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Should the US be forced to pay for its share of the earths trash?

Debate Information

The US makes up less than 5% of the global population, yet they make more than 25% of the worlds trash. The US makes the most trash on earth, and even the second largest trash producer comes nowhere close to the US. The vast majority of the trash that ends up in US landfills and the ocean is recyclable. Even with recycling programs across the US, the majority of recyclable materials still end up in landfills and the ocean. Should the US be made to pay to the cost of the global environmental impact this causes? 

Beside the environmental impact caused by US trash production, there is the economic impact of an extra tax burden on every American taxpayer due to the increasing cost of trash collection. This problem is exacerbated by China no longer allowing foreign trash to be stored in their country. Is it time for the US population to be forced to separate ALL recyclable materials from trash, and be made to pay outrageous trash pick-up fees to discourage freely producing trash?     
  1. Live Poll

    Should the US pay for their trash?

    7 votes
    1. Yes.
      85.71%
    2. No.
      14.29%



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    Arguments


  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -  
    If people and nation-states are not held responsible for their actions, they might use that power to advance their own interests at the detriment of others. Not only is this grossly unjust, it is overall unsustainable and can directly lead to the destruction of not just other society which are damaged by our actions, but the destruction of all societies should those who have been wronged decide to level the playing field by taking the same actions, either in retribution or as a simple matter of expected equality.
    TreeManBlastcat
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • BlastcatBlastcat 403 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: my argument is basically duh

    pick up your own mess
    DeeCYDdharta
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    @Happy_Killbot

    So who should the US make these payments to?
    Blastcat
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;

    I'll do you one better: Who shouldn't the US make such payments to?
    Blastcat
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;

    I'll do you one better: Who shouldn't the US make such payments to?
    Any country without a coastline for starters. And perhaps zero countries if the rest of the world doesn't pay their share of the cost of remediation. I'm not saying I disagree with you here, but I'm still going to make you fight tooth and nail to prove your point.   
    Blastcat
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;
    Any country without a coastline for starters. And perhaps zero countries if the rest of the world doesn't pay their share of the cost of remediation. I'm not saying I disagree with you here, but I'm still going to make you fight tooth and nail to prove your point.  
    No coast line? What about air pollution? surely, that must count for something doesn't it?

    Besides, if any one else will pay that would surely give the rest of civilization a casus belli, as this represents an infraction against the rest of the world.

    Only by holding ourselves and others accountable for their crimes can we make any headway to solving these problems, and repairing the damage to our planet's ecology.
    piloteerBlastcat
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    @Happy_Killbot

    I was only hoping this thread would pertain to solid waste and not air pollution. There's not much that can be done to "clean up" air pollution. All that can be done to remediate that is to stop creating that pollution to begin with. And I'm not sure the US has as strong of an edge with its air pollution output as they do with solid trash. 

    Besides, if any one else will pay that would surely give the rest of civilization a casus belli, as this represents an infraction against the rest of the world.
    Will they pay? It doesn't seem anybody else is on board yet.
    Blastcat
  • Isn't that why everyone gets to vote in America so the majority can pass a burden of cost to liability insurance onto the voter as a political cost?

    Only by holding ourselves and others accountable for their crimes can we make any headway to solving these problems, and repairing the damage to our planet's ecology.
    There is no way to save the world we can only document the events of its passage into destruction, there are events and substances which are hostile to human life the truth of the matter is there is no friendly oasis nearby on a planetary scale. American's had known the world was in trouble since the 70's on a planetary evolutionary level. Seriously there are like no instructions given in the event of a global apocalyptic event.

    As food for basic thought, we do not need a rocket to reach the outer atmosphere of the earth the trip has been made with a balloon. This is really funny as images of early humanity reaching space by balloon are mocked as idiotic. Okay, are extreme altitude balloons are really much cooler than what is expected for normal types of balloons but still.
    Blastcat
  • @piloteer
    Overall storms of varying types and sizes are a major contributor to the spontaneous relocation of garbage.

    Blastcat
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    John_C_87 

    Seriously there are like no instructions given in the event of a global apocalyptic event.
    We could try not doing the things that are causing the global apocalyptic event. That's at least something. If there are no instructions, then we haven't been instructed to do nothing.  
    Blastcat
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    John_C_87 said:
    @piloteer
    Overall storms of varying types and sizes are a major contributor to the spontaneous relocation of garbage.

