None of the tools of Impact Calculus (magnitude, timeframe, probability) are independent. All three interact within each impact. A good rule is to combine two comparisons together in your IC. To compare all three you is often too complicated and will hinder your word economy. Be strategic about which two best fit the impacts you want to compare. When working on your case, it is a good idea to sketch out the Probability, Timeframe, and Magnitude of the impacts you will be arguing. With these prepared, it will be easier to do IC in round; you will only have to analyze your opponent’s arguments. This will also make strategizing about which comparisons to make simpler when you know the strong points of your own impacts. Here are examples of comparisons interacting.
Probability + Timeframe
While the probability of a dangerously large asteroid hitting the earth is high, we know that it could be predicted and will not occur for hundreds of years. Therefore, while funding for an asteroid defense is a good idea, we should prioritize fighting the growing hole in the ozone layer. Although the probability of significant growth in the ozone hole is lower, we know it will occur in the next few years.
Probability + Magnitude
While the probability of the seepage of radioactive waste is small, the effects of seepage will devastate the environment, the health and economy of our society, and cause irreversible damage. Nuclear energy may guarantee more energy for our country, but there are other energy options that pose no threat to our environment, health, and the economy. These other options pose no irreversible harms. We must limit our nuclear energy because of the devastation the waste can cause.
Timeframe + Magnitude
If we ban handguns today, the decrease in gun sales may be immediate, but the removal of handguns from the population will take an extended period of time. The immediate impact of guns remaining in the hands of criminals is much more devastating when people cannot buy guns for self-defense. Though a ban may be effective in the future, the short-term harms are too great to justify the long-term chance of solving the gun problem.