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wreckingmachine

Energy Trade-Off

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Before one of my rounds last weekend, I was talking to a judge who had coached debaters on the renewable energy topic. He said that they ran a disad that essentially said focusing on just one type of energy inherently trades off with other options and that we must take all options equally into account. Does anyone know the disad to which I'm referring? Is it still applicable next year? What do you think about this as a possible strategy?

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i've seen energy trade-off disads like this against most types of alt energy. usu the impact + tradeoff scenario is more specific (ie nuclear trades off with, say, solar, and solar is key to X impact), but this is definitely applicable next year (assuming you don't hit an aff that increases incentives all around). as for strategy, I think that this will just be a fairly generic disad that can be run with anything against most everything

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The disad seems a little too vague, but the point it makes is pretty clear enough IMO. Probably applicable next year.

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plan can focus on a specific form of alternative energy

 

USFG should provide tax subsidies for the construction and operation of nuclear power.

 

thats completely topical.

 

 

and then the neg responds: subisidies for nuclear power trades off with solar. nuke bad, solar good.

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or possibly?

 

plan focuses too much attention on x

 

inherently trades of with everything else because while USFG is busy giving all of that attention to x, other options go under the radar

 

we will never be able to solve for the affs impacts with just x, need a combination of x, y, z, and whatever else. only a general approach solves

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that seems more like a no solvency arg on case rather than a full disad, but its definintely a legitimate argument that you could be making as the neg

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If you've read any of the topic literature, you probably know by now that no single technology is going to solve our energy problems. The aff only gets small, linear solvency for warming, energy security, and the rest of their big-impact energy-specific advantages. And what does everyone know from Debate 101 about linear advantages with big impacts? They're really easy to straight-turn at the internal link level, and if you do it well, you win the round!

 

This disad is absolutely the best way to straight-turn all the meatball energy advantages next year. It only works well against cases that fund a specific technology (ie any case I listed here), but when it does link, the neg can straight-turn all of the aff's offense with just a few cards. Best of all, this disad will link to squirrels EVEN BETTER than the mainstream cases, since all the unusual and inconsequential technologies the aff could fund will inevitably cost much more per kW/hr than more standard and proven conventional and alternative energy sources.

 

There are a number of different ways you could run the link story for this disad.

 

1. Subsidizing existing alternative energies makes it harder for new technologies to come to market, since they don't get access to the incentives. Existing alternative energy producers get government money and stay in business, so they out-compete new businesses with newer technologies, even if the newer technologies would be more efficient and more economically viable.

 

2. Incentives for alternative energies make it more profitable to use inefficient alternative energy over efficient fossil fuel technology. Even if it would be net beneficial and lest costly to upgrade our coal and natural gas power plants to be more efficient, that's not where the money is attached. This happens all the time. See the Norway example in the evidence I posted below.

 

3. Incentives for specific technologies causes over-investment in them, trading off with investment in ALL of the more proven alternative energy technologies. This is probably the clearest way to run the disad, but in my experience, the literature is more difficult to find outside of highly technical economics publications. If you can find the cards for this, run it. If not, run #1 and/or #2.

 

4. Growth in any specific alternative energy sector trades off with [pick your favorite alternative energy]. This gets you the most specific impacts, but the link story is kind of a lie. Put it this way: have you ever actually seen a spending trade-off link card that actually was in context? This disad will be no different. But that's not the biggest problem with this strategy. The real issue is it doesn't jive well with solvency attacks (no one energy technology is going to solve all our problems - not the aff's favorite, not the neg's favorite) or with a technology-neutral counterplan (see below).

 

Anyway, here's something for you to cut.

 

Climate policies and induced technological change : which to choose the carrot or the stick?

(page 23-24)

 

The lessons from these simulations are that subsidising an existing non-polluting

technology may not be the right policy for two reasons. First, if the existing non-polluting

energy production does not create any positive spillovers, a uniform carbon tax is the

optimal policy. Second, even if the production of existing alternative energy creates

positive spillovers, the optimal subsidy should not necessarily internalise all spillover

effects and could actually be zero or even negative in a second best world. One reason is

that the government may not know what technologies might enter the market after

restrictions are placed on fossil fuel use. Energy production based on new technologies

may also create positive spillovers. Subsidising existing alternative energy products may

discriminate against new technologies when spillovers from new energy products are not

rewarded. The argument is strengthened in rigid political systems where it is hard to

remove old subsidies, as well as to introduce new ones. Thus, in a second best world with

incomplete information about nascent technologies or with non-optimal policy rules,

subsidising an existing technology amounts to “picking a winner”.

