Persuasive speeches are often centred around topics that are currently in the public eye. With the public's current interest in environmental issues, there are a variety of different persuasive speech topics available. You can build a strong argument in either direction with any of the following topics, all of which can be used in debate situations.
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Biofuels vs. Fossil Fuels
One of the biggest current debates is whether biofuels are any better for the environment than fossil fuels. Those who argue for the use of biofuels claim that they help reduce the world's greenhouse gas emissions, and that they are carbon neutral. One can argue against biofuels, however, by saying that they are far less friendly to the environment than many people claim, and that it is unwise to jeopardise America's economic ties with other countries (which rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels).
America's Level of Preparation for Natural Disasters
Natural disasters of all kinds can strike at any given moment, in any part of the world. It is possible to argue for and against America's current level of preparation if a natural disaster were to strike. Those who argue the pros may claim that agencies throughout the country spend countless hours working to ensure disaster plans are both sound and in place should a catastrophe occur. On the other hand, it is possible to argue that no amount of preparation can completely mitigate the harmful effects of a natural disaster.
Storage of Nuclear Waste
Nuclear waste is debated the world over for its radioactive properties, which can cause cancer and a variety of other health issues. Since nuclear waste takes hundreds of years to fully decompose, proper storage and disposal is constantly up for debate. One can argue that burying nuclear waste in a natural area (such as Yucca Mountain) is a sound disposal method because there is little other choice and it will likely keep the public from harm. It can also be argued that storage and disposal methods such as underground burial can create catastrophes if leakage or other issues arise.
The Use of Potentially Dangerous Scientific Advancements
It's no secret that the world relies on a variety of materials that, when improperly handled, can create catastrophe: oil spills and nuclear meltdowns are good examples. You could argue that use of these potentially dangerous scientific advancements is worth the risk because they propel the economy forward and help in the operation of society. You could, however, argue that the potentially irreversible damage that can result from disasters involving man-made materials far outweighs their benefits.
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