Arctic Oil/Gas Neg



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Biod Bad

Species Loss Good FL


Extinctions are good – human abuse is key to diversify ecosystems

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 170-171

The same trend of long-drawn-out survival of the final relicts has been further considered by Bob May's group at Oxford, particularly Sean Nee. The Oxford group arc vociferous wailers of gloom and doom: 'Extinction episodes, such as the anthropogenic one currently under way, result in a pruned tree of life.' But they go on to argue that the vast majority of groups survive this pruning, so that evolution goes on, albeit along a different path if the environment is changed. Indeed, the fossil record has taught us to expect a vigorous evolutionary response when the ecosystem changes significantly. This kind of research is more evidence to support the idea that evolution thrives on culling. The planet did really well from the Big Five mass-extinction events. The victims' demise enabled new environments to develop and more diversification took place in other groups of animals and plants. Nature was the richer for it. In just this same way the planet can take advantage from the abuse we are giving it. The harder the abuse, the greater the change to the environment. But it also follows that it brings forward the extinctions of a whole selection of vulnerable organisms.


The impact is the destruction of all life on Earth

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 182-184

The system of life on Earth behaves in a similar way for all its measurable variables, whether they are communities or ecosystems. For sand grains, substitute species or genes. For avalanches, substitute extinctions. Power laws tell us that large avalanches or large extinctions arc much less common than small ones. The controlling factors for the sand piles arc weight and angle of the sides of the pile; for mammals they arc space and food within the ecosystem. We can kick the sand pile with our feet, and we can reduce the space and the food by changing the environment. But what would happen to the life-Earth system without these external changes? Could it be like a pile without avalanches, eventually collapsing into a mess of white noise? The answer lies in our theory of exponential diversification within macro-evolution; the curve ever rising towards the vertical when the Fossil Record 2 Family data are plotted (see figure 3,c). The situation starts to become critical when numbers rise above a comfortable quantity, whether the system is a pile of sand, cars on a motorway or large mammals in America. If there were no mass extinctions, that exponential curve really could have risen to the truly vertical. It could have happened long ago, and it could happen again if there were no extinctions holding it back from the vertical. If that were so, all life on planet Earth would cease. It would need to start again from scratch. But that would be impossible. For example, when a teacher cleans the blackboard of the lesson's writing, specks of chalk dust are reflected in the rays of sunlight pouring through the windows. There's no way the dust can be put back into the writing on the board, let alone into the stick of chalk. Could this one-way process, entropy, be like evolution facing the exponential? There is no going backwards, only forwards. To stay still is impossible. As with the chalk dust and the universe leading towards higher entropy, it may be true to say that within the history of life there is forever the unrelenting trend to less order and at the same time towards greater complexity, until bits of the system reach a critical edge.

Only a risk of offense – every mass extinction event leads to mass repopulation


Braun 10 – PhD, Curator, Dept. of Systematic Biology

Michael, “Evolution after extinction: New fossils force rethink,” http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/17/evolution_after_extinction/



Mass extinctions have devastated biodiversity many times over the past 540 million years, according to scientists. After each cataclysmic event the species that survived diversified and filled the planet with life againUntil now the fossil record supported the theory that species that survived extinction events–which ranged from meteorite impacts to an eruptions of super volcanoes (and in our time the mass destruction of ecosystems by humans)–did so in much smaller forms. This “Lilliput effect,” in which post-extinction life is downsized, was believed to have persisted for millions of years.¶ But now a new fossil discovery in the U.S. by a team of French, German, Swiss, and American scientists may change what we know about the evolution of species after an extinction crisis.¶ Giant gastropods found in marine sediments in Utah dating from only about 1 million years after the P-T mass extinction. The scale bar represents 1 centimeter (0.4 inch).¶ © A. Brayard/J. Thomas/CNRS¶ The team discovered “giant” gastropods, mollusks that lived on the seabed and are related to present-day land snails. The gastropods, found in Utah, date from only 1 million years after the greatest mass extinction of all time, the Permian-Triassic extinction which wiped out about 90 percent of marine species about 250 million years ago.¶ The newly discovered gastropods call into question the existence of a “Lilliput effect,” the reduction in the size of organisms inhabiting postcrisis biota, normally spanning several million years, said the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in a news release this week.¶ The finding, published in the February 2010 issue of the journal Geology, has “drastically changed” paleontologists’ current thinking regarding evolutionary dynamics and the way the biosphere functions in the aftermath of a mass extinction event, CNRS said.¶ “The history of life on Earth has been punctuated by numerous mass extinctions, brief periods during which biodiversity is considerably reduced, followed by phases of re-conquest of the biosphere, corresponding to the diversification of those species that survived.