 

We do not argue against subsidising positive externalities in general, even if our

argument is also valid for other markets than energy. Energy and climate policy are

special for several reasons. The production of energy is a dynamic process, and one

important question is whether or not technologies used today may be used to a large

extent in a few decades. Fossil fuels are the dominating energy sources in the current

economic regime, and existing alternative energy sources may be viewed as complements

to fossil fuels. The ultimate goal of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is

to achieve “stabilisation of greenhouse-gas concentrations... at a level that would prevent

dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (United Nations, 1992).

This requires a large reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and new energy

technologies are probably necessary to meet this goal. Thus, if existing energy

technologies are transitory, subsidies may delay the introduction of more sustainable

energy technologies. This suggests that carbon taxes are a more neutral and efficient

means of encouraging carbon-free energy than subsidies. Clear and consistent policy

rules are important. Having a predictable carbon tax system may to a larger extent

encourage the innovation of new, carbon-free energy.

 

One concrete example illustrates our point. In Norway there has been an ongoing national

debate concerning the construction of two gas power plants. The plants, if constructed

and operated at capacity, would increase Norwegian CO2 emissions by about 6%, as

power production is based on hydropower in Norway. However, proponents argue that

the new electricity would replace electricity from coal power plants in Denmark and thus

reduce overall European CO2 emissions. If this is true, they would seem to be an

environmental asset, however, the plants would not be economically profitable unless

they are partly exempted from the Norwegian CO2 tax. The majority in the Parliament is

in favour of such exemptions.8 The plan is to build the gas power plants using an existing

technology, and exemptions from taxes amount to a subsidy. As has been shown in this

paper, subsidies may be unjustified even if there exists external effects, spillovers that are

doubtfully in the case of a mature technology like natural gas turbines. On a global basis,

subsidy policies like this one may delay the introduction of new technologies such as

hydrogen power plants or gas power plants with CO2 injection, which are available but

too expensive today, thereby raising the cost of assuring a safe level of greenhouse gases

for future generations.

 

By the way, this strategy works GREAT with a carbon tax or cap-and-trade counterplan. The CP solves all the meatball energy and environment advantages, and avoids the disad because it's tech-neutral. Oh, and the perm is not net beneficial:

 

 

Climate policies and induced technological change : which to choose the carrot or the stick?

page 23

 

Both carbon taxes and alternative energy subsidies reduce carbon emissions when there is

no backstop technology available. Therefore, the necessary carbon tax falls as the subsidy

rate increases. However, the optimal policy mix is that which provides the lowest GDP

loss (compare Figures 2 and 5). In scenarios where a backstop technology exists,

introducing and then increasing a subsidy on alternative energy actually increases the

requisite carbon tax. The reason is that the subsidy reduces the substitution from

conventional and alternative energy towards backstop energy, and so an increasing

carbon tax is necessary to meet the carbon constraint.

 

Have fun. This is a solid neg strategy.

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Before one of my rounds last weekend, I was talking to a judge who had coached debaters on the renewable energy topic. He said that they ran a disad that essentially said focusing on just one type of energy inherently trades off with other options and that we must take all options equally into account. Does anyone know the disad to which I'm referring? Is it still applicable next year? What do you think about this as a possible strategy?

 

Lol. My dad asked me if that was an argument this morning.

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I'm sure you could find case specific links such as spending on certain programs and plug that into your tradeoff. But your DA seems applicable and plausible to run for the resolution this year. I really enjoy tradeoff DA's and hope to be able to run some sort of DA next year.

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It seems to me that most cases will be able to solve back for the internal link to the disad, and being that its their aff, probably have pretty strong evidence saying so. The only way that an aff wouldn't solve back for the terminal impact is if it is hyper-specific to the energy that the focus is being taken away from, in which case is extremely hard to outweigh generic advantages such as peak oil and warming. Plus, disad's like this (in my opinion) justify the internsic perm on the disad. The disad doesnt disprove the resolution, essentially the neg team still advocates another form of alternative energy just its a disad instead of a non-competitive counter plan, thus i think that the aff should be able to perm: do both. why not offer incentives to both forms of alternatives. And while the perm is technically intrinsic, non of the abuse stories for the intrinsic perm are relevant being that the neg is running it as a counter advocacy, its just like a counter plan perm: do the plan and the counterplan.

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The disad doesnt disprove the resolution, essentially the neg team still advocates another form of alternative energy just its a disad instead of a non-competitive counter plan, thus i think that the aff should be able to perm: do both. why not offer incentives to both forms of alternatives.

The aff certainly could offer incentives to both. And you could perm a CP that just offered more or different incentives than the aff. But you can't perm the disad because you made the strategic choice in the 1AC to only advocate incentives for both.

