a. AFF doesn’t solve wages for immigrant workers---wage
gains come at the expense of earlier migrants, latent
discriminatory effects prevent hikes across the board.
Harry J.
Holzer 11.
Georgetown U ni versity and the Urban Insti tute. J anuar y 2011. “Immigrati on Polic y and Less-Skill ed Wor kers in the United States: R efl ecti ons on F utur e Direc tions for R efor m.”
Most studies of the impact of new
immigrants on earlier immigrants find adverse wage effects. They suggest that
immigrant inflows to the US during 1990–2006 reduced the wages of earlier
immigrants by about 6.7% [11]. These results are not surprising since immigrants
are likely to enter the same labor market, based on their similar educational
experiences, language abilities, occupations, and (diaspora) settlement
patterns. There is also potential for discrimination against legal immigrants who
may be mistaken for undocumented immigrants .
Effects on nati ve-born wor kers and earlier immigrants Mos t empiric al wor k has examined the impact of new i mmigrati on on earlier i mmigrants and nati ve- bor n wor kers rather than the i mpac t of newl y leg alized i mmigrants on earlier i mmigrants and nati ve-born wor kers. While studies reac h different concl usions on the effects on nati ve-born wor kers, there i s mor e agreement on the i mpact of new i mmigrants on earli er immigrants . T his literature s eems the mos t rel evant to provi ding i nsights into the impact of the newl y l egalized i mmigrants on other l abor market par ticipants.
This c onfusion was found to be the cas e i n the U S when the IRC A amnes ty programs wer e c oupl ed wi th new
s ancti ons on employers
for hiring undocumented wor kers. T he wag es of
all Latino wor kers fell an esti mated 8%; employment r ates also fell
b. Increased immigration substantially dips wages for sameskilled native workers – distributes their losses to
immigrants and employers
Stauffer, 2016
(Brian Stauffer, professor of economic s and s oci al polic y at the Har vard Kennedy Sc hool and author of the forthcomi ng We Wanted Wor kers: U nraveling the Immigration N arrati ve, Politico Mag azine, November 2016, https://www.politic o.c om/magazi ne/stor y/2016/09/trump-clinton-immigrati on- ec onomy-unempl oyment-j obs-214216) – R K
When the supply of workers goes up, the price that firms have to pay
to hire workers goes down. Wage trends suggest that a 10 percent increase in
the number of workers
lowers the wage of that group by at least 3 percent.
Even after the economy has fully adjusted
monetary loss is sizable
earnings of this group dropped by
between $800 and $1,500 each year.
will quickly dismiss their current tech workforce when they find cheaper
immigrant workers.
This s ec ond mess age might be hard for many Americans to proces s, but anyone who tells you that i mmigrati on does n’t have any neg ati ve effects does n’t understand how it r eall y wor ks.
over the pas t half-c entur y
with a par ticul ar s et of s kills pr obabl y
, those s kill groups that rec ei ved the mos t i mmigrants will still offer l ower pay r elati ve to thos e that rec ei ved fewer i mmig rants. Both l ow- and high-s killed nati ves are affec ted by the i nfl ux of i mmigrants. But bec aus e a dis proporti onate percentage of immigrants have few s kills, it is low-s killed American wor kers, i ncluding many blac ks and His panics , who have s uffered most from this wage dip.
. The typic al high sc hool dropout earns about $25,000 annuall y. Acc ordi ng to c ens us data, i mmigrants admitted in the past two d ec ades lac ki ng a high sc hool dipl oma have i ncreas ed the size of the low-s kill ed wor kforc e by r oug hl y 25 percent. As a res ult, the
partic ularl y vul ner abl e
We don’ t need to rel y on complex statisti cal c alc ulations to see the har m being done to some wor kers. Simpl y l ook at how empl oyers have reac ted. A dec ade ago, Crider Inc., a c hic ken proces sing plant i n Georgia, was rai ded by i mmigrati on ag ents, and 75 perc ent of i ts wor kforce vanis hed over a single weekend. Shortl y after, Cri der placed an ad i n the l ocal news paper announcing j ob openi ngs at higher wages. Si milarl y, the flood of recent news r eports on abus e of the H- 1B visa pr ogram s hows that
What does it all add up to? The fis cal burden offs ets the g ain from the $50 billi on i mmigrati on sur plus, s o it’s not too farfetched to c onclude that i mmigrati on has bar el y affec ted the total weal th of nati ves at all. Instead, it has c hanged how the pi e is split, with the l osers —the wor kers who compete with i mmigrants, many of thos e bei ng low-s kill ed Americans—s endi ng a roughl y $500 billion c hec k annuall y to the winners . T hos e wi nners are pri marily their empl oyers. And the i mmigrants thems el ves c ome out ahead, too. Put bluntl y, i mmigration tur ns out to be just another inc ome redistri buti on program.