Extinction Good 2NC


Extend the Boutler 2 evidence – human intervention in the environment disrupts the natural equilibrium which forces new advances in evolution. Nature can use the abuse to become stronger. Our evidence says nature is like a slowly growing sand pile – everything continues linearly with large, unpredictable collapses. These collapses are key to diversification – if the sand just kept accumulating, the pile would get too large. If no species died out, all of the land and food would be consumed and all life on earth would end. We couldn’t come back from this mass extinction because of entropy, so smaller extinctions along the way are good.
The more we hurt the environment, the more diversity will result


Scully, 2002 Malcolm G., Editor at Large of the Chronicle, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 5, “The Natural World: In the Long Run, or Maybe Sooner, We're Extinct”

His analyses of earlier extinctions lead him to conclude that nature is a self-organized system that, when disrupted, will correct itself. One way it does so, he writes, is through extinction. Species vanish, but the system survives. Citing Per Bak, a physicist now at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London, who first described self-organized systems in 1987, Boulter says that the best way to understand such systems is to envision a sand pile to which a steady stream of grains is added. The stream creates a cone that grows larger and steeper, and at some point collapses in an avalanche. Then the process starts again. In such systems, there are long periods of relative calm and infrequent large disruptions. "If biological evolution really is a self-organized Earth-life system, there are some very important consequences," he says. "One is that life on this planet continues despite internal and external setbacks, because it is the system that recovers at the expense of some of its former parts. For example, the end of the dinosaurs enabled mammals to diversify. Otherwise if the exponential rise were to reach infinity, there would not be space or food to sustain life. It would come to a stop. Extinctions are necessary to retain life on this planet." His research provides "more evidence to support the idea that evolution thrives on culling," he says. "The planet did really well from the Big Five mass-extinction events. The victims' demise enabled new environments to develop and more diversification took place in other groups of animals and plants. Nature was the richer for it. In just this same way the planet can take advantage from the abuse we are giving it. The harder the abuse, the greater the change to the environment. But it also follows that it brings forward the extinctions of a whole selection of vulnerable organisms."



Extinction Good – Total Extinction


Without extinctions, there would be no room for life

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 67

If biological evolution really is a self-organised. Earth-life system there are some very important consequences. One is that life on this planet continues despite internal and external setbacks, because it is the system that recovers at the expense of some of its former parts. For example, the end of the dinosaurs enabled mammals to diversify. Otherwise if the exponential rise were to reach infinity, there would not be space or food to sustain life. It would come to a stop. Extinctions are necessary to retain life on this planet.

Mass extinctions are key to prevent total extinction

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 82-83

A well-known example of exponential change is found in accounts of rises in species populations, where numbers within a species increase at ever-faster rates until the graph's line reaches almost the upright vertical. The mathematics of logarithms won't allow that point to be reached, but usually some disturbance to the system stops it going on up. So, in the case of the Big Five mass extinctions (figure 2.4) and the exponential change in total diversity (see figure 3.0, extinctions caused by changes outside the system prevent the curve rising far to the vertical. It is a characteristic of life evolving as a self-organised system, with avalanches like a sand pile, some from within and others from outside forces. For example, changes inside may be such as genetical recombinations and small structural improvements. From outside, climate change and new competitors can upset the balance. All these can cause the loss of a species. Life on Earth needs extinctions for it to change and diversify.

Extinction Good – Evolution


Catastrophes are key to complexity

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 62

Changing environments on a planet with water, atmosphere and carbon compounds can create life and evolution. For these systems to survive, let alone develop, catastrophes become essential features within the complex processes. They initiate progress on the planet from simplicity to complexity and are driven forward by the reactions from inside the system. They have the ability to change the noise from the boring unstructured hiss of white noise to the beauty and orderly complexity of a Bach concerto.
Empirically proven by the Jurassic and Cretaceous

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 26-2

In the tranquil times of the Jurassic and Cretaceous there were very few and undramatic environmental changes. Temperature and CO2 concentrations steadily increased well above today's values. The vicious battles between individuals and groups of Mesozoic monsters did not encourage major evolutionary changes. New species took over from earlier ones, a few new Families originated when there was a major altercation in battle with other animals or with any of the rare environmental changes. A few species and even genera became extinct. There was peace and relative quietness on Earth: evolution happened on a small scale, origins mainly at the species level, a few genera and fewer Families. Without big environmental changes there are few, if any, big evolutionary advances. Especially during the middle of the Jurassic there were only small and subtle changes in the marine and terrestrial environments. Without catastrophe there were only small evolutionary changes during the time, usually at the level of the species and genus.

