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Contention 1 - Climate

Warming is real and anthropogenic billions will suffer causes a


multitude of environmental catastrophes.
Maslin, prof. of climatology, 15 (Mark Maslin FRGS is a Professor of Physical Geography
at University College London. He is a Royal Society Industrial Fellowship and Founding Director of
Rezatec Ltd. He is science advisor to the Global Cool Foundation, Climatecom Strategies, Sopra-
Steria, and Carbon Sense Ltd. He is member of Cheltenham Science Festival Advisory
Committee. Maslin is a leading scientist with particular expertise in past global and regional
climatic change and has publish over 150 papers in journals such as Science, Nature, Nature
Climate Change, The Lancet and Geology. He has been awarded research council, charity and
Government grants of over 40 million; "Six reasons that scientists are sure that global warming
is happening"; 11-30-2015; Independent; http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/six-
reasons-that-scientists-are-sure-that-global-warming-is-happening-a6753996.html; DT)
The Paris climate conference will set nations against each other, and kick off huge arguments over economic policies, green
one thing isnt up for debate: the evidence for climate
regulations and even personal lifestyle choices. But
change is unequivocal. We still control the future, however, as the magnitude of shifting weather
patterns and the frequency of extreme climate events depends on how much more greenhouse
gas we emit. We arent facing the end of the world as envisaged by many environmentalists in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
but if we do nothing to mitigate climate change then billions of people will suffer. Causes of climate
change Greenhouse gases absorb and re-emit some of the heat radiation given off by the Earths
surface and warm the lower atmosphere. The most important greenhouse gas is water vapour, followed by carbon
dioxide and methane, and without their warming presence in the atmosphere the Earths average
surface temperature would be approximately -20C . While many of these gases occur naturally in the
atmosphere, humans are responsible for increasing their concentration through burning fossil
fuels, deforestation and other land use changes. Records of air bubbles in ancient Antarctic ice show us that
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are now at their highest concentrations for more
than 800,000 years. Evidence for climate change The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) presents six main lines of evidence for climate change. 1. We have tracked the
unprecedented recent increase in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases since the beginning of the industrial revolution . 2. We know from laboratory
and atmospheric measurements that such greenhouse gases do indeed absorb heat when they
are present in the atmosphere. 3. We have tracked significant increase in global temperatures of
at least 0.85C and a sea level rise of 20cm over the past century. 4. We have analysed the
effects of natural events such as sunspots and volcanic eruptions on the climate, and though
these are essential to understand the pattern of temperature changes over the past 150 years,
they cannot explain the overall warming trend. 5. We have observed significant changes in the
Earths climate system including reduced snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere, retreat of sea ice
in the Arctic, retreating glaciers on all continents, and shrinking of the area covered by
permafrost and the increasing depth of its active layer. All of which are consistent with a warming
global climate. 6. We continually track global weather and have seen significant shifts in weather
patterns and an increase in extreme events all around the world. Patterns of precipitation (rainfall
and snowfall) have changed, with parts of North and South America, Europe and northern and
central Asia becoming wetter, while the Sahel region of central Africa, southern Africa, the
Mediterranean and southern Asia have become drier . Intense rainfall has become more frequent,
along with major flooding. Were also seeing more heat waves . According to the US National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) between 1880 and the beginning of 2014, the 19 warmest years on
record have all occurred within the past 20 years ; and 2015 is set to be the warmest year ever
recorded. What the future holds The continued burning of fossil fuels will inevitably lead to further
climate warming The complexity of the climate system is such that the extent of this warming is difficult to predict, particularly
as the largest unknown is how much greenhouse gas we keep emitting. The IPCC has developed a range of emissions scenarios or
Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) to examine the possible range of future climate change. Using scenarios ranging from
business-as-usual to strong longer-term managed decline in emissions, the climate model projections suggest the
global mean surface temperature could rise by between 2.8C and 5.4C by the end of the 21st
century. Even if all the current country pledges submitted to the Paris conference are achieved
we would still only just be at the bottom end of this range . The sea level is projected to rise by
between 52cm and 98cm by 2100, threatening coastal cities, low-lying deltas and small island
nations. Snow cover and sea ice are projected to continue to reduce, and some models suggest
that the Arctic could be ice-free in late summer by the latter part of the 21st century. Heat
waves, droughts, extreme rain and flash flood risks are projected to increase, threatening
ecosystems and human settlements, health and security. One major worry is that increased heat and
humidity could make physical work outside impossible . Changes in precipitation are also expected to vary from
place to place. In the high-latitude regions (central and northern regions of Europe, Asia and North America) the year-round
average precipitation is projected to increase, while in most sub-tropical land regions it is
projected to decrease by as much as 20%, increasing the risk of drought . In many other parts of the world,
species and ecosystems may experience climatic conditions at the limits of their optimal or
tolerable ranges or beyond. Human land use conversion for food, fuel, fibre and fodder,
combined with targeted hunting and harvesting, has resulted in species extinctions some 100
to 1000 times higher than background rates. Climate change will only speed things up . We
dont have much time left This is the challenge our world leaders face. To keep global temperature rise below
the agreed 2C, global carbon emission must peak in the next decade and from 2070 onward
must be negative: we must start sucking out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere .

Human emissions are the largest driver no alt causes their evidence
doesnt assume long-term trends.
Climate Central 14 (Climate Central is a nonprofit news organization that analyzes and
reports on climate science. Composed of scientists and science journalists, the organization
conducts scientific research on climate change and energy issues, and produces multimedia
content; Rising Global Temperatures and CO2; May 6th, 2014;
http://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/co2-and-rising-global-temperatures; DT)
The average global temperature fluctuates every year. However, when you look at a snapshot of
the global temperature trend, it's on the rise - particularly since 1970. The main cause? Carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. There are plenty of factors
that influence temperatures in different regions across the globe . El Nio is one of the biggest
drivers of year-to-year variability, increasing the likelihood of warm weather in the Pacific
Northwest and cooler weather in the Southeast as well as a host of other global impacts . Longer-
term fluctuations such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and aerosols from natural and human sources can further affect regional
climate. Solar cycles also have global temperature implications, although on a much smaller scale.
These shifts taken individually and together account for the year-to-year variability seen in
the global average temperatures. They cant fully explain why the globe has warmed
about 1.6F since 1880, though. Overlaying the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere shows a clear
correlation with that rise in temperatures. Of course correlation doesnt always equal causation. However, reams of peer-
reviewed research, basic physics, the ability to track the specific chemical fingerprint of fossil
fuel-driven carbon, and the fact that no models can replicate this century's warming without
pumping up carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere give scientists
confidence that human carbon emissions are driving the globes temperature higher. Other
indicators such as ocean acidification, increasing deep ocean heat, melting ice and permafrost,
shrinking snow pack, and sea level rise further make the case that the additional carbon dioxide
is affecting the global climate system. There are periods when other factors might temporarily slow that rise such as
the much-discussed global warming pause of the last decade, but the overall connection is clear. If greenhouse gas
emissions continue to rise, the globes average temperature is projected to follow sui t. The worst-
case emissions scenario, the track that we are currently on, estimates a rise in temperature of
4.7 to 8.6F by 2100. International negotiators are at a meeting in Warsaw that continues through November 22 in an effort
to lay the groundwork for a global climate treaty that aims to limit the temperature from rising more than 3.6F above pre-industrial
levels.

Defer to consensus skeptics are wrong contradictory research,


cherry-picking, curve-fitting, and ignoring data.
Shermer 12/1 (Dr. Michael Shermer is Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, Executive
Director of the Skeptics Society, and columnist for Scientific American; "Why Climate Skeptics
Are Wrong"; 12-1-2015; Scientific American; http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-
climate-skeptics-are-wrong/; DT)
At some point in the history of all scientific theories, only a minority of scientistsor even just onesupported them, before evidence
accumulated to the point of general acceptance. The Copernican model, germ theory, the vaccination principle, evolutionary theory,
plate tectonics and the big bang theory were all once heretical ideas that became consensus science. How did this happen? An
For a
answer may be found in what 19th-century philosopher of science William Whewell called a consilience of inductions.
theory to be accepted, Whewell argued, it must be based on more than one inductionor a single
generalization drawn from specific facts. It must have multiple inductions that converge on
one another, independently but in conjunction. Accordingly the cases in which inductions from
classes of facts altogether different have thus jumped together, he wrote in his 1840 book The Philosophy of
the Inductive Sciences, belong only to the best established theories which the history of science
contains. Call it a convergence of evidence. Consensus science is a phrase often heard today
in conjunction with anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Is there a consensus on AGW? There is.
The tens of thousands of scientists who belong to the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the
American Medical Association, the American Meteorological Society, the American Physical
Society, the Geological Society of America, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and, most
notably, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change all concur that AGW is in fact real. Why?
It is not because of the sheer number of scientists . After all, science is not conducted by poll. As Albert Einstein said
in response to a 1931 book skeptical of relativity theory entitled 100 Authors against Einstein, Why 100? If I were wrong, one would
there is a convergence of evidence from multiple lines of inquiry
have been enough. The answer is that
pollen, tree rings, ice cores, corals, glacial and polar ice-cap melt, sea-level rise, ecological shifts,
carbon dioxide increases, the unprecedented rate of temperature increasethat all converge to
a singular conclusion. AGW doubters point to the occasional anomaly in a particular data set, as if
one incongruity gainsays all the other lines of evidence. But that is not how consilience science
works. For AGW skeptics to overturn the consensus, they would need to find flaws with all the
lines of supportive evidence and show a consistent convergence of evidence toward a different
theory that explains the data. (Creationists have the same problem overturning evolutionary theory.) This they have
not done. A 2013 study published in Environmental Research Letters by Australian researchers John Cook, Dana Nuccitelli and
their colleagues examined 11,944 climate paper abstracts published from 1991 to 2011. Of those papers that stated a position on
AGW, about 97 percent concluded that climate change is real and caused by humans . What
about the remaining 3 percent or so of studies? What if they're right? In a 2015 paper published
in Theoretical and Applied Climatology , Rasmus Benestad of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Nuccitelli and their
colleagues examined the 3 percent and found a number of methodological flaws and a pattern
of common mistakes. That is, instead of the 3 percent of papers converging to a better
explanation than that provided by the 97 percent, they failed to converge to anything. There is
no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming , Nuccitelli concluded in an
August 25, 2015, commentary in the Guardian. Some blame global warming on the sun, others on orbital
cycles of other planets, others on ocean cycles, and so on. There is a 97% expert consensus on a
cohesive theory that's overwhelmingly supported by the scientific evidence, but the 23% of
papers that reject that consensus are all over the map, even contradicting each other . The one
thing they seem to have in common is methodological flaws like cherry picking, curve
fitting, ignoring inconvenient data, and disregarding known physics . For example, one skeptical
paper attributed climate change to lunar or solar cycles, but to make these models work for the 4,000-year period that the authors
Such practices are deceptive and fail to further
considered, they had to throw out 6,000 years' worth of earlier data.
climate science when exposed by skeptical scrutiny, an integral element to the scientific process.

