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Tomak

Oceans is a broad topic

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Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth’s oceans.

 

 

 
By some measures, this might be the broadest topic in over a decade.
 
The topic paper suggests only one definition for "development," which is "A significant event, occurrence, or change" (from FreeDictionary.com). This is probably not the best definition, but you see the problem. Any "event, occurrence, or change" is topical, so long as it's non-military, "significant," and has something to do with the ocean.
 
The ocean covers 70% of the earth, and over 90% of the world's population lives in countries that border the ocean. How often do you get an international topic that doesn't specify a country?
 
Actually, this year is both a domestic topic and an international topic - it just depends on what the aff chooses to do. The aff can operate entirely in domestic waters, or they can ratify the Law of the Sea Convention. Or they can work in obscure stretches of water with different consequences entirely. Different governing bodies have complex and overlapping jurisdictions when it comes to the ocean.
 
The "USFG" could be a lot of different things this year too. The aff could use an executive order or Congress if they want. Or they can skip both and have independent agencies like NASA or NOAA do their work. The State Department has their Office of Oceans and Polar Affairs, and the DHS can control imports at sea ports. There's a National Historical Park in Guam (War in the Pacific) with a coral reef that is actively studied.
 
Good luck linking your disads to the Director of the National Parks Service exploring a coral reef in Guam.
 
This year will be tough to be on the negative team. The aff can't really be nailed down to any predictable actions. Pick your favorite generic disad next year and think about all the cases it doesn't link to.
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I agree with your analysis. I'm now worried the affirmative is going to slaughter the negative round after round next year. There are too many cases and not any good generic DAs. The only viable route is the K, but smart affirmatives will anticipate this and choose highly K compatible cases. Troubling.

If this is true, why didn't anyone notice this problem sooner? Kind of upsetting if we've mostly overlooked it. Aren't we supposed to be good at noticing these sort of problems?

Edited by Fnord
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Good luck linking your disads to the Director of the National Parks Service exploring a coral reef in Guam.

 

Thanks for giving me my aff for next year

 

Srsly tho

 

I think I'm going to enjoy this year more. I personally am a little tense for the mountain of case negs that will be needed, but I will prefer talking about ecotheory and carbon dioxide levels more than diplomatic capital and China's sphere of influence. I also think a better policy ground next year will be refreshing after this super kritikal year.

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It still seems confining to me because of the combination of "its," "development or exploration," and "oceans." There are a ton of small ball cases next year, but nowhere near the mega-impacts we could have had on Middle East engagement. Most ocean development is pretty impractical compared to the same development on land, with the major exception of alternate energy and deepwater drilling Affs. I think it'll be an easier year for Neg than Middle East engagement would have been; generic DAs are still mostly limited to spending and politics, but generic CPs should be much more common. Like someone else posted, we're going to have an awful lot of "US Key" debates.

 

But then, my standard for a broad topic was my senior year, 2000-2001, and probably the broadest topic in the history of HS policy debate: Resolved: The USFG should establish a policy to substantially increase protection of privacy in one or more of the following areas: consumer records, health records, electronic information, or search and seizure.

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Lets be honest here.  It doesn't matter how broad a topic is.  For the most part people still run the same couple of cases. (at least on local circuits)  The only resolution in recent years that even kinda spread out affs was the military topic.

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I feel like OSPEC might actually have some use if people start saying Jonathan Jarvis should do the plan. Or T-USFG. Because at that point they really are just doing it to spike out of DA's and such.

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Lets be honest here.  It doesn't matter how broad a topic is.  For the most part people still run the same couple of cases. (at least on local circuits)  The only resolution in recent years that even kinda spread out affs was the military topic.

That was true for last years topic, but not this years -- even in my local circuit people read homecut affs. If I wasn't a k team, it would've been a nightmare.

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While space is physically bigger, there were probably fewer cases for it than there will be for this. Oceans are more important to human life and oceans are easier to do things with.

Still, it's a good point. There is some similarity there and this helps bring the size of the oceans topic back into perspective.

Edited by Fnord
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Still, it's a good point. There is some similarity there and this helps bring the size of the oceans topic back into perspective.

I still can't find any damn militarization ev for this topic though :(

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In preparation for this broad topic I am writing off case focused on an environment advantage, because I predict those will be popular

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Lots of people mentioned "US key" as a plausible generic neg strategy. You're missing that the resolution allows for domestic cases that completely avoid this strategy.

 

Whether the aff wants to limit oil drilling, promote aquaculture, or incentivize underwater mineral extraction, it could do so exclusively in US waters. China can't declare marine sanctuaries in US waters. The UN has no say in land use permits for salmon hatcheries in Oregon. And if any other state tries to pick up nuclear waste from the underwater nuclear dump near San Francisco, there will be trouble.

 

Say goodbye to your agent-changing counterplan. It's totally up to the aff whether they want to have that debate.

Edited by Tomak
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Lots of people mentioned "US key" as a plausible generic neg strategy. You're missing that the resolution allows for domestic cases that completely avoid this strategy.

Whether the aff wants to limit oil drilling, promote aquaculture, or incentivize underwater mineral extraction, it could do so exclusively in US waters. China can't declare marine sanctuaries in US waters. The UN has no say in land use permits for salmon hatcheries in Oregon. And if any other state tries to pick up nuclear waste from the underwater nuclear dump near San Francisco, there will be trouble.

