Topic Lecture 2014

Earth’s Oceans
Resolved: The United States federal government should
substantially increase its non-military exploration
and/or development of the Earth’s oceans.
Jon Voss
Glenbrook South High School
Topic Lecture at the California National Debate Institute – 23 June 2014
Part I: Background
• Government-sponsored ocean exploration
began in 1807 and has evolved over time.
• 1950 – NASA and the evolution of the
space program created a new perspective
on oceans.
• 1970 – the large number of oceaninterested organizations were grouped
together under NOAA.
• Minimal non-military development.
Status Quo [1/4]
• Federal ocean policy is all the actions related to
exploration, development, and protection of the
• The overall goal of ocean policy is sustainable
development of the ocean.
• The core assumption is that resource
exploitation of the ocean is in the US national
• US oceans policy is highly fragmented – 27
federal agencies or departments have a role and
there are over 140 laws governing ocean use.
Status Quo [2/4]
• Not much regulation…
– Pollution
– Toxic Spills
– Marine Life
– Overfishing
– Acidification
– Climate Change
• More regulation now, but change occurs
Status Quo [3/4]
• The federal government can’t just increase
development anywhere in the world – it’s
limited by jurisdictional conflicts.
• Local governments control the shoreline,
state governments control land to 3 miles
offshore, and the federal government controls
between 3 and 200 miles. No nation can
control the parts of the ocean beyond 200
miles of their territory.
Status Quo [4/4]
From the coast to 200 miles off the
shoreline is known as the EEZ.
– Most important part of the development part of
the topic.
– Only place the government has authority for
development is the EEZ.
Every country in the world has an EEZ
– about one third of the world’s oceans
are covered by EEZs.
Who’s In Charge?
• Tons of federal authority for ocean
exploration and development.
• 27 different agencies and sub-agencies.
• Most relevant include NOAA, the DOI, and
the Coast Guard
• Jurisdictional conflicts.
National Ocean Policy
• Rolled out in 2010, Executive Action
– Marine Planning
– Coastal Communities
– Fishing
– Aquaculture
– Agriculture
– Offshore Renewable Energy
– Offshore Oil & Natural Gas
– Shipping & Ports
• Meant to protect marine natural resources.
• Big focus on regional action and protection.
Part II: The Topic
I: Defining the Topic
• “substantially increase”
• “its”
• “non-military” **
• “exploration” **
• “development” **
• “Earth’s oceans” **
II - Affirmatives on the Topic
Exploration Affirmatives
Development Affirmatives
Exploration Affirmatives:
-- Biodiscovery
-- Underwater Mapping
-- Marine Archaeology
-- Study-based Approaches
Exploration Affirmatives:
Advantage Ground
-- Climate Change
-- General Sustainability
-- Modeling
-- US S&T Leadership
Exploration Affirmatives
• Exploration – fund it, do it.
• Find “X”
• Arctic Mapping
• Not an all-inclusive list…
Development Affirmatives
• Generally, more diverse advantage ground.
• They link to a greater diversity of
disadvantages, but have much more room for
• This is the area of the topic from where the
new/tiny affirmatives will emerge.
• Energy and Fish.
Energy-side Affirmatives
• Oil/gas drilling
• Renewable energy
• Methane hydrates
Fishing-side Affirmatives
• Aquaculture
• Fisheries Management
• Pollution Regulation
• Marine Protected Areas
• Sub-Seabed Disposal
Disadvantages on the Topic
• Politics Disadvantages
• Tradeoff / Agency / Jurisdiction DAs
• Biodiversity / Pollution DAs
• Sphere of Influence DAs
• Market Confidence DAs
Counterplans on the Topic
• International Actor Counterplans
• 50-States Counterplans
• Private Actor Counterplans
• Military Counterplans
• “Do It On Land” Counterplans
Critiques on the Topic
The aff matters a lot…
– Capitalism
– Anthropocentrism
– Management / Heidegger-style Ks
– Deep Ecology / Social Ecology
– Free Market Environmentalism
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