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Welcome to the eleventh year of Big Sky Debate! These three volumes represent our efforts to combine the best of research oriented handbooks and teaching tools in the same product. Our materials are guaranteed to be cut for this topic, in the months and days before the season begins, guaranteeing that you will have the most relevant, most thought-provoking research available on the topic. Whether it is for education, competition, or both, we believe that Big Sky Briefs will benefit your program, and we appreciate your support.
The role of handbooks is not without controversy. Some coaches feel that the material limits student exploration and discovery, while others contend that handbook evidence is rarely useful. In our view, the best debate handbooks open doors for students, by providing source material, useful models, and fodder for those early practice rounds at the start of the season. Novice debaters can find the material helpful as they struggle with terms and concepts, and more experienced debaters can use handbooks to fill in research gaps as they acquaint themselves with the topic. No one should expect any debate handbook to carry them through a season of competition—one of the critical skills that debaters must acquire is independent research, and an effective handbook will facilitate and encourage that.
Our goal is to be the most user-friendly and responsive publishers of debate handbooks. Please feel free to contact us with questions, complaints, even praise! Our web site, http://www.bigskydebate.com will continue to feature information about the topic all season, research resources, and forums for discussion—for both coaches and students. Please feel free to drop Don (dpogreba@bigskydebate.com) or Jason (jason@bigskydebate.com) an e-mail at any time.
Many thanks to the people who helped make this project possible. Our summer staffer Rachael Green made invaluable contributions. Finally, the biggest thanks go out to you, the customers who have chosen (once again) to purchase Big Sky Debate materials.
Enjoy the books and good luck to all of you this season! Thanks for being a part of something that is very exciting for us.

-- Pogie and Norm


Big Sky Debate

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(406) 285-1087

This compilation is Copyright, 2011, Big Sky Debate Publishers, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of these materials is prohibited, with the exception of the following “fair use” stipulations:



  • You may make unlimited copies of the material included in these books for use within your own school/debate team. This provision does not entitle you to share materials with other teams, schools, or individuals outside your team.

  • You may make unlimited copies of evidence in this handbook as part of arguments or briefs you produce, as long as your versions significantly differ from the original and contain significant evidence and arguments from other resources.

  • If you have any questions about fair use, bulk purchase, or anything else, please contact us at orders@bigskydebate.com or by telephone at (406) 285-1087.