 

The disad is a legitimate test of that decision, because you had other topical options that didn't link. It is a minimum burden to justify your particular plan - not to prove that it is better than other topical options (not aff's job), but to prove that focusing on one technology is a viable solution. Just because the alternative to linking is topical doesn't mean you can add things to your plan.

 

"Why not offer both?" is a neg argument in this case, because you didn't!

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The aff certainly could offer incentives to both. And you could perm a CP that just offered more or different incentives than the aff. But you can't perm the disad because you made the strategic choice in the 1AC to only advocate incentives for both.

 

The disad is a legitimate test of that decision, because you had other topical options that didn't link. It is a minimum burden to justify your particular plan - not to prove that it is better than other topical options (not aff's job), but to prove that focusing on one technology is a viable solution. Just because the alternative to linking is topical doesn't mean you can add things to your plan.

 

"Why not offer both?" is a neg argument in this case, because you didn't!

 

I understand that the disad is off of the affirmatives plan, but the disad doesnt disprove the resolution. While the "perm text" would be intrinsic, most of the intrinsic perms bad standards are not reasons to reject this particular perm. And also, the neg runs the tradeoff as a disad, but the neg (if they are good) will usually say that their alternative energy solves all of the case in which the neg is advocating their position very much like a counter plan advocacy meaning that if it were a counter plan, the perm would be legitimate, making the perm on the disad a lot easier for a judge to buy.

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the uniqueness to the scenario would solve all of this back. any disad based on a tradeoff will have to establish that their energy is coming now and that the plan would short circuit investment in that technology. it would thus be a matter of comparing the squo with the preferable alternative energy to the plan with the worse energy source.

 

the permutation wouldn't be able to solve this because the link scenario is based on a limited budget for alternative energy/ the disincentive to invest and compete with an industry with a subsidy. to win the perm the aff has to prove that a world with a finite budget or a skewed market towards their energy would still have the ability to support both energy sources.

Edited by Wildcat09
forgot something

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or the aff has to win that budgets don't matter because we will just deficit spend i.e. the status quo with every policy passed right now. Also, most teams can win that the energy that would be put towards the oil crunch can now be invested into the alternative energy meaning that the two are not mutually exclusive.

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I understand that the disad is off of the affirmatives plan, but the disad doesnt disprove the resolution. While the "perm text" would be intrinsic, most of the intrinsic perms bad standards are not reasons to reject this particular perm. And also, the neg runs the tradeoff as a disad, but the neg (if they are good) will usually say that their alternative energy solves all of the case in which the neg is advocating their position very much like a counter plan advocacy meaning that if it were a counter plan, the perm would be legitimate, making the perm on the disad a lot easier for a judge to buy.

All the disad has to do is prove that the plan is a bad idea. The disad says the plan causes some negative effects. The perm argues that the plan does not necessarily have to cause those effects. But the way you ran it, it does. Therefore you lose.

 

The perm says "oh but it is possible to solve that problem and the ones we talk about at the same time." There is no brightline between perming this argument and any other disad. You say the disad is similar to a CP advocacy, which is why the perm is leigimate. However, in the absense of a CP, any disad is an advocacy of the status quo. If you can perm the status quo and still be aff, I don't think I want to be neg.

 

If you want to argue that the neg's job is to disprove the resolution, then a smart neg will take the inverse, that aff must prove the resolution, and run a whole lot of turns on cases you didn't run, which would prove that the resolution is bad.

 

Instead of perming, just prove that the two energies are not exclusive, i.e., that there is no link. There is a such thing as being too clever.

Edited by giantchkn

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does anyone know if any camps are cutting this?

 

i'm really interested in this concept.

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I understand that the disad is off of the affirmatives plan, but the disad doesnt disprove the resolution. While the "perm text" would be intrinsic, most of the intrinsic perms bad standards are not reasons to reject this particular perm. And also, the neg runs the tradeoff as a disad, but the neg (if they are good) will usually say that their alternative energy solves all of the case in which the neg is advocating their position very much like a counter plan advocacy meaning that if it were a counter plan, the perm would be legitimate, making the perm on the disad a lot easier for a judge to buy.

 

The disad doesn't have to disprove the resolution. It disproves the perticular instance of the resolution.

 

The disad is a reason why the CP is a superior policy option than the plan.

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Ya, I already posted a thread on this subject and I didn't receive a whole lot of feedback. I think that they will definantly make a come back, and I'm sure that there is a camp that will have created it. If not, it would be an easy file to make.

 

While there is the concept that we will require many alt energies, a tradeoff between two very similar alternatives could take place. Its going to be a case by case decision.

 

It will be very similar to the Africa topic tradeoffs, mostly because who is to say what the biggest problem is and how to fix it? There are lots of problems that all need to be fixed, its just a matter of impacts and timeframe really.

 

I can definantly see this coming back.

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