Arctic Oil/Gas Neg

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Polar Bears DA

The Beaufort and the Chukchi seas are some of the most fragile ecosystems on earth supporting numerous keystone species

Jolling 1/3

Writer associated press Critics say grounding shows Arctic drilling danger 6:55a.m. EST January 3, 2013

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The grounding of a petroleum drilling ship on a remote Alaska island has refueled the debate over oil exploration in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, where critics for years have said the conditions are too harsh and the stakes too high to allow dangerous industrial developmentThe drilling sites are 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from Coast Guard resources, and environmentalists argue offshore drilling in the Arctic's fragile ecosystem is too risky. So when a Royal Dutch Shell PLC ship went aground on New Year's Eve on an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Alaska, they pounced — saying the incident foreshadowed what will happen north of the Bering Strait if drilling is allowed.¶ For oil giant Shell, which leads the way in drilling in the frontier waters of the U.S Arctic, a spokesman said the grounding will be a learning experience in the company's years long effort to draw oil from beneath the ocean floor, which it maintains it can do safely. Though no wells exist there yet, Shell has invested billions of dollars gearing up for drilling in the Beaufort and the Chukchi seas, off Alaska's north and northwest coast.¶ The potential bounty is high: The U.S. Geological Survey estimates 26.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas exist below Arctic waters.¶ Environmentalists note the Beaufort and the Chukchi seas are some of the wildest and most remote ecosystems on the planet. They also are among the most fragile, supporting polar bears, the ice seals they feed on, walrus, endangered whales and other marine mammals that Alaska Natives depend on for their subsistence culture.¶ "The Arctic is just far different than the Gulf of Alaska or even other places on earth," said Marilyn Heiman, U.S. Arctic director for the Pew Environment Group.

Polar bears are a keystone species

Baltimore Ecosystem Study 08

(2008 “Arctic Unit: Species Portfolio” HDG

Polar bears are the most prominent and charismatic victims of climate change. They are portrayed as being on a rush toward extinction, with the ice from which they hunt seals melting beneath their feet and their Arctic homeland on the verge of vanishing. Photos of the bear are routinely used by news media whenever a story about climate change airs. This January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will recommend whether to designate the two populations of bears in Alaska a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. There’s a lot riding on that decision. The bear is a keystone species; if protected, the arctic ecosystem would be protected. But there’s much more going on here.

The newest comprehensive studies show preserving biodiversity is key to prevent extinction

ScienceDaily 11

9/14, Biodiversity Key to Earth's Life-Support Functions in a Changing World,

In an international research group led by Prof. Dr. Michel Loreau from Canada, ecologists from ten different universities and research institutes, including Prof. Dr. Michael Scherer-Lorenzen from the University of Freiburg, compiled findings from numerous biodiversity experiments and reanalyzed them. These experiments simulated the loss of plant species and attempted to determine the consequences for the functioning of ecosystems, most of them coming to the conclusion that a higher level of biodiversity is accompanied by an increase in ecosystem processes. However, the findings were always only valid for a certain combination of environmental conditions present at the locations at which the experiments were conducted and for a limited range of ecosystem processes. In a study published in the current issue of the journal Nature, the research group investigated the extent to which the positive effects of diversity still apply under changing environmental conditions and when a multitude of processes are taken into account. They found that 84 percent of the 147 plant species included in the experiments promoted ecological processes in at least one case. The more years, locations, ecosystem processes, and scenarios of global change -- such as global warming or land use intensity -- the experiments took into account, the more plant species were necessary to guarantee the functioning of the ecosystems. Moreover, other species were always necessary to keep the ecosystem processes running under the different combinations of influencing factors. These findings indicate that much more biodiversity is necessary to keep ecosystems functioning in a world that is changing ever faster. The protection of diversity is thus a crucial factor in maintaining Earth's life-support functions

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,, 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.

Unrestricted Zoning Link/CP Solvency

Zoning some areas as off-limits is necessary to biodiversity- the aff’s approach undermines it

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 JDI14 PBM

It will be necessary to create some set of agreements — maybe an entirely new Arctic treaty that acknowledges and coordinates, but goes beyond, existing treaties. Zoning some areas [as] absolutely off-limits to any development makes sense, because they are hugely important ecologically. Identifying priority areas for oil, gas, and mineral exploration would probably be a good idea, if some way of sharing a portion of the financial benefits could be worked out. Most treaty regimes create a superstructure, including an executive committee, technical committees, scientific advisory groups and their reporting structures. That doesn’t exist yet in the Arctic. There are pieces under different regimes, but all of it needs to be pulled together.¶ I think we should designate certain ecologically critical areas as off-limits until we can guarantee their safety, and other areas as priorities for explorations and exploitation of mineral resources. To do this, countries and nongovernmental actors will need to work together. Some way must be found to manage the Arctic in a sustainable way.