Table of Contents


Asteroid Mining Negative 4

HARMS: US HAS SUFFICIENT RARE EARTH ELEMENTS 4

HARMS: RARE EARTH ELEMENTS ARE WIDELY AVAILABLE 5

HARMS: JAPANESE DISCOVERY OF RARE EARTH ELEMENTS 6

SOLVENCY: CAN’T MINE ASTEROIDS 10

SOLVENCY: HEALTH RISKS 14

SOLVENCY: LEGAL/TREATY PROBLEMS 16

SOLVENCY: MICROBE REINTRODUCTION 19

SOLVENCY: US POLICY IS THE PROBLEM FOR RARE EARTH 20

SOLVENCY: NO SINGLE POLICY SOLVES 21



Constellation Negative 22

HARMS: CONSTELLATION NOT CRITICAL TO US LEADERSHIP 22

HARMS: OBAMA PLAN EFFECTIVE 23

HARMS: VAGUENESS OF OBAMA PLAN NOT A PROBLEM 25

SOLVENCY: CONSTELLATION HURTS OTHER PROGRAMS 27

SOLVENCY: CONSTELLATION WAS OVER BUDGET/EXPENSIVE 28

SOLVENCY: CONSTELLATION TOO NARROWLY FOCUSED/DIRECTED 29

SOLVENCY: CONSTELLATION HURT INTERNATIONAL/PRIVATE COORDINATION 31

SOLVENCY: CONSTELLATION WOULD NOT WORK 32

SOLVENCY: CONSTELLATION HAD NO INNOVATION 35

SOLVENCY: CONSTELLATION WILL NOT CAUSE US LEADERSHIP 37

Lunar Bases/Colonization Negative 39

SOLVENCY: THERE IS NO REASON TO DO IT 39

SOLVENCY: TOO DANGEROUS/DIFFICULT TO DO IT 42

Lunar Helium-3 Mining Negative 45

HARMS: THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO HE-3 45

SOLVENCY: LUNAR HELIUM-3 PLAN IS ENTIRELY INFEASIBLE 46

SOLVENCY: TECHNOLOGY DOESN’T WORK 47

SOLVENCY: FUSION CANNOT WORK 49

SOLVENCY: ITER FUSION CANNOT WORK 52

SOLVENCY: NEW TECHNOLOGY/FUEL CANNOT AVERT ECOLOGICAL CRISIS 53

SOLVENCY: CANNOT PERMIT EXPLOITATION OF THE MOON 54

SOLVENCY: SPACE EXPLORATION WILL NOT SAVE HUMANITY 56

SOLVENCY: MOON TREATY COMPLICATES SOLVENCY 57



Mars Negative 58

INHERENCY: PRIVATES WILL GO TO MARS 58

INHERENCY: INCREMENTAL APPROACH IS BEST 59

INHERENCY: ROBOTIC MISSIONS ENOUGH FOR MARS 60

INHERENCY: OBAMA/NASA COMMITTED TO MARS BY 2030 64

MARS PRIVATE COUNTERPLAN: MARS DIRECT WOULD BE CHEAPER IN PRIVATE HANDS 69

SOLVENCY: MARS IS TOO COMPLEX OF A MISSION/TOO MANY TECHNICAL CHALLENGES 70

SOLVENCY: SPECIFIC TECHNICAL BARRIERS PREVENT A MARS MISSION 75

SOLVENCY: HUMAN SAFETY AND PSYCHOLOGY FACTORS ARE KEY 77

SOLVENCY: SHOULD FOCUS ON BROAD THEMES AND NOT DESTINATIONS 90

TURN: NASA AS AGENCY OF ACTION DRIVES UP COSTS 91

TURN: MARS EXPLORATION WILL CONTAMINATE THE PLANET DISTROYING SCIENTIFIC ADVANTAGE 92



Missile Defense Negative 95

SOLVENCY: MISSILE DEFENSE DOESN’T WORK 95

SOLVENCY: MISSILE DEFENSE DOES NOT DETER 100

SOLVENCY: MISSILE DEFENSE ENCOURAGES PROLIFERATION 101

SOLVENCY: MISSILE DEFENSE UNDERMINES RELATIONS 104

SOLVENCY: MISSILE DEFENSE CANNOT STOP NORTH KOREA/IRAN 105

SOLVENCY: SPACE BASED MISSILE DEFENSE FAILS 106

SOLVENCY: SOLID BOOST INTERCEPTORS 108

SOLVENCY: SPACE-BASED LASERS 112

SOLVENCY: NO QUALITY CONTROL FOR MISSILE DEFENSE PROGRAMS 113



Nuclear Propulsion Negative 117

INHERENCY: ALREADY HAPPENING 117

HARMS: NUCLEAR PROPULSION IS NOT NECESSARY 118

SOLVENCY: WEAPONIZATION 121

SOLVENCY: DANGEROUS 123

Planetary Defense Negative 128

HARMS: CURRENT PROGRAMS ARE DETECTING DANGEROUS BODIES 128

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COUNTERPLAN 131

SOLVENCY: NO TECH TO STOP IMPACT 133