c. Even if they win immigrants improve the economy,
increased competition makes unequal distribution
Solman and Sachs, 2016
(ec onomics corr espondent Paul Sol man and economist J effrey Sac hs, direc tor of the Earth Institute at Col umbi a U ni versi ty and a s enior UN advis or, What’ s the economic i mpact of refugees in America?, PBS, Apr 7, 2016, onomy/whats-the-economic-i mpac t-of-r efugees-in-america) – R K
For the U.S.,
earn less than what they contribute
The distributional consequences come in two kinds. First, some workers
face increased job competition, and their wages can be driven down. If lower
skilled immigrants come, then lower skilled American workers may see a decline
Jeffr ey Sachs : F or the worl d, i t’s positi ve, bec ause peopl e are l eavi ng des perate situati ons and getti ng to economic all y better situations.
conseq uenc es that c an be quite c omplic ated. Paul Sol man: And what are they? J effrey Sachs:
on net, it’s positi ve, becaus e there are gai ns when
come, add to the labor mar ket, add s kills and g enerall y,
c an
to the s ociety as a whol e. So there are benefits, but there ar e distributi onal
in their wages, whereas business owners may see more workers at lower cost for
The s ec ond ki nd of distributi onal cons equenc e is that migrants get s ocial ser vic es. And if they pay l ess i n taxes and rec ei ve s ocial ser vic es, that’s ki nd of a tax on the rest of the s ociety. So economis ts poi nt to both the labor mar ket impacts and to the fisc al i mpac ts.
d. More Immigration will cause a net reduction in wages
Rubenstein ‘16
Internall y quoting Paul Samuelson — the first American to wi n a N obel Prize in ec onomics . Edwin S. Rubens tei n previ ousl y was an ec onomis t and Direct or of R esearc h at the H udson Ins titute, as well as an Ec onomics editor National Revi ew and a contributi ng editor at F orbes M agazi ne. Mr. Rubens tei n has a B.A. fr om J ohns H opkins and a graduate degree i n ec onomic s from C ol umbi a U ni versity. His es says on public polic y have appeared i n T he Wall Street Journal, The N ew Yor k Ti mes , H ar var d Busi ness R eview, Investor’s Busi ness D ail y, N ews day, and N ati onal R evi ew. “T he Neg ati ve Economi c Impact of Immigration on American Wor kers” – M arch - #C utWithRJ - ontent/uploads/2016/02/2016N egati veEconomicImpac tFor umPaper.pdf
World War I, laws were passed severely limiting immigration.
keeping supply down, immigration policy tends to keep wages high .
an increase in supply will, tend to depress wage rates.”
the first
American to win a Nobel Prize in economics — gave the common sense answer
as immigration increases the supply of labor
the wage
paid to workers will fall.
Only a tric kle of i mmigrants has been admitted since then….
Let us underline this basic pri ncipl e:
limitati on in the suppl y of any grade of labor rel ati ve to all other producti ve factors c an be expected to rais e its wage r at e;
– Paul Samuels on, Ec onomics [1964] What happens when i mmigrati on increases the s uppl y of wor kers in a partic ular l abor mar ket? In his iconic textbook, Paul Samuels on —
other thi ngs bei ng equal,
implied by the
standard model of the labor mar ket. Samuels on wrote thes e words right before enac tment of the 1965 Immigration Act. T he i mpen di ng change may well have prompted hi m to make the point that i mmigration r estricti ons tended to “ keep wag es high.” His book als o s tress ed the other i mplication:
a partic ular type of
(such as l ow-educ ated, uns killed wor kers),
thos e
AND their evidence is bad data
a. Their evidence is based on MNC think-tank’ing, it’s
ideological and not evidence-driven
Ruark 14
– Eric R uar k, Director of R es earch at the Federati on for Immigrati on Res earch (FAIR), May 21, 2014, “The (Il)l ogic of Open Bord er Libertari ans” , May 21, 2014, https://www.fair oci etal-impact/illogic-open- bor der-libertarians KKC
Big-business interests have a large stake in the outcome of the debate over
immigration, and they have spent much money supporting libertarian “thinktanks”
is a way to provide ideological cover for multi-national
corporations who lobby for the passage of legislation that will undermine the
standing of American workers and force taxpayers to subsidize the costs of a
cheaper foreign labor force.
would allow corporations to further consolidate
their hold on the U.S. economy, while the middle class would lose more of its
economic and political power.
that es pous e an open-border polic y for the U nited States . By all appearanc es,
has ver y little to do with any princi pled c ommitment to libertarian princi ples , but
An open border, or at l east a more open border,
b. That is why empirics are better than hypothetical economic
George J .
Borjas 16,
H ar vard ec onomics pr ofess or, 2016, We Wanted Wor kers, pg 152
the most credible evidence on the labor market of immigration comes from
studies that do not rely on models of hypothetical economies. Despite the many
data problems that real-world studies often encounter, at least that evidence is
not tainted by assumptions that offer tempting opportunities to manipulate the
data and weave a narrative.
lowskill workers have paid much of the bill for what- ever gains have accrued
elsewhere the results from all subsequent theory-based games should bear an
In my view,
T he his toric al rel ation between the wages of s peci fic s kill groups and i mmigrati on i nto thos e groups s ummarizes what we know for sur e: the earni ngs of the groups mos t affected by i mmigrati on grow at a slower rate. A s ensi ble infer enc e from the actual data, bas ed on either a decades- long tr ac ki ng of s peci fic s kill groups or the Mariel suppl y s hoc k, is that a s kill group hit by a 10 percent incr eas e i n the number of wor kers probabl y faces a wage r educti on of at l east 3 percent, and perhaps even 10 perc ent if the unique Mariel experience c oul d be generaliz ed to the entire l abor mar ket. In the moder n Americ an context, this fac t s uggests that
. As wi th tai nted s ports rec ords,
asterisk next to the statistic.
c. Their authors use biased calculation to conclude
immigration increases wages---when you apply their
methodology to its full extent, it proves wage depression is
much larger
[George J.
Borjas 2016,
, 3-16-
R obert W. Scrivner Pr ofess or of Economics and Social Polic y Har vard Kennedy School, C ambri dge, M A, "THE IMPACT OF H IGH LEVELS OF IMM IGR ATION ON U.S. WORKERS," UNIT ED ST ATES SEN ATE COMMIT TEE ON THE JUDIC IAR Y SUBC OMMITT EE ON IMMIGR ATION AND TH E N ATIONAL INT ER EST ON E HUNDR ED F OURTEENTH C ONGR ESS, SECOND SESSION, http://www.i he- Benefits- of-a-Tight-Labor-Mar ket]//R ank
The economic gains from immigration depend directly on the impact that
immigrants have on native wages
7. T he benefits from i mmigrati on
Existi ng es timates of these benefi ts use the si mpl est “textbook model” of a c ompeti ti ve labor mar ket to calcul ate the gai ns. In this framewor k, wag es and employment are set by the inter play between the suppl y of and the demand for wor kers. When wag es are hig h, many persons want to wor k, but few fir ms are looki ng to hir e. When wages ar e l ow, few persons want to wor k, but many fir ms are competing for their s er vices . T he labor mar ket balances out the c onflic ting i nterests of wor kers and fir ms, and s ets employment and wages s o that pers ons who want to wor k at the goi ng wag e c an find j obs. 9
A supply shock of immigrants lowers native wages
this estimate of the surplus depends
on the many assumptions that underlie the textbook model of a competitive labor
If one wishes to believe that the
immigration surplus is around $50 billion, it follows from the same calculation
that the redistribution of wealth from workers to firms is around half-atrillion
new evidence that immigrants depress the wage of native
workers by even more
there are many claims that
immigration increases wealth by hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars. These
claims, however, often use a misleading picture of exactly what it is they are
talking about
, but r aises the pr ofits accrui ng to empl oyers . A crucial i mplicati on of the l aws of s uppl y and demand is that the winners gai n mor e than the los ers l ose, s o that i mmigrati on creates an “immigration s urpl us” — an incr eas e i n the aggregate income accr uing to the nati ve popul ati on. T abl e 2. T he s hort-r un immigration s urpl us, 2015 In billions of dollars Immigration s ur plus 50.2 Los s to nati ve wor kers
515.7 Gai n to nati ve fir ms 565.9 Total i ncreas e i n GD P 2,104.0 Payments to i mmigrants 2,053.8 Sourc e: George J. Borj as, We Wanted Wor kers : U nraveling the Immigrati on Narr ati ve (New Yor k: Norton, forthc oming 2016), C hapter 8. T he c alcul ati ons assu me that GDP is $18 trillion; that immigrants c ompos e 16.3 percent of the wor kforc e; and that a 10 percent incr eas e i n s uppl y lowers the wage by 3 perc ent. Table 2 reports that the i mmigrati on sur plus is about $50 billion annuall y, a number that is “s mall” i n the c ontext of an $18 trillion ec onomy. Needl ess to say
Neverthel ess , the model s ays s omething that is ver y us eful: i t is mathe matic all y i mpos sibl e to mani pul ate the l aws of suppl y and demand so as to yi eld a huge number for the immigration s urpl us, even after i mmigration has increased the si ze of the wor kforc e by over 16 percent. The s mall s urpl us of $50 billion, however , mas ks a siz able r edistributi on of wealth from wor kers to the users of i mmigrant labor . Let me res tate this point i n a different way:
. Note that I ass umed that a 10 perc ent i ncreas e i n s uppl y l owers wag es by 3 perc ent to calc ul ate the immigration s urpl us. Ir onic ally, those who believe that the i mmigrati on sur plus is muc h larger should welc ome
. The economic benefits from i mmigrati on ar e the fli p si de of 10 the wage loss es suffered by wor kers . T he greater the wage l oss , the greater the profits to employers and the greater the benefits to those who c ons ume the s er vic es i mmigrants provi de. Although standard calc ul ations of the immigration s urpl us s uggest it is s mall
The i mmigrati on s urpl us meas ures the additional wealth that accr ues to nati ves. T his s ur plus i s not the same thing as the act ual incr ease i n GDP bec ause i mmigrants rec ei ve part of that increase in nati onal income i n retur n for their wor k. As T abl e 2 also shows , a s uppl y s hoc k of 16 perc ent g enerates a $2.1 trillion i ncreas e i n GD P i n the s hort run. This huge i ncreas e is not sur prising; a 16 percent incr eas e i n the number of wor kers substantiall y incr eas es the size of the aggregate ec onomy. H owever, the i mmigrants thems el ves get pai d about 98 perc ent of this i ncreas e i n GDP. The l aws of suppl y and demand pr edic t that ver y little of this aggregate incr ease i n GD P actuall y goes to the nati ve populati on.
a. Growth is unsustainable---causes war and environmental
CASSE, 2018.
Envir onmental Pr otection
C enter for the Advanc ement of Steady State Economy. https :// Acc essed 7/3/18 //WR-NC P
Economic growth is the biggest threat of the 21st Century
. Growth, especi all y in wealthy nations, is alr eady causi ng mor e pr oblems than it sol ves. Thes e problems ar e grave: environmental destruction, ec onomic ins tability, and inter national tur moil that threatens national security. Let’s start wi th the environment
rapidl y becomi ng
Think about how an economy is structured. There must be agricultural and
extractive surplus for the manufacturing and services to proliferate, and this
surplus must increase for the economy to grow . , environmental impact increases
in step with agricultural and extractive production. The clearest example is
of this envir onmental impact is biodi versity loss
because the growing economy degrades and liquidates wildlife habitats. every
Virtuall y
environmental problem – air pollution, water shortage, climate change, etc. – can
be traced to economic growth.
economic growth based on technological progress takes away as many jobs as it
Economic growth is a threat not only to the
environment and long-term jobs, but to national security and international
Economic Sustainability How can we have mor e and more jobs – billions mor e, perpetuall y mor e – on a finite planet? T o think we c an have per petuall y more j obs on Earth is li ke thinki ng we c an squeez e a billion jobs i nto a per petuall y s hrinki ng area! In fact thes e proposi tions are pr ecisel y, equall y ludicrous . Sustai nable employment is all about es tablishi ng a steady state ec onomy.
T hink about c apital-intensi ve production wi th robots and automati on. What’s the future i n that? Economic s ustainability req uires a steady s tate ec onomy with stabilized populati on and a rigorous l abor forc e wor king in tandem with appropriate technolog y. Already on board? Wishi ng we had a steady state ec onomy? H elp make it happen: Internati onal Stability
stability. war is a history of competition for natural resources and economic
T he his tor y of
growth .
Need examples? World War II s tarted with the doc trine of “ Lebensr aum,”
the Cold War score was kept in terms of GDP, and conflict in the
Middle East centers on oil and water.
b. Economic growth is the sole reason why the bee
population is declining
Porterfield, 2015.
Andrew Porterfi eld is a writer, editor and communic ati ons c onsultant for academic institutions , c ompanies and non-profits i n the life sci ences. H e is bas ed i n C amarillo, C alifor nia. Genetic Liter ac y Proj ect. 12/3/15. “Tr ade and ec onomic growth, not pesticides, maj or driver of beehi ve decli nes ?” https ://geneticliterac ypr ade- economic-growth-not-pestici des-maj or-dri ver-beehi ve-declines /
The debate over whether bees are threatened and if so, why, is c ontenti ous . Globall y, the nu mber of bee hi ves has ris en steadil y over the past dec ade, and the number of bee hi ves is at r ecor d l evel s in North Americ a and thr oug hout mos t of Eur ope. But ther e ar e d efinit e pro blem s, say top entomolog ist s. While the number of over-wi nter hi ves is at t heir highes t numbers in years, l oss es during the s ummer are stubbornl y high. “Su ch h igh colon y losses in th e sum mer and year-round r em ain v er y troubling,” sai d entomologist Jeff Pettis, a res earcher at the USD A’s Agricultural R es earc h Ser vic e Bee R es earch Laborator y in Belts ville, Md., and a co- author of the g over nment sur vey that tallied up the bee l oss es. But what’s dri ving thes e l osses? Ac ti vists say pes ticides, neonic otinoi ds i n partic ular, ar e the primar y dri ver. But overall col ony numbers have risen i n the decade and a half since the pestici de was introduc ed. M ost scientis ts s ay the is sue if multi fac tori al. But which factor s ar e most key?
Honey imports and exports and dramatic economic changes in certain nations
have been more responsible for honeybee colony decreases
“countries with a
positive correlation between honey production and colony number are the main
(and s ome incr eases) than GM Os, pestici des , mites or diseas es, acc ordi ng to a new study by Ger man res earc hers. M oreover, the data clouded the pic tur e often s een i n medi a and N GO repor ts, pointi ng to a c onsistent, global decr eas e i n bee col oni es. While s ome
countri es, li ke the U S and i n Western Europe, have s een a consis tent decline i n c olonies, other countries have s een dramatic incr eases in col oni es and honey pr oducti on. Southern Europe, for example, s aw a doubling of c oloni es over the past 50 years, while South American c oloni es grew by 5.2 percent annuall y, Afric an col oni es grew by 3.3 perc ent annuall y, and Asian c olonies grew by 4.4 percent annually (all over the past 50 years). Over all, despite the decreases in Wes ter n Eur ope and the U nited States , the F AO data s howed an incr eas e i n the number of all c ol oni es globally. Per haps significantl y, the data als o s howed an incr ease in demand for pollinati on whic h was higher than the number of existi ng honeybee col onies . In fac t,
honey exporters, while countries with a negative correlation are those importing
The closest match, the German
researchers wrote, were associated with severe economic changes
in the US, the number of disappearing hives reached 42 percent. The
researchers pointed to the growth of commercial beekeeping as a possible link to
colony declines, especially in the US and Western Europe.
M oritz and d Erler wr ote. “N one of the col ony number dynamic s of the pas t 50 years, n either i ncr eas e nor decr eas e, show any r elati on to the arrival of novel pests or the use of novel pestici des .” All i n all, ab out 60 possi ble environmental caus es of bee heal th threats have been investig ated. But nobody, until the Ger man study, has tr ied to s ystematic ally match economic iss ues , indi vi dual c ountr y dynamics, and the behavi or of profes sional beekeepers with c hang es i n c olony numbers.
, such as a 66 percent decline i n c olonies in Madag asc ar after a politic al c oup i n 1977, and a 73 perc ent decli ne in Burundi during that c ountr y’s ci vil war, and signific ant
politic al, social and
decli nes in eastern Europe after the c ollapse of the Sovi et U ni on. But in the U .S. and Western Europe, the decli nes have been steady and signi ficant. Las t year
Accordi ng to Moritz and Erler:
c. Geoengineering fails – it increases risk of environmental
degradation, doesn’t have political support, and are
motivated by companies for profit, economic collapse is
the only option
Unmüßig ’17
– President of the H einric h Böll F oundation ( Bar bar a, Ec o-Business , “Geoengineering will not s ave us fr om cli mate c hang e,” 10/16/17, o-business .c om/opi nion/geoengineering-will-not-s ave-us-fr om-climate-change/)//PS
Proponents of this science feed the
illusion that there is a way to engineer an exit from the climate crisis,
maintain a consumption-heavy lifestyle
climate engineering
is not
only risky; it also directs attention away from the only solution we know will
work: reducing Each of the engineered technologies being discussed carries
dangers and uncertainties.
could cause
irreversible damage. Current models predict that SRM deployment would alter
global precipitation patterns, damage the ozone layer, and undermine the
livelihoods of millions of people.
once deployed globally, SRM could spawn
powerful weapons, giving states, corporations, or individuals the ability to
manipulate climate for strategic gain
CDR approaches are already prohibited, owing to concerns about possible
environmental consequences. For example, fertilisation of oceans with carbonsequestering plankton was banned
Parties to that decision worried about the
potential damage to marine life
are simply too good to be true. For example, huge amounts of energy, water, and
fertiliser would be required to operate BECCS systems successfully. The effects
on land use would likely lead to terrestrial species losses, and increase land
competition and displacement of local populations.
these projects could
lead to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions,
Political preferences, not scientific or
ecological necessity, explain the appeal of geoengineering.
cannot afford to gamble with the future of our planet.
—the l arge-sc ale manipulation of the Ear th’s natural s ystems— has been popul arised as a means of c ounterac ting the neg ati ve effects of cli mate c hange.
As the world s truggles to rein in emissi ons of cli mate-changi ng gas es and li mit pl anetar y warmi ng, a new technologic al sil ver bullet is gai ning s upporters.
meet the goals of the 2015 Paris cli mate agreement,
—either as a pl anetar y i ns urance polic y or as a l ast- ditc h meas ure to c ombat rising temperatur es—
. But this s oluti on is not as si mple as pr oponents would have us beli eve. Betting on
carbon emissions.
For exampl e, the onl y way to tes t the effecti venes s of s olar r adiati on management (SRM) on a global s cal e woul d be to c arry o ut experiments i n the envir onment— either by spr aying particles into the stratospher e, or by artifici all y modifyi ng cl ouds. While s uch tests would be designed to deter mine whether
c oul d reflec t enough s unlight to cool the planet, experi mentati on its elf
Beyond the ecol ogical ris ks , critics war n that,
(an idea that not even H oll ywood c an resist). But per haps the most i mportant criticism is a politic al one: i n a world of challenged multilater alism, how would global ec ologic al inter ventions be governed? Si milar q ues tions surround the other maj or group of cli mate eng ineering technol ogies under debate—s o-call ed car bon di oxide r emoval (CDR). Proponents of thes e tec hnologi es propose removing C O2 fr om the atmos phere and storing it underground or i n the oceans.
by the London Protoc ol on mari ne polluti on in 2008.
techniques. C alled “ bioenerg y with CC S,” or BECC S, this method s eeks to pair the C O2- absor ption c apabilities of fas t-growi ng pl ants wi th underground C O2 storage methods. Proponents argue that BECC S woul d actuall y yiel d “negati ve” emissi ons . Yet, as with other engineer ed s oluti ons, the
. But other CDR appr oac hes are gaini ng s upport. One of the mos t dis cus sed i deas ai ms to integrate biomass with c arbon capture and stor age
Some forecas ts even sugges t that the l and cl earing and c onstruc tion acti vi ties ass oci ated with
at least i n the s hort term. T hen there is the iss ue of sc ale. In order for BECC S to ac hieve emissi ons limi ts s et by the Paris agreement, between 430 mill ion and 580 million hec tar es ( 1.1 billion to 1.4 billion acres) of land w oul d be needed to grow the r equired vegetation. T hat is a staggering one third of the worl d’s arable l and. Si mpl y put, there ar e s afer— and proven— ways to withdraw
CO2 from the atmos phere. R ather than creati ng ar tificial C O2-bindi ng “far ms,” g overnments s houl d foc us on pr otecti ng already-exi sting natur al ec os ystems and all owing degraded ones to r ecover. Rai nfores ts, oc eans , and peatl ands (suc h as bogs) have i mmens e C O2 storage c apaciti es and do not req uire untested technol ogical manipulation. By pushi ng unproven tec hnologi es as a c ure for all cli mate-changing ills, proponents are sugges ting that the world fac es an unavoidable choic e: geoengineering or dis aster. But this is disingenuous.
Unfortunatel y, c urrent debates about climate engineering ar e undemocr atic and dominated by tec hnocr atic worldvi ews, natural scienc e and engineering pers pecti ves, and vested inter ests in the fos sil-fuel industries . D eveloping c ountri es, indigenous peoples , and l ocal communities mus t
be given a pr ominent voic e, s o that all ris ks can be full y c onsidered befor e any geoengineeri ng technolog y is tested or i mplemented. By pus hing unpr oven tec hnol ogies as a cur e for all cli mate-c hanging ills, proponents ar e s uggesting that the world fac es an unavoi dabl e c hoic e: geoengineering or dis aster. So what c onvers ation s houl d we be havi ng about geoengineeri ng? F or start ers, we need to rethink the exi sting g over nanc e l andsc ape. In 2010, parties to the Uni ted N ati ons’ Convention on Bi ological Di versity (CBD) agreed to a de facto inter national moratorium on cli mate-r elated geoengineering. But today, with powerful advoc ates generati ng s o much pr ess ure to bri ng geoengineering tec hnol ogies o ut of the lab, i nformal bans ar e no longer s uffi cient. The world urgentl y needs an honest debate on the res earch, deployment, and gover nanc e of thes e tec hnol ogies; the C BD and the London Pr otocol are essenti al starti ng points for thes e governance dis cus sions. Among the tec hnol ogies that r equire the mos t scr uti ny are CDR pr ojec ts that thr eaten
indigenous lands, food s ecurity, and water avail ability. Suc h l arge-sc ale technol ogical schemes must be reg ulated diligentl y, to ensur e that climate-change s ol utions do not advers el y affect sustainabl e devel opment or human rights. In additi on, the outdoor tes ting and depl oyment of SRM technol ogies , bec ause of their potential to weaken h uman rights, democr ac y, and inter national peace, s houl d be banned outright. T his ban shoul d be overs een by a r obus t and acc ou ntable multil ater al global governance mec hanis m. No sil ver bullet for cli mate change has yet been found. And while geoengineeri ng technologies remain mostl y aspirational, there are pr oven mi tigati on opti ons that c an and s hould be i mplemented vig orousl y. Thes e include sc aling up renewable energ y, phasing out fossil fuels (incl uding an earl y retirement of existi ng fos sil infr astr ucture), wider diffusion of sus tai nabl e ag roec ol ogical agriculture, and incr eased energ y and r esourc e i nput i nto our ec onomy.
If we engag e in a seri ous dis cus sion about ec ologicall y sustai nabl e and s oci all y just measur es to protect the Earth’s cli mate, there will be no need to roll the dice on geoengi neering.
d. Renewables won’t solve
Alexander, 15
—lecturer at the Offic e for Environmental Pr ograms, Uni versity of Mel bour ne (Samuel, Suffici enc y Economy pg 109- 110, dml)
it is highly doubtful that renewable energy will ever be
able to sustain a growth-orientated, industrial civilisation.
the problems of
intermittency and storage make renewable energy supply much more expensive
and problematic than most analysts think
electricity only constitutes
about 18% of final energy consumption meaning that there is still around 82% of
energy to replace, including oil used for transport, pesticides, and plastics, etc.
Ther e is one point des er vi ng of further emphasis. In res pons e to the pr obl ems of climate c hange and peak oil, many people naturall y hol d up rene wable energ y as the sal vati on of ci vilisation, argui ng that all we need to do is transiti on to renewable energy and the pr obl ems of peak oil and cli mate c hange will be res ol ved. T he pr obl em is that
Althoug h it may be
techn ically f easib le
from an engineering per specti ve,
(see Moriar ty and H onner y, 2012; Tr ainer, 2013a; Tr ainer, 2013b). Even if el ectricity coul d be affor dabl y suppli ed by re newables ,
(IEA, 2012),
If we tr y to
produc e that remaini ng seg ment of energ y with biofuels, the producti on of
bi ofuels
woul d
c ompete with l and
for food produc tion, a conflict that also seems to be already under way, des pite the rel ati vel y low levels of bi ofuels pr oduc tion today (Timilsi na, 2014) . Bi ofuels al so have a
ver y l ow energ y retur n on investment
– between 1 and 3 (M urphy, 2014: 12), s uggesti ng
that they will never be able to sustain an industrial
as we know i t today.
e. Collapse coming now and solves
Pollard 16
(Dave Poll ard, Dave Pollard retired from paid wor k in 2010, after 35 years as an advis or to s mall enterpris es, with a foc us on sustainability, innovation, and understandi ng c ompl exity. He is a long -ti me student of our c ultur e and i ts s ystems, of histor y and of how the world reall y wor ks, and has authored the blog H ow to Save the Worl d for over twel ve years. His book Fi ndi ng the Sweet Spot: T he Natur al Entr epr eneur’s Guide to Responsi ble, Sus tai nable, J oyful Wor k, was publis hed by C helsea Green in 2008. He is one of the authors of Gr oup Wor ks: A Pattern Languag e for Bringing Life to M eetings and Other Gatherings , published in 2012 . H e is a member of the i nternational Transiti on movement, the C ommuniti es movement and the Shari ng Ec onomy movement, and i s a regul ar writer for the deep ec olog y magazine Shift. H e is wor ki ng on a c ollec tion of short stori es about the world two millenni a fr om now. H e li ves on Bowen
Island, C anada, A Complex Pr edic ament: H ow Our Energ y, Ec onomic and Ec ologic al Systems are C onnec ted, http://howtosavetheworl d.c a/2016/06/01/a-complex- predic ament- how- our-energy- economic-and- ec ological-s ystems-are-c onnected-repos t/, 6/1/2016)//DT
to precipitate economic collapse as a means of mitigating both
energy/resource exhaustion and runaway climate change.
this could happen by reducing capital enough to trigger a crash of
the fragile global financial system.
significant drop in energy/resource demand and use will precipitate a strong
economic contraction
; no amount of ‘stimulus’ will
be able to mitigate it, and there is no deus ex machina like war spending or the
discovery of new cheap resources to get us out of it.
Once the
financial system has the accident that is clearly coming, we will be looking at a
substantial fall in societal complexity, but that fall in complexity will eliminate the
possibility of engaging in such highly complex activities as fracking, horizontal
drilling, exploiting the deep offshore or producing solar photovoltaic panels and
David Hol mgren, one of the founders of the Per mac ulture Movement, r ecentl y stirred up a fires tor m of contr overs y with his Cr ash on D emand ess ay, sugges ting that it woul d be us eful for us
He summarizes : M y argument is ess entiall y that radical , but achi evabl e behaviour c hange from [bei ng] dependent cons umers to [ becomi ng] s elf-reli ant pr oduc ers ( by s ome rel ati vel y s mall minority of the gl obal middl e cl ass) has a chanc e of s toppi ng the jugger naut of c ons umer c apitalis m fr om drivi ng t he
world over the climate chang e cliff. It may be a sli m c hanc e, but a better bet than c urrent hercul ean efforts to get the elites to pull the right polic y l evers… M y argument s uggests
This insight s hows Davi d’s appr eciation of the natur e of complex s ys tems and the interrel ati onshi p between our global energ y/res ource, economic and ec ological /climate s ystems. As the chart at the top of this pos t s hows, ec on omic expansi on is dependent on energ y/res ource suppl y, whic h is itself a func tion of the price, demand, inves tment and regul ati on vari abl es I descri bed in Part One, and in any case not endl essl y sus tai nabl e even if the ec onomy is abl e to support higher an d higher extrac tion and development cos ts
(whic h has happened each ti me energ y cos ts have moved signific antl y above the $100/bbl l evel). But an even greater thr eat to the c onti nuati on of our c urrent “grow or c ollaps e” economy is the r ealiz ati on that c urrent l evels of debt in our econom y ar e unsustai nable. When that r ealiz ati on bec omes i mpossi ble for mar kets to ignor e, we will fac e the greatest depressi on in human histor y
More about that sc enario, whic h even many ec onomists c an’t s eem to c ompr ehend, later i n this articl e. Bac k to D avi d H olmgren’s proposal : T he reacti ons to his article have been s wift and s ometimes harsh. Tr ansiti on founder Rob H opki ns call ed Davi d’s s uggesti ons “a dangerous r oute to go down”. R ob remains firml y in deni al about the i nevi tability of coll aps e, citi ng
several opti mistic ‘ pros perity-wi thout-growth’ economis ts i n s upport of his belief that a c onc erted global effort by a br oad c oalition of knowledgeable, influential people can pull us out of the positi ve feedbac k loops c urr entl y l eading us towards economic c ollapse (and indeed, End Games i n all three major s ystems). I’ll l ook at that argument later i n this articl e as well. D mitr y Orlov essenti all y dis missed D avi d’s argument as being i nadequate to the tas k, but s aid that des pite its futility, “D on’t let that stop you fr om tr yi ng bec ause, reg ardl ess of r es ults (if any) it’s a g ood thi ng to be tr ying to do.” Nic ole Fos s, who Davi d ac knowledges as one of his i nfluences, takes the opposite poi nt of vi ew to R ob’s . She has repeatedl y argued that ec onomic coll apse will come s oon in any c as e, wi th or without our attempts to under mi ne the current ec onomic s ystem ( or for that matter, prol ong i t). She writes:
[Bec ause they will be c ompletel y unaffordabl e, none of thes e will ever be] a meani ngful energ y source. In fac t, s ome U S states are already dealing with larg e-scal e abandonment of quic kl y-exhausted frac king sites (wi th their c ommens urate ec ologic al damage), and Shell r ec entl y announc ed i t is abandoning its Arc tic drilling programs bec ause they ar e not economic, even at today’s $100+/bbl oil pric es. Nic ol e’s c oncer n about D avid’s approach is that, sinc e ec onomic coll aps e is (she beli eves) in evitable and reasonabl y immi nent anyway, taking an acti vist approach to opting out of the domi nant ec onomic s ystem i n order t o acc eler ate that c ollaps e runs the ris k of s tirring up virul ent opposi tion fr om the rich and powerful, who coul d then demoniz e the entir e tr ansi tion/c ollaps e prepar ation movement as anti- human, and ulti matel y s hift the blame for the s ufferi ng that c ollapse will inevitabl y bri ng about to the “anti-
f. Growth causes disease spread---and it falls along racialized
Holmes, 2015.
Nature Internati onal J ournal of Scienc e. N ature vol ume 521, pages S2–S3. 5/14/15. “ A diseas e of growth” https://doi .org/10.1038/521S2a Acc ess ed 7/11/18 //WR-NC P
As countries undergo economic development, the incidence of disease
looks set to increase.
As economies
grow, so does their
Global trends closely follow economic fortunes2. Incidence in
Western Europe has been relatively flat for two decades, coinciding with a period
of economic stability or decline. Meanwhile, Eastern European countries such as
Slovakia have experienced rapid economic growth from a lower base, and have
seen a corresponding rise
mortality has not
been shared equally11. In the 1980s, African Americans died at a 13% higher rate
than white Americans from the disease. Two decades later, they died at a 53%
higher rate12.
Color ectal c anc er occ urs throughout the world but is mos t c ommon i n devel oped c ountries.
heavil y popul ated
suc h as C hin a
An ani mated versi on of this i nfogr aphic is at go.nature.c om/wgiq vp. By D avid Hol mes. D ISEASE AND DEVELOPM ENT M ore than half ( 55%) of the cas es of c olorectal c anc er occ ur in developed r egions, but devel opi ng c ountries are c atchi ng up.
of color ectal c ancer 1. H EALTH OF N ATIONS
of countries suc h as Brazil, C hina and India
in colorectal canc er
in color ectal c anc er. Looki ng further east, J apan experienc ed a r api d ris e i n c ases between 1990 and 1995, followed by almos t ten years of steady or falling i nci denc e. T his period, ter med ‘ the l ost decade’ by ec onomis ts, saw falli ng wages and ec onomic s tag nation. By c ontrast, the br eaknec k devel opment of Japan’s neighbour C hina was acc omp anied by a dramatic ris e i n c olor ectal c ancer i ncidenc e. SURVIVAL: NOT BLACK AND WH ITE The decline i n c olor ectal c anc er
This dis parity is caus ed by factors including differenc es i n how li kel y they ar e to r ecei ve the l atest treatments, and the preval ence of other health problems .
in the United States