I am the Neg for Habitat Destruction: Coral Reefs. I am having a hard time finding enough Harms, Inherency, and Solvency cards. Where can I find excellent sources for all these Stock Issues? Thank you for your help.
Thank you for your question to Ask the Debate Coach, a web page feature
of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy--Michigan's leading educational
organization for sound economics. My name is Greg Rehmke and I am a
member of the Mackinac Center's Board of Scholars.
For research on habitat destruction of coral reefs I recommend you do a
google search for "coral reefs and property rights." You will find lots
of harms. Reefs are like forests under the sea. When they are destroyed
the fish that depend upon them, like the forest animals on land, cannot
One study that comes up is excerpted below. They key is that people are
very poor in places like Indonesia. They don't view coral reefs as
wealthy American tourists and scuba divers do--that is, as something
beautiful to look at. Instead, as most poor people do, they see the
environment around them as a source of resources to extract in order to
feed themselves and their families.
So poverty is a key part of the problem with habitat destruction. Most
coral reefs are common property, that is they are owned by everyone (the
government) and therefore by no one. Government officials are charged
with protecting them. But for whom? For wealthy Americans and Europeans
who want to know that they are pristine, or who want to visit and see
Actually eco-tourism, though not perfect, is much less destructive for
the reefs, but that requires an infrastructure of ports, roads, and
hotels to house tourists. Tourism generates money and jobs and is an
alternative to destructive mining and fishing practices.
So the article discusses establishing property rights to reefs, so that
the nearby village that would benefit from tourism has the legal right to
exclude destructive resource-extraction from "their reefs."
The key negative position, in my opinion, is that most of the affirmative
approaches to dealing with the loss of reefs in poor countries won't work
and are unfair to the very poor people in the area. Top-down systems of
using government force to protect reefs just drives the destruction
"underground" and makes the poor miners and fishers into criminals who
have to bribe government officials to make a living.