    The bulk of it eventually makes it to the ocean.  
    Blastcat
  •  If there are no instructions, then we haven't been instructed to do nothing.
    We could try not doing the things that are causing the global apocalyptic event.
     Shock...
    We are not in control of the thing that will end this earth, we only have possession of something that can end the earth. The space race was not a sprint piloteer it is a team relay marathon. There is nothing wrong with planing a slow death for the earth but be advised it is our planned slow death for the earth.

    @piloteer
     ALL recyclable materials from trash, and be made to pay outrageous trash pick-up fees to discourage freely producing trash?   It cost money to produce trash in order for something to end in a landfill A.K.A. the other 2/3 of the earth's surface. Trash must be paid for first then discarded, it's not like we just give stuff away free as disaster humanitarian aid under contract it is properly disposed of. Most landfill debris is already sorted to some degree while containment has improved greatly over the years. Burning of waste for the conservation of storage space was not a wise choice. Thow for raw sewage a necessity in many instances of treatment.


    Blastcat
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4244 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: False concept

    It does not make sense for the “US” to pay someone something, as the US is not a real economical agent. It is comprised of individuals each of which partakes in her own economical activities. Some of them produce a lot of trash, others do not. To the extent to which it can be shown that someone has produced significant externalities to someone else, there is a valid case to make for the former owing restitution of damages to the latter. But there is no such thing as a country owing something the world; neither of these two is an economical agent, and no economical transactions can occur between them.

    You know the term “Jesus smuggling”, right? By analogy, I suggest that the phenomenon I am addressing is to be called “group smuggling”. It is the phenomenon in which a person attributes responsibility for the actions of an individual to the larger group including this individual. Someone was allegedly mistreated by someone else and ended up poor - and here comes “We are a compassionate society, and we all must contribute to the collective well-being by helping this person”. And the more sophisticated thinkers come up with fuzzy terms such as “social contract” or “consent of the governed”: “If you want to live in this society, you have responsibility to comply with its demands”. Yet, again, what it means for a society to have any demands, considering that it consists of millions individuals each having their own desires and preferences, is unclear. In democratic societies the voice of the majority is considered representative of it, but at the same time those very people go to great lengths to advocate for protection of minorities… Never explaining how the fact that more people want you to do something than something else places any responsibility on you to do anything.

    To return to the main question, no American owes anyone anything for the fact of the US population as a whole producing a lot of trash. If some Chinese farmer can demonstrate that, say, the Toyota factory in Nebraska activity places undue burden on her health, she is entitled to a proper compensation from Toyota’s shareholders. But if she just says, “Oh, you know, these 320 million Americans produce a lot of trash which has nothing to do with me, but makes me worried about the future of our planet” - then she is free to pursue every one of these Americans, proving that their particular activities result in some potential harm to her, and then sue each of them for 0.001 cents or however much their actions harm her.

    Of course, if it can be demonstrated that bad US government policies lead to serious negative externalities on people living elsewhere, then there is something to talk about. But the US taxpayers cannot be held accountable for misdoings of government officials. If anyone should pay anything, it is the latter. And if they cannot, then the standard criminal justice procedure may be in order. The only person responsible for Stalin’s execution orders is Stalin, and Soviet commoners who did not partake in this are either bystanders or victims, not collaborators - and the same logic applies to anyone anywhere in the Universe.
    Happy_KillbotPlaffelvohfenpiloteerBlastcat
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -  
    @MayCaesar ;
    It does not make sense for the “US” to pay someone something, as the US is not a real economical agent. It is comprised of individuals each of which partakes in her own economical activities.
    I'm 14 and this is deep
    PlaffelvohfenBlastcat
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • It does not make sense for the “US” to pay someone something, as the US is not a real economical agent.
    We may need to translate this issue a little more clearly, States held in the united position of law have given orders to what is to be known as public services of disposal. The basic principle brings an order that is signed by an individual back to the respected offices of law to which are accountable in a chain of command.

    I for one would love to see the documentation in which disposal of city's waste was performed in such a way as to deem it safe and without a hidden cost of harm. This is a standard of legal precedent of industry. One in which many cities actually do such storage in the safest way possible.

     yet they make more than 25% of the worlds trash
    The majority of problem trash is in food sanitation for resale and building materials from storm damage and construction. These issues are not strictly held in the consumption of goods.

