Debates: Environment

24 Mar 2014

Mobility remains a key factor for development - a means of enabling the development of economic markets at a local, national, and regional scale (WDR, 2009). The World Bank classifies Africa as a continent that remains largely ‘immobile’. Borders are identified as a key restriction...

4 Mar 2014

The Seychelles are an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar. It is one of the smallest countries in the world at only 455 km2, its population is also comparatively small at only 90,000. Many of the islands that make up the country are flat reefs, though not all – its...

23 Jan 2014

Animal research has been used for several centuries as part of efforts to better understand the world around us. More than 100,000,000 animals a year are used in animal testing, most of them put down once they are have been experimented on.[1]

The drugs industry spends a significant...

17 Jan 2014

Africa’s large animals are well documented in history. Elephants were a source of great fear in the ancient African armies and they became a source of fascination for Europeans. When they began to explore and colonise the continent, the hides, horns, tusks and pelts of Africa’s...

7 Jan 2014

There have been very few human societies in which no meat or fish are eaten, although in some parts of the world the normal diet is made up largely of staple foods such as rice, with meat and fish being relatively rare additions; this has often been due to poverty rather than choice. In modern...

7 Jan 2014

In this debate "testing" should be defined as all testing on animals including, medical research, cosmetics, toxicology testing, and psychological research involving animal subjects. Most existing bans on animal research, when they have been implemented, have involved some form of disciplinary...

6 Jan 2014

The latest report (fifth) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) put the blame for climate change firmly on humanity. The chair of the working group on Physical Science notes “We give very relevant guidance on the total amount of carbon that can't be emitted to stay...

13 Dec 2013

On the 30th May 2011, the Ethiopian government announced plans for the construction of the ‘Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’ (GERD). Set to be Africa’s largest gravity dam at 170 m tall and 1,800 m wide, it will span the width of one of two major tributaries that...

6 Dec 2013

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest and most war torn countries in the world. Yet it is also a country with immense natural wealth, not least of which is the great Congo river itself. The Congo river is a river of superlatives, one of the biggest in the world it is...

18 Nov 2013

Nuclear energy is one of the main sources of energy in today’s European Union. Currently 14 EU countries use nuclear power plants to produce electrical energy. Together 137 power plant blocks are deployed with total output of more than 125 GW[1]...

6 Sep 2013

3D printing is a revolutionary method of manufacturing. It is an additive process, meaning that it builds layer over layer of material in any shape using a laser, and does not waste as much material as cutting or drilling larger blocks into the desired shape (subtractive manufacturing). Recently...

3 Sep 2013

Nuclear power is any nuclear technology designed to extract usable energy from atomic nuclei via controlled nuclear reactions[1]. The most common method is through nuclear fission, though other methods include nuclear fusion and radioactive...

28 Aug 2013

European Badgers are mammals that are 60-90 cm long and 25-30 cm high when an adult. They are wedge shaped with their heads being most recognisable due to their white and black stripes. They are common throughout Europe and Asia Minor. While the badger was once hunted this is no longer common,...

2 Aug 2013

It is generally agreed among most academics, and is generally assumed during BP and Worlds format debates, that global warming exists as a phenomenon.  Further, it is generally agreed that carbon emissions have something to do with global warming.

Corporations and businesses tend to...

16 Jul 2013

The claim that animals have 'rights' was first put forward by the Australian philosopher Peter Singer in the 1970s and has been the subject of heated and emotional debates ever since. Often the same organisations that campaign on environmental issues (e.g. Greenpeace) are also concerned...

21 Jun 2013

Perhaps ironically, one of the effects of climate change has been to open up new areas of the polar caps – previously unreachable –for use by human beings, including for mineral extraction. The political situation in the Arctic Ocean gives added bite to the situation, with several...

30 May 2013

Most countries have regulations about animal slaughter to ensure that the animal is killed as painlessly and quickly as possible. All slaughter methods have three key stages: restraining the animal, incapacitating it and bleeding it. Different abattoirs carry this out in different ways.

...

12 Apr 2013

Heathrow is London’s, and there the United Kingdom’s, main airport. It is the world’s fourth busiest airport and handles more international passengers than any other airport.[1] Since 1950, a couple of years after Heathrow first...

24 Jan 2013

Dams have probably existed for about as long as humans have had agriculture, to control water flow and to use the hydraulic energy for a water mill. Since the 19th century, dams have also been used to convert the hydraulic energy into electricity. There are several methods, but they...

18 Dec 2012

In 1930, there were between five and ten million wild African elephants; by 1990, when they were added to the list of critically endangered species, only about 600,000 remained1. As part of the effort to combat this threat, in 1986, ivory trading was banned by the United Nations...

13 Dec 2012

The precautionary principle has no universally accepted definition, the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development defined it as 'Where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost...

6 Dec 2012

Climate change and global warming are the result of massive emissions of ‘greenhouse gases’ such as CO2, CFCs[1] and nitrous oxide.[2] This has been a problem due to the exponential increase in the...

16 Nov 2012

This debate is not about whether it is right for human beings to farm and eat other animals - this is covered in the debates on animal rights and vegetarianism. Neither is it about zoos, which are also covered in their own debate. Rather this debate is about various other uses of animals for...

28 Sep 2012

Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries (Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador), in which one or more bulls are baited and usually killed by a matador in a bullring for sport and entertainment. It is often called a...

27 Sep 2012

Global Climate Change, formally referred to as global warming, is the largest threat facing the long term survival of the human species. The leading authority on climate change is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a scientific intergovernmental body tasked with reviewing and...

14 Sep 2012

An 'endangered species' is a population of organisms (either plant or animal) which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or through being directly killed by other species (including humans). Many nations have laws offering...

14 Sep 2012

The growth of large hypermarkets, especially as they have moved out of town centres, has been controversial. Its impact on traditional local retailers is hotly debated. America's experience with Wal-Mart is often used as a prime example, but this is phenomenon which is now extensively...

14 Sep 2012

Water is the most common substance on earth and constantly renews itself through evaporation and rainfall. Still, 97% of the world's water is salt water and thus undrinkable, and the majority of the earth's freshwater is locked up in ice caps and glaciers, leaving just 1% of the world...

14 Sep 2012

Biofuels are sources of energy which come from living, renewable sources, such as crops, trees and even animal manure. Fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, on the other hand, formed in the earth from decaying vegetation many millions of years ago, and cannot be renewed. In recent years biofuels...

6 Sep 2012

It is little more than one hundred years since humans first set foot on Antarctica and even today few people have visited the frozen and hostile southern continent. Although nine countries have territorial claims on the continent, several of them overlapping, these political disagreements were...