Humans are main cause of warming answers their authors positive feedbacks means it will accelerate

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Humans are main cause of warming--- answers their authors --- positive feedbacks means it will accelerate

Nuccitelli, 14 --- master’s degree in physics, an environmental scientist and risk assessor (1/9/14, Dana, “Global warming is being caused by humans, not the sun, and is highly sensitive to carbon, new research shows”,, RE)

Over the past few weeks, several important new papers related to human vs. natural climate change have been published. These papers add clarity to the causes of climate change, and how much global warming we can expect in the future. First, a paper published in the Journal of Climate by Jara Imbers, Ana Lopez, Chris Huntingford, and Myles Allen examines the recent IPCC statement that expressed with 95 percent confidence that humans are the main cause of the current global warming. One of the main challenges in attributing the causes of global warming lies in the representation of the natural internal variability of the Earth's climate. The study used two very different representations of natural variability. The first model assumed that the present climate has a short and finite memory, and is mostly determined by the recent past. The second model assumed that the climate's internal variability has long memory and the present climate is influenced by all the previous years. The authors then incorporated each of these representations of natural variability with a statistical approach to estimate the individual contributions of the various factors (e.g. the sun, volcanoes, greenhouse gases) to the increase in average global surface temperature. In each case, the study found that the greenhouse gas-global warming signal was statistically significant, supporting the robustness of the IPCC statement on human-caused global warming. As lead author Jara Imbers told me, "...we investigate two extreme cases of the plausible temporal structures of the internal variability, and we find that the anthropogenic signal is robust and significant." Second, a paper published in Nature Geoscience by Andrew Schurer, Simon Tett, and Gabriele Hegerl investigates the sun's influence on global climate changes over the past 1,000 years. Although we know the sun can't be causing the current global warming because solar activity has declined slightly over the past 50 years, "it's the sun" nevertheless remains one of the most popular climate contrarian arguments. However, in recent years, research has pointed in the direction of a relatively small solar impact on the Earth's climate changes. It's important to realize that while the Earth is bombarded by a lot of heat from the sun, the amount of solar energy reaching the planet is relatively stable. According to the best recent estimates, it's only increased by about 0.1 percent over the past 300 years, causing a global energy imbalance less than 10 percent as large as that caused by humans over the same period. In this study, the authors tested reconstructions that incorporated relatively large and small changes in solar activity, and compared them to northern hemisphere temperature reconstructions over the past millennium. The reconstruction using a stronger solar influence (green) was a worse fit to the temperature data (blue) than the reconstruction with the weaker solar influence (red), especially around the 12th century. As in the Imbers paper, this study used a statistical approach to determine the contribution of each factor in the measured temperature changes. The authors conclude, "Volcanic and GHG [greenhouse gas] forcings seem to contribute most to pre-twentieth-century climate variability, whereas the contribution by solar forcing is modest, agreeing with the simulations with low solar forcing." The study finds that the sun is unlikely to have caused more than 0.15°C of the observed approximately 1°C warming over the past 300 years. The authors find a detectable greenhouse gas influence on the climate before the 20th century, and consistent with the IPCC and Imbers, they conclude that humans are the dominant cause of recent global warming. "Over the twentieth century, anthropogenic forcings dominate with GHGs the largest forcing, offset by the effect of anthropogenic aerosols and land use changes" However, the authors note that while the sun has little impact on average hemispheric and global temperatures, it does have a significant influence on regional temperatures, for example in Europe. Finally, a paper published in Nature by Steven Sherwood, Sandrine Bony, and Jean-Louis Dufresne examines the role that clouds will play in the sensitivity of the global climate to the increased greenhouse effect. To this point, cloud responses to global warming have remained a key uncertainty. We know that a doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will cause a bit more than 1°C global surface warming by itself, and we know that there are several feedbacks that will amplify that warming. The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere – another greenhouse gas – increases as the planet warms, amplifying that warming. This is the single largest feedback, and is increasing as climate scientists expect. We also know that melting ice makes the planet less reflective, causing it to absorb more sunlight, also amplifying global warming. And carbon released from various sources like beneath melting permafrost and from burning peatlands will also increase the greenhouse effect as another positive feedback in a warming world. However, we know of few significant negative feedbacks that will offset these effects and dampen global warming. The reckless contrarian approach is dependent upon the climate being relatively insensitive to the increased greenhouse effect, which requires that something offset all of these warming feedbacks. Clouds, whose responses in a warming world have been difficult to pin down, were the contrarians' last and best hope. An increase in cloud cover in response to global warming would reflect more sunlight back out to space, thereby cooling the Earth and offsetting some of those positive warming feedbacks. The authors of the Nature study examined cloud change simulations in relatively low and high sensitivity climate models. As summarized by Rob Painting, they found that the less sensitive models were incorrectly simulating water vapor being drawn up to higher levels of the atmosphere to form clouds in a warmer world. In reality (based on observations) warming of the lower atmosphere pulls water vapor away from those higher cloud-forming levels of the atmosphere and the amount of cloud formation there actually decreases, resulting in another amplifying global warming feedback. Lead author Steven Sherwood describes the study in the video below. These results are consistent with Fasullo & Trenberth (2012), who found that only the higher sensitivity climate models correctly simulated drying in key cloud-forming regions of the atmosphere. Likewise, preliminary results by scientists at the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory presented at the 2013 AGU meeting showed that higher sensitivity models do the best job simulating observed cloud changes. These results are also consistent with Lauer et al. (2010) and Clement et al. (2009), which looked at cloud changes in the Pacific, finding the observations consistent with a positive cloud feedback. To summarize, the evidence that humans are the dominant cause of the current global warming is overwhelming (which is the reason behind the 97 percent expert consensus), and continues to grow. And while the media has lately tended to focus on the few papers that suggest climate sensitivity is relatively low, there is a growing body of evidence based on cloud observations that it's actually on the high end, above 3°C warming in response to doubled CO2, which under business as usual would lead to more than 4°C warming by 2100 – a potentially catastrophic scenario. In short – it's us, it's bad, and if we don't change course, it's a potential catastrophe.