Extinction Good – Pre-Adaptation


Species accumulate random adaptations that only become valuable in times of crisis – mass extinction is key to evolution

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 46-47

Out of adversity there is usually opportunity, and there was a really creative aspect of the catastrophe. Those organisms that did survive were able to find new opportunities to express structural adaptations. They were able to evolve through the mixing of genes or their mutations that had been taking place quietly through the millions of years before the cull and immediately afterwards. Because the environment had changed very little before the catastrophe there had been no opportunities for these molecular characteristics to express themselves. Evolution was going on inside the cells, in the genes' DNA, and was not showing up in structural features like the colour of a mammal's eyes or a flower's petals. It was as though a strong genetic metal spring had been winding up, collecting energy for millions of years, and then at an instant was released. It caused quick increases in the species diversity of those animal and plant groups that had been inhibited in the wrong environment with its attendant dominant groups of competitors. Something like this was recognised by Darwin himself, unaware as he was of genes and DNA. He called it `preadaptation'. Stephen Jay Gould, usually very good with words, called it 'exaptation'. The process is at the centre of the adaptive evolutionary mechanisms, and works within the limits of the fitness landscapes, enabling biology to respond to environmental changes and evolve. Could it be that just as the environment appears to have changed in sudden bursts, separated by millions of years of quiet calm, so organisms respond with matching steps of structural change, either extinction or radiation, and stasis? It appears that mass-extinction events happen at different times for different reasons and with very different severity and effect. We know that each event is different and none can he predicted; nevertheless they do have things in common. The events are triggered by environmental changes, possibly from fire and flood, so reducing light and oxygen to slow down photosynthesis and respiration on land and in the sea. The consequent culls usually lead to vacant ecological riches which are eventually occupied by new forms that have adapted to the fresh conditions.

Extinction Good – Boulter’s Meathod = Awesome


Boutler complied all of the relevant data and it fit his equation

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 20-21

Instead, our energies have taken us into the very different world of data analysis, the mathematics of complex systems and to the edge of chaos theory. Our approach is to standardise all the data into the same format, with separate Microsoft Excel columns for names, ages, location, ecosystem and other variables. To make sense of the incredible amounts of such data, we propose models against which to test those data. If we think biodiversity is changing in a particular way, we describe that way with a mathematical equation and see if the data can fit it. We test to discover if there are any broad trends showing up to conform to the model. To our great surprise the patterns that are emerging from our analysis of records of extinct plants and animals are clear and definite, and our scientific results confirm our right to be very worried about what is happening to life on our planet. We have found consistent patterns in these evolutionary changes, in groups of animals that are extinct, and in others that survive. The changes follow a simple model that can be expressed as a mathematical equation, and we use this to predict likely trends in evolutionary change. It's rather like how weather forecasters accumulate data from earlier records of location, temperature, wind and pressure. The patterns arc then used to calculate how the values will go forwards in time, and separate statistical methods give a reasonable amount of certainty. We have been doing something very similar working from our evolutionary patterns, and it's now very clear that there is sudden and unexpected interference in the patterns: the environmental changes caused by man.


Computer modeling of biodiversity is consistent with the data

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 21-22

Darwin's mentor, Charles Lyell, was one of the first geologists and is best remembered today for his maxim 'the present is the key to the past'. This principle urges geologists to interpret ancient structures by observing the way things happen in the present. I fear this oversimplification has misguided many innocent students of geology, as journalistic phrases often do. I will argue in this book for another way to explain the urgent crisis for biodiversity. This is by inverting Lyell's phrase to become the past is the key to the present. That's what our article was all about, the one Dilshat's e-mail to Taiwan told me had been accepted for publication: computer modelling from fossil data. This paper works more subjectively than most modern evolutionary theory. That is one reason why the work is so controversial. In it we interpret evolutionary patterns in the fossil record with the statistics and mathematics of complex systems and chaos theory. As I will explain in chapter 3, we compare our results with those from three other well-worked sets of data: one set derived from purely random processes, a second from artificial sources, and the third from natural ones. Our results have the same pattern as those from the third system. Nature, we argue, is in control of itself: biological evolution is controlled from within that system of life on Earth.