Warming Turns Arctic Disputes

Access to the arctic exists only while warming does – means we control the link to their Arctic disputes advantage

Higgenbotham and Grosu May 14 John Higgenbotham, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Carleton University, and Martina Grosu master’s graduate in international public policy of Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of International Policy and Governance “The Northwest Territories and Arctic Maritime Development in the Beaufort Area” May 2014 CIGI Policy Brief JDI14 LabBKG

Recent plans by Transport Canada (TC), the CCG and Canadian Hydrographic Services (CHS) to develop the Northern Marine Transportation Corridors Initiative could become an important opportunity for the Canadian Arctic territories, in particular the NWT. The NWT’s strategic access to the Beaufort Sea, an important part of a potential North American Arctic marine corridor, could provide the territory with much-needed access to emerging maritime opportunities, including shipping, resource development, cruise tourism and, eventually, fishing. It should be emphasized that regular unobstructed usage of Canadian Arctic marine corridors for more than a few months per year is still many years into the future and is dependent on continued oceanic warming, the availability of the necessary maritime infrastructure and new generations of ice-capable ships and icebreakers.

Warming causes econ decline and takes out drilling solvency

Gillis 6/24/14

Justil Gillis- Climate journalist for the New York Times. “Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming”

More than a million homes and businesses along the nation’s coasts could flood repeatedly before ultimately being destroyed. Entire states in the Southeast and the Corn Belt may lose much of their agriculture as farming shifts northward in a warming world. Heat and humidity will probably grow so intense that spending time outside will become physically dangerous, throwing industries like construction and tourism into turmoil.¶ That is a picture of what may happen to the United States economy in a world of unchecked global warming, according to a major new report released Tuesday by a coalition of senior political and economic figures from the left, right and center, including three Treasury secretaries stretching back to the Nixon administration.¶ A coal-fired power plant in Ghent, Ky.Justices Uphold Emission Limits on Big IndustryJUNE 23, 2014¶ At a time when the issue of climate change has divided the American political landscape, pitting Republicans against Democrats and even fellow party members against one another, the unusual bipartisan alliance of political veterans said that the country — and business leaders in particular — must wake up to the enormous scale of the economic risk.¶ “The big ice sheets are melting; something’s happening,” George P. Shultz, who was Treasury secretary under President Richard M. Nixon and secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview. He noted that he had grown concerned enough about global warming to put solar panels on his own California roof and to buy an electric car. “I say we should take out an insurance policy.”¶ The former Treasury secretaries — including Henry M. Paulson Jr., a Republican who served under President George W. Bush, and Robert E. Rubin, a Democrat in the Clinton administration — promised to help sound the alarm. All endorse putting a price on greenhouse gases, most likely by taxing emissions.¶ “I actually do believe that we’re at a tipping point with the planet,” Mr. Paulson said in an interview at his home in Chicago. “A lot of things are going to happen that none of us are going to like to see.”¶ Speaking Tuesday morning at a news conference in New York, Mr. Rubin urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to take a tougher stance in requiring that publicly held companies disclose the climate-related risks they may face. While many companies have started issuing such warnings to investors, the disclosures are often vague and inadequate, he said.¶ “I have come to believe that climate change is the existential issue of our age,” Mr. Rubin said. “I believe that investors should insist that companies disclose their risks, including the value of assets that could be stranded.”¶ He was referring to warnings that assets worth trillions of dollars are at risk of being stranded, or rendered obsolete, including vast coal and oil deposits that will most likely have to be left in the ground if dangerous levels of global warming are to be prevented.¶ The campaign behind the new report, called Risky Business, is funded largely by three wealthy financiers who are strong advocates of action on global warming: Mr. Paulson, who with his wife, Wendy, has helped finance conservation efforts for decades; Thomas F. Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund executive and Democrat who is pushing to make global warming a central issue in political races around the country; and Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, who now urges cities to confront the threat of climate change.¶ They commissioned an economic modeling firm that often does work for the oil and gas industry, the Rhodium Group, to assemble a team of experts who carried out the risk analysis. Trevor Houser, a Rhodium partner who led the study, sought to insulate the findings from the political opinions of the sponsors, in part by setting up a committee of leading climate scientists and environmental economists who reviewed the work.¶ Mr. Houser called the analysis “the most detailed modeling ever done on the impact of climate change on specific sectors of the U.S. economy.”¶ Still, it is unclear whether the new report, or the voices of the former Treasury secretaries, will have an effect on companies or investors, given that many decisions on Wall Street are driven by short-term considerations of profit and loss.¶ “The largest companies are starting to realize climate change is a financial issue,” said Mindy S. Lubber, who runs a Boston advocacy group called Ceres that seeks to focus investor attention on the economic risks. “Are they radically changing yet? No. But we’re making some progress, slowly.”¶ The report said the economic effects would vary substantially by region. Some colder states may actually benefit from higher temperatures in significant ways, including longer growing seasons.¶ Under the likeliest projections, Mr. Houser said, the American economy will keep growing throughout this century despite the increasing economic drag from climate change. So people in the future will probably be wealthier than those of today.¶ But the warming will nonetheless impose huge costs, the report said. Coastal counties, home to 40 percent of the nation’s population, will take especially large hits from the rise of the sea, which could swallow more than $370 billion worth of property in Florida and Louisiana alone by the end of the century.¶ If greenhouse gas emissions continue at a rapid pace, the report said, the global sea level could increase roughly a foot by 2050, and double or triple that by century’s end.