SBSP is the only alternative to fossil fuel and mitigate ecological impacts

Alexander M. Rubenchik’09 et. Al. [April 2009, Alexander M. Rubenchik (HOD at Lawrence Livermore National Lab), “Solar Power Beaming: From Space to Earth”, Obtained from DOE online,

The Need for Space-Based Solar Power Over the years, there have been many excellent papers written on the need for the world to invest in clean renewable energy sources. Estimates have been made on the total amount of energy needed worldwide as populations increase, and the need for more and more energy is desired. These discussions include the need to look for alternatives to fossil fuel, as the scarcity of hydrocarbon-based fuels is ever increasing, and with it, increased political and social unrest. Pollution control and issues associated with climate change also support the need to develop clean renewable energy sources. An obvious solution is the development and use of solar energy. Solar energy is plentiful, clean, and for all practical purposes provides a limitless source of power. Large-scale collection of solar energy on the surface of the Earth is problematic for several reasons. First, solar radiation has low energy density, and consequently very large areas of solar collectors are required. This equates to an excessive amount of materials and infrastructure needed to build such a terrestrial-based solar energy collection system. In addition, these solar collectors would block sunlight from hitting the ground, causing potential ecological impacts, as well as changing the local thermal balance. Cloud cover also has an impact on the effectiveness of solar energy collection at the Earth’s surface, making it an inconsistent and unreliable energy source. The collection of solar energy in space mitigates many of these problems. The idea of harvesting energy in space and then transporting it to the ground was suggested at the dawn of the space age [1].

SSP solves for Global Warming

George Dvorsky 12 [November 28, 2012, George Dvorsky (bioethicist, transhumanist, and futurist), “How space-based solar power will solve all our energy needs”, Obtained from io9, online,, RaMan]