Say goodbye to your agent-changing counterplan. It's totally up to the aff whether they want to have that debate.

Isn't this where the neg reads a ______________ should do the plan in their own waters CP, sparking a messy debate about fiat and perms, which bores the judge to tears? Edited by SnarkosaurusRex

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The range of possible cases is large, but the advantage stories policy debaters choose come from a small set.  I expect to hear a lot of advantage CPs and advantage-specific turns/links.

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       Though for this topic though , it seems like the time for many Trolls to come out of the closet , imagine all the Perfomance Affs that could come up from this : Im on A boat  and the list could be longer  but this is core troll arg that might pop up

 

performance debate = trolling? that's a new one

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lighten up y'all - this topic is scoped finely enough

 

 

noaa does usfg ocean exploration and development

(nixon on reorganization plans 3 & 4)

 

:exploration as "discovery through disciplined, diverse observations and recordings of findings"

(office of ocean exploration and research)

 

:development as "systematic use of the knowledge or understanding gained from research"

(office of program planning and integration)

 

exploration is not research and development is not demonstrations. the home websites for the respective noaa subsections gives more contextual definitional constraints. the resolution acts to restrict noaa's mandate to two specific actions. a benefit of this real world interpretation is there are examples of current projects which noaa conducts and deems "ocean exploration" or "ocean development". the explanation of these projects even provide guidance on the "oceans is plural" problem. one example of this is the claim noaa makes that they increase exploration of global marine archeology by excavating one particular dive site. have faith, this topic is going to be a blast

 

even if you prefer dictionaries, best contextual ones match the above definitions

exploration is "the investigation of an unknown... part of the earth"

development is "the act of making some area of... water more profitable, productive, or useful"

 

non-military is not being characteristic of armed forces. 

 

 

 

so should NOAA nonmilitarily discover/utilize the artic, atlantic, indian, pacific, and southern oceans?

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Well, I imagine that this year's DA ground will be much better than Latin America's (I've had enough with those politics and dipcap DAs, already!). Pollution DAs should link to almost anything that "develops" in the sense of "building crap/sending crap into the oceans," and SOI DAs should run amok whenever a PLAN encroaches on international waters.

 

K ground, is, as always, strong (because what CAN'T be linked to a famous philosopher?).

 

I have feeling that I'll be needing nitpicky Ts this year, though, to counter the domestic cases...

 

Other than that, it might be high time to go back to on-case debating.

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Well, I imagine that this year's DA ground will be much better than Latin America's (I've had enough with those politics and dipcap DAs, already!). Pollution DAs should link to almost anything that "develops" in the sense of "building crap/sending crap into the oceans," and SOI DAs should run amok whenever a PLAN encroaches on international waters.

 

K ground, is, as always, strong (because what CAN'T be linked to a famous philosopher?).

 

I have feeling that I'll be needing nitpicky Ts this year, though, to counter the domestic cases...

 

Other than that, it might be high time to go back to on-case debating.

 

What's wrong with domestic cases?  I assume you mean cases that actually do explore or develop oceans within the US territorial limits, and not weird troll stuff like 'develop Oceans County, New Jersey'.

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What's wrong with domestic cases?  I assume you mean cases that actually do explore or develop oceans within the US territorial limits, and not weird troll stuff like 'develop Oceans County, New Jersey'.

 

Yeah, I mean US territorial limits. I don't know,  but it seems that these cases might have fewer generic links.

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Yeah, I mean US territorial limits. I don't know,  but it seems that these cases might have fewer generic links.

 

Operating outside US territorial waters will potentially create fiat issues.  I'm not sure you're winning that fairness debate.

 

Education will strongly depend on what kind of literature there is when we start diving into the topic.  But I imagine there'll be quite a bit for things within US territorial waters - you might not outright lose education, but you'll have a hard time winning it.

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Operating outside US territorial waters will potentially create fiat issues.  I'm not sure you're winning that fairness debate.

 

Education will strongly depend on what kind of literature there is when we start diving into the topic.  But I imagine there'll be quite a bit for things within US territorial waters - you might not outright lose education, but you'll have a hard time winning it.

Eh, no fiat issues for operating in international waters. It's not like trying to fiat action in another country's territory; there's no sovereignty issue with the US building a giant floating city in the middle of the Atlantic and sticking a US flag on it. But there's also not really any good reason to limit the topic to international waters. The education debate comes out strongly in Aff's favor--defining oceans as int'l waters forecloses a lot of shallow water cases including oil drilling within territorial waters (which is most drilling), most Gulf of Mexico environmental cases, many fishing cases, and all coastal power cases. Unlikely to win the fairness or ground debate either; the only arguments I could see being foreclosed by allowing coastal cases are generic international law type arguments about development in international territory; Neg still gets all the spending and politics DAs they want from coastal development cases.

 

I think the boundary of a squirrely case on the term "oceans" would be something like "build tidal dams to protect New York from another Hurricane Sandy"; that's pushing the boundary on where rivers end and the ocean begins. Or coastal land development such as port improvements, if someone wants to reuse their ports cases from two years ago.

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I was thinking more about doing the shallow water stuff outside US territorial waters (which does require permission by the sovereign entity in charge)

 

Pretty much all shallow waters are in *someone's* territorial waters (bar only antartica, and that's governed by treaties which create their own fiat issues).

 

Restricting us to the Deep Sea would kill almost all development cases there's any real literature for.

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