Arctic Oil/Gas Neg



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**Biodiversity Turns

2NC Yes Spillover

Species loss spillovers over to ecosystems and total biodiversity


Gitay et al in ‘1

Habiba Gitay et al., Climate Change 2001: Workin Group II: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation, Chapter 5: Ecosystems and Their Goods and Services, www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg2/pdf/TARchap5.pdf, p. 277-278]



Other valuable services are provided by species that contribute to ecosystem health and productivity. Reductions in or losses of species can lead to reduced local biodiversity and changes in the structure and function of affected ecosystems (National Research Council, 1999). The most well-known example of this kind of effect comes from marine systems, where the presence or absence of a starfish species has been found to greatly influence the species composition of intertidal habitats (Paine, 1974). Species in terrestrial systems also can have a strong influence on the biodiversity of their ecosystems; in many cases these effects are related to their functions as pollinators or seed dispersers.

2NC Each Species Key

Each species loss takes on more importance and causes total collapse.


Norton in ‘87

Bryan Norton, Center for Public Policy at the university of Maryland, “Why Preserve Natural Variety?”. p. 27



When the premise that diminutions in diversity create further such diminutions, is supplemented by the premise that the downward diversity spiral is already accelerating at an alarming rate, each species takes on an added value. Each species that is lost carries with it the risk of a catastrophic ecosystem breakdown and increases the risk that the next loss will result in such a breakdown

2NC AT Resilient

Err aff- policies should not risk species- redundancy is key to ensure resiliency in the long run


Ehrlich 98

Paul Ehrlich, Professor, Population Studies at Stanford Univ. 1998. Bioscience, n. 5 v. 48, p. 387. Academic Onefile



The rivet-popper hypothesis recognizes that there is likely to be redundancy in ecosystems analogous to the redundancy in the number of rivets in an airplane's wing. This analogy is sometimes interpreted to mean that "all species are equally vital strands in the web of life" (Budiansky 1995) - a 180-degree misinterpretation because the original formulation explicitly recognizes the existence of redundancy but emphasizes our ignorance of which species might be redundant. The redundancy hypothesis points out that because ecosystems are composed of functional groups of species, the deletion of a species would, in many cases, have no immediate significant impact on ecosystem function. In addition, because some species are "drivers" and others "passengers," extermination of a species would not necessarily produce observable negative impacts on the delivery of ecosystem services. But the other side of this coin (and one that is overlooked in misinterpretations of the hypothesis) is that the redundancy is likely to be important in the long run, in the face of ecosystem stresses (such as global change). Moreover, not all apparently redundant species are passengers. A "redundant" species in a functional group that is exterminated today might well be the only species in that group that is able to adapt to new environmental conditions imposed on the ecosystem. The redundancy hypothesis explicitly made two particular points. First, species redundancy in ecosystems is an important property that contributes to ecosystem resilience. Second, in efforts devoted to species conservation, it makes sense to put the highest priority on those species that are the sole representatives of their functional groups - that is, on groups in which there is no redundancy. But just because some functional groups consist of single species that warrant special attention, it does not follow that where there is significant redundancy in a functional group we can afford to lose some of the species. Such a policy would lead to loss of resilience. The essential message of both the redundancy and rivet-popper hypotheses is that we force species and populations (Hughes et al. 1997) to extinction at our own peril. Humanity is utterly dependent on services delivered by ecosystems (Daily 1997). Considering the uncertainties and complexities in the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services, policy decisions should have a large "insurance" bias toward protection of biodiversity - and therefore especially toward functional groups in which there is little or no redundancy. A policy of trying to increase or at least to maintain "redundancy" in ecosystems will maximize the maintenance of ecosystem resilience.

Critique Links

Development/Indigenous Rights

OCS exploration leads to population and development of northern indigenous areas resulting in a conflict between the interests of the people and the corporation and government


Susskind and Wanucha 6/18/14 Lawrence Susskind, the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT, director of the MIT Science Impact Collaborative, and vice chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, specializes in environmental policy and resolution of water conflicts; interviewed by Genevieve Wanucha writer for Oceans at MIT, MIT News 6/18/14 https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/cold-hard-truth-about-arctic-policy JDI14 PBM

With the thinning and elimination of Arctic ice, there will be new efforts to make navigation options open to more countries, across the top of Russia. There will be more access to search for oil and gas, exploit it, and ship it. Once there is more navigation and more focus on oil and gas exploration, there will be a push to populate more of those areas for development purposes. When that happens, there will be a conflict with native cultures in Canada, the United States, Russia, Finland, and Norway that have been there for a very long time. There will be jurisdictional battles about whose rules apply to managing and protecting natural resources, including fisheries and mammalian life. Who gets to decide what routes are open to whom, where oil and gas exploration might be restricted, where base camps get built, and how the sovereignty of indigenous peoples will be protected?