Humanity's demand for energy is growing at an astonishing rate. Combine this with an ever-dwindling supply of fossil fuels, and it becomes painfully clear that something innovative and powerful is required. There's one high-tech proposal that holds tremendous promise — an idea that has been around since the late 1960s. Here's how space-based solar power will eventually solve all our energy needs. Humans needs more power Assuming that economic progress and globalization continues at its current pace, we'll need to produce twice the amount of energy that's consumed today by the 2030s — what will reach a monumental 220 trillion kiloWatt hours per year. And by the end of the century, we'll need four times the current rate of consumption. How space-based solar power will solve all our energy needs EXPAND Just as importantly, we're also going to have to kick the fossil fuel habit — and not only because it'll eventually run out. Rising CO2 emissions are wreaking havoc on the Earth's atmosphere, what's creating environmentally deleterious side-effects at a rate faster than expected. Moreover, if greenhouse gases are to be brought under control over the course of the next several decades, we'll need to get upwards of 90% of all our energy from either renewable or nuclear sources. While there are a number of proposals on the table for how we might be able to meet these challenges, none really appear to be truly viable. Except for solar powered satellites. Obvious benefits A closer look at a space-based solution yields a lengthy list of advantages. How space-based solar power will solve all our energy needs EXPAND Solar powered satellites don't produce any greenhouse gases, nor do they take up valuable real estate on Earth. Once the initial costs are met, they would be relatively cheap to maintain; the solar modules used for generating solar energy have a long service life, not to mention the astounding ROI that would come from a virtually unlimited energy source. Additionally, they're not constrained by night/day cycles, the weather, or the changing seasons. And indeed, they would be much more efficient than any kind of ground-based station. The collection of solar energy in space is seven times greater per unit area than on the surface of the planet. Moreover, the amount of solar energy available up there is staggering — on the order of billions of times greater than what we draw today; the Earth receives only one part in 2.3 billion of the Sun's output. The potential for scalability is enormous, to say the least. Solar powered satellites won't be prone to terrorist attacks and they'll reduce geopolitical pressure for oil. According to futurist Keith Henson, space-based solar could be used to power vehicles, like electric cars, or by enabling the production of synthetic fuels — which at a penny per kiloWatt hour would result in gasoline that costs one dollar a gallon. At the same time, space-based solar would provide true energy independence for those nations who choose to implement it. And on top of that, the energy could be exported to virtually anywhere in the world; it would be especially valuable for isolated areas of the globe, including Africa and India. Lastly, space-based solar power would also yield tremendous benefits to human and robotic space exploration, including the powering of off-planet colonies on the Moon, Mars, and space stations. It could also serve as the first seed in the development of a Dyson Sphere — a massive array of solar collectors that would completely envelope the sun at a distance of about 1 AU. How it's going to work Back in the late 1960s, Peter Glaser proposed the idea of solar powered satellites (SPS), what he envisioned as space-based photovoltaics that could transfer energy wirelessly back down to Earth. His design called for a large platform positioned in space in a high Earth orbit that would continuously collect and convert solar energy into electricity. In turn, that power would be used to drive a wireless power transmission (WPT) that beams the solar energy to receiving stations on Earth — what would be comprised of massive receiving dishes. How space-based solar power will solve all our energy needs EXPAND A number of visionaries have updated Glaser's vision to include the use of a microwave wireless power transmitter. This would involve large discrete structures (like a solar array and transmitter) that would have to be assembled in space. SPS systems could also include a modular electric/diode array laser WPT concept, involving self-assembling solar power-laser-thermal modules. Other designs call for an extremely modular microwave WPT SPS "sandwich structure" concept, requiring a significant number of small solar power-microwave-thermal modules that would be robotically assembled on orbit. But to make it happen, we'll need to develop low-cost, environmentally-friendly launch vehicles. Eventually we'll send the materials up in a space elevator, but until then we'll have to come up with something more efficient. Thankfully, SpaceX and other private firms are already working on more efficient launch solutions. Additionally, we'll require large scale construction and operations stations in orbit — space-based workplaces that would be more complex, larger, and more energy-demanding than the ISS. They would allow for the production of large, simple panels, that are easy to assemble and consist of many identical parts. Eventually, it may be possible to construct an entire flotilla of these solar collectors using materials extracted from asteroids. Design proposals As word gets out about the potential for SPS, and as the technology catches up to the idea, a number of design proposals have been put forth; this isn't just idle speculation anymore — it's something that's just about ready for prime-time. How space-based solar power will solve all our energy needs EXPAND For example, there's SPS-ALPHA (Solar Power Satellite via Arbitrarily Large PHased Array) which is being developed by NASA's John Mankins. Using a "biomimetic" approach, the project calls for huge platforms constructed from tens of thousands of small elements that could deliver tens to thousands of megawatts via wireless power transmission. It would do this by using a large array of individually controlled thin-film mirrors outfitted on the curved surface of a satellite. These adjustable mirrors would intercept and redirect incoming sunlight toward photovoltaic cells affixed to the backside of the solar power satellite's large array. The Earth-pointing side of the array would be tiled with a collection of microwave-power transmission panels that generate the coherent, low-intensity beam of radio frequency energy and transmits that energy to Earth. And what's particularly cool about this concept is that it would enable the construction of a solar-power satellite that can be assembled entirely from individual system elements that weigh no more than 110 to 440 pounds (50 to 200 kilograms), allowing all pieces to be mass produced at low cost. How space-based solar power will solve all our energy needs There's also Japan's JAXA's SBSP System. The Japanese space agency want to get a prototype up and running by 2020, and a fully operational system by 2030. Their system is designed to run in a stationary orbit about 22,400 miles above the equator where it will absorb the sunlight with chromium-enhanced solar cells. The SBSP System will transmit energy to Earth using laser beams at about 42% solar-to-laser energy efficiency. Each satellite will beam the energy to a 1.8-mile wide receiving station that'll produce one gigawatt of electricity — what's enough to power 500,000 homes. Other examples include the Sun Tower, the Dyson-Harrop Satellite (which would harness solar wind power), Solar Disc, and the European Sail Tower SPS. Timelines SPS systems have been discussed since the 1970s and have been reviewed periodically by various stakeholders in United States and elsewhere — but the idea has never been seen as something that's cost effective or technologically feasible. These sentiments are changing, however. How space-based solar power will solve all our energy needs Last year, the International Academy of Astronautics published an exhaustive report lauding the benefits of space-based solar power, urging the international community to take the prospect seriously. The report contained over a dozen recommendations on how to get started, while predicting that space solar power will be technically feasible within 10 to 20 years using technologies that already exist. The authors also noted that the project would be economically viable in the next several decades, but under specific conditions having to do with future energy markets and the willingness of governments to get started (what could be motivated by environmental concerns). Additionally, flight experiments will be required, as will be the ironing-out of any policy or regulatory issues — what could definitely take some time. Needless to say, some groups and individuals may take great exception to the idea of having microwaves and laser beams shooting down onto the Earth's surface — not to mention the nightmarish potential for the weaponization of this technology. And in terms of expense, the IAA proposed a cost-sharing scheme in which nations would work together to bring the price down — what could cost as much as a trillion dollars. But given the incredible benefits — not to mention the tremendous need — it's a no-brainer that this needs to happen.