Drilling Bad

Arctic drilling kills a slew of endangered animals

CBD 09

(Center for Biological Diversity. "IN THE SPOTLIGHT." The Arctic Meltdown. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 June 2014. ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve

Our society’s fossil-fuel addiction is undermining the health of the far North in more ways than one. Like beachgoers chasing receding ocean waves to gather seafood before a tsunami, oil companies are rushing to drill in the Arctic, with the single goal of developing more of the fuel that drives global warming in the first place. Making matters worse, the Arctic’s increasingly ice-free waters are plagued with a proliferation of routes for ships — which contribute a significant 3 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Oil development and shipping are not only a threat to polar bears and ice seals, but also to the highly endangered North Pacific right whale and bowhead whale that frequent the Arctic’s icy waters. And introducing new black-carbon emissions from ships into the Arctic would accelerate melting and take away our last chance to save this region. The Center has had some major success in fighting oil development in the Arctic, and we’re also working to curb emissions from both ships and planes. But significant worldwide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from all sources are the only way to save Arctic species’ habitat and ensure their survival. Trafficking (including for weapons proliferation).

AT Safety

No proof of safety and accidents would be catastrophic

EY 2013 Ernst & Young Global Oil and Gas Center, consulting company for the energy sectors, “Arctic Oil and Gas” 2013$FILE/Arctic_oil_and_gas.pdf

There is huge potential as well as risks associated with operations in the Arctic and the industry must prove that the Arctic can be drilled and developed safely. These operations are clearly on the outer limits of the both safety and commercial viability for the industry and a spill or accident there would be catastrophic. The economics of Arctic development are also looking forward to even higher oil prices which may or may not happen in the near term. There are two other factors that will ultimately shape the quest to develop these resources: geopolitical and commercial.

Biod Turn- AT Tech Solves Spills

Aff hurts bioD- not enough tech to solve spills

WWF 13

World Wildlife Foundation, 3/14/2014, “Arctic Drilling Assessment Released”,, 6/23/2014, #BD