We dont have time to wait theres no impact unless we exceed a


tipping point of 2 degrees action is necessary now.
Harvey 13 (Fiona Harvey is an award-winning environment journalist for the Guardian; IPCC:
30 years to climate calamity if we carry on blowing the carbon budget;
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/27/ipcc-world-dangerous-climate-change;
The Guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/27/ipcc-world-dangerous-
climate-change; DT)
The world's leading climate scientists have set out in detail for the first time how much more
carbon dioxide humans can pour into the atmosphere without triggering dangerous levels of
climate change and concluded that more than half of that global allowance has been used up . If
people continue to emit greenhouse gases at current rates, the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere could
mean that within as little as two to three decades the world will face nearly inevitable warming of
more than 2C, resulting in rising sea levels, heatwaves, droughts and more extreme
weather. This calculation of the world's "carbon budget" was one of the most striking findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), the expert panel of global scientists who on Friday produced the most
comprehensive assessment yet of our knowledge of climate change at the end of their four-day
meeting in Stockholm. The 2,000-plus page report, written by 209 lead authors, also found it
was "unequivocal" that global warming was happening as a result of human actions , and that
without "substantial and sustained" reductions in greenhouse gas emissions we will breach the
symbolic threshold of 2C of warming, which governments around the world have pledged not to
do. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, urged world leaders to pay heed to the "world's authority on climate change" and forge a
new global deal on cutting emissions. "The heat is on. Now we must act," he said. John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said in a
statement: "This is yet another wakeup call: those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire." "Once
again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with
conscience or commonsense should be willing to even contemplate," he added. The IPCC also rebuffed the argument
made by climate sceptics that a "pause" for the last 10-15 years in the upward climb of global
temperatures was evidence of flaws in their computer models . In the summary for policymakers, published on
Friday morning after days of deliberations in the Swedish capital, the scientists said: " Each of the last three decades has
been successively warmer at the Earth's surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the
northern hemisphere, 1983-2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years ."
Thomas Stocker, co-chair of the report working group, said measuring recent years in comparison to 1998, an
exceptionally hot year, was misleading and that temperature trends could only be observed over
longer periods, of about 30 years.

International policies fall short of that target we still have time to meet
it but immediacy is key expert analysis agrees.
Radford 7/2 (Tim Radford, a founding editor of Climate News Network, worked for The
Guardian for 32 years, for most of that time as science editor. He has been covering climate
change since 1988; "Pledges Made at Paris Climate Talks Will Not Contain Global Warming"; 7-12-
2016; Truthdig;
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/pledges_made_at_the_paris_climate_talks_will_not_contain_
20160702; DT)
LONDONNationalpromises made late last year to contain carbon dioxide emissions will not be nearly
enough to meet the global warming target agreed last December by 195 nations, according to a new
assessment. The signatories to the historic agreement at the UN conference on climate change in Paris
pledged to limit global warming to below 2C and to aim for no more than 1.5C rise above pre-
industrial levels. The planet has already warmed by 1C in the last century. But, climate scientists say, the intended
nationally determined contributions (INDCs) submitted before the meeting imply global warming of
between 2.6C and 3.1C. So more needs to be done, they report in Nature journal. The Paris Agreement was a
historical achievement for the worlds response to climate change, aiming at limiting warming to below 1.5C and 2C, says
Joeri Rogelj, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) research scholar who led the study. Finite amount It puts
But our analysis shows that these
in place a flexible framework for a long-term transformation towards a low-carbon society.
measures need to be strengthened in order to have a good chance of keeping warming to well
below 2C, let alone 1.5C. The researchers argue in their study that to limit warming to any level implies that the total
amount of CO2 that can ever be emitted into the atmosphere is finite. About two-thirds of the available
budget for keeping warming to below 2C have already been emitted, they write. Global emissions urgently need to
start to decline. That it can be done, and that the Paris target is realistic and achievable, is confirmed by a second group of
researchers in Nature Climate Change journal. In order to ensure a chance of meeting these targets, we
need further significant action from countries before 2030. They reason that the difference
between 1.5C and 2C is substantial, in terms of sea level rise, the loss of the glaciers and
damage to the rainforests. However, the process of containing global average temperature rise
demands a controlled implosion of the fossil fuel industry, and a technological explosion of
renewable energy systems. The Paris agreement is a historic achievement and a genuine triumph of reason, says Hans
Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who led the study. Now the pressure is on to
implement that consensus in time, in order to avoid the looming humanitarian tragedy for good. And the latest look at the
researchers calculateon the basis of all
challenges, led by the IIASA team, is another instance of that pressure. The
the INDCs submitted by the time of the Paris meeting, from up to 187 of the parties to the
conference, and responsible for up to 96% of all greenhouse gas emissionsthat the entire
global budget for limiting global warming to below 2C might have already been emitted by
2030. To put it briefly, the promises made so far are not enough . Since the Paris Agreement requires the signatories
to submit fresh and ever more ambitious INDC pledges every five years, political opportunity exists, along with societal
challenge. Range of uncertainties The latest Nature study considers a number of scenarios and a range of uncertainties, and then
goes on to frame the probabilities of success. And it concludes that substantial
enhancement or over-delivery of the
promises made so far is necessary to maintain a reasonable chance of keeping warming to well
below the 2C target. To go the rest of the way, we would need to assume much more stringent
action after 2030, which leads to emissions reductions of 3%-4% per year globally , says the reports
co-author, Niklas Hhne, founding partner of the Germany-based NewClimate Institute for Climate Policy and Global Sustainability.
in
But, in practice, switching to such stringent reductions right after 2030 would be challenging, and require time. That means that
order to ensure a chance of meeting these targets, we need further significant action from
countries before 2030.

Mitigation must come before adaptation we can adapt to 2 degrees but


only if we limit the temperature to that threshold first.
Harper 15 (Peter: independent researcher, studied biology and experimental psychology, part
of Centre for Alternative Technology; Against Adaptation; November 23, 2015;
http://peterharper.org/the-blog/2015/11/23/against-adaptation; DT)
climate change the debate has tended to polarise between
Since we first started thinking seriously about
mitigationists who thought prevention was better than cure, and adaptationists, who thought
the opposite. It has become an article of faith that neither side is entirely right; that we need to split our climate budgets into
mitigation and adaptation pots, the former to slow things down, the latter to help us cope with climate change that is already
Most
inevitable. This sounds reasonable and humane and I applaud the sentiment behind it. Nevertheless I wish to argue against it.
climate scientists believe we should strive to avoid increasing the risk of crossing thresholds
which could trigger large changes. Currently the working threshold is 2C. Giving ourselves a
reasonable chance of avoiding this threshold requires an all-out effort starting more or less
immediately, and if this is the case, we should not (yet) divert resources to adaptation,
simply because the consequences of failure are so very grave. A medical analogy suggests itself. Suppose
a person is injured in a traffic accident, bleeding profusely and in severe pain. A well-equipped
paramedic arrives on the scene. Should she administer morphine for pain relief or act to stop the
bleeding? It is fairly obvious that it should be bleeding first, pain after. If the injured person had died on
account of wrongly prioritised treatment, relatives would have justifiably distressed. The climate issue is similar: if we
fail to prevent irreversible change, posterity will suffer from our mistaken priorities. There is a lot
of posterity to come, and a great deal of potential suffering . That is the basic ethical argument. In practical
terms, good choices are made difficult by the asymmetry of mitigation and adaptation in terms
of costs and benefits. Any action taken by an individual, city or nation to mitigate climate change
has a minuscule beneficial effect and an appreciable personal cost . It only works in aggregate if
everybody else does it too. In total contrast, action for adaptation has a tangible benefit, now or
in the near future. Why not let others make the sacrifices? My (or my countrys) resources are better spent making sure we
are OK whatever the outcome of mitigation efforts. One can see that there is likely to be increasing temptation
to divert resources away from mitigation (which helps everybody) towards adaptation (which
helps Me). Already, much climate discussion (for example in agriculture) is simply assumed to be
about adaptation, and the more we allow it as a significant item of discussion, the more
resources in money, time, imagination, technology will be siphoned off, legitimised by the
sentiment that well we have to do both. Self-interest will ensure that mitigation is relegated to a
distant second place. Then we really are stuffed. So I say, No Adaptation until it is clear we have stopped
the bleeding. Argue with that.

Several impact scenarios


One warming over 2 degrees causes extinction agriculture loss,
collapse of civilization, and reverse carbon cycle.
Simpson, citing Lynas, 13 (Larry Simpson is an Emeritus Professor who did research and
teaching at the University of California in Los Angeles regarding biology; Mark Lynas is a
researcher at the Cornell Alliance for Science, advisor on climate change to the President of the
Maldives, environment activist and writer, a frequent speaker around the world on climate
change, biotechnology and nuclear power, a Visiting Research Associate at Oxford Universitys
School of Geography and the Environment, a member of the advisory board of the science
advocacy group Sense About Science, and a Visiting Fellow at Cornell Universitys Office of
International Programs at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Several degrees of
warming; http://larry-thoughtsandmusings.blogspot.com/2013/11/several-degrees-of-
warming.html; DT)
BETWEEN TWO AND THREE DEGREES OF WARMING Up to this point, assuming that governments have planned carefully and farmers
Beyond two
have converted to more appropriate crops, not too many people outside subtropical Africa need have starved.
degrees, however, preventing mass starvation will be as easy as halting the cycles of the
moon. First millions, then billions, of people will face an increasingly tough battle to survive. To find
anything comparable we have to go back to the Pliocene last epoch of the Tertiary period, 3m years ago. There were no continental
glaciers in the northern hemisphere (trees grew in the Arctic), and sea levels were 25 metres higher than todays. In this kind of heat,
the death of the Amazon is as inevitable as the melting of Greenland . The paper spelling it out is the very
one whose apocalyptic message so shocked in 2000. Scientists at the Hadley centre feared that earlier climate models, which showed
global warming as a straightforward linear progression, were too simplistic in their assumption that land and the oceans would remain
Warmer seas absorb less
inert as their temperatures rose. Correctly as it would turn out, they predicted positive feedback.
carbon dioxide, leaving more to accumulate in the atmosphere and intensify global warming. On
land, matters would be even worse. Huge amounts of carbon are stored in the soil, the half-rotted
remains of dead vegetation. The generally accepted estimate is that the soil carbon reservoir
contains some 1600 gigatonnes, more than double the entire carbon content of the atmosphere .
As soil warms, bacteria accelerate the breakdown of this stored carbon, releasing it into the
atmosphere. The end of the world is nigh. A three-degree increase in global temperature
possible as early as 2050 would throw the carbon cycle into reverse. Instead of absorbing
carbon dioxide, vegetation and soils start to release it. So much carbon pours into the
atmosphere that it pumps up atmospheric concentrations by 250 parts per million by 2100,
boosting global warming by another 1.5C. In other words, the Hadley team had discovered that carbon-
cycle feedbacks could tip the planet into runaway global warming by the middle of this
century much earlier than anyone had expected . Confirmation came from the land itself. Climate models are
routinely tested against historical data. In this case, scientists checked 25 years worth of soil samples from 6,000 sites across the UK.
The result was another black joke. As temperatures gradually rose the scientists found that huge amounts of carbon had
been released naturally from the soils. They totted it all up and discovered irony of ironies that the 13m tonnes of
carbon British soils were emitting annually was enough to wipe out all the countrys efforts to comply with the Kyoto Protocol. All
soils will be affected by the rising heat, but none as badly as the Amazons. Catastrophe is
almost too small a word for the loss of the rainforest. Its 7m square kilometres produce 10% of
the worlds entire photosynthetic output from plants. Drought and heat will cripple it; fire will
finish it off. In human terms, the effect on the planet will be like cutting off oxygen during an
asthma attack. In the US and Australia, people will curse the climate-denying governments of Bush and Howard. No matter
what later administrations may do, it will not be enough to keep the mercury down. With new super-hurricanes
growing from the warming sea, Houston could be destroyed by 2045, and Australia will be a
death trap. Farming and food production will tip into irreversible decline. Salt water will creep up
the stricken rivers, poisoning ground water. Higher temperatures mean greater evaporation,
further drying out vegetation and soils, and causing huge losses from reservoirs . In state capitals, heat
every year is likely to kill between 8,000 and 15,000 mainly elderly people. It is all too easy to visualise what will happen in Africa. In
Central America, too, tens of millions will have little to put on their tables. Even a moderate
drought there in 2001 meant hundreds of thousands had to rely on food aid. This wont be an
option when world supplies are stretched to breaking point (grain yields decline by 10% for every
degree of heat above 30C, and at 40C they are zero) . Nobody need look to the US, which will have problems of its
own. As the mountains lose their snow, so cities and farms in the west will lose their water and dried-out
forests and grasslands will perish at the first spark. The Indian subcontinent meanwhile will be
choking on dust. All of human history shows that, given the choice between starving in situ and moving, people move. In the
latter part of the century tens of millions of Pakistani citizens may be facing this choice. Pakistan may find itself joining
the growing list of failed states, as civil administration collapses and armed gangs seize what
little food is left. As the land burns, so the sea will go on rising . Even by the most optimistic calculation, 80%
of Arctic sea ice by now will be gone, and the rest will soon follow. New York will flood; the
catastrophe that struck eastern England in 1953 will become an unremarkable regular event; and
the map of the Netherlands will be torn up by the North Sea . Everywhere, starving people will be on
the move from Central America into Mexico and the US, and from Africa into Europe, where resurgent fascist parties
will win votes by promising to keep them out . Chance of avoiding three degrees of global
warming: poor if the rise reaches two degrees and triggers carbon-cycle feedbacks from soils
and plants.