Warming causes extinction – reductions in CO2 are key

Allison et al., 3/17 – American Wind Wildlife Institute AND Stanford University AND Union of Concerned Scientists (Taber D., Terry L. Root, Peter C. Frumhoff, “Thinking globally and siting locally – renewable energy and biodiversity in a rapidly warming world”, Springer,

Even if we stabilized atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases at today’s levels through immediate and deep reductions in emissions, surface temperatures would continue to rise for decades as excess heat now contained in the deep ocean is released to the atmosphere. Adapting to further climate change is unavoidable, but the risks of potentially catastrophic warming can be reduced through deep and sustained cuts in emissions. The U.S. and other nations agreed to take actions to limit warming below a 2 °C increase in global average surface temperature above pre-industrial levels (Copenhagen Accord 2009), but actions and pledges by major emitters have fallen far short of what is needed to achieve this goal (World Bank 2012). Future warming most likely will exceed the 2 °C target (Sanford et al. 2014). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that a “large fraction” of species around the globe “face increased extinction risk under projected climate change during and beyond the 21st Century” particularly when the synergistic effects of climate change with other anthropogenic impacts such as habitat loss and fragmentation and invasive species are taken into account. (Scholes et al. 2014). According to the IPCC, the risk of extinction owing to climate change is projected to increase regardless of the scenario used to project future climate change, but the fraction of species at risk will be greater as the magnitude of temperature change increases. For example, most of the world’s biodiversity is concentrated in the tropics. Under medium to high magnitude warming, tropical species (characteristically, with quite limited physiological tolerance to changes in climate) will experience monthly average temperatures that exceed historic bounds before 2100 (Mora et al. 2013).

U.S oil dependence undermines military preparedness and effectiveness

ASP ’13 [June 04, 2013, ASP (American Security Project (The American Security Project (ASP) is a nonpartisan organization created to educate the American public and the world about the changing nature of national security in the 21st Century.), “Oil dependency: a subtle but serious threat”, Obtained from ASP, online, RaMan]

Weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber crime are in the headlines as significant threats to our national security. However, over the next twenty to thirty years, America’s overwhelming dependence on oil presents subtler, although no less serious, threats to national security. The U.S. is the largest consumer of oil in the world, burning through 18.83 million barrels per day. Even if the U.S. produced all petroleum products domestically, Americans would still feel the shocks from market volatility. Oil is a global market, and market prices prevail regardless of origin. Despite policies to improve vehicle efficiency, America remains dependent on oil. This dependency presents several threats to U.S. national security. First, oil price volatility hampers American productivity and consumers. Economic vitality requires stable prices, as spikes in oil prices may reduce output and wages while increasing inflation and interest rates. Most commonly, consumers feel these disruptions at the gas pump. The transportation sector alone consumes 13.223 million barrels of petroleum per day. Petroleum facilitates the functioning of these critical transportation networks, and small disruptions may lead to cascading price dumps. As volatile oil prices destabilize the economy, they jeopardize U.S. interests and national security. Secondly, U.S. oil dependency distorts foreign policy. The U.S. imported 40% of its petroleum products in 2012. In order to ensure foreign oil security, the U.S. supports regimes it might not otherwise. Many oil-rich Islamist regimes in the Middle East receive de facto support from America in return for producing stable oil, despite conflicting ideologies and interests. Similarly, estimates show that extended military operations to guard oil supply lines cost the U.S. military $67.5-$83 billion per year. This dependency is costly and conflicts with the national security agenda. Lastly, oil dependency undermines military preparedness and effectiveness. The Department of Defense consumed 117 million barrels of oil in 2011 in order to fuel the military’s vehicles, ships, and planes. The military must complete its missions, and without fuel options, it must endure oil price fluctuations. For every 25-cent increase per barrel of oil, the Department of Defense pays an additional $1 billion in fuel costs per year. Additional fuel costs means the military has to cut costs elsewhere, which have negative impacts on security and military preparedness. Military energy security requires reduced consumption of petroleum products, yet the Department of Defense depends on oil for 80% of its energy needs. The military may reduce consumption by reforming energy-intensive activities, optimizing energy usage, and developing innovative technologies to reduce energy waste, but sequestration budget cuts will slash future investment. Instead of focusing solely on drilling for more oil, the U.S. must pursue a two-pronged approach that focuses on reducing oil demand while at the same time makes investments in developing alternative fuels. Clean energy technologies could cut imports by 44% which is nearly eight times more than potential domestic drilling production. Greater efforts to improve vehicle efficiency through corporate average fuel economy standards (CAFE), congestion charges, or fuel taxes can contribute to reducing oil consumption. Moreover, America’s oil dependence saps the U.S. economy because consumers lack fuel options. To that end, investments in alternative sources of fuel – biofuels, natural gas, electric vehicles – can act as a hedge against oil price volatility. Throughout 2012, the U.S. spent $4.36 billion on energy research, which fell well below IEA recommendations. Due to budget caps and sequestration, energy research funding will drop substantially over the next few years. Oil dependency is a long-term threat. The rising cost of oil dependence affects all aspects of American society and threatens national security. If the U.S. wishes to reduce these threats in the future, the U.S. must properly fund energy research and development to commercialize technologies that will break America’s oil dependency. Only then can we say we have actually achieved energy security.

Military readiness will collapse now, three warrants

Oil prices are rising due to Iraq instability

Gorondi 6/16/14

(Pablo, writer for AP Business, “Oil climbs above $107 as Iraq turmoil intensifies, though most crude exports seen safe for now,” 6/16/14,

The price of oil climbed above $107 a barrel but eased from earlier highs Monday as fears of widening instability in Iraq, a key energy producer, were tempered by views that its oil exports would not be affected for now. By mid-afternoon in Europe, the benchmark U.S. crude contract for July delivery was up 17 cents to $107.08 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier Monday, it reached $107.54. On Friday, it added 38 cents, gaining 4.1 percent on the week. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was up 11 cents to $112.57 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

And rising costs decimate the DOD’s budget

Parthemore and Nagl 10*Christine Parthemore is a fellow at the Center for New American Security **Dr. John Nagl is President of the Center for New American Security [, “Fueling the Future Force Preparing the Department of Defense for a Post-Petroleum Era” September 2010]

The Department of Defense accounts for about 80 percent of the federal government's energy consumption, and its high dependence on petroleum-based fuels – the Defense Energy Support Center reported 132.5 million barrels in petroleum sales in fiscal year 2008, totaling nearly 18 billion dollars13 – means that its budget is subject to major oil price fluctuations.14 Petroleum price spikes negatively affect DOD’s budget and divert funds that could be used for more important purposes. As Secretary Gates said in 2008, “Every time the price of oil goes up by 1 dollar per barrel, it costs us about 130 million dollars.”15 In an era of constrained budgets, American security is best served by trying to hedge against future price fluctuations of this scale.

