Mead 9 (Henry , Sr fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, The New Republic, 2/4/09, http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=571cbbb9-2887-4d81-8542-92e83915f5f8&p=2) ET
So far, such half-hearted experiments not only have failed to work; they have left the societies that have tried them in a progressively worse position, farther behind the front-runners as time goes by. Argentina has lost ground to Chile; Russian development has fallen farther behind that of the Baltic states and Central Europe. Frequently, the crisis has weakened the power of the merchants, industrialists, financiers, and professionals who want to develop a liberal capitalist society integrated into the world. Crisis can also strengthen the hand of religious extremists, populist radicals, or authoritarian traditionalists who are determined to resist liberal capitalist society for a variety of reasons. Meanwhile, the companies and banks based in these societies are often less established and more vulnerable to the consequences of a financial crisis than more established firms in wealthier societies. As a result, developing countries and countries where capitalism has relatively recent and shallow roots tend to suffer greater economic and political damage when crisis strikes--as, inevitably, it does. And, consequently, financial crises often reinforce rather than challenge the global distribution of power and wealth. This may be happening yet again. None of which means that we can just sit back and enjoy the recession. History may suggest that financial crises actually help capitalist great powers maintain their leads--but it has other, less reassuring messages as well. If financial crises have been a normal part of life during the 300-year rise of the liberal capitalist system under the Anglophone powers, so has war. The wars of the League of Augsburg and the Spanish Succession; the Seven Years War; the American Revolution; the Napoleonic Wars; the two World Wars; the cold war: The list of wars is almost as long as the list of financial crises. Bad economic times can breed wars. Europe was a pretty peaceful place in 1928, but the Depression poisoned German public opinion and helped bring Adolf Hitler to power. If the current crisis turns into a depression, what rough beasts might start slouching toward Moscow, Karachi, Beijing, or New Delhi to be born? The United States may not, yet, decline, but, if we can't get the world economy back on track, we may still have to fight.
An ocean asteroid strike is more likely, and depletes the ozone layer leading to high UV rays – causes food shortage, disease, and burning.
Edwards 10(Lin, science-specialized news reporter for Physorg, “Asteroid strike into ocean could deplete ozone layer” October 27, 2010 http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-10-asteroid-ocean-deplete-ozone-layer.html) JM
Scientists in Texas say if a medium-sized asteroid were to crash into the ocean the ozone layer could be depleted, allowing high levels of ultraviolet radiation to reach the surface. Dr. Elisabetta Pierazzo and colleagues from the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson ran computer simulations that revealed if an asteroid 500 m to 1 km in diameter were to hit the Pacific Ocean it would eject enough water vapor and sea salt high enough into the atmosphere to affect the protective ozone layer. The results of the simulations showed the 1 km asteroid could affect an area over 1000 km in diameter, and vast quantities of water and vapor would be ejected up to 160 km high. The scientists say the water vapor would contain chlorine and bromine from the vaporized sea salts, and this would result in significant global depletion of the ozone layer by destroying it faster than it is created naturally. Pierazzo said such an asteroid would produce “an ozone hole that will engulf the entire Earth,” and produce a huge spike in ultraviolet (UV) radiation with levels higher than anywhere on the surface today. The simulations showed the smaller asteroid, 500 meters across, could produce ultraviolet index (UVI) levels of 20 or over in the northern tropics for a period of several months, and the global ozone depletion would be similar to the record ozone holes seen over the Antarctic in the mid 1990s. The 1 km asteroid could produce a spike of 56, and levels over 20 for about two years in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The UVI is a measure of UV intensity, with levels over 10 assumed dangerous. The highest recorded UVI known in recent times has been 20. Pierazzo said previous studies of the effects of asteroid impacts on the ocean have concentrated on tsunamis, but her research found the effects of a medium-sized asteroid strike would also include difficulty in growing crops and would have a long-term negative effect on global food production. She said if there was enough warning of an impending, strike farmers could plant crops with high UV-tolerance and food could be stored to ensure supplies during the period of low productivity. Other effects would include increased rates of skin cancer and cataracts. People may also have to avoid exposure to direct sunlight to avoid rapid sunburn. A UVI level of 56 has never been experienced, and so the effects are uncertain, but it is likely that people would have to remain indoors during daylight to avoid serious sunburn. The study said over 100 asteroids 1 to 2 km in diameter are thought to be orbiting in