SOLVENCY: WARNING SYSTEM A BETTER INVESTMENT 134

SOLVENCY: FOCUS ON LARGE OBJECTS BETTER 134

SOLVENCY: GROUND-BASED BETTER 135

SOLVENCY: NUCLEAR DEFENSE 137

SOLVENCY: INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL NOT AGREE 139

SETI/METI Negative 142

SOLVENCY: NO ONE THERE 142

SOLVENCY: NO ONE WILL RESPOND 147

SOLVENCY: THE PROGRAM DOESN’T WORK 149

SOLVENCY: TIMEFRAME FOR RESPONSE 155

SOLVENCY: METI IS DANGEROUS 156

SOLVENCY: ACTIVE SETI IS DANGEROUS 158

SOLVENCY: WE NEED TO BROADCAST (METI/ACTIVE SETI) 160

SOLVENCY: ALIEN HACKERS 161

SOLVENCY: ALIENS WILL HARM US 163



Space Based Solar Power Negative 167

INHERENCY: PRIVATE COMPANIES ALREADY DEVELOPING SBSP 167

SOLVENCY: SBSP IS NOT FEASIBLE 168

SOLVENCY: LAUNCHES ARE TOO EXPENSIVE 175

SOLVENCY: COST IS TOO HIGH 177

SOLVENCY: SAFETY 180

SOLVENCY: SHOULD BE INTERNATIONAL 181

SOLVENCY: NSSO REPORT HAS NO CREDIBILITY 182

SOLVENCY: LUNAR SBSP WILL NOT WORK 183

Space Elevator Negative 184

SOLVENCY 184



Space Shuttle Retirement Negative 190

HARMS: THE SHUTTLE IS NOT NECESSARY FOR ISS 190

SOLVENCY: THE SPACE SHUTTLE WAS A DEEPLY FLAWED PROGRAM 192

SOLVENCY: SHUTTLE RETIREMENT GOOD FOR NASA 195



Space Tourism Negative 196

INHERENCY: ALREADY HAPPENING 196

SOLVENCY: IMPRACTICAL/UNREALISTIC 197

SOLVENCY: TOO EXPENSIVE/FOCUSED ON ELITES 202

SOLVENCY: DEBRIS/ENVIRONMENT 206

SOLVENCY: TOO DANGEROUS 210

SOLVENCY: REGULATORY FRAMEWORK DOES NOT EXIST 213

Space Militarization Negative 216

INHERENCY: US IS ALREADY WEAPONIZING SPACE 216

HARMS: NO NEED FOR SPACE WEAPONS 218

HARMS: CHINA IS NOT A THREAT 220

SOLVENCY: SPACE WEAPONS ARE INEFFECTIVE/COSTLY 223

SOLVENCY: ASYMMETRIC RESPONSE UNDERMINES SPACE WEAPONS 225

SOLVENCY: SPACE WEAPONS WILL ENCOURAGE ARMS RACE/CONFLICT 227

SOLVENCY: SPACE WEAPONIZATION WILL ENCOURAGE CHINESE WEAPONS 231

SOLVENCY: SPACE WEAPONS WILL JEOPARDIZE SPACE EXPLORATION/USE 234

SOLVENCY: SPACE WEAPONS WILL INCREASE PROLIFERATION 236

SOLVENCY: SPACE WEAPONIZATION UNDERMINES US LEADERSHIP 239

SOLVENCY: PASSIVE DEFENSE IS BETTER 241

A/T: TREATY/VERIFICATION FAILS 242

Webb Telescope Negative 243

INHERENCY: CUTS ARE NOT FINAL 243

HARMS: NO IMPACT TO CUTTING PROGRAM 244

SOLVENCY: WEBB IS BADLY MANAGED/OVER BUDGET 245

SOLVENCY: WEBB UNDERMINES FUNDING FOR OTHER PROGRAMS 247

X-37B Space Plane Negative 250

SOLVENCY: SECRECY IS DANGEROUS 250

SOLVENCY: X-37B IS PERCEIVED AS SPACE WEAPON 251

SOLVENCY: X-37B WILL LEAD TO MILITARIZED SPACE 253

SOLVENCY: X-37B IS A WEAPONS PROGRAM 255


Asteroid Mining Negative

HARMS: US HAS SUFFICIENT RARE EARTH ELEMENTS
THERE ARE VAST DEPOSITS OF RARE EARTH MINERALS IN THE US-Science Daily ‘10

[Rare Earth Elements in US Not So Rare, Report Finds; Science Daily; 18 Nov 2010; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117184451.htm; retrieved 19 Jul 2011]


Approximately 13 million metric tons of rare earth elements (REE) exist within known deposits in the United States, according to the first-ever nationwide estimate of these elements by the U.S. Geological Survey.