That’s key to heg – independently, adequate defense spending prevents wars around the globe

Kagan 11 Robert Kagan Senior is a fellow at Brookings [1/24/11 “The Price of Power: The benefits of U.S. defense spending far outweigh the costs,” Weekly Standard]

Today the international situation is also one of high risk. • The terrorists who would like to kill Americans on U.S. soil constantly search for safe havens from which to plan and carry out their attacks. American military actions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere make it harder for them to strike and are a large part of the reason why for almost a decade there has been no repetition of September 11. To the degree that we limit our ability to deny them safe haven, we increase the chances they will succeed. • American forces deployed in East Asia and the Western Pacific have for decades prevented the outbreak of major war, provided stability, and kept open international trading routes, making possible an unprecedented era of growth and prosperity for Asians and Americans alike. Now the United States faces a new challenge and potential threat from a rising China which seeks eventually to push the U.S. military’s area of operations back to Hawaii and exercise hegemony over the world’s most rapidly growing economies. Meanwhile, a nuclear-armed North Korea threatens war with South Korea and fires ballistic missiles over Japan that will someday be capable of reaching the west coast of the United States. Democratic nations in the region, worried that the United States may be losing influence, turn to Washington for reassurance that the U.S. security guarantee remains firm. If the United States cannot provide that assurance because it is cutting back its military capabilities, they will have to choose between accepting Chinese dominance and striking out on their own, possibly by building nuclear weapons. • In the Middle East, Iran seeks to build its own nuclear arsenal, supports armed radical Islamic groups in Lebanon and Palestine, and has linked up with anti-American dictatorships in the Western Hemisphere. The prospects of new instability in the region grow every day as a decrepit regime in Egypt clings to power, crushes all moderate opposition, and drives the Muslim Brotherhood into the streets. A nuclear-armed Pakistan seems to be ever on the brink of collapse into anarchy and radicalism. Turkey, once an ally, now seems bent on an increasingly anti-American Islamist course. The prospect of war between Hezbollah and Israel grows, and with it the possibility of war between Israel and Syria and possibly Iran. There, too, nations in the region increasingly look to Washington for reassurance, and if they decide the United States cannot be relied upon they will have to decide whether to succumb to Iranian influence or build their own nuclear weapons to resist it. In the 1990s, after the Soviet Union had collapsed and the biggest problem in the world seemed to be ethnic conflict in the Balkans, it was at least plausible to talk about cutting back on American military capabilities. In the present, increasingly dangerous international environment, in which terrorism and great power rivalry vie as the greatest threat to American security and interests, cutting military capacities is simply reckless. Would we increase the risk of strategic failure in an already risky world, despite the near irrelevance of the defense budget to American fiscal health, just so we could tell American voters that their military had suffered its “fair share” of the pain? The nature of the risk becomes plain when one considers the nature of the cuts that would have to be made to have even a marginal effect on the U.S. fiscal crisis. Many are under the illusion, for instance, that if the United States simply withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan and didn’t intervene anywhere else for a while, this would have a significant impact on future deficits. But, in fact, projections of future massive deficits already assume the winding down of these interventions. Withdrawal from the two wars would scarcely make a dent in the fiscal crisis. Nor can meaningful reductions be achieved by cutting back on waste at the Pentagon—which Secretary of Defense Gates has already begun to do and which has also been factored into deficit projections. If the United States withdrew from Iran and Afghanistan tomorrow, cut all the waste Gates can find, and even eliminated a few weapons programs—all this together would still not produce a 10 percent decrease in overall defense spending. In fact, the only way to get significant savings from the defense budget—and by “significant,” we are still talking about a tiny fraction of the cuts needed to bring down future deficits—is to cut force structure: fewer troops on the ground; fewer airplanes in the skies; fewer ships in the water; fewer soldiers, pilots, and sailors to feed and clothe and provide benefits for. To cut the size of the force, however, requires reducing or eliminating the missions those forces have been performing. Of course, there are any number of think tank experts who insist U.S. forces can be cut by a quarter or third or even by half and still perform those missions. But this is snake oil. Over the past two decades, the force has already been cut by a third. Yet no administration has reduced the missions that the larger force structures of the past were designed to meet. To fulfill existing security commitments, to remain the “world’s power balancer of choice,” as Leslie Gelb puts it, to act as “the only regional balancer against China in Asia, Russia in eastern Europe, and Iran in the Middle East” requires at least the current force structure, and almost certainly more than current force levels. Those who recommend doing the same with less are only proposing a policy of insufficiency, where the United States makes commitments it cannot meet except at high risk of failure.