Two upticks in emissions causes ocean acidification results in


extinction.
Huelsenbeck 13 (Matt Huelsenbeck is a marine scientist for the climate and energy
campaign at Oceana; "Acid Test: Rising CO2 Levels Killing Ocean Life (Op-Ed)"; 7-16-2013; Live
Science; http://www.livescience.com/38219-oceans-acidifying-with-rising-co2.html; DT)
The ocean absorbs approximately one-third of all human-caused carbon dioxide emissions at a rate of
300 tons per second, which helps slow global climate change . But, due to that carbon dioxide
absorption, the ocean is now 30 percent more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution, and the rate
of change in ocean pH, called ocean acidification, is likely unparalleled in Earths history. With
todays levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide so high, the oceans help comes at a cost to marine
life and the millions of people who depend on healthy oceans . For the first time in human history,
atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen above 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide
at the historic Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This observatory is where Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher Charles
David Keeling created the Keeling Curve, a famous graph showing that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have been
increasing rapidly in the atmosphere for decades.Carbon dioxide levels were around 280 ppm before the
Industrial Revolution, when humans began releasing large amounts of the gas into the
atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. On May 9, 2013, the reading was an alarming 400.08 ppm for a 24-hour period.
This number would be even higher , however, if it were not for the help of the oceans. [Atmospheric
Carbon Dioxide Breaks 3-Million-Year Record] Scientists already see ocean acidification harming marine
animals like oysters, mussels and clams as well as coral reefs and floating marine snails called
pteropods, dubbed the potato chips of the sea because of their significance to marine food
webs. In the last decade, ocean acidification killed many oyster larvae at the Whisky Creek oyster hatchery in
Oregon, shrunk the shells of pteropods in the Southern Ocean and slowed coral growth on Australias Great
Barrier Reef. Societys use of fossil fuels is putting the worlds marine life through a high-risk
chemistry experiment with no fail-safes in place and no way to turn back . Earlier in Earths history,
changes in ocean conditions that were much slower than today still managed to wipe out 95
percent of marine species. If emissions continue at current rates, our planet is risking a similar
mass extinction event, one that could begin within our lifetimes . These impacts will ripple up to
threaten people as well, who are at the top of the ocean food web . In September 2012, an Oceana report
entitled Ocean-Based Food Security Threatened in a High CO2 World ranked nations based on their vulnerability to reductions in
seafood production due to climate change and ocean acidification. Many island nations rely on seafood as one of their main food
sources, since it is the cheapest and most readily available source of protein. Threats to seafood especially threaten small-scale
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is the
fishermen, who simply arent capable of following fish into distant waters.
only way to confront global ocean acidification and the primary means to stop climate change .

Three warming exponentially kills biodiversity.


ScienceDaily 13 (Recent and accurate science news, supported by hundreds of
organizations; Climate change will cause widespread global-scale loss of common plants and
animals, researchers predict; May 12, 2013; University of East Anglia;
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130512140946.htm; DT)
Research published today in the journal Nature Climate Change looked at 50,000 globally
widespread and common species and found that more than one half of the plants and one third
of the animals will lose more than half of their climatic range by 2080 if nothing is done to reduce
the amount of global warming and slow it down. This means that geographic ranges of common plants and
animals will shrink globally and biodiversity will decline almost everywhere. Plants, reptiles and
particularly amphibians are expected to be at highest risk. Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America,
Amazonia and Australia would lose the most species of plants and animals . And a major loss of
plant species is projected for North Africa, Central Asia and South-eastern Europe . But acting
quickly to mitigate climate change could reduce losses by 60 per cent and buy an additional 40
years for species to adapt. This is because this mitigation would slow and then stop global
temperatures from rising by more than two degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial times (1765).
Without this mitigation, global temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius by 2100. The study was led by Dr Rachel Warren from the
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA. Collaborators include Dr Jeremy VanDerWal at James Cook University in Australia
and Dr Jeff Price, from UEA's school of Environmental Sciences and the Tyndall Centre. The research was funded by the Natural
Environment Research Council (NERC). Dr Warren said: "While there has been much research on the effect of climate change on rare
and endangered species, little has been known about how an increase in global temperature will affect more common species. " This
broader issue of potential range loss in widespread species is a serious concern as even small
declines in these species can significantly disrupt ecosystems. "Our research predicts that climate
change will greatly reduce the diversity of even very common species found in most parts of the
world. This loss of global-scale biodiversity would significantly impoverish the biosphere and the
ecosystem services it provides. "We looked at the effect of rising global temperatures, but other symptoms of
climate change such as extreme weather events, pests, and diseases mean that our estimates
are probably conservative. Animals in particular may decline more as our predictions will be
compounded by a loss of food from plants . "There will also be a knock-on effect for humans
because these species are important for things like water and air purification, flood control,
nutrient cycling, and eco-tourism . "The good news is that our research provides crucial new evidence of
how swift action to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases can prevent the biodiversity loss by
reducing the amount of global warming to 2 degrees Celsius rather than 4 degrees. This would also buy
time - up to four decades - for plants and animals to adapt to the remaining 2 degrees of climate
change." The research team quantified the benefits of acting now to mitigate climate change and found that up to 60 per cent of
the projected climatic range loss for biodiversity can be avoided . Dr Warren said: "Prompt and stringent action
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally would reduce these biodiversity losses by 60 per
cent if global emissions peak in 2016, or by 40 per cent if emissions peak in 2030 , showing that early
action is very beneficial. This will both reduce the amount of climate change and also slow climate change down, making it easier for
species and humans to adapt."

Biodiversity loss is an impact filter exacerbates existing crises and


leads to extinction.
Torres 16 (Phil is a graduate of Cornell University with degrees in Entomology and Biology;
"Biodiversity Loss: An Existential Risk Comparable to Climate Change"; 5-20-2016; FLI - Future of
Life Institute; http://futureoflife.org/2016/05/20/biodiversity-loss/; DT)
Catastrophic consequences for civilization The consequences of this rapid pruning of the evolutionary tree of life extend beyond the
obvious. There could be surprising effects of biodiversity loss that scientists are unable to fully
anticipate in advance. For example, prior research has shown that localized ecosystems can undergo
abrupt and irreversible shifts when they reach a tipping point . According to a 2012 paper published in Nature,
there are reasons for thinking that we may be approaching a tipping point of this sort in the
global ecosystem, beyond which the consequences could be catastrophic for civilization. As the
authors write, a planetary-scale transition could precipitate substantial losses of ecosystem services
required to sustain the human population . An ecosystem service is any ecological process that benefits humanity,
such as food production and crop pollination. If the global ecosystem were to cross a tipping point and
substantial ecosystem services were lost, the results could be widespread social unrest,
economic instability, and loss of human life. According to Missouri Botanical Garden ecologist Adam Smith, one of
the papers co-authors, this could occur in a matter of decadesfar more quickly than most of the
expected consequences of climate change, yet equally destructive. Biodiversity loss is a threat
multiplier that, by pushing societies to the brink of collapse, will exacerbate existing conflicts
and introduce entirely new struggles between state and non-state actors. Indeed, it could even fuel
the rise of terrorism. (After all, climate change has been linked to the emergence of ISIS in Syria , and
multiple high-ranking US officials, such as former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and CIA director John Brennan, have affirmed
we are entering the sixth mass extinction in
that climate change and terrorism are connected.) The reality is that
the 3.8-billion-year history of life on Earth, and the impact of this event could be felt by
civilization in as little as three human lifetimes, as the aforementioned 2012 Nature paper notes. Furthermore,
the widespread decline of biological populations could plausibly initiate a dramatic
transformation of the global ecosystem on an even faster timescale: perhaps a single human
lifetime. The unavoidable conclusion is that biodiversity loss constitutes an existential threat in its own
right. As such, it ought to be considered alongside climate change and nuclear weapons as one of
the most significant contemporary risks to human prosperity and survival.

Climate change is more catastrophic than other impacts evaluate


probability times magnitude, historical precedence, and the fact that
greater international action is needed to solve.
Wagner & Weitzman 15 (Gernot Warner: Lead senior economist, Environmental Defense
Fund; Martin L. Weitzman: Professor of economics, Harvard University; How Does Climate Stack
up against Other Worst-Case Scenarios?; 4/1/2015; http://ensia.com/voices/how-does-climate-
stack-up-against-other-worst-case-scenarios)
What we know about climate change is bad. What we dont know makes it potentially much
worse. But climate change isnt the only big problem facing society. Opinions differ on what should rightly be
called an existential risk or planetary-scale catastrophe. Some include nuclear accidents or
terrorism. Others insist only nuclear war , or at least a large-scale nuclear attack, reaches dimensions worthy of the
global label. There are half a dozen other candidates that seem to make it on various lists of the
worst of the worst, and its tough to come up with a clear order of which most demands our
attention and limited resources. In addition to climate change, lets consider asteroids, biotechnology,
nanotechnology, nukes, pandemics, robots and strangelets, strange matter with the potential
of swallowing the Earth in a fraction of a second . That might strike some as a rather short list. Arent there
thousands of potential risks? One could imagine countless ways to die in a traffic accident alone. Thats surely the case. But theres
an important difference: While traffic deaths are tragic on an individual level, they are hardly catastrophic as a class. Every entry on
our list has the potential to wipe out civilization as we know it. All are global, highly impactful and mostly irreversible in human
timescales. Most are highly uncertain. One response to any list like this is to say that each such problem deserves our (appropriate)
If theres more than one existential risk facing the
attention, independently of what we do with any of the others.
planet, we ought to consider and address each in turn. That logic has its limits. If catastrophe
policies were to eat up all the resources we have, wed clearly have to pick and choose. But we
dont seem to be anywhere close. A first step, then, should always be to turn to benefit-cost analysis, which in turn is something that
every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan has affirmed as a guiding principle of government policy. Ideally, society should conduct
estimate probabilities and possible impacts, multiply
serious benefit-cost analyses for each worst-case scenario:
the two, and compare it to the costs of action in each instance . If climate change and asteroids and
biotechnology and nanotechnology and nukes and pandemics and robots and strangelets emerge as problems worthy of more of our
attention, society should devote more resources to each. But we cant just hide behind standard benefit-cost analysis that ignores
extremes. Each of these scenarios may also have their own variant of fat tails, or underestimated and possibly unquantifiable
extreme events that could dwarf all else. The analysis soon moves toward some version of a precautionary principle focused on
extreme events. The further we move away from standard benefit-cost analysis, the more acute the need to compare across worst-
case scenarios a comparison that is getting increasingly difficult. How, then, to analyze these potential worst-case scenarios and
decide which deserves more of our attention? For one, only two on the list asteroids and climate change
allow us to point to history as evidence of the enormity of the problem . For asteroids, go back 65 million
years to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. For climate, go back a bit over 3 million years to find todays
concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and sea levels up to 20 meters (66 feet)
higher than today. Asteroids come in various shapes and sizes. We begin our book Climate Shock by looking at the one that
exploded above Chelyabinsk Oblast in February 2013. The impact injured 1,500 and caused some limited damage to buildings. We
shouldnt wish for more of these impacts to happen just for the spectacular footage, but wed be hard pressed to call an asteroid of
that size a worst-case scenario. NASAs attempts at cataloguing and defending against objects from space aims at much larger
asteroids, the ones that come in civilization-destroying sizes. Astronomers may have been underestimating the likelihood of
Chelyabinsk Oblastsize asteroids all along. Thats a problem that needs to be rectified, but its not a problem that will wipe out
civilization. If we estimated the likelihood of a much larger impact incorrectly, the consequences could be significantly more painful.
Luckily, when it comes to asteroids, theres another feature working for us. Science should be able to observe, catalog and divert
every last one of these large asteroids if sufficient resources are provided. Thats a big if, but not an insurmountable one: A
National Academy study puts the cost at $2 to $3 billion and 10 years research to launch an actual test of an asteroid deflection
technology. Thats much more than we are spending at the moment, but the decision seems rather easy: Spend the money, solve the
problem, move on. Strangelets are the opposite of the Chelyabinsk Oblast asteroid in that they have never been observed. They are
straight out of science fiction and may be theoretically impossible. If it is possible, though, there may be a chance that large heavy-
ion colliders like the one ramping up once again at CERN near Geneva could create them. That has prompted research teams to
the likelihood of a strangelet actually happening . Their verdict: Concrete numbers for the
calculate
upper bound hover between 0.0000002 percent and 0.002 percent . Thats not zero, but it might
as well be. So yes, swallowing the entire planet would be the ultimate bad clearly worse, say, than melting the poles and
raising sea levels by several meters or feet. Stranger things have happened. But strangelets very, very, very likely wont. The same
could be said of autonomous robots reproducing and taking over the world. Its not that it cant ever happen, but it certainly hasnt
If we
happened before. That doesnt mean it wont, but if forced to put a probability on the eventuality, it would be very, very small.
could rank worst-case scenarios by how likely they are to occur, wed have taken a huge step
forward. If the chance of a strangelet or robot takeover is so small as to be ignorable,
probabilities alone might point to where to focus. But thats not all. The size of the impact
matters, too. So does the potential to respond. What then, if anything, still distinguishes climate change from the
others remaining: biotechnology, nanotechnology, nukes and pandemics? For one, the relatively
high chance of eventual planetary catastrophe. In Climate Shock, we zero in on eventual average global
warming of 6 C (11 F) as the final cutoff few would doubt represents a true planetary catastrophe. Higher temperatures
are beyond anyones grasp. Yet our current path doesnt exclude eventual average global warming above 6 C. In fact, our
own analysis puts the likelihood at around 10 percent, and thats for an indisputable global
catastrophe. Climate change would trigger plenty of catastrophic events with temperatures
rising by much less than 6 C. Many scientists would name 2 C (3.6 F) as the threshold, and we are
well on our way to exceeding that, unless there is a major global course correction . Second, the
gap between our current efforts and whats needed on climate change is enormous. We
are no experts on any of the other worst-case scenarios, but there at least it seems like much is already
being done. Take nuclear terrorism. The United States alone spends many hundreds of billions of
dollars each year on its military, intelligence and security services. That doesnt stamp out the
chance of terrorism. Some of the money spent may even be fueling it, and there are surely ways to approach the problem
more strategically at times, but at least the overall mission is to protect the United States and its citizens .
It would be hard to argue that U.S. climate policy today benefits from anything close to this type
of effort. As for mitigating pandemics, more could surely be spent on research, monitoring and rapid response, but here too it
seems like needed additional efforts would plausibly amount to a small fraction of national income. Third, climate change
has firm historical precedence. Theres ample reason to believe that pumping carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere is reliving the past the distant past, but the past nonetheless. The planet has seen
todays carbon dioxide levels before: over 3 million years ago, with sea levels some 20 meters
higher than today, and camels roaming the high Arctic . There are considerable uncertainties in all of this, but
theres little reason to believe that humanity can cheat basic physics and chemistry . Contrast the
historical precedent of climate change with that of biotechnology, or rather the lack of it. The fear that bioengineered genes and
genetically modified organisms will wreak havoc in the wild is a prime example. They may act like invasive species in some areas, but
a global takeover seems unlikely, to say the least. Much like climate change, historical precedent can give us some guidance. But
unlike climate change, that same historical precedent gives us quite a bit of comfort. Nature itself has tried for millions of years to
create countless combinations of mutated DNA and genes. The process of natural selection all but guarantees that only a tiny fraction
of the very fittest permutations has survived. Genetically modified crops grow bigger and stronger and are pesticide-resistant. But
they cant outgrow natural selection entirely. None of that yet guarantees that scientists wouldnt be able to develop permutations
that could wreak havoc in the wild, but historical experience would tell us that the chance is indeed slim. In fact, the best scientists
working on biotechnology seem to be much less concerned about the dangers of Frankenfoods and GMOs than the general public.
The best climate scientists appear to be significantly more
The reverse holds true for climate change.
concerned about ultimate climate impacts than the majority of the general public and many
policy makers. That alone should give us pause. Some of these same climate scientists knowing what they know
about the science, and knowing what they know about human responses to the climate problem seem to have moved on. And
they havent moved on to analyzing any of the other worst-case scenarios, believing that climate
isnt all that bad. Quite the opposite: Some have moved on to looking for solutions to the climate
crisis in an entirely different realm, searching for anything that could pull the planet back from
the brink of a looming catastrophe. Their focus: geoengineering. That, more than anything, should lead us to put the
climate problem in its proper context. Climate is not the only worst-case scenario imaginable. Others, too, deserve more attention.
Butnone of that excuses inaction on climate. And more importantly, theres perhaps no other problem
where the probability of disaster multiplied by the magnitude of disaster is as high as with
climate.
Contention 2 - Solvency
Plan: The United States Federal Government should offer
the Peoples Republic of China the launch of the U.S.-
China Partnership on Energy and Climate Change.

The plan solves worlds 50 leading scientists agree.


- Leaders of the two countries will convene at a summit and jointly
launch the partnership
- A US-China high-level council will be established and discuss the
direction of the partnership
- Task forces (made up of government officials and experts) will focus
on priority areas:
o Deploying low-emission coal technologies
o Improving energy efficiency and conservation
o Developing an advanced electric grid
o Promoting renewable energy
o Quantifying emissions and financing low-carbon technologies

Holbrooke et. al 09 (Initiative for U.S.-China Cooperation on Energy and


Climate, a partnership between: Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations
(Richard Holbrooke, Chairman; Vishakha Desai, President; Orville Schell,
Arthur Ross Director; Banning Garrett, Director, Initiative for U.S.-China
Cooperation on Energy and Climate; Joanna Lewis, Initiative Research
Director, Assistant Professor, Georgetown University School of Foreign
Service; Jonathan Adams, Initiative Assistant Director) and Pew Center on
Global Climate Change (Eileen Claussen, President; Elliot Diringer, Vice
President, International Strategies; Steven Chu, Director, Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory, Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cellular Biology,
University of California, Berkeley*; John Thornton, Chairman, The Brookings
Institution, Professor, Tsinghua University, Board Member, Asia Society) with
help from The Brookings Institution: Kenneth Lieberthal and David Sandalow,
Council on Foreign Relations: Elizabeth Economy and Michael Levi,
Environmental Defense Fund: Peter Goldmark and David Yarnold, and
National Committee on U.S.-China Relations: Steve Orlins and Jan Berris;
Common Challenge, Collaborative Response; A Roadmap for U.S.-China
Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change; January 2009;
http://e360.yale.edu/images/features/us-china-roadmap.pdf; DT)
A new comprehensive program for cooperation between the United States and China that
focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and thus mitigating the potentially
catastrophic effects of climate change, is both necessary and possible.
Indeed, as this Report suggests, if human beings hope to avoid the worst
consequences of global climate change, the United States and China
respectively the worlds largest developed and developing nations, the two largest energy consumers, and
the two largest producers of greenhouse gases have no alternative but to
become far more active partners in developing low-carbon economies . To prevail
in such a common effort, both countries will need not only bold leadership and a new set of
national policies, but also a path-breaking cooperative agenda that can be sustained
over the long run. The advent of a new U.S. presidential administration in
Washington, D.C., coupled with a central leadership in Beijing that is increasingly aware
of the destructive impact and long-term dangers of climate change, presents an unparalleled
opportunity for this new strategic partnership . While the current global economic crisis
could make joint action between the United States and China more difficult, it could also provide an
funds invested by both governments in
unexpected impetus. If wisely allocated,
economic recovery can help address climate change while also
advancing the green technologies and industries that will lead to a
new wave of economic growth. Stronger bilateral collaboration on energy and
climate change has at the same time the real prospect of helping to build a new,
more stable, and constructive foundation under Sino-American relations, the
most important bilateral relationship in the 21st century world. This Reportwhich
was produced in partnership between Asia Societys Center on U.S.-China Relations and Pew Center on
Global Climate Change, in collaboration with The Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations,
National Committee on U.S.- China Relations, and Environmental Defense Fundpresents both a vision and
a concrete Roadmap for such Sino-U.S. collaboration. With input from scores of experts and other
stakeholders from the worlds of science, business, civil society, policy, and politics in both China and the
United States, the Report, or Roadmap, explores the climate and energy challenges facing both nations
and recommends a concrete program for sustained, high-level, bilateral engagement and on-the-ground
action. The Report and its recommendations are based on the following understandings: That because
there is overwhelming scientific consensus that human-induced climate
change is well underway and poses grave economic and environmental risks
to the world, the United States and China need to immediately begin acting in
concert, without awaiting new domestic legislation or multilateral
agreements, to jointly seek remedies for their emissions of greenhouse gases .
That because climate change is largely a consequence of soaring global use of fossil fuels, addressing
the problem will require a fundamental transformation of energy systems in
both countries, as well as worldwide, through the development and
deployment of new technologies and the widespread introduction of new
energy sources capable of enhancing the diversity, reliability, independence,
and greenness of national energy supplies . That even during a time of global
economic upheaval, a strong bilateral effort to address the twin challenges of
climate change and energy security can succeed while also contributing to
economic recovery and laying the foundation for a prosperous, new, low
carbon economy in each country. That a meaningful U.S.-China partnership on climate change
issues can be forged on the basis of equity, taking into account the respective stages of development,
while enhanced U.S.-China cooperation
capacities, and responsibilities of each country. That
must begin with collaboration between the two national governments,
success will ultimately hinge on each nations ability to catalyze action and investment
in the marketplace. That if fashioned carefully, closer collaboration on energy and
climate can address the problem of climate change and enhance the
economic prospects of both nations while conferring on neither an unfair
competitive advantage. That by demonstrating global leadership and making significant new
progress toward closer bilateral cooperation, the worlds two largest economies will help achieve stronger
multilateral agreement and action under the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate
The Report recommends that, as a first step in forging this new partnership, the
Change.
leaders of the two countries should convene a leaders summit as soon as practically possible
launch a U.S.-China Partnership on Energy
following the inauguration of Barack Obama to
and Climate Change. This presidential summit should outline a major plan of joint-
action and empower relevant officials in each country to take the necessary
actions to ensure its implementation. The Report recommends that the
partnership be directed by two parallel groups. A U.S.- China high-level
council would be established to draw up overall plans for the collaboration.
The Commission would include high-ranking environment, energy, and
finance officials from both countries. It would meet regularly to establish and
review the strategic direction of the new partnership as well as to discuss
other issues of common concern, including those relating to ongoing
multilateral negotiations. In addition, each of the highlighted concrete priority areas
proposed below would be guided by a second tier of bilateral task forces.
These would be composed of senior government officials and independent
experts in science, technology, business, finance, civil society, and policy
from each country. Their responsibilities would involve establishing goals,
designating joint-research areas, developing collaborative programs within
each of the designated areas, organizing concrete joint projects in each area
of cooperation, and overseeing the implementation of these projects. Areas
where direct collaboration is expected to yield the quickest and most substantial results on reducing
greenhouse gas emissions have been given highest priority. They are listed below in shortened form, but
Priority areas of collaboration include: -
discussed in greater detail in Section IV.
Deploying Low-Emissions Coal Technologies . The likelihood that both the
United States and China will continue to rely heavily on coal for many years
to come necessitates immediate and large-scale investments in the research,
development, and deployment of new technologies for the capture and
sequestration of carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants . - Improving
Energy Efficiency and Conservation. Both the United States and China have
significant potential to lower their carbon emissions through low-cost, and
even no-cost, energy efficiency and conservation measures that would have
considerable impact on each countrys carbon footprint and energy
security. - Developing an Advanced Electric Grid. Both the United States and
China rely on outdated, decentralized, and inefficient electrical transmission
systems. Both countries could profit from research, development, and
adoption of new smart grid technologies capable of enabling these systems
to handle larger quotients of low-carbon energy from episodic, but renewable
sources of power more cheaply and efficiently . - Promoting Renewable Energy.
There is an obvious need for both countries to develop a far broader
deployment of solar, wind, and other renewable sources of energy in order to
de-carbonize their respective electricity systems, expand their low-carbon
economies, and thereby diminish their carbon emissions per unit of GDP . -
Quantifying Emissions and Financing Low-Carbon Technologies . To help
facilitate cooperation in the above areas, it will be important to continue to
jointly address the cross-cutting issues of quantifying and projecting
emissions, and financing technology development and deploymen t. That our
planet is now approaching a point of no return on the question of global warming is increasingly self-
Recognition of the daunting challenges that such moments pose can be
evident.
unsettling, even paralyzing. However, with bold leadership, they can also be
galvanic. It is unclear as yet whether the growing awareness of our tipping point moment will intersect
in a timely manner with the new leadership that is now assuming office in Washington and the increasingly
well-informed central leadership in Beijing to catalyze both countries toward mustering the necessary
clarity of vision, intellectual resources, funding, technology, and international cooperation. What is clear,
however, is that we are in uncharted waters that will beg an unprecedented effort from both the world at
large and the United States and China in particular. For whether we choose to recognize it or not, these two
if these two
countries are both crucial in the effort to address climate change. Simply put,
countries cannot find ways to bridge the long-standing divide on this issue,
there will literally be no solution. Fortunately, it is the firm conviction of those who have
worked on this Report over the past year that the United States and China will both
benefit from the kind of collaboration outlined herein . Moreover, not only would such a
collaboration allow the world to take a giant step forward in confronting the global climate change
both the United States and China would indirectly stand to profit
challenge, but
immeasurably from it. If their leaders jointly play their cards astutely, the two countries
could find themselves in the forefront of a new green-tech economy, and in a
stronger, more strategic partnership, better able to help lead the world to
meet other 21st century challenges. This Report presents both a vision and a concrete
Roadmap for this new collaboration. With input from scores of experts, stakeholders, and policymakers
from the worlds of science, business, civil society, policy, and politics in China and the United States, the
Report explores the climate and energy challenges facing both nations and recommends a program for
sustained high-level engagement and on-the-ground action. The Report and its recommendations are
based on the following understandings:Action is Urgent. The United States and China
should start now. There is overwhelming scientific consensus that human-
induced climate change poses grave economic and environmental risks.
Minimizing these risks requires that global greenhouse gas emissions, now
rising at an unprecedented rate, peak as soon as possible and decline
dramatically over the coming decades. Accomplishing this goal will be
feasible only through concerted and sustained action, beginning
immediately. The United States and China should not await new domestic legislation or multilateral
agreements before launching stronger collaborative efforts. A Path to Energy Security. Climate
change is largely a consequence of soaring global energy use, and addressing
it requires a fundamental transformation of energy systems worldwide. This
transformation presents an unparalleled opportunity to simultaneously
address the urgent energy security challenges confronting the United States,
China, and other nations by introducing new sources and technologies
capable of enhancing the diversity, reliability, and independence of national
energy supplies. New Economic Opportunity. At a time of global economic upheaval, strong
efforts to address the twin challenges of climate change and energy security
can contribute to economic recovery, while laying the foundation for a
prosperous new low-carbon economy. The near-term investments that are needed will
produce substantial long-term dividends through sustainable growth and
employment. Conversely, delaying these investments will risk severe
economic harm and drive up the cost of minimizing the impact of
climate change. Common but Differentiated Responsibilities. As a point of departure, an equitable
partnership must be built on a shared understanding of respective responsibilities and capacities. As the
worlds largest economy and largest historic greenhouse gas emitter, the United States must demonstrate
leadership by moving swiftly to reduce its emissions through mandatory national legislation. Although
China has now surpassed the United States as the worlds largest annual emitter, its cumulative and per
capita emissions are much lower, and development and poverty reduction will remain overriding national
priorities for the foreseeable future. Having adopted a comprehensive national climate change program,
National Climate Change Program, and agreed on the need to reduce its emissions below business as
usual,China must now deliver an ambitious and effective national effort.2 Public-Private Engagement.
While enhanced U.S.-China cooperation must begin with collaboration
between the national governments, success will hinge on each nations ability to
catalyze action by the private sector. Technology can be advanced, financing
secured, and critical obstacles overcome only through a combination of bold
leadership, ingenuity, expertise, and the mustering of the resources of
leading investors, financial institutions, and companies in both the United
States and China. But governments will play a critical role in creating the regulatory environment for
large-scale private investment in and commercialization of low-carbon technologies through a wide range
of tools, from tax incentives and subsidies to regulations and research. Cooperating while Competing. Fear
of competitive harm has for too long stood as an obstacle to strong climate action. Competition can also be
an engine for innovation and low-carbon growth. Under any scenario, companies and industries in the
United States and China will remain vigorous economic competitors in the global marketplace. Fashioned
closer collaboration on energy and climate can enhance the economic
carefully,
prospects of both nations while conferring on neither an unfair competitive
advantage. Bilateral Means to Multilateral Ends. Climate change requires a global
response, and stronger bilateral cooperation between the United States and
China must contribute to, not deter, an effective multilateral climate agreement.
By demonstrating global leadership and achieving bilateral practical progress,
two of the[y] worlds largest economies can help all nations achieve fair and
comprehensive agreements under the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change and beyond as envisioned in the Bali Action Plan .

China will say yes it wants to establish a larger


leadership role in terms of climate agreements.
Hart 9/29 (Melanie Hart is a Senior Fellow and Director of China Policy at
American Progress; "Assessing American Foreign Policy Toward China"; 9-29-
2015; Center for American Progress;
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/report/2015/09/29/122283/
assessing-american-foreign-policy-toward-china/; DT)
Chinas new assertiveness creates new opportunities and new challenges for the
United States. On the positive side, China is showing an increasing willingness to
play a leadership role among nations outside the highly industrialized democratic block.
China played a key role in the Iran nuclear negotiations, helping the process through shaky moments, and
Chinese nuclear experts helped Iranian officials redesign the Arak plutonium reactor so that it will never
On climate change, Chinas willingness to issue bold climate
produce nuclear fuel.
targets with the United States last November challenged other developing nations to
follow suit and knocked down a firewall that has hindered global climate
negotiations for decades. China also appears to be leaning harder on North Korea. China
supported the U.N. Security Council effort to sanction North Korea in response to that nations February
2013 nuclear test. Earlier this month, after North Korean officials announced plans to launch another long-
range rocket, Chinas foreign minister warned against taking new actions that could lead to tensions on
the Korean peninsula and called for all nations to take a responsible attitude. On all of these issues,
Beijings ability to speak to a different audience and from a different angle
than the United States has made China a valuable diplomatic partner.
Past diplomatic initiatives failed because they had no
enforcement mechanism and were all too small to have
any impact a US-China partnership is uniquely key to
solve.
Reynolds 6/30 (Ben Reynolds is a writer and foreign policy analyst based
in New York; "Climate Change Outcomes of the 2016 Strategic and Economic
Dialogue"; 6-30-2016; China US Focus; http://www.chinausfocus.com/finance-
economy/climate-change-outcomes-of-the-2016-strategic-and-economic-
dialogue/; DT)
Many of the new climate change-related developments within the Strategic and
Economic Dialogue emerged from the Second U.S.-China Climate-Smart / Low-Carbon Cities Summit. The
Summitbrought U.S. and Chinese policymakers and private sector leaders
together to establish cooperative relationships to address the challenges
posed by climate change. This year, leaders of 66 U.S. and Chinese municipalities endorsed the
Summits China U.S. Climate Leaders Declaration, verbally committing to reporting greenhouse gas
emissions, establishing emissions targets, and expanding their cooperative efforts with other municipal
While the Declaration includes a number of commitments from states
leaders.
and cities in the U.S. and China to both monitor and reduce their greenhouse
gas emissions, it makes no mention of any mechanism to ensure that the
signatories live up to their statements . Previous climate accords have always
struggled with the difficulties of enforcing climate targets that are often
conveniently forgotten after big summits. In 2011, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine were
suspended from the Kyoto Protocols cap and trade markets due to inaccurate reporting of greenhouse gas
Canada faced penalties for its failure to meet emissions targets
emissions. When
that same year, it simply pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol altogether. It remains to be seen
whether the signatories of this years Declaration will actually comply with
their commitments absent any sort of enforcement mechanisms . The Summit
featured the signing of a number of interesting agreements between various public and private sector
actors, a relatively rare concrete outcome of the S&ED. The cities of Los Angeles and Lanzhou agreed to
partner in their attempts to promote clean energy, transportation, and buildings. WRI China and the C40
Cities Climate Leadership Group committed to help Wuhan and Shenzen, a major industrial center, develop
greenhouse gas emissions inventories. PowerFlame, a U.S. company, and Beijings Municipal
Environmental Protection Bureau agreed to conduct a pilot project to evaluate the use of U.S. burner
technologies as a means to reduce air pollution from gas-fired boilers in Beijing. This list is not exhaustive,
but all of the initiatives provide examples of commitments to concrete cooperative partnerships between
actors in China and the United States. At this years S&ED, the U.S. and China launched a new effort under
the Climate Change Working Group on Power Consumption, Demand, and Competition to increase the use
of renewable energy in China. The irony of this effort is palpable. China is already the worlds largest
market for solar panels, and the U.S. has levied steep tariffs on solar panel imports from Chinese
manufacturers to protect its domestic industries. One of the best ways the U.S. could encourage the
adoption of solar panels would be the removal of these tariffs, which hike the price of solar panels for U.S.
consumers. Finally, the U.S. and China reiterated their commitment to the Race to Zero Emissions
initiative, which is designed to encourage the deployment of zero-emissions buses in American and
Chinese cities. U.S. transit agencies currently operate only around 300 zero emissions buses, while China
operates at least 1,600 zero emissions buses and over 15,000 alternative fuel buses. The U.S. federal
government currently offers modest subsidies to encourage local transit authorities to adopt zero
The
emissions buses, but adoption could likely be greatly improved with a more generous contribution.
various initiatives detailed above are all relatively modest, but they represent
small, productive steps toward the establishment of sustainable societies in
China and the United States. If anything, these steps are better than nothing
they at least represent a minor commitment to meet the emissions targets
established by the U.S. and China at the Paris Agreement . As I have previously
argued, even if every country in the world were to religiously stick by its
pledges under the Paris Agreement, we would still fail to prevent potentially
catastrophic global warming within the 21st century. It is obvious that a more
radical restructuring of the global economy is necessary, but we have to start
somewhere. More than anything, the challenge of climate change should
highlight the absolute necessity of U.S.-China cooperation and the
extraordinary dangers of a deepening rivalry . Climate change poses a
potentially existential threat to contemporary society. The U.S. and China are
the worlds two largest emitters of carbon dioxide, and some scientists have
suggested that a strong enough pact between the two countries would be
enough to put the world back on track to relative climate stability. But the
changes necessary to achieve climate stability will require painful
compromises and sacrifices, neither of which will be feasible if the worlds
largest emitters view each other with suspicion . The strategic rivalry between the U.S.
and China continues to deepen, and this trend seems likely to continue under a presumptive Clinton
because of the challenge of climate change, we need the U.S.
administration. Yet,
and China to embrace unprecedented levels of cooperation now more than
ever. There are few historical examples of the leaders of competing great
powers embracing peaceful cooperation to secure the common good. It will
take a serious reorientation to ensure that we place the fate of our children
before the struggle for hegemony.

Sino-American cooperation builds momentum in support


of the Paris Climate treaty and is necessary to limit
warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
Henderson & Joffe 5/31 (Geoffrey Henderson: Project Specialist for
ChinaFAQs within WRIs Global Climate Program; Paul Joffe: Senior Foreign
Policy Counsel at WRI; "China And The United States: Leading On Climate
Action--New Challenges, New Opportunities"; Chinafaqs; 5-31-2016;
http://www.chinafaqs.org/library/china-and-united-states-leading-climate-
action-new-challenges-new-opportunities)
Q: What is the benefit of the U.S. and China, and many other countries, taking action
together? A: With countries acting together, each can have confidence its
actions are part of a global effort to address climate change. Moving
forward together yields increasing opportunities for all. The 2014
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes report shows that the planet is already
experiencing the impacts of climate change, and the effects are projected to
become more severe unless serious action is taken soon. It is therefore in
the interest of all countries to act to avoid huge costs. Countries might hesitate to act if each country saw
everyone else stopping, but that is no longer an issue. The fact is that all major emitters are taking action,
This
as evidenced by the international climate agreement reached in Paris in December 2015.
agreement represents the beginning of the longer term effort needed by all
countries to rein in global average temperature rise . While the action
commitments of 150 countries for the Paris Agreement represent an
unprecedented global effort to tackle climate change, the world is not yet on
track to reach the agreements stated aimto limit global temperature rise
well below 2 degrees Celsius and strive to limit temperature rise to 1.5
degreesand avert the most dangerous impacts of climate change . As Presidents
Obama and Xi stated in their vision for the Paris Agreement, there must be a longer-range effort ramping
up ambition for low-carbon transformation over time. Countries are already taking steps to
implement their commitments, which will be beneficial as countries not only
avoid the worst climate change impacts, but reap such gains as improved
health, economic growth, and the advantages of technological innovation. In
April 2016, a record 175 countries gathered in New York to sign the Paris Agreement. The U.S. and
China continue to demonstrate international leadership, jointly stating in
March 2016 that both countries would take steps to formally join the
agreement as soon as possible this year, and urge other countries to do the
same. China has already begun to integrate its Paris pledges into its policy planningas evidenced by
the 13th Five Year Planwhile the U.S. is pressing forward with meeting its Paris target with measures such
as regulations on power plants under the Clean Power Plan, tax credits for wind and solar power and
standards on methane emissions from new oil and gas infrastructure. Increasing Opportunities for
The actions of the U.S. and China have helped create
International Cooperation
unprecedented movement toward stronger action on climate change around
the world. While much more remains to be done, the two countries are
continuing to work together in facing challenges and creating
opportunities. There are a growing number of examples involving the U.S.
and China where there is bilateral or multilateral collaboration on climate
beyond the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the
Clean Energy Research Centers work on clean technology development, the
Climate Change Working Group under the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic
Dialogue, and the ongoing negotiations on hydrofluorocarbons--a potent
greenhouse gas--under the Montreal Protocol. New opportunities continue to
emerge. September 2015 marked the first convening of the U.S.- China
Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Summit, which gathers again in June of
2016, and this years G-20 presidential summit in China provides a chance to
start integrating climate action into domestic and international financial
systems. These efforts will continue to be important in encouraging countries
to meet and exceed their Paris goals, reap domestic benefits, and achieve the
deep decarbonization necessary to avoid the most dangerous impacts of
climate change.

That spills over cooperation between the US and China


will influence other countries to pledge emissions
reductions without the plan, countries wont be on
board.
Stone 11/29 (Jessica Stone is a Washington Correspondent focusing on
American politics, trade, and economics coverage; China US cooperation
crucial on global climate change; CCTV America; http://www.cctv-
america.com/2015/11/29/china-us-cooperation-crucial-on-global-climate-
change; DT)
Chinas commitment fits into its economic
Wang Pu, a climate researcher at Harvard, said
goals of reducing reliance on coal-powered manufacturing and moving to a
services and technology-led economy that pollutes less, and emphasizes
renewables. I would say China is definitely one of the most important
actors, Wang said. Climate policy is viewed by the Chinese government as
both environmental and economic policy. I think its a win-win solution for
environment and for the economy. And win-win for China s relationship with
the United States. Wang says finding common ground with Americans on
climate policy is also a way to manage diplomatic differences. For the
U.S., Chinese cooperation is essential to achieving a goal of President Barack Obamas: slowing climate
change, according to Elliot Diringer of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Unless
both
the U.S. and China are really committed to this, its very hard to get other
countries to come along, Diringer said. I think the U.S. administration certainly recognized that
and has worked really hard to reach out to China. I think China did set an example for these
other emerging economies, particularly for India, Pu said. I think China has had
some indirect influence over India decision to make their own national
contributions. Many experts also believe nations around the world are watching
to see if and how the U.S. reaches its reduction targets. The U.S. has
already reduced vehicle emissions and is now focusing on cutting emissions
from power production, the largest source of carbon pollution nationwide .
That is a huge example to the rest of the world, that this is a challenge that
can be met without sacrificing economic growth and development , Diringer said.
Beijing doubts whether the U.S. political system will allow it to accept any binding climate agreement. And
Washington has reason to doubt whether Beijing will accept emissions transparency standards or commit
to set new reduction goals every five years. But both have moved closer on other aspects
of the climate negotiations. During Chinese President Xi Jinpings U.S. state visit in September,
China matched the U.S. contribution of nearly $3 billion to help developing
countries combat climate change. And perhaps its greatest impact, aside from
reducing its own carbon footprint, will be to inspire other major economies to
pledge ambitious reduction targets. Heading into the Paris climate talks, U.N. Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon said current commitments dont achieve the goal of holding
the increase in global temperature to two degrees Celsius. The U.S. and
China in particular will need to use their influence to enlist the help of
other countries during the negotiations to change that.
Contention 3 - Framing
Every incremental action is key the we can solve later
logic spirals into an infinite loss and causes eco-apathy.
Guth 07 (Dr. Joseph H. Guth: Legal Director of the Science & Environmental
Health Network, PhD in Biochemistry from University Of Wisconsin and JD
from NYU; LAW FOR THE ECOLOGICAL AGE; Vermont Journal of
Environmental Law; 9 Vt. J. Envtl. L. 431; Winter 2007-2008;
http://sehn.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/VJEL10068.pdf; DT)
The central presumption of the common law that environmental damage can be
economically justified can be true only so long as the world is empty. It
becomes false when the world is full, when cumulative environmental
damage exceeds the capacity of the Earth to assimilate it . Thus, the belief of Justices
Livingston and Holmes that economic activity tends to benefit the public will not always be true. Once
we overshoot the Earths assimilative capacity, and begin to devastate the
ecological systems on which we depend, the law can no longer justify a
starting presumption that economic activity furthers the public welfare even
where it causes ecological damage. Moreover, under these conditions, cost
benefit analysis can no longer be justified as a tool for evaluating the
reasonableness of individual increments of environmental damage . Each
incremental impact, if taken alone, might have caused little or even no harm at all
in an empty world. But under conditions of ecological overshoot each
increment of damage contributes to an immeasurable, indeed infinite, loss.
This infinite loss cannot be meaningfully allocated among the various
increments of damage. Once we are degrading the environment at an
unsustainable rate, attempting to justify increments of damage using cost
benefit principles is profoundly misguided and represents a denial of the
biological realities of life on the Earth. Under conditions of ecological overshoot, the core
structure of the modern common law cannot be justified as one that furthers
the public welfare. At that point, it is no longer legitimate as an American rule
of law.

Apocalyptic representations are necessary to mobilize


support to solve warming this sense of moral urgency
results in an ecological ethic.
Harvard 13 ("Social Movements and Climate Change"; 6-17-2013; Harvard
University Center for the Environment;
http://environment.harvard.edu/news/huce-headlines/social-movements-and-
climate-change; DT)
On the climate issue, the problem is that urgency is not felt by many
people, says Marshall Ganz, a senior lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School. But one thing that
movements do is come up with ways to make the important urgent. Ganz speaks
from experience. He left Harvard during his junior year to work with the civil rights movement in Mississippi
in 1964. He went on to work with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers for 16 years, before
eventually returning to Harvard to complete a Ph.D. in sociology. One of the lessons he draws from his
decades working in and studying social movements is that moral urgencya sense of
injustice, or even angeris often needed to move individuals to act. This is
often accompanied by hope, or the sense of the plausible, the possible.
Action of this kind may produce change in the participants themselves, as
well as in the world around them. If you look at the core of any social
movement there are highly committed people who are ready to take risks,
he says. Its not just about passing a lawat heart they are movements of
moral reform. Take the Harvard living wage campaign back in 2001, when the students sat in the
presidents office and said, Were not going to leave until it gets dealt with. This had the effect of
turning what the students saw as a morally urgent problem into a practically
urgent problem for decision-makers to resolve . How to make that cosmic
sense of urgency immediately felt is one of the challenges of this (climate)
movement, Ganz continues. Thats where civil disobedience and that kind of activity comes inits a
way of saying were not going to cooperate until you address this need. Ganz met recently with a group of
law school students seeking advice on the campaign to press Harvards administration to divest from fossil
students efforts on the merits of their moral argument, but
fuel companies. He says he supports the
also as a means to stir up and [that]
mobilize the kind of movement it will take to
make broader and deeper change. There is a very strong generational dynamic to this whole
thing, Ganz says. Generation change is one of the great drivers of cultural and political change. Bill
McKibben [82] gets that, which is why he has this focus on divestment: give the rising generation a
strategic focus.