A new government assessment of offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic in 2012 falls short of acknowledging that offshore drilling cannot currently be conducted safely in the Arctic and should not be allowed.¶ The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) assessment comes less than three months after Royal Dutch Shell – the only company that was permitted to do exploratory offshore drilling in the U.S. Arctic in 2012 – experienced back to back accidents and challenges that prevented the company from drilling in the Arctic. The company announced in February that it will forgo its plans to drill for oil and gas in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas (located in the Arctic) in 2013 so it can repair its equipment and get more prepared to drill in the future.¶ “If one of the largest multi-national companies, with one of the biggest investments ($4.5 billion) in Arctic drilling, and self-proclaimed highest industry standards was unable to have a safe and trouble-free drilling season in the Arctic, nobody will be able to have one,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of the WWF-US Arctic Program.¶ The assessment points out these and other flaws in Shell’s 2012 drilling season, such as failing to keep a close watch over its contractors and not doing enough advance planning and preparation. However, at a press conference today to release the report, DOI Secretary Ken Salazar said the Obama Administration is still willing to give a green light to future drilling.¶ “Our oceans are already stressed,” Williams said. “Polar bears, walrus, whales, seabirds and other wildlife that thrive in the Arctic’s waters don’t need to be confronted with another major threat.”¶ The Challenges of Drilling¶ A key problem related to Arctic drilling that concerns WWF is the “response gap,” which is the inability to quickly respond to a spill, given the region’s extreme weather, gale-force winds and extended periods of darkness.Other challenges are the release of harmful pollutants into the air; the discharge of dangerous chemicals into the water; and the impact of oil-related noises on marine mammals that depend on sound to survive. “A thorough, comprehensive, science-based assessment of these challenges is needed, not a quick 60-day review like the one just completed by the Department of Interior,” Williams said. “Anything shy of a comprehensive review is disrespectful to Arctic communities and wildlife,” Williams said.¶ WWF in the Arctic¶ Despite Shell’s announcement to slow down its plans for the Arctic, Conoco Phillips is continuing with its plan to drill one or two exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea in 2014.¶ WWF opposes this move by Conoco Phillips – or any company – because we believe it is not yet safe to allow offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic, as the right technology for preventing or responding to an oil spill in such an icy, remote and dark area is not in place and vulnerable areas have not yet been identified. The Obama Administration, therefore, should jettison the idea of Arctic drilling. If the time ever comes when such technology exists and is proven to be effective, WWF supports drilling but only under certain conditions that adequately address when, where and how to drill, as well as how to respond to an oil spill.¶ WWF also advocates for our nation to move toward a clean, renewable energy future, rather than relying on offshore oil and gas, if it wants to address climate change. U.S. oil production is higher than it has ever been in the last 20 years.

US fails at cleaning up spills in the arctic – poor infrastructure and ice traps

Dlouhy 4-23 Jennifer A Dlouhy, covers energy policy, politics and other issues for The Houston Chronicle in Washington, “Report: US ill prepared to tackle Arctic oil spills”, Fuel Fix, daily source for news and analysis on oil and gas, April 23 2014, JDI14 LabBKG

WASHINGTON — The United States is ill prepared to tackle oil spills in the Arctic, whether from drilling or vessels traveling through newly passable waterways once clogged with ice, according to a National Research Council report released Wednesday. Extreme weather conditions and sparse infrastructure in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas — more than 1,000 miles from the nearest deep-water port — would complicate any broad emergency response. There, freezing ice can trap pockets of oil, locking it beyond the reach of traditional cleanup equipment and preventing it from naturally breaking down over time. “The lack of infrastructure in the Arctic would be a significant liability in the event of a large oil spill,” the scientists said in a 198-page report requested by the American Petroleum Institute, the Coast Guard, the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling, and five other entities. “It is unlikely that responders could quickly react to an oil spill unless there were improved port and air access, stronger supply chains and increased capacity to handle equipment, supplies and personnel.”

More studies are needed before energy development to prevent spills

Dlouhy 4-23 Jennifer A Dlouhy, covers energy policy, politics and other issues for The Houston Chronicle in Washington, “Report: US ill prepared to tackle Arctic oil spills”, Fuel Fix, daily source for news and analysis on oil and gas, April 23 2014, JDI14 LabBKG

The report offers a road map and 13 recommendations for what federal agencies, oil industry and other stakeholders need to do to boost their ability to tackle a fuel or oil spill at the top of the globe, as retreating sea ice spurs new energy development and ship traffic in the remote region. A chief recommendation: More research across the board, from meteorological studies to investigations of how oil spill cleanup methods would work in the Arctic. The NRC insisted the United States needs “a comprehensive, collaborative, long-term Arctic oil spill research and development program.” The council encouraged controlled releases of oil in the Arctic — a practice generally barred under U.S. environmental lawsto evaluate new response strategies. Although the federal government and oil industry are conducting lab studies that attempt to replicate Arctic conditions, the NRC suggests there is no substitute for the real thing and said the studies could be done without measurable environmental harm.

Current tech can’t clean spills – environmental conditions

Dlouhy 4-23 Jennifer A Dlouhy, covers energy policy, politics and other issues for The Houston Chronicle in Washington, “Report: US ill prepared to tackle Arctic oil spills”, Fuel Fix, daily source for news and analysis on oil and gas, April 23 2014, JDI14 LabBKG