Extinction Good – Power Law = Accurate


Power law systems describe all natural events
Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 63-65

Bak's article marked the start of something very exciting at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, under the creative leadership of Stuart Kauffman, a medic turned multidisciplinarian complexity scientist. They shared some. of the excitement from the early 199os in their popular books, How Nature Works and At Home in the Universe, looking for laws of complexity and encouraging specialists from different disciplines to give data, ideas and methods of analysis. They started to dare previously outrageous thinking; if liquid water is at the critical point, 0°C, when it becomes ice why should not life also have its own critical point when it hangs between order and chaos? But some force is required to drive the change. That is a major feature of self-organised criticality: being at the boundary between one state and another, and making large to small changes suddenly and unexpectedly. The changes come from forces entirely within the system itself, not from outside. They generate complexity to be absorbed by the whole, as when ice becomes water above 0°C or when high pressure causes graphite to become diamond. Within the closed system of a sand pile, free of interference from weather and kids playing on the beach, the avalanches happen necessarily and randomly. Measuring their size and timing reveals lots of little sand slides and a very few big ones. If you plot these results as in figure 3.2 you see a straight line expressing the power law. This is a mathematical identity that shows up in the self-organised systems found by Kauffman and Bak. You get the same-shaped curves they found from sand piles in big databases of the fluctuations in financial markets, traffic jams and the notation in Bach's music. A small number of large-scale features arc at one end of the straight line and a large number of small-scale features are at the other. In between, the proportion gives a straight change in the inter-relationship. Not only do we find the same sequence in our human-made world, but there are also natural ones like landscapes, earthquake occurrences and weather patterns, which also show this same straight-line identity. It is as though all natural systems behave like this from within.


Extinction Good – Turns Global Warming


Climate change is key to evolution – changes in climate open up new opportunities

Boutler, 2002 Michael, professor for paleobiology at the Natural History Museum and the University of East London. Launched Fossil Record 2, editor Palaeontological Association, secretary International Organisation of Palaeobotany and UK representative at the International Union of Biological Sciences, "Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man" p. 94-95

Global environments were set on a course of very steady change for 25 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, having recovered from the catastrophe. The overall trend was dominated by an increase in global surface temperatures. The hand of the tropics around the Equator slowly widened out towards the north and south, reaching a maximum extreme about co°N, 4s million years ago. Now it is 15°. The cause of this slow and steady increase in gently oscillating temperature is not too clear, and the position of the planet in relation to the sun and other systems may have had some influence. With changing sea level, the larger landmasses encouraged warmer summers and without ice at the poles, continental winters would have been much warmer than now. One unusual heat source came from the release of huge quantities of natural gas buried in continental shelves that caused sporadic explosions on the surface. These blowouts burned for thousands of years and caused regular erratic disturbances in the environment, possibly causing a peak of global warming at the end of the Paleocene. Within the overall warming trend, there were more and more local ecological changes influenced by alterations in the global environment. Ecology and the geographic distribution of animals and plants were becoming more varied than ever before. The newly evolved mammal groups diversified fast in these new ecosystems, able to take advantage of the new environments without threat from the old predators. They lived in the newly established broadleaf forests that provided good protection from their new enemies, mainly other mammal species, and whose trees also provided leafy food from sunlit branches.

1nc War

Biodiversity collapse solves war


Deudney 91 - Hewlett Fellow in Science, Technology, and Society at the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Princeton

Daniel, “Environment and security: Muddled thinking,” Book

Even if environmental degradation were to destroy the basic social and economic fabric of a country or region, the impact on international order may not be very great. Among the first casualties in such a country would be the capacity to wage war. The poor and wretched of the earth may be able to deny an outside aggressor an easy conquest, but they are themselves a minimal threat to other states. Contemporary offensive military operations require complex organizational skills. Specialized industrial products, and surplus wealth.

Outweighs nuclear war


Myers 86

Grover, Major in USAF, “Aerospace Power: The Case for Indivisible Application”, p. 37-38

In other words, a major nonnuclear war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact could conceivably be as destructive and deadly (albeit probably longer) as many theater nuclear scenarios. The trigger of war may seem easier to pull, given that the potential level of destruction may not appear as great. But nearly total destruction is still possible. During World War 11, the firebomb raids on cities like Dresden and Tokyo killed far more people than the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Europe lost a generation (somewhere around 15 million men) in the trenches of World War I.  