paths that could bring them near to Earth, and many more smaller asteroids appear to be “currently looming undiscovered in the Earth’s neighborhood.” NASA estimates there are around 800 such Near Earth Objects (NEOs). The authors say past research suggests on average an asteroid 500 meters wide or less hits the Earth about once every 200,000 years, while a larger asteroid strike happens around once every 800,000 years. The research covered only the impact of an asteroid hitting the ocean, since such strikes are twice as likely to occuras land impacts. The results are published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
UVB rays threaten kill phytoplankton which vastly decreases biodiversity
World Health Oganization 94 (Environmental Health Criteria 160, Ultraviolet Radiation, date n/a, http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc160.htm#SectionNumber:11.2, znf)
11.3.1 Effects on phytoplankton Recent UVB aquatic research has concentrated on phytoplankton and the Antarctic ecosystem. As shown in figure 11.2, phytoplankton is at the base of the aquatic food chain/trophic structure and serves as food for primary consumers (e.g., larvae of fish and shrimp), which in turn are consumed by secondary and tertiary consumers (e.g. fish). The production of phytoplankton has been estimated at about 6 x 1014 kg (UNEP, 1989). A loss of 10% would far exceed the gross national product of all countries in the world, assuming any reasonable price for biomass on the market. table 11.1 gives the estimated annual biomass production for plankton and fish. Table 11.1 Estimated annual biomass production at different levels in marine food web and possible loss after 10% decrease at the phytoplankton level (adapted from UNEP 1989 report) Concentrations of phytoplankton in subpolar waters may be 103 to 104 times greater than concentrations of phytoplankton found in tropical and subtropical seas (Jeffery & Humphrey, 1975). Any significant increase in UVB could well diminish growth and productivity of phytoplankton, subsequently affecting all higher trophic levels in the aquatic food web. Therefore, it is not surprising that a majority of recent research has looked at the effects of increased UVB exposure in Antarctic waters. Ongoing research activities include investigations of both direct (physiological and behavioural) and indirect (trophic implications) effects. Phytoplankton dwell in the top layers of the water column (the photic zone) because of their requirement for solar energy(Ignatiades, 1990). Their position within the column is maintained by precise orientation strategies using light, gravity and other external factors as guides. Phytoplankton in the photic zone would be exposed to any increase in solar UV. Most phytoplankton organisms do not possess UVB photoreceptors to guide them away from harmful UV, a situation similar to humans. Previous work demonstrated that mobility/orientation mechanisms in response to light are impaired by solar UV (Häder & Worrest, 1991; Baker & Smith, 1982). The ability of phytoplankton to adjust their position within the water column, in response to constantly changing conditions, may even be affected at ambient UVB levels. Although ambient UVB fluxes may cause damage to some species of phytoplankton, it should be emphasized that there are uncertainties regarding the magnitude of these effects. These included problems of extrapolating laboratory findings to the open sea and the nearly complete absence of data on long-term effects and ecosystem responses. Likewise, there is a need to investigate adaptation mechanisms. Before effects of exposure to solar UVB can be predicted, information is required on seasonal abundances and vertical distributions of marine organisms, vertical mixing, and the penetration of UVB into appropriate water columns. In their natural habitats, organisms are exposed to a wide range of UVB intensities. This radiation has been shown to affect growth, photosynthesis, nitrogen incorporation, and enzyme activity (Döhler & Alt, 1989; Döhler, 1990).
Ocean destruction will ensure planetary extinction
Craig 03 [Robin Kundis,Associate Professor at Indiana University School of Law “Taking Steps Toward Marine Wilderness Protection”, McGeorge Law Review, Winter, 34 McGeorge L. Rev. 155]
Biodiversity and ecosystem function arguments for conserving marine ecosystems also exist, just as they do for terrestrial ecosystems, but these arguments have thus far rarely been raised in political debates. For example, besides significant tourism values - the most economically valuable ecosystem service coral reefs provide, worldwide - coral reefs protect against storms and dampen other environmental fluctuations, services worth more than ten times the reefs' value for food production. 856 Waste treatment is another significant, non-extractive ecosystem function that intact coral reef ecosystems provide. 857 More generally, "ocean ecosystems play a major role in the global geochemical cycling of all the elements that represent the basic building blocks of living organisms, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur, as well as other less abundant but necessary elements." 858 In a very real and direct sense, therefore, human degradation of marine ecosystems impairs the planet's ability to support life. Maintaining biodiversity is often critical to maintaining the functions of marine ecosystems. Current evidence shows that, in general, an ecosystem's ability to keep functioning in the face of disturbance is strongly dependent on its biodiversity, "indicating that more diverse ecosystems are more stable." 859 Coral reef ecosystems are particularly dependent on their biodiversity. [*265] Most ecologists agree that the complexity of interactions and degree of interrelatedness among component species is higher on coral reefs than in