This estimate of domestic rare earth deposits is part of a larger report that includes a review of global sources for REE, information on known deposits that might provide domestic sources of REE in the future, and geologic information crucial for studies of the availability of REE to U.S. industry.

The report describes significant deposits of REE in 14 states, with the largest known REE deposits at Mountain Pass, Calif.; Bokan Mountain, Alaska; and the Bear Lodge Mountains, Wyo. The Mountain Pass mine produced REE until it closed in 2002. Additional states with known REE deposits include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
THE US HAS SUFFICIENT RARE EARTH MINERALS FOR YEARS TO COME-Science Daily ‘10

[Rare Earth Elements in US Not So Rare, Report Finds; Science Daily; 18 Nov 2010; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117184451.htm; retrieved 19 Jul 2011]


"This is the first detailed assessment of rare earth elements for the entire nation, describing deposits throughout the United States," commented USGS Director Marcia McNutt, Ph.D. "It will be very important, both to policy-makers and industry, and it reinforces the value of our efforts to maintain accurate, independent information on our nation's natural resources. Although many of these deposits have yet to be proven, at recent domestic consumption rates of about 10,000 metric tons annually, the US deposits have the potential to meet our needs for years to come."
COMMERCIAL EXPLORATION OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA AND AUSTRALIA IS TAKING PLACE-Science Daily ‘10

[Rare Earth Elements in US Not So Rare, Report Finds; Science Daily; 18 Nov 2010; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117184451.htm; retrieved 19 Jul 2011]


Ninety-six percent of REE produced globally now comes from China. New REE mines are being developed in Australia, and projects exploring the feasibility of economically developing additional REE deposits are under way in the United States, Australia, and Canada; successful completion of these projects could help meet increasing demand for REE, the report said.

REE are important ingredients in high-strength magnets, metal alloys for batteries and light-weight structures, and phosphors. These are essential components for many current and emerging alternative energy technologies, such as electric vehicles, photo-voltaic cells, energy-efficient lighting, and wind power. REEs are also critical for a number of key defense applications.



HARMS: RARE EARTH ELEMENTS ARE WIDELY AVAILABLE
WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF A GLOBAL SURPLUS OF RARE EARTH MINERALS-Science Tech ‘11

[Major Discovery in Japan; Science Tech; 05 Jul 2011; http://www.sciencentech.com/2011/07/05/major-discovery-in-japan-yasuhiro-kato-uncovered-expansive-deposits-of-rare-earth-minerals-buried-in-pacific-ocean-surface/; retrieved 19 Jul 2011]


China’s control over the rare earths market hasn’t faced too many challenges over the past few years, but that may be changing, thanks to a major discovery in Japan. Geologists say they’ve uncovered expansive new deposits of rare earth minerals, buried within a seabed some 20,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean surface. Research leader Yasuhiro Kato estimates that the deposits contain anywhere from 80 to 100 billion metric tons of rare earths, which, if commercially viable, could pose a serious threat to China’s global hegemony. Supply shortages and aggressive Chinese export controls have combined to raise global prices in recent years, much to the chagrin of manufacturers who rely upon the metals to produce smartphones, tablets and a wide variety of other gadgets. But with analysts predicting a rare earth surplus within the next few years and Japan’s mining industry now poised for a potential resurgence, the outlook is certainly looking a lot brighter.
RARE EARTH MINERALS ARE HARDLY RARE-Chen ‘11

[Zhanheng; Professor in Academic Department, Chinese Society of Rare Earths; Global Rare Earth Resources and Scenarios of Future Rare Earth Industry; Journal of Rare Earths; Jan 2011; pg. 1]