    Blastcat
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -   edited October 2021
    @Happy_Killbot

    I believe @MayCaesar made a great point that I never thought of. It is in no way ethical to only hold the US accountable because what about the countries that are actually manufacturing the trash? They are also guilty of the trash heap that was once known as the ocean. Even from a strictly environmental point of view, the manufacturing countries are just as much of a problem. It would be environmentally unethical to allow manufacturing countries to continue manufacturing the environmentally harmful products that all eventually enter into our ocean.

    I have firmly believed for a while that there should be regulations on manufacturing plastics and other environmentally unethical products, and that can serve as an economic constraint on the countries manufacturing the trash. Should the manufacturing countries be held equally accountable?          
    Blastcat
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;

    I'm making fun of the way that our resident an-cap pretends that countries just don't exist.

    like, we live in a society man.
    PlaffelvohfenBlastcat
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;

    I'm making fun of the way that our resident an-cap pretends that countries just don't exist.

    like, we live in a society man.
    I only read the first sentence of their argument and went with what I got from there. I didn't delve into the filler that much.

    What's an "an-cap" by the way?
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;
    What's an "an-cap" by the way?
    a extreme & based libertarian who unironically thinks that a rule by for-profit corporations & unrestricted markets is more free than liberal democracy.

    piloteerBlastcatPlaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;
    What's an "an-cap" by the way?
    a extreme & based libertarian who unironically thinks that a rule by for-profit corporations & unrestricted markets is more free than liberal democracy.

    Oh, I get it. ANarcho-CAPitalist.    
    Blastcat
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    @Happy_Killbot

    Well, regardless, my question still stands. Should manufacturing countries be held liable for the trash in the oceans? 
    Blastcat
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -   edited October 2021
    @piloteer ;
    Well, regardless, my question still stands. Should manufacturing countries be held liable for the trash in the oceans? 
    That would make about as much sense as holding a gun store owner guilty for a shooting.

    Punishment should fall on the one actually committing the infraction.
    Blastcat
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -   edited October 2021
    @piloteer ;
    Well, regardless, my question still stands. Should manufacturing countries be held liable for the trash in the oceans? 
    That would make about as much sense as holding a gun store owner guilty for a shooting.

    Punishment should fall on the one actually committing the infraction.
    So......we shouldn't hold the whole country of the US liable, right? We should only hold individuals liable? You're making mother earth sad right now.
    Blastcat
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -   edited October 2021
    @piloteer ;
    So......we shouldn't hold the whole country of the US liable, right? We should only hold individuals liable?
    No, because the US still makes institutional decisions which lead to environmental issues.

    May's argument literally only makes sense if you pretend like government institutions don't exist and/or have no agency, but this is absurd.
    BlastcatPlaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • BlastcatBlastcat 403 Pts   -  

    are you the person who is 14?

    Is this true or a joke?
    Because if you are not just joking.. oh my.......

    oh.my.
    doesn't look too good for the others.
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -  
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 1484 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;
    So......we shouldn't hold the whole country of the US liable, right? We should only hold individuals liable?
    No, because the US still makes institutional decisions which lead to environmental issues.
    Oh, I get your argument now. You're more concerned about making sure the US gets blamed for the trash than you are about helping the environment.

    China, along with the all the manufacturing countries are creating environmentally harmful materials on an absurd level of redundancy!!!! But you somehow believe they should be allowed to continue creating these materials without any economic constraints?!?! That is not helpful for the environment in any way, shape, or form. The "infraction" we're discussing is the trash in the ocean. From where that trash came from is entirely pertinent to the issue of the infraction. 
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5325 Pts   -  
    @piloteer ;
    You're more concerned about making sure the US gets blamed for the trash than you are about helping the environment.
    No.
    China, along with the all the manufacturing countries are creating environmentally harmful materials on an absurd level of redundancy!!!!
    And they should be held responsible for the detriment to the environment caused by that production, but that doesn't count for the products that are sold to us for us to throw away.
    From where that trash came from is entirely pertinent to the issue of the infraction. 
    If the Chinese put it there, then they are responsible. If the US put it there, the US is responsible. This isn't complex.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @piloteer

    Beside the environmental impact caused by US trash production

    Um... it is not trash production is international goods consumption. Trash is not a production product manufactured it is a by-product of consumer goods used and replaced. Should Americans be forced to pay? Americans have been paying for the clean-up of trash disposal for decades.

     Should the US be made to pay to the cost of the global environmental impact this causes? 
    Does any nation need to force America to pay for cleaning up trash as waste as basic principle just buy the packaging materials back to recycle? They will not end up in the ocean.

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