War leads to disease spread


Singer 2

Peter. Senior Fellow @ Brookings. “AIDS and International Security” Survival, Vol 44 No 1. Spring

Besides more soldiers dying from war’s accessories, these forces typically leave a swath of disease in their path. The original spread of infection in East Africa can actually be traced back to the axes of advance used by individual units in the Tanzanian army.52 At the same time, the presence of war hinders efforts at countering the disease’s spread, further heightening the impact of both. In Sierra Leone and the DRC, for example, all efforts at AIDS prevention were put on hold by the breakdown of order during the wars.53 The added harm of war is that valuable windows of opportunity, in nipping diseases before they reach critical stages, are lost.

Extinction


Ryan 97

Dr. Frank. Medical Doctor. Virus X, p. 366



How might the human race appear to such an aggressively emerging virus? That teeming, globally intrusive species, with its transcontinental air travel, massively congested cities, sexual promiscuity, and in the less affluent regions — where the virus is most likely to first emerge — a vulnerable lack of hygiene with regard to food and water supplies and hospitality to biting insects' The virus is best seen, in John Hollands excellent analogy, as a swarm of competing mutations, with each individual strain subjected to furious forces of natural selection for the strain, or strains, most likely to amplify and evolve in the new ecological habitat.3 With such a promising new opportunity in the invaded species, natural selection must eventually come to dominate viral behavior. In time the dynamics of infection will select for a more resistant human population. Such a coevolution takes rather longer in "human" time — too long, given the ease of spread within the global village. A rapidly lethal and quickly spreading virus simply would not have time to switch from aggression to coevolution. And there lies the danger. Joshua Lederbergs prediction can now be seen to be an altogether logical one. Pandemics are inevitable. Our incredibly rapid human evolution, our overwhelming global needs, the advances of our complex industrial society, all have moved the natural goalposts. The advance of society, the very science of change, has greatly augmented the potential for the emergence of a pandemic strain. It is hardly surprising that Avrion Mitchison, scientific director of Deutsches Rheuma Forschungszentrum in Berlin, asks the question: "Will we survive!” We have invaded every biome on earth and we continue to destroy other species so very rapidly that one eminent scientist foresees the day when no life exists on earth apart from the human monoculture and the small volume of species useful to it. An increasing multitude of disturbed viral-host symbiotic cycles are provoked into self-protective counterattacks. This is a dangerous situation. And we have seen in the previous chapter how ill-prepared the world is to cope with it. It begs the most frightening question of all: could such a pandemic virus cause the extinction of the human species?

No turns – Environmental collapse doesn’t lead to war – causality runs opposite direction


Kumari 12 – Masters in International Relations; educated at University of Nottingham and The University of Birmingham (Parmila, Securitising The Environment: A Barrier To Combating Environment Degradation Or A Solution In Itself?, www.e-ir.info/2012/01/29/securitising-the-environment-a-barrier-to-combating-environment-degradation-or-a-solution-in-itself/) [table omitted]

Secondly, the assertion that environmental degradation is a primary reason of conflict is purely speculative (Barnett 2003:10). Barnett suggests that the ‘evidence’ provided in support is a collection of historical events chosen to support the conflict-scarcity storyline and reify the realist assumption that eventually humans will resort to violence (Barnett 2001:66). This is as opposed to acknowledging that humans are equally capable of adapting. Thirdly, research shows that it is abundance of resources which drives competition, not scarcity (Barnet 2003:11). This makes sense because any territorial conquest to obtain resources will be expensive. A poor country suffering from resource scarcity would not be able to afford an offensive war (Deudney 1990: 309-11).


2nc War – AT: Leads to War

No turn – studies show environmental collapse doesn’t lead to war


Deudney 91 - Hewlett Fellow in Science, Technology, and Society at the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Princeton

Daniel, “Environment and security: Muddled thinking,” Book

The case for asserting that environmental degradation will cause institutional violence is weak, largely because of factors having little to do with environmental matters. Of course, today there are some 169 independent states and environmental problems are diverse; there¬fore any generalization will purely have important exceptions. Although many analogies for such conflict can be drawn from historical expe¬rience, they fail to take into account the ways in which the current international system differs from earlier ones. Because military aggression is prohibitively costly, even large shifts in the relative power of states are less likely to cause war. War is a poor way to resolve many of the conflicts that might arise from environmental degradation. The vitality of the international trading system and complex interdependence in general also militate against violence The result is a world system with considerable resilience and "rattle room" to weather significant envi-ronmental disruption without significant violent conflict.