Quite different from their name, rare earth is really not that rare, they are relatively plentiful in the earth crust. There are rare earth reserves in about 34 countries. For China, in the past, it was always claimed that China was abundant in rare earth deposits, and had been the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of rare earth products. But thing has been changed with the discovery of new deposits worldwide and the exploitation of China itself through these years. From 1987 to 2010, more than 1.6 million tons of rare earth reserves (count as oxides) were produced. Normally, the recovery rate was about 20%–30%. It can be estimated that about 530–800 t of rare earth resources have been mined. The proved rare earth reserve of China was 43 million tons. So the residue of rare earth reserve should be 3 500–3 770 t. If the deposit in Vietnam is included, the proportion of China rare earth reserve will be reduced to 32.72%.
THERE ARE 34 COUNTRIES WITH QUANTITIES OF RARE EARTH MINERALS-Chen ‘11

[Zhanheng; Professor in Academic Department, Chinese Society of Rare Earths; Global Rare Earth Resources and Scenarios of Future Rare Earth Industry; Journal of Rare Earths; Jan 2011; pg. 1]


In North America, the United States has just finished its rare earth deposits survey, and its producer MolyCorp is ready to accelerate its rare earth production. For Canada, there are many small scale rare earth reserves with good heavy rare earth elements contents for economic exploitation, and have attracted many investors. One of its mining companies, the Great Western Group is developing its rare earth production in South Africa.

In South America, mainly in Brazil, there also has plenty of rare earth reserves. Brazil is one of the oldest countries to produce rare earths. It is said that Brazil has begun to produce

rare earths since 1884.

As to Africa, there are 10 countries found to have rare earth deposits at present. It can be assured that rare earth deposits are widely distributed in Africa. South Africa is establishing a Joint Venture with Canada-Great Western Group. And the most interesting deposit is rare earths associated

with diamond and gold mine in Sierra Leone.

In General, There are about 34 countries with rare earth deposits in the world. So rare earth elements are widely distributed in the Earth. It is really not that rare! With time going, it is believed that more rare earth deposits will be discovered.



WHILE SHORT TERM CONSTRAINTS EXIST, MINES ARE PLANNED IN AUSTRALIA, CANADA, AND THE US-Humphries ‘10

[Marc; CRS Analysis in Energy Policy; Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain; Congressional Research Service; 30 Sep 2010; http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R41347.pdf; retrieved 19 Jul 2011]


While limited production and processing capacity for rare earths currently exists elsewhere in the world, additional capacity is expected to be developed in the United States, Australia, and Canada within two to five years, according to some experts.25 Chinese producers are also seeking to expand their production capacity in areas around the world, particularly in Australia. There are only a few exploration companies that develop the resource, and because of long lead timesneeded from discovery to refined elements, supply constraints are likely in the short term.
RARE EARTH MINERALS ARE WIDELY AVAILABLE-Brown ‘11

[Josh; US Urged to Mine Rare Earth Minerals for High Tech Devices; Washington Times; 11 April 2011; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/11/us-urged-to-mine-rare-earth-minerals/?page=all; retrieved 11 Jul 2011]


Many cutting-edge weapons systems rely on rare earths for their functionality, and alternatives are difficult to come by, Ms. Martin said. However, Mr. Lifton said the military’s use of rare earth elements is “relatively small.”

“The most important use of rare earths today are permanent magnets,” Mr. Lifton said. “The No. 1 application for rare earths is automotive uses. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.”

Despite their name, rare earth elements aren’t as hard to come by as many might think, said Cindy Hurst, an analyst with the Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office.

“Indeed, rare earth elements aren’t rare,” she said. “They are found throughout the world’s crust.”


RARE EARTH ELEMENTS ARE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED IN THE EARTH-Chen ‘11

[Zhanheng; Professor in Academic Department, Chinese Society of Rare Earths; Global Rare Earth Resources and Scenarios of Future Rare Earth Industry; Journal of Rare Earths; Jan 2011; pg. 1]


Rare earth elements are distributed widely in the Earth.

In Asia, fourteen countries have rare earth deposits. Japanese companies are constructing joint ventures with five of them, including Vietnam, India, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and

Kyrgyzstan; Lynas is establishing a processing factory in Malaysia.

