be useful: