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MisterTDebater last won the day on December 14 2013

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    Nathan Cho
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  1. There is plenty of other legislation that authorizes tons of different kinds of "domestic surveillance"
  2. Looking for judges in the Ft. Lauderdale FL. area. My old high school has qualified a record number of kids for a national tournament. The more local judges we can get, the more kids we can bring at lower cost for them! Wisconsin high school team needs PF and LD judges for NCFL National Tournament Memorial Day weekend. You will be required to be available to judge Saturday and Sunday May 23 & 24. You will be compensated for your time. If you are interested, please contact Scotti Thurwatcher for more information at: scotti_t@yahoo.com
  3. Looking for judges in the Ft. Lauderdale FL. area. My old high school has qualified a record number of kids for a national tournament. The more local judges we can get, the more kids we can bring at lower cost for them! Wisconsin high school team needs PF and LD judges for NCFL National Tournament Memorial Day weekend. You will be required to be available to judge Saturday and Sunday May 23 & 24. You will be compensated for your time. If you are interested, please contact Scotti Thurwatcher for more information at: scotti_t@yahoo.com
  4. “The Ph.D. Circle in Academic Economics” DANIEL B. KLEIN; Department of Economics, Santa Clara University; Econ Journal Watch Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics Volume 2, Number 1, April 2005 In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith developed an incisive criticism of academia (pp. 758-81). He at least touches on all of the following familiar criticism of academia: • Academic societies are organized “not for the benefit of the students, but for the interest, or more properly speaking, for the ease of the masters” (764). • They self-organize as self-validating societies, in which members indulge each other’s conveniences (761). • Academics tend toward an esoteric language that excludes outsider participation (765). • Democratic decision making by professional units fails to make individuals accountable for their actions within the process of collective decision making (779). • The clubs are prone to groupthink and the lock-in of foolishness. They were sometimes “the sanctuaries in which exploded systems and obsolete prejudices found shelter and protection, after they had been hunted out of every other corner of the world” (772). They have generated sciences that are “a mere useless and pedantick heap of sophistry and nonsense” (781). Smith acknowledges that there are no easy solutions. There is no easy way for outsiders to evaluate or regulate the inner workings of the scholarly community (761). As for public-policy judgments, while Smith is ambiguous on the education of children (815), on colleges and universities he is libertarian. He clearly opposes “the privileges of graduation” (762, 780), or, in modern parlance, licensing requirements that create much of the demand for the services of accredited schools.1 And he comes across as against public funding (776-81). As for charitable foundations, he suggests that they shift from producer-side to user-side subsidies (763). In the midst of his criticism of academia, Smith launches into a wandering account of how ancient Greek philosophy evolved into various scholastic fields (766-72). He describes how academia elevated “Metaphysicks or Pneumaticks,” producing, “after a few very simple and almost obvious truths... nothing but obscurity and uncertainty” (771). This subsequently evolved into Ontology. “But if subtleties and sophisms composed the greater part of the Metaphysicks or Pneumaticks of the schools, they composed the whole of this cobweb science of Ontology” (771). Smith’s account concludes as follows: The alterations which the universities of Europe thus introduced into the ancient course of philosophy were all meant for the education of ecclesiastics, and to render it a more proper introduction to the study of theology. But the additional quantity of subtlety and sophistry, the casuistry and the ascetic morality which those alterations introduced into it, certainly did not render it more proper for the education of gentlemen or men of the world, or more likely either to improve the understanding, or to mend the heart.... This course of philosophy is what still continues to be taught in the greater part of the universities of Europe, with more or less diligence, according as the constitution of each particular university happens to render diligence more or less necessary to the teachers. (p. 772; italics added) Smith’s five-page digression is a way of positing a single fact: As he looks out his window, Smith sees an academic establishment that to him appears wasteful and foolish. That is the fact to be explained. The explanation does not seem to lie in the intemperance and prejudice of Smith’s character. Rather, Smith suggests that the structure of academia makes it priestly and almost impervious to criticism. Insiders seek to secure a place on the pyramid and must curry favor and conform. Outsides are deemed unqualified to judge. The hazards are inherent, and the best way to deal with them, according to Smith, is to remove privilege and coercion from the system.
  5. I probably served you barbecue at some point, I was working the tournament.
  6. Oh shucks I LOVE YOU GUYS
  7. This thread shows some discussion on this topic; Royal actually concludes aff. You are probably referring to this card that pops up occasionally: Royal 10—director of Cooperative Threat Reduction at the U.S. Department of Defense (Jedediah, “Economic Integration, Economic Signaling and the Problem of Economic Crisesâ€, published in Economics of War and Peace: Economic, Legal and Political Perspectives, ed. Goldsmith and Brauer, p. 217, google books) There is, however, another trend at play. Economic crises tend to fragment regimes and divide polities. A decrease in cohesion at the political leadership level and at the electorate levelreduces the ability of the state to coalesce a sufficiently strong political base required to undertake costly balancing measures such as economic costly signals. Schweller (2006)builds on earlier studies (sec, e.g., Christensen, 1996; Snyder, 2000) that link political fragmentation with decisions not to balance against rising threats or to balance only in minimal and ineffective ways to demonstrate a tendency for states to 'underbalance'. Where political and social cohesion is strong, states are more likely to balance against rising threats in effective and costly ways. However, 'unstable and fragmented regimes that rule over divided polities will be significantly constrained in their ability to adapt to systemic incentives; they will be least likely to enactbold and costly policies even when their nation's survival is at stake and they are needed most' (Schweller, 2006, p. 130). However, this excerpt is taken significantly out of context if you're trying to claim that ROYAL CONCLUDES NEG. In this part of the book, Royal is making the argument that economic crises jeopardize balancing measures. In IR theory balancing is the concept that when a country's relative power increases, other countries will increase their relative power (or decrease an opponent's relative power) to maintain the balance of power. In this specific example of WWII, Royal says that the Allied countries should've employed sanctions and strict economic penalties against Nazi Germany's rise, but didn't because their poor economic situation post-depression forced political leaders to bypass these solutions, because they would've been extremely unpopular. Royal says this lead to appeasement and World War II. Take the Crimean crisis for example. There seems to be some consensus amongst the Western foreign policy community that Europe and the US should launch a strict sanctions regime against Russia to penalize interference in Ukraine. However, much of Europe is dependent on Russian economic and energy ties, and European leaders are fearful of escalation that could cripple the European economy, especially with the Eurozone crisis ongoing. This means Russia can continue unfettered in Crimea and it sets a dangerous precedent that Russia can bully Europe without major consequences. Royal is saying that balancing prevents wars, because balancing prevents appeasement.
  8. Ocean Iron Fertilization backfires – contributes to warmingRomm 13 “Yet Another Geoengineering Scheme, Ocean Iron Fertilization, Could Backfire†JOE ROMM JULY 10, 2013 http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/10/2150931/another-geoengineering-scheme-ocean-iron-fertilization-could-backfire/ Can we save the planet by ruining it (even more)? Argonne National Laboratory reports that “A new study on the feeding habits of ocean microbes calls into question the potential use of algal blooms to trap carbon dioxide and offset rising global levels.†Four years ago, the journal Nature published a piece arguing that “fertilizing the oceans with iron to stimulate phytoplankton blooms, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and export carbon to the deep sea — should be abandoned.†Now Argonne Lab reports so-called iron fertilization “may have only a short-lived environmental benefit. And, the process may actually reduce over the long-term how much CO2 the ocean can trap.†The more you know about geo-engineering, the less sense it makes (see Science: “Optimism about a geoengineered ‘easy way out’ should be tempered by examination of currently observed climate changesâ€). The most “plausible†approach, massive aerosol injection, has potentially catastrophic impacts of its own and can’t possibly substitute for the most aggressive mitigation — see here. And for the deniers, geo-engineering is mostly just a ploy — see British coal industry flack pushes geo-engineering “ploy†to give politicians “viable reason to do nothing†about global warming. Geoengineering is a problem in search of a problem. As the NY Times reported in 2011: At the influential blog Climate Progress, Joe Romm, a fellow at the Center for American Progress, has made a similar point, likening geo-engineering to a dangerous course of chemotherapy and radiation to treat a condition curable through diet and exercise — or, in this case, emissions reduction. You can find my previous writings on geo-engineering here. See in particular Martin Bunzl on “the definitive killer objection to geoengineering as even a temporary fix.†Geo-engineering is a “smoke and mirrors solution,†though most people understand that the “mirrors†strategy is prohibitively expensive and impractical. One of the few remaining non-aerosol strategies still taken seriously by some is ocean fertilization. But it is no better than the rest As the 2009 Nature piece explained: The intended effect of ocean iron fertilization for geoengineering is to significantly disrupt marine ecosystems. The explicit goal is to stimulate blooms of relatively large phytoplankton that are usually not abundant, because carbon produced by such species is more likely to sink eventually to the deep ocean. This shift at the base of the food web would propagate throughout the ocean ecosystem in unpredictable ways. Moreover, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus would sink along with the carbon, altering biogeochemical and ecological relationships throughout the system. Some models predict that ocean fertilization on a global scale would result in large regions of the ocean being starved of oxygen, dramatically affecting marine organisms from microbes to fish. Ecological disruption is the very mechanism by which iron fertilization would sequester carbon. Argonne’s study finds another problem — ocean iron fertilization may have no positive climate impact and might even make things worse: These blooms contain iron-eating microscopic phytoplankton that absorb C02 from the air through the process of photosynthesis and provide nutrients for marine life. But one type of phytoplankton, a diatom, is using more iron that it needs for photosynthesis and storing the extra in its silica skeletons and shells, according to an X-ray analysis of phytoplankton conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. This reduces the amount of iron left over to support the carbon-eating plankton…. Rather than feed the growth of extra plankton, triggering algal blooms, the iron fertilization may instead stimulate the gluttonous diatoms to take up even more iron to build larger shells. When the shells get large enough, they sink to the ocean floor, sequestering the iron and starving off the diatom’s plankton peers. Over time, this reduction in the amount of iron in surface waters could trigger the growth of microbial populations that require less iron for nutrients, reducing the amount of phytoplankton blooms available to take in CO2 and to feed marine life.
  9. Parraguez 13 No one is claiming to improve diplomatic relations, unless a Venezuela aff has a relations advantage. The Parraguez evidence says that trade/economic relations are not affected by anti-american rhetoric, because the US is just that important. The evidence says that Latin American leaders use that anti-americanism to shore up domestic political support, but it DOES NOT AFFECT trade relations. It is a method of saving face. Both the US and Venezuelan governments for years have been publicly criticizing each other, while greasing each others economies with oil deals. Diplomacy and trade have been intertwined in Venezuela particularly, and the fact that we are Venezuela's largest trading partner indicates that they make exceptions for their economy. Brusa 2-22/ 1. I agree, his words can only be trusted to a degree, but I'll elaborate on the importance of this card next. 2. Maduro has been blaming the US for the domestic crisis for the past year, but this has failed him. Maduro's opposition advocates a liberalization of the oil sector and stronger relations with the US, the fact that his blaming of the US has failed to save his political situation is exactly why he's changing his political strategy. After the recent massive protests in Venezuela, Maduro has changed various aspects of his political strategy, including negotiating with his opposition, raising debate on the possibility of raising gas prices, and extending this olive branch to the US. These are real concrete actions that indicate that Maduro is changing, the reason why is because the status quo was unsustainable for him, with massive protests threatening his regime. Yes, much rhetoric remains against the US, but the fact that Maduro recently offered to exchange ambassadors and offered rhetorical support indicates a massive sea change in political momentum. 3. Again, Maduro does need to save face a little, but the fact that he's saying that he loves America indicates a massive shift in political winds. If Maduro thinks he can gain by saying that he loves America and wants to talk with them? That's a huge paradigm shift from blaming America for giving Chavez cancer. Newco 13/ Okay first, the only evidence you posted was from June and both of your points are inaccurate. Expulsion of US diplomats has been going on for literally over a decade. In fact, the most recent expulsion of US diplomats was just 2 weeks ago, although now is the first time that Maduro has offered to reinstate ambassadors. Huge shift. Additionally, Venezuela did not nationalize US oil holdings in November. Venezuela nationalizes US oil companies in 2007, with some natural gas companies in 2009. No nationalizations since then I believe. Again, if Maduro's political strategy was to demonize the US, foreign investors, and corporations, then the fact that his rhetoric is shifting into support for these things indicates political momentum is in the plan's favor. Thomas-Symonds 13/ A few things; 1. I really don't appreciate such a dismissive attitude. Accusing me of trolling, because I believe differently than you, or just saying this card sucks, without providing any substance is extraordinarily unproductive. 2. Warrants matter. This card is awesome and it's warrants remain true today. The first being that Maduro needs to shore up his political support, because of his very narrow margin of approval. This continues to be an issue and the Brusa 02-22 evidence indicates that he's making large shifts as a result. Chavez's real legacy was socialist programmes. Health care, cheap gas, cheap housing. Venezuelans loved Chavez and they love these programs way more than they care about the US. However, with declining oil revenues, Maduro will have to make a choice to either engage with the US to fund socialist programs or cut back socialist programs. He will choose the former. Mander 13/ So a respect for capitalism has been brewing since large-scale nationalizations and socialism. The evidence indicates that major business leaders and aristocrats have been forced to adapt to be more populist, which has given them huge popularity. The wealthiest men in Venezuela were even praised to be true revolutionaries by Chavez. Additionally, Maduro has offered olive branches to major corporations and his rhetoric against them is genuinely respectful compared to Chavez. Additionally, Maduro recognizes that radical economic policy has created the economic problems that plague his country. Furthermore, the largest corporations remain as the most popular organizations in Venezuela, even more popular than Chavez, because they are viewed as more consistently providing basic goods and services to the people. Keller 13/ 1. Maduro replaced his minister of the economy with someone open to rapprochment. 2. Maduro has engaged in dialogue with major business leaders. 3. Maduro recognizes the status quo is unsustainable and recognizes the value of the private sector. Attempts to blame the US have failed, as evident by the fact that protests have only grown in size. Goodman 12-2-13/ This evidence says that Maduros lack of charisma and Iran/Syria rapprochement are tempering Maduro. Additionally, Cuba is pushing for private investment. This means that Venezuela's allies and international reputation are jeopardized by failure to engage the US. The evidence also indicates that Anti-americanism just rhetoric. And you are wrong on your first point. You can't say previously that trade and diplomacy are linked and say that negotiating with Goldman-Sachs has nothing to do with Venezuela's relations toward the US. From the eyes of Venezuela, the US, corporations, and capitalism are all lumped into one big category; the West. While, the US has received unique rhetoric against it, the fact that Venezuela is seeking investment from a US company is evidence of detente. I'm not asking you to post all your cards on this. I didn't. But citing evidence relevant to your case would lend you a lot more credibility here. Additionally, I'm not saying that it is absolutely true that Maduro will open up to the US, but I'm saying it's debatable enough to the point where it's foolish to dismiss 1/3 of the topic on the premise that Maduro will say no.
  10. Yes, Maduro has to sign off on basically any economic engagement, but I don't think you really answered my argument that economic relations trump political relations. Cavistas and Maduro recognize that they need the US to maintain domestic stability. Parraguez et al. 13 “LATIN AMERICA: ANTI-US RHETORIC DOES NOT OVERSHADOW TRADE†Luisa Parraguez; professor and researcher at the Global Studies Department of Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Mexico City Campus; Francisco Garcia Gonzalez; Tecnológico de Monterrey graduate and research coordinator at Mexico’s Auditoría Superior de la Federación; Joskua Tadeo; international relations student and research assistant at Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Mexico City Campus; October 2, 2013 http://www.indepthnews.info/index.php/global-issues/1809-anti-us-rhetoric-does-not-overshadow-trade It would follow that the strong, constant flows of trade, aid and security cooperation between Latin America and the U.S. would dry up after so much tension. Nevertheless, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that trade remains stable for now, especially for oil producers like Venezuela and Bolivia. Anti-American sentiment in the region seems to be purely rhetorical, having little impact on trade relations with the United States.¶ Anti-American rhetoric in ALBA countries has not prevented them from listing the U.S. among their main trade partners. As of 2012, the U.S. was the main import source for Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Honduras. Particularly striking is that 31.2 percent of Venezuela’s imports and 28 percent of Ecuador’s come from the United States. Adding to this list, the U.S. is Bolivia’s fourth largest source of imports, producing up to 10 percent of its imports, and Argentina’s second source after Brazil.¶ The United States receives the largest percentage of Latin American exports from Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Honduras. In the case of Bolivia, it drops to second place after Brazil. Such significant flows of merchandise and capital will not stop overnight, no matter how many countries forced the Bolivian presidential plane to land for a few hours.¶ Top trade partner¶ Demographically and economically, the U.S. is changing in ways that make any standoff with Latin American partners unlikely. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s recent report on foreign investment in the region, the U.S. still accounts for 58.5 percent of foreign investment. At the same time, the 53 million people of Hispanic and Latino origin in the U.S. account for 17 percent of its population, making them the largest ethnic minority in the country. In much the same way, as reported by The New York Times, Latin American migration to the U.S. has reached equilibrium with new arrivals roughly equivalent to the number of people returning home. Americans are also picking countries as diverse as Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica and Nicaragua to retire, while recent trips to Mexico and Chile by the U.S. president and vice-president emphasize education exchanges.¶ South America expresses its outrage through diplomacy. Consider, after Morales was allowed to return to La Paz, the diplomatic rumble escalated as members of the regional trading institution Mercosur called back their ambassadors in the countries that had denied the Bolivian president use of airspace. Ecuador joined them four days later, at which point Venezuela also officially removed ambassadors in Spain, France, Portugal and Italy. An apology was issued July 25, and ambassadors from Bolivia, Venezuela, and Ecuador were reinstated to their offices in Paris, Rome, Madrid and Lisbon two days later.¶ Concerns may run more deeply over reports of the United States monitoring communications of presidents and strategic industries. Brazil is the world’s sixth largest economy, and Rousseff may use the embarrassing disclosures to leverage the United States on trade, internet regulation and other priorities. With the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics coming up, Brazil will most likely use the situation as much-needed political capital at home, instead of attempting any change in relations with the U.S. beyond venting at the UN. Rousseff cannot afford to risk an international snafu amidst growing discontent over her actions concerning domestic policy.¶ Trade overrides ideology. The bottom line, leftwing leaders like Maduro and Morales need U.S. business in their economies, and the most vehement anti-imperialist talk is overshadowed by economic pragmatism. Ecuador is in an even more critical position, as reliance on the U.S. dollar in its economy means it cannot afford poor relations with the United States. Ideological hot air may grab headlines, but will not trump Latin America’s heavy flows of trade with the world´s most powerful economy. Most recent evidence – Maduro reached out YESTERDAY – he wants to change his policyBrusa 02-22 “Venezuelan leader challenges Obama to talks†Marcelo Daniel Brusa; AFP; February 22, 2014 http://news.yahoo.com/venezuela-threatens-cut-off-fuel-protest-areas-205822959.html Caracas (AFP) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on Barack Obama to "accept the challenge" and hold direct talks, a surprise overture made Friday after days of accusing Washington of plotting his overthrow.¶ The dramatic announcement came after nearly three weeks of often violent anti-government protests in Caracas and other major cities, widely seen as the biggest test to Maduro since he succeeded Hugo Chavez last year.¶ US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday condemned Venezuela's "unacceptable" use of force against anti-government protesters, and declined to respond to a call from Caracas for bilateral talks.¶ "The government's use of force and judicial intimidation against citizens and political figures, who are exercising a legitimate right to protest, is unacceptable and will only increase the likelihood of violence," Kerry said in a statement.¶ Despite calls from Venezuela's democratic opposition and the international community, the government of Nicolas Maduro "has confronted peaceful protesters with force and in some cases with armed vigilantes claiming to support the government," the top US diplomat added.¶ Venezuela's relations with the United States, long strained under Chavez, have worsened under Maduro, who has hewed closely to his predecessor's socialist policies and has never spoken directly to his American counterpart.¶ Maduro, who was narrowly elected last year, said: "I call a dialogue with you, President Obama... between the patriotic and revolutionary Venezuela and the United States and its government."¶ "Accept the challenge and we will start a high-level dialogue and put the truth on the table," Maduro, whose under-pressure government claims Venezuelan opposition leaders are in Washington's pay, told foreign reporters.¶ US agencies "have given the green light for the overthrow of the government that I lead," Maduro said, urging Obama to show that he can "initiate a change in policy, at least in Latin America and the Caribbean."¶ Maduro, who lashed out at the US president earlier this week, proposed in his remarks Friday to restore ties to the ambassadorial level and said he had given his foreign minister "special powers" to handle bilateral dialogue.¶ Venezuela and America have not had ambassadors in each other's countries since late 2010, and Caracas has expelled eight US diplomats over the past year, including three this week.¶ Obama has called on the leftist rulers in Caracas to address the "legitimate grievances" of its people -- comments that were dismissed by Maduro in recent days as US meddling in Venezuela's sovereign affairs.¶ Students and the opposition are spearheading a nationwide protest movement in Venezuela that has left eight people dead and 137 wounded, and seen more than 100 detained since the demonstrations broke out.¶ In a move filled with anti-US sentiment, Maduro has threatened to block American broadcaster CNN, accusing the network of inciting "civil war."¶ CNN said several of its journalists working in Venezuela, on both Spanish-language and English-language programs, had seen their press credentials revoked or refused.¶ But Maduro's remarks on Friday, which did not meet with an immediate response from Washington, were altogether different.¶ "What we want is peace with the United States, respect, cooperation," Maduro added in urging Obama to also appoint a negotiator to talks.¶ "We love the American people, we admire their culture, their music." Maduro has already invited foreign investmentNewco 13 “Venezuela wants to attract foreign investors to strategic sectors†NEWCO August 20, 2013 http://www.newco.pro/blog/en/venezuela-wants-to-attract-foreign-investors-to-strategic-sectors/ According to Portuguese online daily financial newspaper Dinheiro Vivo, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has invited foreign entrepreneurs and businesses to invest in Venezuela and jumpstart the local economy. “If foreign companies want to come to Venezuela and undertake joint ventures with local private and publicly owned companies or invest on their own in accordance with our legislation, they can come to Venezuela because it is the land of opportunity,†he stated. He emphatically added, “All investors are welcome.†According to the article published on the 18th of August in Dinheiro Vivo, Nicolás Maduro explained that Venezuela’s government wants “serious capital for foreign investment†and it will guarantee foreign investor productivity. “We guarantee you will have all you need to make your business productive,†he stated. Although it is a country of many opportunities, the fact is that foreign investors have had to deal with much uncertainty in the past: since 1999, dozens of foreign-owned companies have been nationalized in Venezuela. These statements by Nicolás Maduro are reason for optimism and for a positive outlook, but it is essential that entrepreneurs correctly structure their investments in Venezuela in order to minimize risks and maximize results. Maduro Says Yes To Maintain Chavez’s LegacyThomas-Symonds 13 “What After Chavez?†Nick Thomas-Symonds; practicing barrister at Civitas Law, Cardiff, specializing in chancery and commercial law. He is also Lecturer in Politics at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University. He teaches British Politics and Government Since 1900, Modern British Politics, Politics in Europe and US Politics. He also teaches Contemporary US Politics on Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education “Foundations of Diplomacy†course; April 18, 2013 http://www.e-ir.info/2013/04/18/what-after-chavez/ A major part of Mr Chavez’s popular appeal was his willingness to stand up to what he characterized as imperialism. After all, El Comandante traced his heritage to another Latin American independence leader, Simon Bolivar. Mr Chavez’s antipathy had personal elements, too. He accused the US of trying to bring him down. To use just one example, a brief coup in 2002 temporarily removed him from power, and he openly accused the US of being responsible for it. With Mr Chavez’s death on 5 March 2013, there is an argument that things can only get better in diplomatic relations between the US and Venezuela. After all, even under Mr Chavez, Venezuela was still trading widely with the US. The US Department of State’s “fact sheet†on US-Venezuela relations confirms the extent of this trade: “The United States is Venezuela’s most important trading partner. U.S. exports to Venezuela include machinery, organic chemicals, agricultural products, optical and medical instruments, autos and auto parts.†It adds: “Oil dominates U.S. imports from Venezuela, which is one of the top four suppliers of foreign oil to the United States. About 500 U.S. companies are represented in Venezuela. U. S. foreign direct investment in Venezuela is concentrated largely in the petroleum, manufacturing and finance sectors.†That is not to say, however, that the US desire for oil has made it a no-go area for US governments in their diplomatic relations with the Bolivarian Republic. Sanctions were imposed on the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, in 2011, for making supplies to Iran. The demise of Mr Chavez is one thing, the position of his successor, Nicolas Maduro, on the US, quite another. To win the presidential election, Mr Maduro, a former bus driver, needed to present himself as continuing the work of Mr Chavez. As Mr Chavez’s chosen successor, and as the incumbent during the election, this may have seemed an easy task. However, Mr Maduro has taken this argument to extraordinary lengths. He not only declared himself “the son of Chavez†but claimed “Chavez lives!†and even went so far as to argue that El Comandante appeared to him as a bird whilst praying. Mr Maduro has continued to plough Chavez’s anti-US furrow. After all, he did serve for a substantial period as his foreign minister. An allegation that the dead president had been the subject of an attack by “historic enemies†led the US State Department to declare the notion that the US had played any part in Chavez’s death from cancer as “absurd.†Mr Maduro won the presidential election on 14 April 2013 with 50.7% of the vote. His winning margin of 1.5% constitutes only 235,000 votes. His defeated rival, Henrique Capriles, has alleged electoral malpractice and asked for the votes to be counted again. The US urged an audit of the result as an “important, prudent and necessary step.†However, the National Electoral Council has declared Mr Maduro’s victory “irreversibleâ€. That said, the narrow margin of Mr Maduro’s victory, particularly given the advantages of his links to Mr Chavez, may prove less durable than he may think. On Twitter, National Assembly, Head Mr Diosdado Cabello, said the “results require deep self-criticism.†Protests against the result continue. The outcome may yet prove unpredictable, and Mr Chavez’s demise may have heralded something new in Venezuelan foreign policy after all. For now at least, Mr Maduro’s policies matter. One of his first acts was to announce the continuation of funding of socialist programmes from oil revenues. Even setting to one side the protests against his controversial presidential election victory, the International Atomic Energy (IEA) predicted last month that whoever was the President was in a “Catch 22†situation. The current policy of using the nation’s oil reserves to fund socialist programmes cannot continue without putting the stability of the nation’s economy at risk. On the other hand, the programmes cannot be scaled back without political and social unrest. It is here that there may be a small chink of light for US-Venezuela relations, even under Mr Maduro. Venezuela cannot afford to turn any investors away unnecessarily. Even now, the US multi-national Chevron advertises that it is playing a part in six onshore and offshore projects. Venezuelans love capitalism, political momentum in our favorMander 13 “Hugo Chávez: His legacy at stake†Benedict Mander August 19, 2013 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e5ca6e64-05ce-11e3-8ed5-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2cy9iftXA When almost 500 families invaded the estate owned by the Santa Teresa rum company in 2000, Alberto Vollmer decided that using brute force to expel them would be futile. Hugo Chávez had just won the presidency and was encouraging Venezuelans to squat on private land. So instead, Mr Vollmer devised a plan to allow some families to remain, so long as the government paid for their housing.¶ He was one of the first among Venezuela’s business elite to realise that their attitudes were going to have to change under Chávez’s “Bolivarian revolutionâ€. He pioneered innovative social programmes that later won the leftwing leader’s explicit approval. “Project Alcatraz†aimed to rehabilitate criminals by, for example, letting rival gangs take out their aggression on the rugby field. Even while Chávez railed against the “rancid oligarchy†of capitalists, Mr Vollmer managed to turn around a failing business. The president even called the aristocrat a true revolutionary.¶ At a time of upheaval that caused thousands of other private enterprises to collapse, Chávez struck fear into the hearts of foreign investors as he expropriated farms, factories and even huge oil ventures from majors such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.¶ But since Chávez’s death in March, there are tentative signs that the political winds are shifting. Mr Vollmer and the rest of Venezuela’s private sector are keenly watching out for signs of change and compromise by the new government led by Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro.¶ “[Maduro’s] government realises that [during the Chávez years] there has been a major social revindication and that it is time to solve economic problems,†says Mr Vollmer. “Just as the private sector has learnt that it cannot ignore social problems, so the government has realised the importance of having a productive private sector, which ultimately is mutually beneficial.â€Â¶ Significantly, shortly after winning April’s election, Mr Maduro summoned Lorenzo Mendoza, who runs Venezuela’s largest private company, the food and drink giant Polar, to a secret meeting at the Miraflores presidential palace. In the past, Mr Mendoza was a whipping boy of the pugnacious Chávez, who said he deserved a “place in hellâ€. However, a person present at the meeting described it as “excellent†and said that Mr Maduro showed “genuine respect†towards one of Venezuela’s richest men.¶ If this is part of a trend, the extension of such an olive branch would be a significant shift. While businessmen such as Mr Vollmer always had to accommodate themselves to Chávez’s socialist project, the meeting at Miraflores could suggest a more pragmatic approach from his successor.¶ Many observers say that Mr Maduro, a former bus driver and trade unionist, needs to be more emollient than Chávez. He has inherited an economy teetering on recession, ravaged by shortages, a yawning fiscal deficit and inflation that has run at 42.6 per cent over the past 12 months. This is jeopardising Mr Maduro’s own position politically, with the opposition still refusing to recognise his razor-thin electoral victory, while he struggles against internecine fighting within the ruling United Socialist party of Venezuela (PSUV).¶ At stake is the economic future of a unique socialist experiment that, although sapped by gross mismanagement, was fuelled by the largest oil reserves in the world, funding revolution throughout the region.¶ Success by Mr Maduro in setting Venezuela on a steady course would assure Chávez’s vision a place in history. Failure would crush his dream of installing so-called “21st-century socialism†in the Opec country.¶ Luis Vicente León, a pollster, says the government now recognises its economic problems, which is “a significant step compared to the Chávez government, which tried primitive, communist solutions.†He argues that Mr Maduro has chosen a blend of radical politics combined with more moderate economic policy.¶ “Still, to recognise its problems is one thing and actually to do something about them is quite another. Actions are needed,†says Mr León.¶ There is certainly an air of optimism among business leaders. Jorge Roig, president of the business chamber, Fedecamaras, says: “The rapprochement is far greater than I can say publicly.†However, there are also strong grounds to doubt whether Mr Maduro can make profound changes.¶ Conversations with the private sector are only luke warm and are held in secret. “So far it is just talk, with no obvious results. Something is happening, but not at the speed that we would like,†says Mr Roig. Indeed, reports that Mr Maduro asked Mr Mendoza’s Polar to run underperforming state food-processing factories, which were nationalised by Chávez to help solve shortages of basic goods, have so far led to nothing.¶ The principal stumbling block to major reform is Mr Maduro’s loose grip over opposing factions within the government that succeeded Chávez. Fears among the PSUV’s radical ideologues that Mr Maduro may compromise the revolution’s socialist goals have paralysed decision making.¶ . . .¶ The nature of business in Venezuela is also turbid. While the canny Mr Vollmer’s methods won him international recognition for weathering hostile conditions – his experience has been used as a case study at Harvard Business School – another class of businessmen was far more opportunistic. Known as the “bolibourgeoisieâ€, some business magnates thrived over the past decade thanks to close links to Chávez’s government. They gained lucrative contracts with state institutions and executed shady currency deals, making magnificent fortunes almost overnight. Real reform would mean fewer favours for those closely connected to government but it is now difficult to challenge their interests.¶ Certainly, there are models to follow. Raúl Castro has begun tepid reforms in Cuba after his brother Fidel relinquished power, with numerous meetings between businessmen and the government.¶ There is also the model of President Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where oligarchs can flourish to their government’s benefit. “There is a Neo-bolibourgeousie emerging,†says Juan Carlos Zapata, a journalist who has written a book about the bolibourgeousie and coined the term.¶ According to Mr Zapata, it was businessmen who enjoyed good relations with the government who recently bought two media groups: opposition television station Globovisión and Cadena Capriles, which owns Venezuela’s most widely circulated newspaper, Últimas Noticias. He also predicted further acquisitions in banking.¶ “That newspaper [Últimas Noticias] wasn’t for sale. They came and bought it for about half of what it is worth,†says a person close to the deal. “The government basically told a group of businessmen who profit from their connections [with the government] to buy it, because they were fed up [with its stance].â€Â¶ In the end, Mr Maduro may have to opt for a hybrid model. There are limits to parallels with Russia. Although Russia is also a petro-state, Venezuela has even fewer industries that can produce oligarchs. Oil is the only genuinely productive asset and it is in the hands of the state.¶ “In Venezuela, it is all just merchants trying to make a killing on imports,†says Pedro Burelli, a former executive at PDVSA, the state-owned oil company. He says Rafael Ramírez, the company’s president, is the only Venezuelan who could count as a real oligarch. “He has privatised the cash flow of PDVSA, even if the state still holds on to a 100 per cent share of it.â€Â¶ Whichever path Mr Maduro chooses to revitalise Venezuela, it will be peppered with pitfalls.¶ “I get the impression that they are desperately clinging on to their ideology, debating internally how not to betray their socialist ideals, while at the same time wanting to achieve something, dreading the fact that they might actually be wrong and be forced to use mechanisms that border on capitalism,†says one businessman with close ties to the government.¶ Mr Maduro still has to keep an eye on the opposition, which will attempt to turn municipal elections in December into a plebiscite on his rule. Their sharpest criticism is that he is strangling dissent. In addition to the sale of Cadena Capriles and Globovisión – which no longer broadcasts the speeches of opposition leader Henrique Capriles – the government has hit two critical newspapers by freezing their editors’ assets.¶ The Supreme Court, which Chávez packed with friendly judges, has fined Mr Capriles after rejecting his “disrespectful†challenge against the validity of the April election result. It also asked the attorney-general to prosecute him for filing the petition.¶ Mr Maduro’s government has also targeted the opposition in a high-profile crusade against corruption. He has requested decree powers from the national assembly to do so, triggering concerns that those powers could be used to attack opponents. Yet corruption seems more pervasive in the government, which has access to the murky accounts of PDVSA, which receives about $100bn in oil revenues each year. Critics insist that schemes whereby Caracas exports discounted oil to neighbours are big earners for corrupt officials.¶ . . .¶ Even diehard supporters of Chávez, such as the influential journalist Mario Silva, now complain about deep-rooted corruption in the revolution’s ranks. In a leaked recording of a conversation he held with a Cuban intelligence agent, Mr Silva, who is better known for his vicious attacks against the opposition in a now cancelled chat show, aired serious concerns about illicit enrichment schemes, back-stabbing and even coup-mongering within the PSUV. “We are immersed in a sea of shit, compadre, and we haven’t realised it yet,†he bemoaned. Diosdado Cabello, the president of the national assembly and considered to be Mr Maduro’s main rival, was the principal target of his distress.¶ Even opposition politicians agree that the threat to Mr Maduro from within the PSUV is far greater than anything they can muster themselves. “If I were Maduro, I’d be far more afraid of Diosdado than the opposition,†says Ramón Muchacho, expected to become the opposition’s mayor in the Caracas municipality of Chacao in December’s election.¶ If the situation continues to unravel, opponents are likely to call a recall referendum, which is allowed three years into his presidency and could potentially cut his term short.¶ Either way, Venezuela could be on the brink of important change. Without it, the Caribbean nation risks, at one extreme, slipping into irrelevance or, at the other, the prospect of rising unrest, potentially even triggering a coup from inside the PSUV.¶ “We are seeing the atrophy of 10 years of hypertrophic growth. Chavismo is not a sustainable model,†says David Smilde at the Washington Office on Latin America.¶ It has fallen on Mr Maduro to correct Chávez’s failings. Without a more realistic approach, the grand ambitions of his predecessor – like those of his hero Simón Bolívar 200 years earlier – risk being be dashed.¶ . . .¶ Polar: Better not to mess with the bear¶ The late President Hugo Chávez reserved some of his most scathing criticism for Venezuela’s “rancid oligarchy†of capitalists, whom he considered to be little more than “traitors†and “craven lapdogs†of the US “empireâ€.¶ And there are few more powerful businessmen in Venezuela than Lorenzo Mendoza, who runs the country’s largest privately owned company, Polar.¶ But despite his notoriety for seizing private property, Chávez never messed with the giant food and drink producer, despite once insisting that Mr Mendoza was guaranteed a place in hell.¶ The socialist firebrand may have issued repeated threats to expropriate Polar – a tradition his successor Nicolás Maduro continued shortly before his election victory, darkly warning that “everything in life comes to an end†– but there is every reason to believe that Venezuela’s socialist government would never dare.¶ Put simply, it would be too risky in a country already wracked by shortages. Founded six decades ago, Polar has become a national icon and has come to be considered a paragon of corporate culture in Venezuela.¶ According to local pollsters, it always remained far more popular than Chávez ever was, while he still leads Mr Maduro by double digits in the Popularity stakes six months since his death.¶ For most Venezuelans, scarcely a day goes by without them consuming one of Polar’s products – there are few sights more common or treasured in Venezuela than the polar bear, the insignia of Polar’s flagship beer, while its Harina PAN maize flour is the key ingredient for the national staple, the arepa, Venezuela’s answer to the sandwich.¶ Venezuela’s shortages of basic foods are in large part due to government incompetence and they are already a source of widespread discontent. Imagine Venezuelans’ reaction if their favourite beer started running scarce too (Polar controls about three-quarters of the alcohol-loving nation’s beer market).¶ That would be the last thing Mr Maduro needs as he tries to stop the nation’s divisions from opening any wider. Shortages force pragmatism - empirics proveKeller 13 “Assessing Maduro’s first 100 days†Mark Keller August 02, 2013 http://latinbusinesschronicle.com/app/article.aspx?id=6236 Maduro’s biggest challenge by far is the Venezuelan economy: Maduro’s first 100 days have been characterized by shortages of food, electricity, medicines, and other basic goods. Analysts predict growth of less than 1 percent for the year, and inflation that could reach 40 percent. This has forced Maduro to take a different path than his predecessor. “On the question of the economy, Maduro has been much more pragmatic and less ideological than Chávez,†says Moya. The analyst attributes this partly to Maduro’s weaker government, but also to “paying the bill for the excesses of Chávez.â€Â¶ Maduro replaced Chávez’s minister of the economy Jorge Giordani with Nelson Merentes, who is considered more pragmatic by analysts. Merentes has tried to build bridges with the private sector, says Moya, evidenced by the government’s May meeting with the head of Empresas Polar to discuss production, and its loosening of complicated exchange controls to make it easier to access dollars for imports. “ Maduro’s government has an understanding that the private sector has a key role to play in the Venezuelan economy, and that it needs to work with them to control shortages and inflation,†says Moya. However he adds “the rhetoric against them hasn’t gone away. The government still accuses them of hoarding and other ills.†Empirically Maduro is opening up to US creditGoodman 13 “Venezuelan Economic Crisis Forces President's Hand†JOSHUA GOODMAN 12/02/13 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/venezuela-economic-crisis_n_4373021.html It's not just less economic muscle that is freezing Venezuela's outreach, said Carlos Romero, an international relations expert at the Central University of Venezuela. Maduro's inability to replicate Chavez's charisma and a rapprochement with the West by Iran and Syria, whose previous hard-line stance Chavez embraced, are undermining the politics of confrontation that the late Venezuelan leader relished, Romero said.¶ Interventionist policies, like Maduro's seizure of appliance stores last month, are also on the decline in much of Latin America. Even communist Cuba, its staunchest ally, is opening up to more private investment.¶ "Maduro's conduct came as a big surprise to activists, academics and many in the international media who had sympathized with Chavez and were expecting moderation," Romero said. "There's greater scrutiny of his human rights record and economic policies, and that has repercussions on Venezuela's international reputation."¶ Venezuela's Foreign Ministry declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.¶ To be sure, Venezuela isn't retreating into a hole. Maduro last month ordered the creation of a medical university in Venezuela to turn out doctors from around Latin America. He'll present the proposal at this month's summit in Caracas of the Bolivarian Alliance of nine leftist nations that includes Bolivia, Cuba and Ecuador.¶ And Maduro may have some reasons for hope. Oil production declines may soon bottom out as the government gives foreign companies a freer hand. Last week, the government secured a $1 billion loan from Russia's Gazprom, bringing to almost $10 billion the amount it has raised this year from foreign partners. Economists also expect Maduro to devalue the bolivar after Dec. 8 mayoral elections, a move that would substantially reduce a deficit estimated by Bank of America at 11.5 percent of GDP.¶ A debt crisis also seems unlikely with Wall Street banks lining up to lend money. Even as Maduro accuses the U.S. of conspiring to destabilize his government, the central bank is reportedly negotiating with Goldman Sachs a credit line using its sizable gold reserves as collateral. The government has an extra cash cushion in an off-budget fund known as well as a strong lender in China, which in September wrote Maduro a check for $5 billion.¶ Still, the days of geopolitical chest thumping, best captured when Chavez in 2006 laid out plans to build a pipeline stretching across South America, are a fast-fading memory as Maduro tries to get his house in order. A sign of the times: Brazil's state-owned Petrobras last month officially pulled the plug on a joint oil refinery with PDVSA after Venezuela failed to pay for its share of the project.¶ "It would be very difficult for Maduro to attempt anything as audacious again," said Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, director of international relations at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "Latin America's strategic options are changing rapidly, and they no longer pass through Caracas."
  11. Maduro says no is NOT a good argument against a decent Venezuela team and it's honestly a little irritating how quickly it became an accepted norm that Venezuela cases are bad because Maduro says no. 1. Any decent analysis of Venezuela will show that economic relations always trump political relations. For the past decade, Venezuela has been publicly criticizing the US and been making bellicose statements, but that hasn't stopped trade significantly. Maduro's rhetoric against the US is NOTHING NEW. 2. There is just as much recent evidence out there that says that Maduro wants relations with the US. 3. Warrants > Maduro bad-mouthed the US. 4. Solvency deficits have never been very persuasive.
  12. MisterTDebater

    Big affs

    I think the relevant T debates (where there is literature supporting both sides) are whether or not: science/research counts as exploration/development conservation counts as development ports on land (or other ocean-serving structures) count as ocean development shipping counts as development salvage counts as development waste management counts as development The big-stick core of the topic aff (like SPS, HSR, and Lift the Cuban Embargo respectively for the past three debate topics) is going to be offshore oil drilling. Many other energy affirmatives will be common as well (in particular OTEC)
  13. Hey, I'm trying to get my novices to go to camp and I'm wondering if there's a comprehensive list of debate camp info (dates, price, location, etc) anywhere. That would be really helpful in assisting the search for good camps.
  14. Hey! I ran this argument on the space topic and I'd be happy to help. Solar flares is actually a decent internal link. No one is saying a solar flare will hit with the intensity to boil rivers. Basically, solar flares have a habit of disrupting electronics critical for functioning, which is why solar flares are a major risk for satellites, sometimes cause radio shortages and blackouts, and even in 1859 caused the Carrington Event, which caused nearly all the telegraph systems in Europe and North America to fail or even combust. The nuclear plant internal link is that a massive solar flare would trigger the collapse of the global power grid (which has a host of very bad impacts), causing nuclear power plants to fail (nuclear power plants run from the grid, if they can't get external power they meltdown, see Fukushima), and extinction. No one is saying that solar storms cause physical damage. 1. There's very good evidence that indicates a particularly strong / massive solar storm is coming our way. I remember on the space topic the evidence said late 2012/early 2013, but you'll probably be able to find some evidence that says that the strong storm is coming. This is based off like 150-year long solar cycles. And past solar flares causing blackouts only proves the internal link, because the power grid is stressed more than ever and is on the brink of collapse (2003 solar storm took out the northeast power grid). Now is key, because solar storms are getting stronger and the power grid is getting weaker. 2. Past meltdowns only put us on the brink and they don't assume the failure of the ~500? nuclear power plants around the world. Here's some cards that should help with the impact (This article has a lot of money cards in it: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/213249/20110914/solar-flare-could-unleash-nuclear-holocaust-across-planet-earth-forcing-hundreds-of-nuclear-power-pl.htm) Reactor meltdowns cause extinction - supervolcanoesTurchin 11 “The worst scenario for nuclear power plant disaster andthe risk of human extinction†Alexai Turchin; Expert of global catastrophes of Russian Transhumanist Movement, Research Fellow in Foundation “Science for longer lifeâ€; 4-6-2011 http://www.scribd.com/doc/52440799/Worst-Case-Scenario-of-Nuclear-Accidents-human-extinction "China Syndrome" - penetration of the crust That is, the formation of a large drop of very heavy liquid fuel, which is on its way to melt all - concrete, gravel, rock. A similar project is discussed in an article in “Nature†to create a probe thatcould reach the Earth's core. This so-called Stevenson probe, which consists of 1million tons of molten iron and burns its way down.As shown by Milan Cirkovic in his article "Geo-engineering that went awry"http://www.proza.ru/2007/11/10/290 penetrating Earth curst with huge drop of molten metal (Stevenson probe) can lead to the formation of the channel to the molten core of the Earth up to the surface on which the top begins to break out of magma and gases. This will lead to degassing of the nucleus in the form of a giant volcanic eruption that will completely change the composition of the atmosphere and destroy all life on Earth. It was shown that even a small drop of fuel - 10 kg - will dive at a speed of 2.5 meters / day. A drop of several hundred tons can dive to a few tens of metersper day, I think. Or 10 km per year, for instance.Under Japan are large volcanic reservoirs that feed the Fuji and other volcanoes, the distance to them is around a few tens of kilometers down. It is unknown whether there are magma tanks directly under the Fukusima station. In the mantle of the movement will drop even faster as mantia is hot and plastic. Time to reach these volcanic reservoirs may be about 10 years. It is possible that the channel behind the fuel droplet is completely closed, but it is possible that will remain softer due to residual fuel on its walls. Then this channel will extrude up, like toothpaste from a tube. And well, if this shallow reservoir, which simply spit out the fuel and lead to the emergence of a new volcano. Worse, if the drop reach a deep reservoir at adepth of hundreds of kilometers, or to the very earth core, which will mentioned above degassing of the core (which is probably long overdue, and already partly taken place on Venus). This immersion of the drop can take dozens of years, in the course of which nothing much will be observed. Or maybe less. According to personal communication of a Russian scientist,they performed studies on the establishment of a nuclear reactor, glorifying its wayinside the earth to deliver a research probe to the core, and the term of his dives aremuch smaller. Reactor meltdowns cause extinction – radiophobia turns every impactTurchin 11 “The worst scenario for nuclear power plant disaster andthe risk of human extinction†Alexai Turchin; Expert of global catastrophes of Russian Transhumanist Movement, Research Fellow in Foundation “Science for longer lifeâ€; 4-6-2011 http://www.scribd.com/doc/52440799/Worst-Case-Scenario-of-Nuclear-Accidents-human-extinction The collapse of technological civilization, as a result of a systemic crisis, associated with not developing new technologies, radiophobia, economic crisis, the evacuation of the population, rise in price of food, lack of energy Mainly affects the factor of radiation - it's panic. When an accident source of cesium in the Brazilian city of Guyana, 4 people were killed, but the GDP of thisregion fell in the next year by 30 percent due to the exodus of businesses. Good example of such consequence is the fall of USSR after Chernobyl.The more complex the system, the major role in her behavior plays an informational component. In other words, it can be destroyed due to incorrect commands. A person can die from fear, but a tree can’t. Remote effects of radiation is difficult to measure but radiophobia is real as an idea that took over the masses. Just as the mines in a minefield not kill many soldiers, but paralyze the activity of the infantry, this is their primary role. As such a crisis, we can consider the possible consequences of the accident at the Fukushima (written March 26, 2011 d). One of the possible worst-case scenarios. Contamination of the sea and food, as well as fear of infection will lead to higher prices for products in the world. At the same time increase the need for fossil fuel, to plug holes in the power systems. This is a bio-fuel and fertilizer, also hit prices, a threat of famine. People begin to stockpile. Intense unrest, such as Arabic, 2011, can also capture India, Saudi Arabia,Algeria and China. There will be a further rise in oil prices, global recession, the collapse of the financial system. There will be a movement of Luddites, destroying technology. Spread of illness associated with consumption of radioactive food. The world will be in the depths of the all-out civil war, many "tribes". The world economy will collapse. Will there be local nuclear war. Other nuclear power plants explode. Spread the virus and drug-resistant TB, exacerbated by globalwarming. The planet's population will be reduced several times. Further extension of global catastrophe is possible, the increase of degradation and extinction, or the gradual restoration of civilization. Another scenario involves a systemic crisis, and after a period of degradation beginning of increased competition of superpowers, a new arms race, creating new dangerous weapons (cobalt bomb, nanotech, viruses) and then a global catastrophe with their application. Reactor meltdown is the biggest impact – recovery, probability, and timeframePoppins 12 “Fukushima, denial, and the ethics of extinction†Mary Poppins; environmental activist, worked at Fukushima; May 21, 2012 http://guymcpherson.com/2012/05/fukushima-denial-and-the-ethics-of-extinction/ We have created astoundingly toxic substances which have not been present on the surface of this planet in billions of years; some have never been here before. All are made in nuclear reactors — they do not occur in nature. The particulars of this problem are well documented and need not be repeated here, except to note that earth’s living beings do not have eons of genetic adaptation to constant high radiation levels. All other problems allow some optimism about the long term prospect for recovery after the human rampage is over. This threat is different in kind from other environmental problems because radioactivity directly disrupts or destroys the ability of genes to accurately replicate. This is not repairable. We menace everything, not just ourselves. For about seventy years, we’ve been building and operating reactors with design lives of maybe 40 years. There are roughly 450 operating civilian reactors, and a guesstimated 500+ military, research, and other reactors, all of which continue to produce radioisotopes with half-lives ranging from seconds to millions of years in containments designed as temporary until the waste problem is solved. Unfortunately, no solution has been found, and when the containments begin to fail significantly, all the garbage sitting in them will disperse into the environment. There is no other choice- remove this crap from the biosphere, or eat, breathe, and wear it, wash with it, walk on it and drink it when the containment fails. We’re there. You’re now looking down the barrel of the gun that is the likeliest of all to kill you, me and everyone we know. It’s not vague any longer. This is the specific problem that will end civilization and ruin the biosphere, with a specific mechanism of action and a very short time frame. Meltdowns are comparatively the biggest impact – Fukushima and depleted uranium put us on the brinkDaley 11 “NUCLEAR POWER TECHNOLOGY, AN EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT!†Peter Daley; Australian government official; 2011 http://sccc.org.au/archives/2186 It's not a meteor impact, large solar flare, or nuclear war that could cause an Extinction Level Event to humanity, but nuclear reactor meltdowns through, war, sabotage, human error, or natural disaster. In my opinion at the present time, nuclear power technology has become the greatest danger to the survival of the human race. There are around 1,000 nuclear reactors in the world, 442 for generating electricity, 250 research reactors, and the rest are military. Fifty two are in Japan, a very earthquake active zone. There are plans to build another 50+ nuclear power reactors for generating electricity in India and China, in the next decade alone. All we need is for a couple more nuclear plants to suffer similar disasters to Fukushima, and the world will become so contaminated with radiation that the human race will be wiped out. Before the Fukushima disaster, radiation pollution from nuclear reactors and depleted uranium munitions were already causing male sperm counts to drop dramatically, increased birth defects, and increases in cancer rates. Nuclear reactor meltdown is worse than nuclear war; radiation is three times worse, lasts longer, and contaminates more areasNissani 6 Moti Nissani; Associate Professor/ Genetics, Campaign Financing, Environmental Science & Politics, Greenhouse Effect, English, Media Studies, Cold War History, Critical Thinking, Philosophy, Cognitive Psychology, Teeth Clenching & Grinding, Interdisciplinarity; December of 2006 http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/pagepub/CH2.html Radioactive materials produced in nuclear power plants decay more slowly than the by-products of nuclear bombs,3 so the devastation of nuclear power plants would considerably increase the area which would remain unsafe for human habitation after the war. For breeder reactors, reprocessing facilities, and near-ground radioactive waste-disposal sites, the picture is even grimmer: certain portions of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the eastern half of the continental U.S., the states of Washington and California, and considerable portions of Western Europe, could be contaminated for decades. Even centuries later, it might be advisable to check radioactivity levels before buying land in these regions. The wartime vaporization of most nuclear power facilities will increase (by about one-third) average global fallout and its long-term effects. Moreover, because radioactive materials from this source are longer-lived than materials produced by nuclear bombs, their relative contribution to the global fallout will increase over time. For instance, ten years after the war, total radioactivity in global fallout would be three times higher with such vaporization than without it. Nuclear meltdown causes extinction – only 100 are neededIBT Science 11 “Solar Flare could unleash nuclear holocaust across planet earth forcing hundreds of nuclear power plants into total meltdowns†September 14, 2011 9:55 AM EST (NaturalNews) http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/213249/20110914/solar-flare-could-unleash-nuclear-holocaust-across-planet-earth-forcing-hundreds-of-nuclear-power-pl.htm Fukushima was one power plant. Imagine the devastation of 100+ nuclear power plants, all going into meltdown all at once across the planet. It's not the loss of electricity that's the real problem; it's the global tidal wave of invisible radiation that blankets the planet, permeates the topsoil, irradiates everything that breathes and delivers the final crushing blow to human civilization as we know it today. Because if you have 100 simultaneous global nuclear meltdowns, the tidal wave of radiation will make farming nearly impossible for years. That means no food production for several years in a row. And that, in turn, means a near-total collapse of the human population on our planet. How many people can survive an entire year with no food from the farms? Not one in a hundred people. Even beyond that, how many people can essentially live underground and be safe enough from the radiation that they can have viable children and repopulate the planet? It's a very, very small fraction of the total population.
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