War is not an impact


1. This is the 21st century major wars are obsolete
diplomacy, de-militarization, and political psychologies.
Sangha 11 (Karina: BA in Political Science from the University of Victoria;
The Obsolescence of Major War: An Examination of Contemporary War
Trends; Vol 5, No 1: Spring 2011; http://web.uvic.ca/~onpol/spring2011/Two
%20-%20Sangha.pdf; DT)
Since the end of the Second World War, direct conflict among the great
powers has been seemingly non-existent, marking the longest absence of major
war since the days of the Roman Empire.8 Given the scale and frequency of major war in
previous centuries, this absence may be the single most important discontinuity that the history of warfare
great power relations are now generally
has ever seen.9 Though not without tension,
characterized by a sense of peace, with states carrying out aggressions
through diplomatic or economic, rather than military, means. Indeed, as the threat
of major war has declined, most great powers have chosen to invest fewer resources
in developing a strong military, undergoing a notable downsizing in both the
size of their armed forces and the quantity of weapons at their disposal since
1945.10 While most great powers had possessed forces numbering several million men throughout
much of the twentieth century, as of the late 1990s, the only states maintaining forces exceeding a million
and a half were India and China, and at that time, China had announced it would be cutting half a million of
most states have also eliminated
its troops.11 In addition to directly cutting their forces,
conscription, a once useful system that provided a great deal of cannon
fodder for the institution of major war.12 Air forces, naval forces, and nuclear
weapons stores have also witnessed similar reductions worldwide .13 Indicative of
the current sense of great power peace, these reductions would also seem to imply that none
of the great powers anticipates a major war to break out any time in the near
future, supporting the idea that major war is becoming obsolete. However,
having said this, it is important to note that, in and of itself, the extended absence of major war is a
necessary, but not a sufficient, criterion for the obsolescence of major war. In fact, it is arguable that
the current absence is not an indication of the institutions obsolescence, but simply a temporary period of
peace within the broader cycle of major war, a cycle linked to the rise and fall of world orders.14 On this
view, international stability is tied to the presence of a hegemon that is capable of maintaining order in an
anarchic international system due to its economic and military supremacy. 15 When such hegemony is
challenged by a rising power, this theory asserts that major war is likely to break out as power becomes
more equally distributed and the control maintained by the hegemon is lost.16 Thus, just as the
hegemonic presence of Great Britain ushered in a period of peace during the nineteenth century, it would
the prolonged peace we are currently witnessing may be attributable
seem that
to the dominance of the United States in the contemporary international
system, a dominance that remains open to challenge, particularly by rising
powers like China and India. In this sense, instead of indicating its obsolescence, the current
absence of major war may simply be a temporary manifestation of American hegemony that will inevitably
be challenged and lost in the future, thus continuing the cycle of major war.17 Though not entirely devoid
one should be wary of accepting this argument . Historically, some periods
of merit,
of hegemony have witnessed a general sense of peace among the great powers, but
this does not mean that international stability is inherently tied to a unipolar
structure. Indeed, many studies find little to no connection between power
configurations and the incidence of war in the international system.18
Nonetheless, even if it can be accepted that war has been cyclical in the past, tied to changing power
balances, economic waves, or otherwise, this need not imply that this cycle must continue, thereby
Even if the current period of peace is temporary,
discounting the thesis at hand.
trends surrounding the frequency of major war for the past few centuries
seem to indicate that such periods are becoming increasingly more frequent
and may one day become the established norm. In fact, extrapolating from the works of individuals like J.S.
Levy and Evan Luard, both of whom have performed analyses as to the frequency of major war, it is
the absence we are seeing today has been taking shape for
arguable that
centuries, with periods of great power peace growing in both frequency and
length. Focusing on various periods between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, both Levy and Luard
find the nineteenth century to be the most peaceful, followed by the twentieth, the eighteenth, the
sixteenth, and the fifteenth centuries, with the seventeenth century appearing the most warlike.19
Undeniably, the placement of the twentieth century in this sequence is problematic, though
understandable given the spans of time these two scholars were considering. In 1984, the last year
examined by Luards study, great power peace would have lasted for just under forty years, placing the
twentieth century neatly between the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, which Luard records as having
seen fortythree and twenty-seven years of continuous peace, respectively.20 However, in light of the fact
that the twentieth century saw no major wars between 1945 and its conclusion, exhibiting fifty-five years
of peace that continues today, the twentieth century should arguably be readjusted in both Luards and
Levys analysis as the most peaceful of those studied. Once this is done, it would seem that, with some
analyses reveal an increasing tendency towards peace among
exceptions, these
the great powers, indicating that the current absence of major war may be
the cementation of a trend that has been developing for centuries . Thus, if
there is a cycle to major war, it would seem that we are witnessing its
conclusion. The significance of the current absence of major war cannot be stressed enough. And yet,
while significant, it is important to note that the years following the Second World War have not been
marked by absolute peace, not even for the great powers. Shortly after the conclusion of the Second World
War, the Cold War broke out, a contest between the Soviet Union and the United States that would define
the next few decades of history. Although most of the wars fought during this period took place in the
Global South, the Soviet Union, the United States, and their respective allies often participated in these
battles, providing logistical support or even their own military forces. These proxy wars, wherein powerful
countries utilized civil conflicts in the developing world to carry out their aggressions and extend their
influence, resulted in indirect engagement among great power forces.21 Thus, although the last half
century or so has not witnessed a major war in the proper sense, the great powers have engaged in
indirect battles against one another. In the post-Cold War period, proxy wars are no
longer a[n] well exercised avenue for great power aggressions, and, as
indicated above, in recent years, even the United States and the Soviet Union
have undergone notable reductions in the size of their armed forces and the
amount of weaponry at their disposal . Yet, in spite of this, many great powers continue to
prepare for and engage in war. What is noteworthy, however, is that the wars in which great
powers are currently involved seem to fundamentally differ from those of the
past. No longer do such wars seem to be primarily about expanding territory
or influence, nor are they fought between great powers. Rather, these wars now seem to
be generally motivated by humanitarian concerns, taking the form of
collective operations sanctioned by multilateral institutions that aim to
ensure the stability of developing countries wrought by violence .22 The North
Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO) efforts in Kosovo in 1999 and, more recently, in Afghanistan
would seem indicative of such forms of intervention, with many great powers
working together to protect human rights and promote human security
worldwide. To be sure, such protection is more necessary now than ever before as less conventional
forms of violence, such as terrorism, have begun to flourish.23 Ultimately, although the great
powers are still engaged in war, such aggressions are no longer targeted at
one another, nor do they appear to be aggressions in the proper sense . It would
seem that their engagement in battle has undergone an evolution away from major war to humanitarian
interventions, an evolution that can be tied to the shifting perceptions of war among populations in the
beyond analyses as to the frequency of major war, further
developed world. Indeed,
support for the obsolescence of this institution can be found in a shift towards
a non-militaristic political psychology.24 Evidenced not only by the reductions
in military preparedness worldwide, but also by cultural and political trends,
this shift would seem to be cementing in the developed world, particularly
among the great powers whose behaviour is our primary concern . In the past, war
has been glorified as a heroic and virtuous endeavour, an inevitable product of human nature that cannot
be overcome.25 However, after centuries of violent warfare on the European and Asian continents,
beginning as early as the seventeenth century, these views surrounding war began to change throughout
the developed world.26 The first truly active and persistent group that sought to reform sentiments
surrounding war appears to have been the Quakers, a religious group that formed in England in 1652 and
It was not until
espoused a strong reverence for life.27 Though vocal, their initial impact was limited.
the end of the Napoleonic Wars of 1803-1815 that anti-war sentiments truly
began to flourish, with the Quakers and others establishing the first anti-war societies in Europe and
North America.28 With many minority groups opposing or prophesising the
conclusion of war, including such note-worthy scholars as Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, anti-
war sentiment grew in the years leading up to the First World War, resulting in
governments of major countries having to justify war in a way that had not
been needed in the past.29 In some states, including Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark,
Portugal, and the Netherlands, anti-war sentiment became so pronounced that
governments sought to reform their foreign policy and avoid war altogether .30
However, it was not until the cataclysm of World War I that anti-war sentiments
moved to the forefront in great power societies .31 Novels and memoirs of the 1920s
expressed these views profoundly and pushed them into even wider circulation.32 Such sentiments were
also present in international politics as almost all of the great powers of the time pursued a policy of war
aversion. Arguably, World War II would not have broken out if it were not for the
charismatic Hitler or the aggressive policies of the Japanese .33 The consequence of
World War I was that most major countries had foresworn war, at least major war. World War II simply
The growing disdain for war continued throughout the
reaffirmed these sentiments.
Cold War period and appears to have cemented today among the great
powers. In the United States, the worlds current superpower, antiwar
sentiment became particularly pronounced during the Vietnam War, and
negative sentiments can be seen today surrounding the Iraq War in both the
United States and the United Kingdom.34 None of these were wars were major wars, but the
message remains the same, namely that citizens in these countries are wary of devoting
resources and lives to the pursuit of war. Indeed, as indicated above, most of the
great powers have reduced the amount of resources devoted to developing
strong militaries and are generally on peaceful terms with one another .
Countries like Germany and France, which, for centuries, have devoted significant amounts of time and
resources to directly fighting one another or planning to do so, are now engaged in peaceful relations.
Even Japan, a striking former aggressor state, seems to have embraced
peace. Ultimately, it would seem that the current absence of major war is not simply a
temporary lull, but a more lasting change that has been developing for
centuries. Major war is not simply absent, it is obsolescent. A wide range of
causes come together to account for such obsolescence, which we will now
examine in greater detail.

2. No miscalculation and deterrence, globalization, and


democratic peace check conflict.
Aziz 14 (John: analyst of economics, finance, geopolitics and history; Don't
worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen; The Week; March 06,
2014; http://theweek.com/articles/449783/dont-worry-world-war-iii-almost-
certainly-never-happen, accessed July 13, 2016)
Next year will be the seventieth anniversary of the end of the last global conflict. There have been points
on that timeline such as the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, and a Soviet computer malfunction in 1983
thaterroneously suggested that the U.S. had attacked, and perhaps even the Kosovo War in 1999 when
today in the shadow of a flare up which
a global conflict was a real possibility. Yet
some are calling a new Cold War between Russia and the U.S. I believe the
threat of World War III has almost faded into nothingness . That is, the
probability of a world war is the lowest it has been in decades, and
perhaps the lowest it has ever been since the dawn of modernity. This is
certainly a view that current data supports. Steven Pinker's studies into the decline of violence reveal that
deaths from war have fallen and fallen since World War II. But we should not just assume that the past is
an accurate guide to the future. Instead, we must look at the factors which have led to the reduction in war
and try to conclude whether the decrease in war is sustainable. So what's changed? Well, the first big
change after the last world war was the arrival of mutually assured
destruction. It's no coincidence that the end of the last global war coincided with the invention of
atomic weapons. The possibility of complete annihilation provided a huge
disincentive to launching and expanding total wars. Instead, the great powers
now fight proxy wars like Vietnam and Afghanistan (the 1980 version, that is), rather
than letting their rivalries expand into full-on, globe-spanning struggles
against each other. Sure, accidents could happen, but the possibility is
incredibly remote. More importantly, nobody in power wants to be the
cause of Armageddon. But what about a non-nuclear global war? Other changes
economic and social in nature have made that highly unlikely too. The
world has become much more economically interconnected since the last
global war. Economic cooperation treaties and free trade agreements have
intertwined the economies of countries around the world . This has meant there has
been a huge rise in the volume of global trade since World War II, and especially since the 1980s. Today
consumer goods like smartphones, laptops, cars, jewelery, food, cosmetics, and medicine are produced on
a global level, with supply-chains criss-crossing the planet. An example: The laptop I am typing this on is
the cumulative culmination of thousands of hours of work, as well as resources and manufacturing
processes across the globe. It incorporates metals like tellurium, indium, cobalt, gallium, and manganese
mined in Africa. Neodymium mined in China. Plastics forged out of oil, perhaps from Saudi Arabia, or
Russia, or Venezuela. Aluminum from bauxite, perhaps mined in Brazil. Iron, perhaps mined in Australia.
These raw materials are turned into components memory manufactured in Korea, semiconductors
forged in Germany, glass made in the United States. And it takes gallons and gallons of oil to ship all the
resources and components back and forth around the world, until they are finally assembled in China, and
In a global war, global trade becomes
shipped once again around the world to the consumer.
a nightmare. Shipping becomes more expensive due to higher insurance
costs, and riskier because it's subject to seizures, blockades, ship sinkings.
Many goods, intermediate components or resources including energy
supplies like coal and oil, components for military hardware, etc, may become
temporarily unavailable in certain areas. Sometimes such as occurred in the Siege of
Leningrad during World War II the supply of food can be cut off. This is why countries hold strategic
reserves of things like helium, pork, rare earth metals and oil, coal, and gas. These kinds of breakdowns
were troublesome enough in the economic landscape of the early and mid-20th century, when the last
But in today's ultra-globalized and ultra-specialized economy?
global wars occurred.
The level of economic adaptation even for large countries like Russia and
the United States with lots of land and natural resources required to adapt
to a world war would be crushing, and huge numbers of business and
livelihoods would be wiped out. In other words, global trade interdependency
has become, to borrow a phrase from finance, too big to fail. It is easy to complain
about the reality of big business influencing or controlling politicians. But big business has just about the
most to lose from breakdowns in global trade. A practical example: If Russian oligarchs make their money
from selling gas and natural resources to Western Europe, and send their children to schools in Britain and
Germany, and lend and borrow money from the West's financial centers, are they going to be willing to
tolerate Vladimir Putin starting a regional war in Eastern Europe (let alone a world war)? Would the Chinese
financial industry be happy to see their multi-trillion dollar investments in dollars and U.S. treasury debt go
up in smoke? Of course, world wars have been waged despite international business interests, but the
world today is far more globalized than ever before and well-connected domestic interests are more
dependent on access to global markets, components and resources, or the repayment of foreign debts.
These are huge disincentives to global war. But what of the military-industrial complex? While other
businesses might be hurt due to a breakdown in trade, surely military contractors and weapons
As the last seventy years illustrates, it
manufacturers are happy with war? Not necessarily.
is perfectly possible for weapons contractors to enjoy the profits from huge
military spending without a global war. And the uncertainty of a breakdown in global trade
could hurt weapons contractors just as much as other industries in terms of losing access to global
markets. That means weapons manufacturers may be just as uneasy about the prospects for large-scale
war as other businesses. Other changes have been social in nature .
Obviously,democratic
countries do not tend to go to war with each other, and the spread of
liberal democracy is correlated against the decrease in war around
the world. But the spread of internet technology and social media has
brought the world much closer together, too. As late as the last world war, populations were
separated from each other by physical distance, by language barriers, and by lack of mass communication
tools. This means that it was easy for war-mongering politicians to sell a population on the idea that the
enemy is evil. It's hard to empathize with people who you only see in slanted government propaganda
reels. Today, people from enemy countries can come together in cyberspace and find out that the "enemy"
is not so different, as occurred in the Iran-Israel solidarity movement of 2012. More importantly, violent
Public shock and
incidents and deaths can be broadcast to the world much more easily.
disgust at the brutal reality of war broadcast over YouTube and Facebook
makes it much more difficult for governments to carry out large scale military
aggressions. For example, the Kremlin's own pollster today released a survey showing that 73 percent
of Russians disapprove of Putin's handling of the Ukraine crisis, with only 15 percent of the nation
supporting a response to the overthrow of the government in Kiev. There are, of course, a few countries
like North Korea that deny their citizens access to information that might contradict the government's
propaganda line. And sometimes countries ignore mass anti-war protests as occurred prior to the Iraq
generally a more connected, open, empathetic and
invasion of 2003 but
democratic world has made it much harder for war-mongers to go to
war. The greatest trend, though, may be that the world as a whole is getting richer.
Fundamentally, wars arise out of one group of people deciding that they want whatever another group has
land, tools, resources, money, friends, sexual partners, empire, prestige and deciding to take it by
We don't
force. Or they arise as a result of grudges or hatreds from previous wars of the first kind.
quite live in a superabundant world yet, but the long march of human
ingenuity is making basic human wants like clothing, water, food, shelter,
warmth, entertainment, recreation, and medicine more ubiquitous throughout
the world. This means that countries are less desperate to go to war to seize other people's stuff. But
the tendency toward inertia is strong. It is clear at least that the incentives
for world war are far lower than they were in previous decades, and the
disincentives are growing. The apocalyptic visions of a new world war
between nations or empires that three generations of children have been
raised into continue to diminish.

3. Nuclear war doesnt cause extinction their evidence is


propaganda.
Wigner 04 (Eugene P. Wigner. Physicist, Nobel Laureate, and the only
surviving initiator of the Nuclear Age; Nuclear War Survival Skills; Ch. 1: The
Dangers from Nuclear Weapons: Myths and Facts; 2004;
http://www.oism.org/nwss/s73p912.htm; DT)
"nuclear winter" is a discredited theory that, since its conception in
Facts: Unsurvivable
1982, has been used to frighten additional millions into believing that trying to survive a
nuclear war is a waste of effort and resources, and that only by ridding the world of almost all nuclear
Non-propagandizing scientists recently have
weapons do we have a chance of surviving.
calculated that the climatic and other environmental effects of even an all-
out nuclear war would be much less severe than the catastrophic effects
repeatedly publicized by popular astronomer Carl Sagan and his fellow activist
scientists, and by all the involved Soviet scientists. Conclusions reached from these recent, realistic
calculations are summarized in an article, "Nuclear Winter Reappraised", featured in the 1986 summer
issue of Foreign Affairs, the prestigious quarterly of the Council on Foreign Relations. The authors, Starley
atmospheric scientists with the National
L. Thompson and Stephen H. Schneider, are
Center for Atmospheric Research. They showed " that on scientific grounds the
global apocalyptic conclusions of the initial nuclear winter hypothesis can
now be relegated to a vanishing low level of probability." Their models
indicate that in July (when the greatest temperature reductions would result) the average
temperature in the United States would be reduced for a few days from about
70 degrees Fahrenheit to approximately 50 degrees. (In contrast, under the same
conditions Carl Sagan, his associates, and the Russian scientists predicted a resulting
average temperature of about 10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, lasting for
many weeks!) Persons who want to learn more about possible post-attack climatic effects also should
read the Fall 1986 issue of Foreign Affairs. This issue contains a long letter from Thompson and
Schneider which further demolishes the theory of catastrophic "nuclear winter "
Continuing studies indicate there will be even smaller reductions in
temperature than those calculated by Thompson and Schneider . Soviet
propagandists promptly exploited belief in unsurvivable "nuclear winter to
increase fear of nuclear weapons and war, and to demoralize their enemies.

Prioritize inevitable extinction scenarios reducing


warming by just a billionth of a billionth of a percent is
worth a hundred billion times as much as saving a billion
lives.
Bostrom 13 (Nick: a Swedish philosopher at the University of Oxford
known for his work on existential risk, the anthropic principle, human
enhancement ethics, superintelligence risks, the reversal test, and
consequentialism; Existential Risk Prevention as Global Priority; Global
Policy Volume 4 . Issue 1 . February 2013; http://www.existential-
risk.org/concept.pdf; DT)
But even this reflection fails to bring out the seriousness of existential risk. What makes
existential catastrophes especially bad is not that they would show up robustly on a plot
like the one in Figure 3, causing a precipitous drop in world population or average quality of life. Instead,
their significance lies primarily in the factthat they would destroy the future. The philosopher
Derek Parfit made a similar point with the following thought experiment: I believe that if we destroy
mankind, as we now can, this outcome will be much worse than most people
think. Compare three outcomes: 1. Peace. 2. A nuclear war that kills 99 per
cent of the worlds existing population. 3. A nuclear war that kills 100 per
cent. 2 would be worse than 1, and 3 would be worse than 2. Which is the greater of these two
differences? Most people believe that the greater difference is between 1 and 2. I believe that the
difference between 2 and 3 is very much greater . The Earth will remain habitable for at
least another billion years. Civilisation began only a few thousand years ago. If we do not destroy
mankind, these few thousand years may be only a tiny fraction of the whole
of civilised human history. The difference between 2 and 3 may thus be the difference between
this tiny fraction and all of the rest of this history. If we compare this possible history to a day, what has
To calculate the loss
occurred so far is only a fraction of a second (Parfit, 1984, pp. 453454).
associated with an existential catastrophe, we must consider how much value
would come to exist in its absence. It turns out that the ultimate potential for
Earth-originating intelligent life is literally astronomical . One gets a large number even
if one confines ones consideration to the potential for biological human beings living on Earth. If we
suppose with Parfit that our planet will remain habitable for at least another billion years, and we assume
the potential exist for at least
that at least one billion people could live on it sustainably, then
16
10 human lives of normal duration. These lives could also be considerably
better than the average contemporary human life, which is so often marred
by disease, poverty, injustice, and various biological limitations that could be
partly overcome through continuing technological and moral progress . However,
the relevant figure is not how many people could live on Earth but how many descendants we could have
One lower bound of the number of biological human life-years in the
in total.
future accessible universe (based on current cosmological estimates) is 10 34
years.7 Another estimate, which assumes that future minds will be mainly implemented in
computational hardware instead of biological neuronal wetware, produces a lower bound of 1054 human-
brain-emulation subjective life-years (or 1071 basic computational operations) (Bostrom, 2003).8 If we
make the less conservative assumption that future civilisations could
eventually press close to the absolute bounds of known physics (using some as yet
unimagined technology), we get radically higher estimates of the amount of computation and memory
storage that is achievable and thus of the number of years of subjective experience that could be
Even if we use the most conservative of these estimates, which entirely
realised.9
ignores the possibility of space colonisation and software minds , we find that
the expected loss of an existential catastrophe is greater than the value of
1016 human lives. This implies that the expected value of reducing existential risk
by a mere one millionth of one percentage point is at least a hundred times
the value of a million human lives. The more technologically comprehensive estimate of 1054
humanbrain-emulation subjective life-years (or 1052 lives of ordinary length) makes the same point even
more starkly. Even if we give this allegedly lower bound on the cumulative output potential of a
the
technologically mature civilisation a mere 1 per cent chance of being correct, we find that
expected value of reducing existential risk by a mere one billionth of one
billionth of one percentage point is worth a hundred billion times as much as
a billion human lives. One might consequently argue that even the tiniest reduction of
existential risk has an expected value greater than that of the definite
provision of any ordinary good, such as the direct benefit of saving 1 billion
lives. And, further, that the absolute value of the indirect effect of saving 1 billion
lives on the total cumulative amount of existential riskpositive or negative
is almost certainly larger than the positive value of the direct benefit of
such an action.10