1nc Water Peace

Conflict inevitable absent shared water shortages


Deudney 91

Dan Deudney, Center for Energy and Environment Studies at Princeton, April 1991, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, p. 26

Water wars. The most frequently mentioned scenario is that disputes over water supplies will become acute as rainfall and runoff patterns are altered by atmospheric warming. Many rivers cross international boundaries, and water is already becoming scarce in several arid regions. But it seems less likely that conflicts over water will lead to interstate war than that the development of jointly owned water resources will reinforce peace. Exploitation of water resources typically requires expensive – and vulnerable – civil engineering systems such as dams and pipelines. Large dams, like nuclear power plants, are potential weapons in the hands of an enemy. This creates a mutual hostage situation which greatly reduces the incentives for states to employ violence to resolve conflicts. Furthermore, there is evidence that the development of water resources by antagonistic neighbors creates a network of common interests.

Water shortages facilitate a cosmopolitan ethic – makes conflict impossible


Leslie 2k

Jacques Leslie, water writer, July 2000, Harper’s Magazine, “Running Dry,” http://www.customenv.com/WaterScarcity.html



Yet such wars haven’t quite happened. Aaron Wolf, an Oregon State University specialist in water conflicts, maintains that the last war over water was fought between the Mesopotamian city states of Lagash and Umma 4,500 years ago. Wolf has found that during the twentieth century only 7 minor skirmishes were fought over water while 145 water-related treaties were signed. He argues that one reason is strategic: in a conflict involving river water, the aggressor would have to be both downstream (since the upstream nation enjoys unhampered access to the river) and militarily superior. As Wolf puts it, “An upstream riparian would have no cause to launch an attack, and a weaker state would be foolhardy to do so.” And if a powerful downstream nation retaliates against a water diversion by, say, destroying its weak upstream neighbor’s dam, it still risks the consequences, in the form of flood or pollution or poison from upstream. So, until now, water conflicts have simmered but rarely boiled, perhaps because of the universality of the need for water. Almost two fifths of the world’s people live in the 214 river basins shared by two or more countries; the Nile links ten countries, whose leaders are profoundly aware of one another’s hydrologic behavior. Countries usually manage to cooperate about Water, even in unlikely circumstances. In 1957, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and South Vietnam formed the Mekong Committee, which exchanged information throughout the Vietnam War. Through the 1980s and into the 1990s, Israeli and Jordanian officials secretly met once or twice a year at a picnic table on the banks of the Yarmuk River to allocate the river’s water supply; these so-called picnic-table summits occurred while the two nations disavowed formal diplomatic contact. Jerome Delli Priscoli, editor of a thoughtful trade journal called Water Policy and a social scientist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, believes the whole notion of water conflict is overemphasized: “Water irrigation helped build early communities and bring those communities together in larger functional arrangements. Such community networking was a primary impetus to the growth of civilization. Indeed, water may actually be one of humanity’s great learning grounds for building community.... The thirst for water may be more persuasive than the impulse toward conflict.

AT: Water Wars

No risk of resource wars---historical evidence all concludes neg---cooperation is way more likely and solves


Jeremy Allouche 11 is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. "The sustainability and resilience of global water and food systems: Political analysis of the interplay between security, resource scarcity, political systems and global trade" Food PolicyVolume 36, Supplement 1, January 2011, Pages S3-S8 Accessed via: Science Direct Sciverse