Most information on responding to oil spills has been developed in temperate conditions, such as the Gulf of Mexico, so it may not translate to the Arctic, where cold water and sea ice may limit the amount of oil that naturallydisperses and evaporates. Because no response methods are completely effective or risk free, the industry and government need a broad “oil spill response toolbox”, the NRC said. Pre-tested and pre-positioned equipment — as well as plans for using it — would be critical to making sure they can be swiftly applied in an oil spill, the group said. Spill drills: Shell recruits train for Arctic oil emergency Options include chemical dispersants that can break down oil, either applied at the surface or near a wellhead, but the researchers said more work is needed to understand their effectiveness and long-term effects in the Arctic. And while burning thick patches of floating oil is a viable spill response countermeasure in the Arctic — potentially aided by ice that helps pool and collect the crude — even that is not perfect. When ice is openly drifting, the NRC warns, “oil spills can rapidly spread too thinly to ignite.” Using booms, vessels and skimmers to concentrate thin, rapidly spreading oil slicks also may be difficult in the region, where there are few if any approved disposal sites for the contaminated equipment, sparse port facilities for the vessels and limited airlift capabilities. The NRC says this kind of mechanical recovery is probably best for small, contained spills in pack ice, but it would probably be too inefficient for a large offshore spill in the U.S. Arctic.

We’re woefully unprepared for a spill – changes required before drilling can take place

Dlouhy 4-23 Jennifer A Dlouhy, covers energy policy, politics and other issues for The Houston Chronicle in Washington, “Report: US ill prepared to tackle Arctic oil spills”, Fuel Fix, daily source for news and analysis on oil and gas, April 23 2014, JDI14 LabBKG

Chris Krenz, a Juneau-based senior scientist with the conservation group Oceana, said the report offers “a sobering look at our lack of preparedness.” “Today’s report confirms that we are woefully unprepared for a disaster like the Exxon Valdez or the Deepwater Horizon in the U.S. Arctic,” Krenz said, suggesting that the United States should reconsider offshore drilling in the region. But oil industry representatives said the report rightly calls for more research and resources to combat spills in the region. American Petroleum Institute spokesman Carlton Carroll said the group was “encouraged by the report’s emphasis on the need for a full toolbox of spill response technologies.” The report was the product of a 14-member committee of the National Research Council, organized by the National Academy of Sciences, with representatives drawn from academia, the oil industry and Alaska.

US fails – Coast Guard and tech resources

Dlouhy 4-23 Jennifer A Dlouhy, covers energy policy, politics and other issues for The Houston Chronicle in Washington, “Report: US ill prepared to tackle Arctic oil spills”, Fuel Fix, daily source for news and analysis on oil and gas, April 23 2014, JDI14 LabBKG

The group also suggests the U.S. Coast Guard’s relatively small presence in the U.S. Arctic is not sufficient. The NRC says the Coast Guard needs ice-breaking capability, more vessels for responding to emergency situations, and eventually aircraft and helicopter support facilities that can work year-round. Other resources also are needed, including: equipment to detect, monitor and model the flow of oil on and under ice. real-time monitoring of vessel traffic in the U.S. Arctic in the Bering Strait. Their absence would force the U.S. to rely on foreign and private receivers that have significant blind spots. One potentially tricky political recommendation is for the Coast Guard to expand an existing bilateral agreement with Russia to allow joint Arctic spill exercises.

Polar Bears Keystone Species

Polar bears are keystone species

Sharp 13

Cassady Sharp (writer for Green Peace), 12/11/2013, “THE POLAR BEAR: MORE THAN A POSTER CHILD”,, 6/25/2014, #TheNextPKen

It’s no mystery that polar bears are in trouble. Scientists and experts at a recent international meeting claim that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be gone by 2050.¶ The furry predators have long been viewed as the charismatic mammal of global warming. They are certainly close to the fire experiencing sea ice melt in the Arctic firsthand. Polar bears need a solid ice platform to forage and hunt their main prey, seals. They’ve been experiencing less and less of it every year, and are typically left with thinner ice more prone to melt. Not only does global warming itself threaten polar bears and their habitat, the entire ecosystem now faces the risk of disastrous oil spills from companies like Shell and Gazprom heading to the Arctic to drill for oil this year.¶ Their expressive faces are not the only reason scientists and environmentalists dubbed polar bears the spokesanimals of global warming. Read more about why polar bears important and why they’re worth saving (aside from the fact that they’re living creatures with the right to exist, of course).¶ 1. As one of the largest land carnivores in the world along with grizzly bears, polar bears are known as a keystone species, the apex of the ecosystem. They keep biological populations in balance, a critical component to a functioning ecosystem. 2. They’re also a sign of health for the ecosystem. If the keystone species is unhealthy, that’s a sign the entire ecosystem is in trouble. In the case of the Arctic, the health of that ecosystem is a sign for what’s in store for the rest of the world.¶ 3. Polar bears eat almost exclusively seals, but if they can’t hunt for that food source due to lack of a sturdy ice platform or pure exhaustion, they’ll quickly move on to others. This could threaten the existence of other Arctic species, like the Arctic fox or the walrus, as they compete for food resources.¶ 4. Scavengers like the Arctic fox and Arctic birds like the snowy owl depend on big kills from polar bears as sources for food as well. If they’re not killing seals, they’re cutting out another food source for wildlife