Arctic countries don’t think about and talk to the communities which are endangered – protection will fall by the wayside


Susskind and Wanucha 6/18/14 Lawrence Susskind, the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT, director of the MIT Science Impact Collaborative, and vice chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, specializes in environmental policy and resolution of water conflicts; interviewed by Genevieve Wanucha writer for Oceans at MIT, MIT News 6/18/14 https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/cold-hard-truth-about-arctic-policy JDI14 PBM

A. There are hundreds of Inuit and other indigenous communities in the Arctic. Unfortunately, leaders of the Arctic Council countries have not been talking to these communities about how they are thinking of parceling out the Arctic. There are important agreements that are supposed to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, guaranteeing them free, prior, informed consent, but these are not being honored at the moment.¶ For example, the seal trade is very important to indigenous groups in Finland, Norway, and Greenland. The World Trade Organization bans the commercial trade of seal products, although the WTO does make an exception for seals caught by indigenous groups. What if an indigenous nation contracts with someone to catch seals? How will WTO rules play out?


The prize-seeking attitude of the plan destroys indigenous populations


Schertow 11 (John Ahni Schertow - an internationally recognized editor and publisher, a self-taught web developer and an award winning journalist of Kanienkehaka and mixed-European descent, “OIL DRILLING THREATENS ARCTIC ECOSYSTEM; INDIGENOUS WAYS OF LIFE”, Intercontinental Cry Magazine, 8/19/2011)

The final frontier. Now that Shell and BP are mere steps away from drilling exploratory wells off the Coast of Alaska and Russia, everyone’s playfully referring to the Arctic as the “final frontier” for petroleum development. The notion of the Arctic being “undeveloped” or “undiscovered” probably couldn’t be more insulting to the Inupiat, Saami and other Indigenous Peoples whose cultures and subsistence ways of life evolved over centuries of living in the Arctic Circle. Few people seem to be considering that fact, or even including Arctic Peoples in any debate over whether or not drilling should be allowed to proceed. You can be sure that Shell and BP are glad of it, especially since their actions may be setting the stage for the destruction of the Arctic way of life. In the case of Alaska, Shell is hoping to get started in July 2012, with four exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea. The company has already spent more than $3.5 billion to acquire leases in both the Beaufort and Chukchi. It’s all worth it, says Pete Slaiby, vice president of Shell Alaska. After all, “There is a prize over there.” According to the Washington Post, that so-called “prize” is 26.6 billion barrels of oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Alaska outer continental shelf. The risks that come with the prize are even greater, despite Shell’s “unprecedented spill response and cleanup plan for the Beaufort and Chukchi operations, including having cleanup crew and gear close enough to the drilling site that it could all be deployed in less than an hour,” as the Alaska Dispatch notes.


Arctic oil drilling risks destruction of indigenous cultures


Schertow 11 (John Ahni Schertow - an internationally recognized editor and publisher, a self-taught web developer and an award winning journalist of Kanienkehaka and mixed-European descent, “OIL DRILLING THREATENS ARCTIC ECOSYSTEM; INDIGENOUS WAYS OF LIFE”, Intercontinental Cry Magazine, 8/19/2011)