Water/food resources, war and conflict¶ The question of resource scarcity has led to many debates on whether scarcity (whether of food or water) will lead to conflict and war. The underlining reasoning behind most of these discourses over food and water wars comes from the Malthusian belief that there is an imbalance between the economic availability of natural resources and population growth since while food production grows linearly, population increases exponentially. Following this reasoning, neo-Malthusians claim that finite natural resources place a strict limit on the growth of human population and aggregate consumption; if these limits are exceeded, social breakdown, conflict and wars result. Nonetheless, it seems that most empirical studies do not support any of these neo-Malthusian arguments. Technological change and greater inputs of capital have dramatically increased labour productivity in agriculture. More generally, the neo-Malthusian view has suffered because during the last two centuries humankind has breached many resource barriers that seemed unchallengeable.¶ Lessons from history: alarmist scenarios, resource wars and international relations¶ In a so-called age of uncertainty, a number of alarmist scenarios have linked the increasing use of water resources and food insecurity with wars. The idea of water wars (perhaps more than food wars) is a dominant discourse in the media (see for example Smith, 2009), NGOs (International Alert, 2007) and within international organizations (UNEP, 2007). In 2007, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared that ‘water scarcity threatens economic and social gains and is a potent fuel for wars and conflict’ (Lewis, 2007). Of course, this type of discourse has an instrumental purpose; security and conflict are here used for raising water/food as key policy priorities at the international level.¶ In the Middle East, presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers have also used this bellicose rhetoric. Boutrous Boutros-Gali said; ‘the next war in the Middle East will be over water, not politics’ (Boutros Boutros-Gali in Butts, 1997, p. 65). The question is not whether the sharing of transboundary water sparks political tension and alarmist declaration, but rather to what extent water has been a principal factor in international conflicts. The evidence seems quite weak. Whether by president Sadat in Egypt or King Hussein in Jordan, none of these declarations have been followed up by military action.¶ The governance of transboundary water has gained increased attention these last decades. This has a direct impact on the global food system as water allocation agreements determine the amount of water that can used for irrigated agriculture. The likelihood of conflicts over water is an important parameter to consider in assessing the stability, sustainability and resilience of global food systems.¶ None of the various and extensive databases on the causes of war show water as a casus belli. Using the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) data set and supplementary data from the University of Alabama on water conflicts, Hewitt, Wolf and Hammer found only seven disputes where water seems to have been at least a partial cause for conflict (Wolf, 1998, p. 251). In fact, about 80% of the incidents relating to water were limited purely to governmental rhetoric intended for the electorate (Otchet, 2001, p. 18).¶ As shown in The Basins At Risk (BAR) water event database, more than two-thirds of over 1800 water-related ‘events’ fall on the ‘cooperative’ scale (Yoffe et al., 2003). Indeed, if one takes into account a much longer period, the following figures clearly demonstrate this argument. According to studies by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), organized political bodies signed between the year 805 and 1984 more than 3600 water-related treaties, and approximately 300 treaties dealing with water management or allocations in international basins have been negotiated since 1945 ([FAO, 1978] and [FAO, 1984]).¶ The fear around water wars have been driven by a Malthusian outlook which equates scarcity with violence, conflict and war. There is however no direct correlation between water scarcity and transboundary conflict. Most specialists now tend to agree that the major issue is not scarcity per se but rather the allocation of water resources between the different riparian states (see for example [Allouche, 2005], [Allouche, 2007] and [Rouyer, 2000]). Water rich countries have been involved in a number of disputes with other relatively water rich countries (see for example India/Pakistan or Brazil/Argentina). The perception of each state’s estimated water needs really constitutes the core issue in transboundary water relations. Indeed, whether this scarcity exists or not in reality, perceptions of the amount of available water shapes people’s attitude towards the environment (Ohlsson, 1999). In fact, some water experts have argued that scarcity drives the process of co-operation among riparians ([Dinar and Dinar, 2005] and [Brochmann and Gleditsch, 2006]).¶ In terms of international relations, the threat of water wars due to increasing scarcity does not make much sense in the light of the recent historical record. Overall, the water war rationale expects conflict to occur over water, and appears to suggest that violence is a viable means of securing national water supplies, an argument which is highly contestable.¶ The debates over the likely impacts of climate change have again popularised the idea of water wars. The argument runs that climate change will precipitate worsening ecological conditions contributing to resource scarcities, social breakdown, institutional failure, mass migrations and in turn cause greater political instability and conflict ([Brauch, 2002] and [Pervis and Busby, 2004]). In a report for the US Department of Defense, Schwartz and Randall (2003) speculate about the consequences of a worst-case climate change scenario arguing that water shortages will lead to aggressive wars (Schwartz and Randall, 2003, p. 15). Despite growing concern that climate change will lead to instability and violent conflict, the evidence base to substantiate the connections is thin ([Barnett and Adger, 2007] and [Kevane and Gray, 2008]).

Water scarcity causes cooperation – not conflict


Vayrynen 1 - Professor of Government and International Studies at Notre Dame, former director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Raimo, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, 15 ND J.L. Ethics & Pub Pol’y 593, p. Lexis

On the other hand, while the scarcity of groundwater is becoming a major political issue, predictions about “water wars” over shared rivers seem to be overblown. According to Gleditsch and Hamner, more than 250 river systems are shared between two or more countries. In an empirical study of these rivers, they find that water scarcity only has a limited tendency to foster conflicts. Moreover, if scarcity is coupled with a shared river, the probability of cooperation, rather than conflict, between countries increases significantly. A common resource problem can also prompt closer cooperation. This is evidenced, for instance, by the move towards cooperation in the utilization of the water resources of the Nile. The main change has been the increasing willingness of Egypt to cooperate with Ethiopia and Sudan, which concluded in an agreement on the use of Blue Nile waters in 1991. The new phase of cooperation is managed by the Nile Basin Initiative (N.B.I.), which is a formal organization set up by the riparian States, and with the support of the World Bank, to implement the 1996 Nile River Basin Action plan on the preservation and distribution of the river water.

