A. Link - Oceanic development has lead to ecological degradation, a product of global capitalism, and aff plans to solve will only exacerbate the impacts.
Clarkand Clausen ’08 [Brett Clark teaches sociology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Rebecca Clausen teaches sociology at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. “The Oceanic Crisis: Capitalism and the Degradation of Marine Ecosystem.” The Monthly Review. 2008, Volume 60, Issue 03 (July-August). Date Accessed: June 27, 14. O’B]
The world is at a crossroads in regard to the ecological crisis. Ecological degradation under global capitalism extends to the entire biosphere. Oceans that were teeming with abundance are being decimated by the continual intrusion of exploitive economic operations. At the same time that scientists are documenting the complexity and interdependency of marine species, we are witnessing an oceanic crisis as natural conditions, ecological processes, and nutrient cycles are being undermined through overfishing and transformed due to global warming.¶ The expansion of the accumulation system, along with technological advances in fishing, has intensified the exploitation of the world ocean; facilitated the enormous capture of fishes (both target and bycatch); extended the spatial reach of fishing operations; broadened the species deemed valuable on the market; and disrupted metabolic and reproductive processes of the ocean. The quick-fix solution of aquaculture enhances capital’s control over production without resolving ecological contradictions.
B. Impact - Capitalism is the root of ocean destruction – the world can no longer support human development and the deadly trio assures probability of extinction if nothing is done.
Butler ’13 [Simon Butler, Frequent contributor to Climate & Capitalism, and co-author of Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis. Climate & Capitalism. October 14, 2013. “Oceans on the brink of ecological collapse.” (http://climateandcapitalism.com/2013/10/14/oceans-brink-ecological-collapse/) Date Accessed: July 1, 14. O’B]
In late September, many mainstream media outlets gave substantial coverage to the UN’s new report on the climate change crisis, which said the Earth’s climate is warming faster than at any point in the past 65 million years and that human activity is the cause. It was disappointing, though not surprising, that news reports dried up after only a few days.¶ But another major scientific study, released a week later and including even graver warnings of a global environmental catastrophe, was mostly ignored altogether. The marine scientists that released the State of the Ocean 2013 report on October 3 gave the starkest of possible warnings about the impact of carbon pollution on the oceans:¶ “We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure. The next mass extinction event may have already begun.Developed, industrialised human society is living above the carrying capacity of the Earth, and the implications for the ocean, and thus for all humans, are huge.”¶ Report co-author, Professor Alex Rogers of SomervilleCollege, Oxford, said on October 3:¶ “The health of the ocean is spiralling downwards far more rapidly than we had thought. We are seeing greater change, happening faster, and the effects are more imminent than previously anticipated. The situation should be of the gravest concern to everyone since everyone will be affected by changes in the ability of the ocean to support life on Earth.”¶ The ocean is by far the Earth’s largest carbon sink and has absorbed most of the excess carbon pollution put into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. The State of the Ocean 2013 report warned that this is making decisive changes to the ocean itself, causing a “deadly trio of impacts” – acidification, ocean warming and deoxygenation (a fall in ocean oxygen levels).¶ The report said:¶ “Most, if not all, of the Earth’s five past mass extinction events have involved at least one of these three main symptoms of global carbon perturbations [or disruptions], all of which are present in the ocean today.”¶ Fossil records indicate five mass extinction events have taken place in the Earth’s history. The biggest of these – the end Permian mass extinction – wiped out as much as 95% of marine life about 250 million years ago. Another, far better known mass extinction event wiped out the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago and is thought to have been caused by a huge meteor strike.¶ A further big species extinction took place 55 million years ago. Known as the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), it was a period of rapid global warming associated with a huge release of greenhouse gases. “Today’s rate of carbon release,” said the State of the Ocean 2013, “is at least 10 times faster than that which preceded the [PETM].”¶ Ocean acidification is a sign that the increase in CO2 is surpassing the ocean’s capacity to absorb it. The more acid the ocean becomes, the bigger threat it poses to marine life – especially sea creatures that form their skeletons or shells from calcium carbonate such as crustaceans, molluscs, corals and plankton.¶ The report predicts “extremely serious consequences for ocean life” if the release of CO2 does not fall, including “the extinction of some species and decline in biodiversity overall.”¶ Acidification is taking place fastest at higher latitudes, but overall the report says “geological records indicate that the current acidification is unparalleled in at least the last 300 million years”.¶ Ocean warming is the second element in the deadly trio. Average ocean temperatures have risen by 0.6°C in the past 100 years. As the ocean gets warmer still, it will help trigger critical climate tipping points that will warm the entire planet even faster, hurtling it far beyond the climate in which today’s life has evolved. Ocean warming will accelerate the death spiral of polar sea ice and risks the “increased venting of the greenhouse gas methane from the Arctic seabed”, the report says.¶ Ongoing ocean warming will also wreak havoc on marine life. The report projects the “loss of 60% of present biodiversity of exploited marine life and invertebrates, including numerous local extinctions.” Each decade, fish are expected to migrate between 30 kilometres to 130 kilometres towards the poles, and live 3.5 metres deeper underwater, leading to a 40% fall in fish catch potential in tropical regions.¶ The report says: “All these changes will have massive economic and food security consequences, not least for the fishing industry and those who depend on it.”¶ The combined effects of acidification and ocean warming will also seal the fate of the world’s coral reefs, leading to their “terminal and rapid decline” by 2050. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Caribbean Sea reefs will likely “shift from coral domination to algal domination.” The report says the global target to limit the average temperature rise to 2°C, which was adopted at the Copenhagen UN climate conference in 2009, “is not sufficient for coral reefs to survive. Lower targets should be urgently pursued.”¶ Deoxygenation – the third component of the deadly trio – is related to ocean warming and to high levels of nutrient run-off into the ocean from sewerage and agriculture. The report says overall ocean oxygen levels, which have declined consistently for the past five decades, could fall by 1% to 7% by 2100. But this figure does not indicate the big rise in the number of low oxygen “dead zones,” which has doubled every decade since the 1960s.¶ Whereas acidification most impacts upon smaller marine life, deoxygenation hits larger animals, such as Marlin and Tuna, hardest.¶ The report cautions that the combined impact of this deadly trio will “have cascading consequences for marine biology, including altered food webs dynamics and the expansion of pathogens [causing disease].” It also warns that it adds to other big problems affecting the ocean, such as chemical pollution and overfishing (up to 70% of the world’s fish stock is overfished).¶ “We may already have entered into an extinction period and not yet realised it. What is certain is that the current carbon perturbations will have huge implications for humans, and may well be the most important challenge faced since the hominids evolved. The urgent need to reduce the pressure of all ocean stressors, especially CO2 emissions, is well signposted.”
And, Capitalism creates a “metabolic rift” between nature and humankind – ocean development and exploration will lead to resource scarcity and eventually the end of life.
Bachtell ’11 [John Bachtell, writer for Political Affairs Magazine. “Three Irresolvable Crises of Capitalism.” Political Affairs Magazine, August 9, 2011. (http://www.politicalaffairs.net/three-irresolvable-crises-of-capitalism/) Date Accessed: July 1, 14. O’B]
Historically, capitalism came on the scene as the most environmentally destructive economic system. The process of capital accumulation gouged the Earth,deforested continents, spoiled the oceans, over fished them, polluted rivers and waterways, fouled the air and exhausted the soil.¶ As environmental problems arose and resources became scarcer, the solutions necessitated by expanding production meant ever greater environmental destruction.¶ Today’s mountain top removal, fracking and degradation resulting from the extraction of oil from the Canadian tar sands are some of the most vivid examples.¶ Today, the ecological crisis is accelerating and the Earth is reaching or has surpassed key tipping points in planetary systems that will alter life for thousands of years. If the present rate of accumulation of greenhouse gases is not reversed, the Earth will become uninhabitable for humans and all living species.¶ This “metabolic rift”constitutes a basic contradiction between the relentless and destructive expansion of capitalist production and the finite resources of the world and the planetary systems that sustain life.¶ Scientists have identified planetary boundaries that must not be surpassed in order to sustain life on the planet. Nine have been identified: climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone depletion, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, global freshwater use, change in land use, biodiversity loss, atmospheric aerosol loading and chemical pollution.¶ In three cases boundaries or “tipping points” have already been surpassed – climate change, the nitrogen cycle and biological diversity.¶ Climate change is causing extreme weather conditions – excessive heat, droughts and flooding. It is estimated 70 percent of the Earth’s land surface will experience drought conditions. It is projected agricultural production will be reduced by 30 percent in the US and globally.¶ Global climate change will force hundreds of millions of people to relocate from low lying and coastal areas. There is and will be growing competition over energy, water, food and other scarce resources leading to the possibility of conflict.¶ These are urgent issues facing the US working class and people and the world as a whole. The resolution of these crises, the redirection of policy and resources, can’t wait until “socialism” and must be part of today’s struggles.¶ Mass struggles can and must force necessary reforms and regulations on capitalist development, to regulate it’s destructive capacity and force the redistribution of wealth and redirection of resources toward the needs of the people.¶ But capitalism is inherently limited and it is increasingly apparent more fundamental reforms are necessary. To solve the urgent problems requires the massive reallocation of social resources, global cooperation on an unprecedented scale, and a reorganization of production to meet human needs not profits.¶ The struggle to redistribute the wealth to create millions of living wage jobs through expanding education, universal health care, mass transit and affordable housing, modernizing the infrastructure, and building a sustainable, demilitarized, democratic economy that begins to heal the Earth can unite a majority of Americans and is the path to democratic socialism.
C. Alternative - The alternative is to vote neg as an abandonment of belief in capitalism
Johnston 04 [Adrian Johnston, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of New Mexico, 2004, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, Volume 9 // Issue 3]
Perhaps the absence of a detailed practical roadmap in Žižek’s political writings isn’t a major shortcoming. Maybe, at least for the time being, the most important task is simply the negativity of the critical struggle, the effort to cure an intellectual constipation resulting from capitalist ideology and thereby truly to open up the space for imagining authentic alternatives to the prevailing state of the situation. Another definition of materialism offered by Žižek is that it amounts to accepting the internal inherence of what fantasmatically appears as an external deadlock or hindrance 127 (with fantasy itself being defined as the false externalization of something within the subject, namely, the illusory projection of an inner obstacle 128). From this perspective, seeing through ideological fantasies by learning how to think again outside the confines of current restrictions has, in and of itself, the potential to operate as a form of real revolutionary practice (rather than remaining just an instance of negative/critical intellectual reflection). Why is this the case? Recalling the earlier analysis of commodity fetishism, the social efficacy of money as the universal medium of exchange (and the entire political economy grounded upon it) ultimately relies upon nothing 93 more than a kind of “magic,” that is, the belief in money’s social efficacy by those using it in the processes of exchange. Since the value of currency is, at bottom, reducible to the belief that it has the value attributed to it (and that everyone believes that everyone else believes this as well), derailing capitalism by destroying its essential financial substance is, in a certain respect, as easy as dissolving the mere belief in this substance’s powers. The “external” obstacle of the capitalist system exists exclusively on the condition that subjects, whether consciously or unconsciously, “internally” believe in it—capitalism’s life-blood, money, is simply a fetishistic crystallization of a belief in others’ belief in the socioperformative force emanating from this same material.