Russian Env’t Standards>US

Russia solves the environment better than US

Bert 12

Melissa Bert (USCG, 2011-2012 Military Fellow, U.S.Coast Guard), February 2012, “A Strategy to Advance the Arctic Economy”,, 6/23/2013, #BhavDawg

The United States needs to develop a comprehensive strategy for the Arctic. Melting sea ice is generating an emerging Arctic economy. Nations bordering the Arctic are drilling for oil and gas, and mining, shipping, and cruising in the region. Russia, Canada, and Norway are growing their icebreaker fleets and shore-based infrastructure to support these enterprises. For the United States, the economic potential from the energy and mineral resources is in the trillions of dollars—based upon estimates that the Alaskan Arctic is the home to 30 billion barrels of oil, more than 220 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, rare earth minerals, and massive renewable wind, tidal, and geothermal energy. However, the U.S. government is unprepared to harness the potential that the Arctic offers. The United States lacks the capacity to deal with potential regional conflicts and seaborne disasters, and it has been on the sidelines when it comes to developing new governance mechanisms for the Arctic. To advance U.S. economic and security interests and avert potential environmental and human disasters, the United States should ratify the UN Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC), take the lead in developing mandatory international standards for operating in Arctic waters, and acquire icebreakers, aircraft, and infrastructure for Arctic operations.

Oceans/Environment Defense

No impact to the environment

Boucher 98 (Doug, "Not with a Bang but a Whimper," Science and Society, Fall,

The political danger of catastrophism is matched by the weakness of its scientific foundation. Given the prevalence of the idea that the entire biosphere will soon collapse, it is remarkable how few good examples ecology can provide of this happening m even on the scale of an ecosystem, let alone a continent or the whole planet. Hundreds of ecological transformations, due to introductions of alien species, pollution, overexploitation, climate change and even collisions with asteroids, have been documented. They often change the functioning of ecosystems, and the abundance and diversity of their animals and plants, in dramatic ways. The effects on human society can be far-reaching, and often extremely negative for the majority of the population. But one feature has been a constant, nearly everywhere on earth: life goes on. Humans have been able to drive thousands of species to extinction, severely impoverish the soil, alter weather patterns, dramatically lower the biodiversity of natural communities, and incidentally cause great suffering for their posterity. They have not generally been able to prevent nature from growing back. As ecosystems are transformed, species are eliminated -- but opportunities are created for new ones. The natural world is changed, but never totally destroyed. Levins and Lewontin put it well: "The warning not to destroy the environment is empty: environment, like matter, cannot be created or destroyed. What we can do is replace environments we value by those we do not like" (Levins and Lewontin, 1994). Indeed, from a human point of view the most impressive feature of recorded history is that human societies have continued to grow and develop, despite all the terrible things they have done to the earth. Examples of the collapse of civilizations due to their over- exploitation of nature are few and far between. Most tend to be well in the past and poorly documented, and further investigation often shows that the reasons for collapse were fundamentally political.

Oceans resilient

Kennedy 2 (Victor, Coastal and Marine Ecosystems and Global Climate Change,

There is evidence that marine organisms and ecosystems are resilient to environmental change. Steele (1991) hypothesized that the biological components of marine systems are tightly coupled to physical factors, allowing them to respond quickly to rapid environmental change and thus rendering them ecologically adaptable. Some species also have wide genetic variability throughout their range, which may allow for adaptation to climate change.

Alt causes doom solvency

Kunich 6 – Professor of Law, Appalachian School of Law (John, Killing Our Oceans, p 122-3, AG)

It is crucial, albeit perhaps counterintuitive, that we pay close attention to land-based activities even as we focus on marine hotspots. There are enormous threats to marine biodiversity that originate, not in the oceans, but on dry land in the coastal zones of the world. Part of the reason these threats are prevalent is that an estimated 67 percent of the entire global human population lives either on the coast or within 37 miles of the coast, and that percentage is increasing.14 These huge and growing populations often cause overutilization of fishing and other resources in coastal areas, habitat destruction and degradation, pollution (both organic and inorganic), eutrophication and related issues such as pathogenic bacteria and algal toxins, introduction of invasive species, watershed alteration, marine littering, and other harms to the nearby marine regions.15 Given that so many key marine centers of biodiversity reside in the near-coast coral reefs and continental shelf areas, it is of tremendous importance that our legal approach embrace appropriate controls over these land-based threats. Any plan that shortsightedly and narrowly focuses too much on ocean-based activities will, paradoxically, miss the boat.

A2: Reefs I/L

Three quarters of the world’s coral reefs are already in decline – ocean acidification, warming, and local pollution and over-fishing.

Black ‘11

Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News. “World's oceans in 'shocking' decline”. June 20, 2011. BBC News.

"The rate of change is vastly exceeding what we were expecting even a couple of years ago," said Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a coral specialist from the University of Queensland in Australia. "So if you look at almost everything, whether it's fisheries in temperate zones or coral reefs or Arctic sea ice, all of this is undergoing changes, but at a much faster rate than we had thought." But more worrying than this, the team noted, are the ways in which different issues act synergistically to increase threats to marine life. Some pollutants, for example, stick to the surfaces of tiny plastic particles that are now found in the ocean bed. This increases the amounts of these pollutants that are consumed by bottom-feeding fish. Plastic particles also assist the transport of algae from place to place, increasing the occurrence of toxic algal blooms - which are also caused by the influx of nutrient-rich pollution from agricultural land. In a wider sense, ocean acidification, warming, local pollution and overfishing are acting together to increase the threat to coral reefs - so much so that three-quarters of the world's reefs are at risk of severe decline.

No Russian Expansionism Impact

No Russia threat – rapprochement coming now

Laqueur ’10 – Director of the Wiener Library Institute of Contemporary History

Waliter, Director of the Wiener Library Institute of Contemporary History, in London, and Chair of the International Research Council at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Moscow's Modernization Dilemma: Is Russia Charting a New Foreign Policy?, Nov/Dec Foreign Affairs, Proquest

It seems gradually to have dawned on at least some Russian strategic thinkers that nato in its present form does not really present a major threat to Russia or, perhaps, to anyone. (According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, nato is no longer a threat, only a "danger," which is presumably less than a threat.) Nato member states have shelved the idea of offering admission to Georgia and Ukraine. At the same time, Washington, following the European example, has toned down its criticism of Russian violations of human rights and lessened its support for domestic opposition groups in Russia and Westernleaning states such as Georgia, which Moscow regards as hostile threats. From Moscow's perspective, the West has largely accepted Russia's claims to a zone of privileged interests-whatever the fears of Russia's neighbors, there is little Western countries can do to help. In short, the West's relative weight is declining, but so is Russia's, making a policy of rapprochement appealing for all sides. For Moscow, this new, conciliatory approach is largely focused on economic and, above all, technological modernization. The emphasis of a position paper prepared by the Russian Foreign Ministry and published by Russian Newsweek in May 2010 was almost entirely such modernization. It outlined how Moscow should improve its relations with more than 60 countries, from Brunei to Mongolia, using measures including state treaties and agreements between research institutes. The document-and the new policy-appears to be based on a compromise between various elements in the Russian leadership. President Dmitry Medvedev's faction, which seems to be behind this statement, is clearly willing to take some more risks; it is also possible that Medvedev's supporters are using the argument of modernization to sell a broader policy of détente to various domestic constituencies. The moderate conservatives, such as Prime Minister Putin; his deputy chief of staff, Vladislav Surkov; his deputy prime minister, Igor Sechin; and his foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, understand that Russia's dependence on oil and gas exports must be reduced and that modernization will inevitably involve a political price-but they are fearful that the price could be too high. Meanwhile, both the right (Russia's ultranationalists) and the left (the Communists) are not, in principle, against modernization but would like it to happen without any political price at all. The new détente has shown itself in a number of cases: Russia's voting for un sanctions against Iran, expressing remorse about the Katyn massacre, reaching an agreement with the United States to reduce nuclear weapons, inviting nato soldiers to march on Red Square on Victory Day, being offered warships from France, proposing a Russian-EU crisis management agreement, and some others. But there are difficulties ahead-old suspicions and new conflicts of interest will not easily be overcome, and may even derail the new course, just as the détente of the 1970s came to a halt despite goodwill on both sides. In August, Putin said that his anti-Western speech in Munich three years ago had been very useful in retrospect. If so, then how far can the changes in Russia's foreign policy be expected to go?

No impact to regionally strong Russia

Grigoryan '12

Suren, political analyst who worked for the Ministry of Defense of Armenia for 10+ years, Masters Degree in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, "U.S.-Russia: My Enemy, My Partner?" Foreign Policy Journal, 1/15/12, AD 5/22/12

All this is in the past, official Washington says. As President Barack Obama put it in 2009 during his visit to Moscow, America wants to see Russia strong, peaceful, prosperous, and self-confident, because the United States needs exactly this kind of partner in the twenty-first century. The words of U.S. Ambassador to Russia John R. Beyrle on the same subject are even more emotional: “We are not interested in weak Russia. Weak Russia is the worst nightmare for the US. We understand perfectly what challenges we are faced with…and we must cope with them in alliance with strong partners. Thanks to its geostrategic position, immense resources and human capital, Russia may be exactly…such a partner”.[15] Indeed, Russia has the historical experience, the human and material resources, and the political will necessary for controlling and even managing regional processes. However, is Russia comfortable with the role of “regional regulator” after being a global actor for 150 years? Most probably it is. First, it has learned to assess its capabilities realistically, especially in the economic sphere, and it understands perfectly its subordinate position compared to other rising powers of Eurasia, let alone the United States. Secondly, it has not only offered to coordinate the situation in the post-Soviet space, but also to become a rightful (in some cases even irreplaceable) mediator in solving the most acute problems with neighboring regions (the Middle East, Central Asia) and states (Iran, North Korea, and others), which contemporary Russian strategy considers extremely important in terms of the country’s national security interests. Furthermore, under the circumstances, when Russian political thought continues searching for a new geopolitical identity, even the role of regional regulator not only satisfies Russia’s imperial ambitions but also facilitates the realization of the post-Soviet area integration project within the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC).[16] However, the question arises, why does the United States need Russia to realize its imperial ambitions? The most obvious reasons are as follows: First, Russia is capable and willing to assume the role of regional regulator. Throughout the last 20 years (i.e., after the collapse of the Soviet Union), Moscow has de facto played the role of regional coordinator, despite Russia’s economic chaos, political reorganization, weakness of its central government, and demoralization of its armed forces in the 1990s. Russia continued holding the keys to resolution or at least freezing of regional interethnic (the South Caucasus, Transdnistria) and civil conflicts (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan) in the post-Soviet area. Moreover, the states that have had acute conflicts with the West (e.g., Iran, North Korea) were always more willing to have contact with Russia rather than other powers; even the most radical movements of the Arab East continue maintaining contacts with her. Today, when Russia has overcome (although with tremendous material, moral, and political losses) one of the most difficult periods of her history—when the power vertical has been rebuilt, significant financial recourses have been accumulated allowing the country to proceed with economic and technological modernization, and the armed forces are reviving—it is more beneficial for the United States to have Russia as a partner rather than a rival in the extremely complicated region of Eurasia. Americans have not forgotten the many unexpected problems they were faced with after the demise of the USSR: the WMD proliferation threat, uncontrolled trade of conventional weapons, separatism, illegal drug trafficking, terrorism, human trafficking on an immense scale, and so forth. Most of these remain serious issues even today. Among all countries pretending to regional leadership, only two have enough historical experience and appropriate capabilities for solving these problems—namely, Russia and China. However, China still refrains from partaking in solving such issues (perhaps except through mediation in negotiations with North Korea). Some experts insist that this is because Beijing is still mainly focused on expanding its potential.[17] As for our judgment, perhaps arguably enough, Chinese political culture is less predisposed to expansionism, whereas it still dominates in Russia. This is exactly the reason the role of regional “gendarme” suits her mentality very well, as it in essence remains imperial. Second, economically, Russia is much weaker than the European Union or China. Given this fact, the United States’ desire to see Russia in a position of regional political manager appears quite logical. Given its economic and technological weakness, Russia in the foreseeable future will not be able to compete with the U.S. on a global scale. Meanwhile, Europe and China can definitely do so. As for Russia’s nuclear potential, which is still comparable with America’s, it is hardly a source of serious concern for the only world superpower. In contrast to the nervous “dilettantes” that are present on the nuclear scene, Moscow has been a tested, predictable, and responsible partner-adversary since Cold War times. For this reason, it is much more beneficial and also easier for Washington (and acceptable for Moscow) to channel their military might—the world’s biggest arsenals of nuclear arms—toward deterring such dilettantes instead of exerting pressure on each other. If such consensus between Washington and Moscow is achieved, Russia, with its nuclear potential, may acquire a new function: as a balancing force between Eastern and Western, and Northern and Southern parts of the vast Eurasian continent.

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