AT: Middle East Water Wars

Middle eastern water wars won’t lead to conflict- it would be too difficult to secure all of the water


Podesta and Ogden 7 (John Podesta is president and CEO of the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, D.C., and was chief of staff for President Bill Clinton., Peter Ogden is a senior national security analyst at CAP, The Washington Quarterly 31.1 (2007) 115-138)

Water scarcity also shapes the geopolitical order when states engage in direct competition with neighbors over shrinking water supplies. Although this threat may evoke apocalyptic images of armies amassing in deserts to go to war over water, the likelihood of such open conflict in this scenario over the next 30 years is low. There are a very limited number of situations in which it would make strategic sense for a country today to wage war in order to increase its water supply. Water does not have the economic value of a globally traded strategic commodity such as oil, and to reap significant benefit from a military operation would require capturing an entire watershed, cutting supply to the population currently dependent on it, and then protecting the watershed and infrastructure from sabotage.29 Thus, although we are not likely to see "water wars" per se, countries will more aggressively pursue the kinds of technological and political solutions that currently enable them to exist in regions that are stretched past their water limits. This is likely to be the case in the Middle East, where water shortages will coincide with a population boom. The enormously intricate water politics of the region have been aptly described as a "hydropolitical security complex."30 The Jordan River physically links the water interests of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and Syria; the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers physically link the interests of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. This hydrological environment is further complicated by the fact that 75 percent of all the water in the Middle East is located in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.31 Such conditions would be cause for political tension even in a region without a troubled history. [End Page 121]


1NC Dead Zones Good

Species can adapt to dead zones and survive – they can be good


Brown University, Oct. 16, 2008 Published in Science Daily, “Coastal Dead Zones May Benefit Some Species, Scientist Finds”

Andrew Altieri, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University, studied dead zones in Narragansett Bay, one of the largest estuaries on the U.S. East Coast. In a paper published this month in the journal Ecology, he found that quahog clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) increased in number in hypoxic zones, defined as areas where dissolved oxygen in the water has been depleted. The reasons appear to be twofold: The quahogs’ natural ability to withstand oxygen-starved waters, coupled with their predators' inability to survive in dead zones. The result: The quahog can not only survive, but in the absence of predators, can actually thrive. A recent study shows that dead zones have been expanding rapidly along the coastal United States and worldwide due to climate change and human-caused pollution. Scientists have typically focused on documenting the death of species and loss of fisheries in these oxygen-poor areas, but they haven’t looked at how certain, hardy species such as quahogs can persist and thriveuntil now. There may be other commercially important species that persist — and perhaps benefitfrom dead zones in other regions. The research (listen to the podcast on the Ecological Society of America Web site here) also underscores that some key species can be more adaptive and resilient than expected when challenged environmentally, which could have important implications for conservation efforts.


Quahog clam proves that dead zones can increase populations of key species


Altieri, 2008 Andrew H., Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, “Dead Zones Enhance Key Fisheries Species by Providing Predation Refuge” Ecology: Vol. 89, No. 10, pp. 2808-2818.

Natural stress gradients can reduce predation intensity and increase prey abundances. Whether the harsh conditions of anthropogenic habitat degradation can similarly reduce predation intensity and structure community dynamics remains largely unexplored. Oxygen depletion in coastal waters (hypoxia) is a form of degradation that has recently emerged as one of the greatest threats to coastal ecosystems worldwide due to increased rates of eutrophication and climate change. I conducted field experiments and surveys to test whether relaxed predation could explain the paradoxically high abundance of clams that have sustained a fishery in a degraded estuary with chronic hypoxic conditions. Hypoxia reduced predation on all experimental species but enhanced the long-term survivorship of only sufficiently hypoxia-tolerant prey due to periodic extreme conditions. As a consequence, only the harvested quahog clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) thrived in hypoxic areas that were otherwise rendered dead zones with depauperate diversity and low abundances of other species. This suggests that enhanced populations of some key species may be part of a predictable nonlinear community response that sustains ecosystem services and masks overall downward trends of habitat degradation.




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