A new coalition made up of more than a dozen conservation groups say the plan just isn’t good enough. As the coalition points out on their website,”A major oil spill in the Arctic Ocean would be impossible to clean up and could have enormous consequences for the region’s communities and ecosystems. During the winter months, the Arctic seas are covered with ice and are not navigable by oil spill response ships. If a spill started as winter ice sets in, the oil could continue to gush into the sea and under the ice for eight long months.” The coalition, which includes the Alaska Wilderness League, NRDC, Greenpeace, Oceana, and Defenders of Wildlife adds, “[a] cleanup in the Arctic would be hampered by sea ice, extreme cold, hurricane-strength storms and pervasive fog. The nearest Coast Guard facilities are nearly 1,000 miles away, and there is no port in the Arctic capable of serving large response vessels.” To demonstrate the first point–how a cleanup would be hampered by sea ice, last month, Oceana released the video results of an oil spill response test from 2000. The results show what could occur if an oil spill happened in the Arctic waters. The Coast Guard has issued its own warning against drilling, saying it wouldn’t stand a chance of cleaning up a spill if Shell’s response plan should fail. “If this were to happen off the North Slope of Alaska, we’d have nothing, ” Admiral Robert Papp, the Coast Guard’s top official, told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, earlier this year. The Admiral went on to say, “We’re starting from ground zero today.” A zero point detonation isn’t so far fetched. With climate change heating the Arctic at an ever-increasing rate, an oil spill could have a drastic effect on the ecosystem as well as the Indigenous Peoples whose cultures and livelihoods are intertwined with it. “REDOIL, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands, is in opposition to the exploration activities of Shell Oil which have been approved by BOEMRE [The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement], says Robert Thompson, an Inupiat resident of Kaktovik and the Chairman of REDOIL. “The Inupiat culture has thrived for thousands of years. We have a close relationship with the bowhead whales and marine life of our region. Climate change is happening. The proposed activities, which lack a credible plan to deal with oil spills, if allowed, can have a devastating effect on our already stressed ecosystem. Our ecosystem and culture should not be put in jeopardy for the profit of a foreign oil giant.” The risks are just as great in the South Kara Sea, off the coast of Arctic Russia. BP and the Russian state company Rosneft are jumping head over heals to explore for oil and gas beneath the Kara Sea, an important fishing ground that’s normally frozen up to ten months a year. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), another member of the NGO coalition, the proposed joint effort violates the boundaries of two Russian national parks.

Our chase for oil causes the periphery to be compromised – environment and indigenous populations


Schertow 11 (John Ahni Schertow - an internationally recognized editor and publisher, a self-taught web developer and an award winning journalist of Kanienkehaka and mixed-European descent, “OIL DRILLING THREATENS ARCTIC ECOSYSTEM; INDIGENOUS WAYS OF LIFE”, Intercontinental Cry Magazine, 8/19/2011)

Surely we are not so desperate for oil that we will tear down the boundaries of protected areas to get it,” Aleksey Knizhnikov of WWF-Russia said in a statement. “These protected areas are now in peril. The natural values they were set up to protect — pristine ecosystems, the seabirds, the polar bears, the marine mammals — are in jeopardy,” he added. To the Saami, the plan is bitter a reminder of a dark colonial past. As NPR recently observed, “The northwest, around the port city of Murmansk, was pummeled by Adolf Hitler’s forces during World War II. The Arctic was also one of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s favorite places to send his perceived enemies, with gulags that dotted the snowy landscape… The indigenous people of this region bore much of the brunt.” Even though they were forcibly collectivized under Stalin’s reign, the Saami have lived in relative peace for several decades, continuing their traditional way of life across Sápmi, a region that now encompasses northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia’s northwest. But that’s all changing now, thanks to the worldwide race for oil and gas (drilling is also being proposed in the nearby Barents Sea and the North Sea off the coasts of Norway, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Belgium, and the Netherlands), not to mention Climate Change, the rise in military tension and that problem with nuclear waste in the Kara sea, right where Rosneft and BP want to drill. “The Arctic is just so fragile,” says Saami spiritual leader Nadezhda Lyashenko. “This time, it’s a research boat going out there. It’s like the prick of a needle, and the land will heal. But if they go with knives, with spears, they could break everything. And then what?”

Hopefully, we won’t have to find that out.

Neolib Links


Nuttall 98 (Mark Nuttall – Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, “Protecting the Arctic: Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Survival”, Taylor and Francis, 1998)

In recent years concern over global warming, atmospheric pollution, ozone depletion, overfishing and uncontrolled resource extraction has focused international attention on the Arctic as a critical zone for global environmental change. The global quest for natural resources, the expansion of capitalist markets and the influence of transnational practices on the periphery has resulted in an internationalization of the circumpolar north. The anthropogenic causes and consequences of environmental change and degradation demonstrates how regional environmental change in the Arctic cannot be viewed in isolation, but must be seen in relation to global change and global processes. Development and the threat of irreversible environmental damage has precipitated intense debate about the correct use of natural resources and proper ways forward for Arctic environmental protection. Indigenous peoples’ organizations, environmentalists and, more recently, national governments, have stressed the need to implement appropriate resource management policies and environmental protection strategies. Yet science-based resource management systems designed to safeguard wildlife and the Arctic environment have, for the most part, ignored indigenous perspectives.



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