Second is hotspots:

Oil dependence ensures that we can’t respond to global crises, it makes it too expensive to conduct ALL operations

Bender 7 *Bryan Bender is a Staff Reporter for the Boston Globe **The study cited is from LMI a governmental consulting firm ***Milton R. Copulos is president of the national defense council foundation [, May 1st 2007, “Pentagon Study says oil reliance strains military”]

WASHINGTON -- A new study ordered by the Pentagon warns that the rising cost and dwindling supply of oil -- the lifeblood of fighter jets, warships, and tanks -- will make the US military's ability to respond to hot spots around the world "unsustainable in the long term." The study, produced by a defense consulting firm, concludes that all four branches of the military must "fundamentally transform" their assumptions about energy, including taking immediate steps toward fielding weapons systems and aircraft that run on alternative and renewable fuels. It is "imperative" that the Department of Defense "apply new energy technologies that address alternative supply sources and efficient consumption across all aspects of military operations," according to the report, which was provided to the Globe. Weaning the military from fossil fuels quickly, however, would be a herculean task -- especially because the bulk of the US arsenal, the world's most advanced, is dependent on fossil fuels and many of those military systems have been designed to remain in service for at least several decades. Moving to alternative energy sources on a large scale would "challenge some of the department's most deeply held assumptions, interests, and processes," the report acknowledges. But Pentagon advisers believe the military's growing consumption of fossil fuels -- an increasingly expensive and scarce commodity -- leaves Pentagon leaders with little choice but to break with the past as soon as possible. Compared with World War II, according to the report, the military in Iraq and Afghanistan is using 16 times more fuel per soldier. "We have to wake up," said Milton R. Copulos , National Defense Council Foundation president and an authority on the military's energy needs. "We are at the edge of a precipice and we have one foot over the edge. The only way to avoid going over is to move forward and move forward aggressively with initiatives to develop alternative fuels. Just cutting back won't work." The Pentagon's Office of Force Transformation and Resources, which is responsible for addressing future security challenges, commissioned LMI, a government - consulting firm, to produce the report. Called "Transforming the Way DoD Looks at Energy," the study is intended as a potential blueprint for a new military energy strategy and includes a detailed survey of potential alternatives to oil -- including synthetic fuels, renewable biofuels, ethanol, and biodiesel fuel as well as solar and wind power, among many others. The military is considered a technology leader and how it decides to meet future energy needs could influence broader national efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil. The report adds a powerful voice to the growing chorus warning that, as oil supplies dwindle during the next half-century, US reliance on fossil fuels poses a serious risk to national security. "The Pentagon's efforts in this area would have a huge impact on the rest of the country," Copulos said. The Department of Defense is the largest single energy consumer in the country. The Air Force spends about $5 billion a year on fuel, mostly to support flight operations. The Navy and Army are close behind. Of all the cargo the military transports, more than half consists of fuel. About 80 percent of all material transported on the battlefield is fuel. The military's energy consumption has steadily grown as its arsenal has become more mechanized and as US forces have had to travel farther distances. In World War II, the United States consumed about a gallon of fuel per soldier per day, according to the report. In the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, about 4 gallons of fuel per soldier was consumed per day. In 2006, the US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan burned about 16 gallons of fuel per soldier on average per day , almost twice as much as the year before. Higher fuel consumption is a consequence of the US military's changing posture in recent years. During the Cold War, US forces were deployed at numerous bases across the world; since then, the United States has downsized its force and closed many of its former bases in Asia and Europe. The Pentagon's strategic planning has placed a premium on being able to deploy forces quickly around the world from bases in the United States. The National Defense Strategy, which lays out the Pentagon's anticipated missions, calls for an increased US military presence around the globe to be able to combat international terrorist groups and respond to humanitarian and security crises. But aviation fuel consumption for example, has increased 6 percent over the last decade. And the report predicts that trend will continue. "The US military will have to be even more energy intense, locate in more regions of the world, employ new technologies, and manage a more complex logistics system," according to the report. "Simply put, more miles will be traveled, both by combat units and the supply units that sustain them, which will result in increased energy consumption." The costs of relying on oil to power the military are consuming an increasing share of the military's budget, the report asserts. Energy costs have doubled since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it says, and the cost of conducting operations could become so expensive in the future that the military will not be able to pay for some of its new weapon systems. Ensuring access to dwindling oil supplies also carries a big price tag. The United States, relying largely on military patrols, spends an average of $44 billion per year safeguarding oil supplies in the Persian Gulf. And the United States is often dependent on some of the same countries that pose the greatest threats to US interests. Achieving an energy transformation at the Department of Defense "will require the commitment, personal involvement , and leadership of the secretary of defense and his key subordinates," the report says.