In Europe, six countries have been found to have rare earths. In that, Greenland is getting into production; its product will be rare earth concentrate and aim to have 20% of the market in the future. Estonia has a production capacity of 3 000 t oxides and metals with concentrate from Russia.

There are plenty of rare earth reserves in Australia, but no processing plant could be built for environmental problems. But Lynas will move its separation and smelting factories to Malaysia. Another company Arafura Resources Ltd. will produce rare earth oxides in 2013; its deposit is highlighted with heavy rare earth elements.
THE SKY ISN’T FALLING; THERE ARE LARGE RESERVES AVAILABLE-Brown ‘11

[Josh; US Urged to Mine Rare Earth Minerals for High Tech Devices; Washington Times; 11 April 2011; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/11/us-urged-to-mine-rare-earth-minerals/?page=all; retrieved 11 Jul 2011]


Although U.S. producers have pushed for greater domestic production, private analysts caution that panic stories regarding shortages are exaggerated, and that simply prospecting broadly in hopes of competing with China in the short term isn’t the answer.

“The sky isn’t falling,” said Robert Jaffe, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The world is a big place, and many of these elements haven’t been looked for the way we have looked for oil.”

Mr. Jaffe said the day when global rare earth supplies are exhausted lies well into the future.
HARMS: JAPANESE DISCOVERY OF RARE EARTH ELEMENTS
JAPAN HAS DISCOVERED A VAST AMOUNT OF RARE EARTH MINERALS ON THE OCEAN FLOOR-Reuters ‘11
[Japan's 'Rare Earth' Mineral Discovery Could Fix iPad Supply Shortages; Huffington Post; 05 Jul 2011; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/05/rare-earth-minerals-japan_n_890121.html; retrieved 05 Jul 2011]

Large deposits of so-called "rare earth" minerals crucial for manufacturing electronic devices like iPads and flat-screen TVs have been discovered on the ocean floor by Japan.


Scientists found the minerals on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, according to the Wall Street Journal. The trove is said to include minerals such as gadolinium, lutetium, terbium and dysprosium. The minerals could multiply the known supply on land by 1,000 times.
Currently, China produces the vast majority of the global supply of rare earth minerals and has used its 97 percent share to threaten export blockages. The low supply of such minerals has been a cause of concern for some time, fueling fears that electronics prices could skyrocket, or that supply of the gadgets themselves could be reduced.
"The deposits have a heavy concentration of rare earths. Just one square km (0.4 sq mile) of deposits will be able to provide one-fifth of the current global annual consumption," Yasuhiro Kato, an associate professor of earth science at the University of Tokyo, said in the report, according to The Guardian.
THE JAPANESE DISCOVERY IS ALREADY PUSHING DOWN PRICE PRESSURE-Arthur ‘11

[Charles; staff writer; Japan discovers 'rare earth' minerals used for iPads; The Guardian; 04 Jul 2011; http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/04/japan-ipads-rare-earth; retrieved 05 Jul 2011]


The discovery, made by a team led by Kato and including researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, could have important implications for the production of materials requiring "rare earths" such as tantalum and yttrium. China has the largest land-based deposits of the crucial metals, and produces about 97% of the global supply. But it announced in December that it was slashing exports of the materials – leading to fears of a shortage or of much higher prices for products that use them.

Sony said at the time that the move was a hindrance to free trade. Japan, which accounts for a third of global demand, has been stung badly, and has been looking to diversify its supply sources, particularly of heavy rare earths such as dysprosium used in magnets. The announcement did boost shares in non-Chinese mining companies with proven rare earth resources, such as Lynas, which has the world's richest non-Chinese deposits. Those shares could now fall back with the huge expansion in available sources.

The new research, published on Monday in the online version of the journal Nature Geoscience, found the minerals in sea mud extracted from depths of 3,500 to 6,000 metres below the ocean surface at 78 locations. One-third of the sites yielded rich contents of rare earths and the metal yttrium, Kato said.



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