Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pro & Con Arguments

Genetically Engineered Crops


GE crops fight soil erosion.

Drought resistant crops will save lives.

GE crops require less labor and time to grow, and are thus less expensive.

GE crops can add vitamins to dietary staples such as rice (e.g. "Golden Rice" with vitamin A).


Could throw a lot of people out of work---especially farmers & farm workers.

Could raise global population by increasing food supply.

Drought resistant crops over-tax land resources.

Has already created "superweeds" resistant to herbicides.

Could be a slippery slope that leads to overuse of GE crops across the board.

GE crops could disrupt fragile ecosystems.

Widespread use of GE crops could give far to much power to a few corporations.

GE crops do not address the economic imbalance that leads to global hunger in the first place.

Nuclear Power


Nukes provide a constant source of baseline electricity.

We can, and do, turn nuclear weapons into nuclear fuel.

Nukes are carbon neutral.

Nuke plants take up less space than solar and wind plants.

Reactors and storage facilities are safer now.


It would be too difficult to overcome public fears of nuclear power.

It's impossible to eliminate the possibility of a serious accident.

It's impossible to eliminate the possibility of terrorist groups or rogue nations misusing nuclear materials.

Nukes are highly subsidized by government money.

Shutting down plants after a few decades in costly and dangerous.



These cities are "population sinks"; people living in cities have fewer children.

People leave the land to move to cities, and rural areas recover ecologically.

Urban economies offer greater stability.

Urban populations tend to be more educated, and women have more opportunities for advancement (and then they have fewer children).


Slums are less sanitary than rural villages, due to overcrowding.

Too few people living on farms could threaten stability of food supply.

Mega-cities are a logistical nightmare.

Can be breeding grounds for horrific crime.

City dwellers are not economically or politically autonomous.

Economic inequality becomes greater in urban societies.



We are already engaged in geo-engineering, so we might as well learn to do it correctly.

Geo-engineering could protect biodiversity.

Geo-engineering is likely to be more feasible than changing human behavior.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

It's better to establish agreed upon norms for geo-engineering while we still have the opportunity.


There are unforeseen consequences in almost everything we do in nature; in the case of geo-engineering, those consequences would be very large.

Since these policies would affect everyone, everyone should have a voice in the decision-making process; at this point, there is no mechanism for achieving that.

Geo-engineering does not address root causes of our environmental crises; it only addresses the symptoms.

Geo-engineering could be used as a weapon.

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