Third is the fuel tether:

DOD oil dependence straightjackets our forces and operational capacity, this hampers power projection and makes our military posture unsustainable

Crowley et. al 7 *Thomas D. Crowley is a Policy Consultant for LMI **Tonya D. Corrie is a policy consultant for LMI ***David B. Diamond is a policy consultant for LMI****Stuart D. Funk is a policy Consultant for LMI*****Wilhelm A. Hansen, Andrea D. Stenhoff, and Daniel C. Swift are policy consultants for LMI******LMI is a governmental consulting organization [, april 2007, “Transforming the Way DOD Looks at Energy”]

The goal of our security strategies is to shape the future security environment favorably to support our national interests, principles, freedoms, and way of life. However, our nation’s and DoD’s current and future growing dependence on foreign energy sources and the need to ensure their continued availability limit our ability to shape the future security environment. Protecting foreign energy sources will have an increasing impact on DoD’s roles and missions, at the expense of other security needs, potentially dictating the time and place of future conflict if action is not taken to change the trend and mitigate the effects of future reductions in the supply of oil. The security and military strategies for DoD require an energy-intense posture for conducting both deterrence and combat operations. The strategies rely on persistent presence globally, mobility to project power and sustain forces, and dominant maneuver to swiftly defeat adversaries. These current and future operating concepts tether operational capability to high-technology solutions that require continued growth in energy sources. Current consumption estimates, although based on incomplete data, validate these increasing fuel requirements and the implications for future operations. Clearly, the skill of our logistics forces in providing fuel has grown significantly since World War II. Still, we must be mindful of the operational implications of logistics requirements. The stalling of General Patton’s Third Army following its campaign across France in August and September 1944 is a telling example of the fuel “tether.” Despite the heroic efforts of logistics forces, the wear and tear on supply trucks and the strategic priority for fuel and logistics support in other areas of operations limited Patton to local operations for nearly 2 months. 20 The Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) estimates that 20,000 soldiers are employed to deliver fuel to operations (and spending $1 million per day to transport petroleum, which does not include fuel costs for contractor-provided combat support). The delivery of fuel poses such an operational and tactical risk that in July 2006, Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer, the highest-ranking Marine Corps officer in Iraq’s Anbar Province, characterized the development of solar and wind power capabilities as a “joint urgent operational need.” General Zilmer cited reductions in often dangerous fuel transportation activities as the main motivation for this request: “By reducing the need for [petroleum-based fuels] at our outlying bases, we can decrease the frequency of logistics convoys on the road, thereby reducing the danger to our Marines, soldiers, and sailors.” 21 Operational capability is always the most important aspect of force development. However, it may not be possible to execute operational concepts and capabilities to achieve our security strategy if the energy implications are not considered. Current planning presents a situation in which the aggregate operational capability of the force may be unsustainable in the long term.

No turns-SPS invigorates the U.S. industrial base, the tech is here now and provides the military with infinite priceless energy

Smith, 7 *Colonel M.V. “Coyote” Smith, is a PhD student in the strategic studies program under Professor Colin Gray at the University of Reading in the UK and an expert on space power [“The Goal for 2050 and the Build Forward,” Aug. 7, Space Solar Power,]

To give you a basis for analysis, by 2050 the goal is to have forty or so concentrator-photovoltaic space-based solar power (SBSP) satellites in geostationary orbit, each broadcasting via microwave between 2-5 gigawatts of power to terrestrial electrical power grids, with 1-to-5 broadcast antennas that can beam power to as many locations. This must be done using a sound business case. John Mankins calculates that this can be achieved by keeping the costs of delivery and assembly on orbit below $3,500 per kilogram–keeping the cost to customers below $0.10 per kilowatt/hour. This will drive robotic assembly and tug systems to pull these enormous structures from low orbits to geostationary. On orbit fueling stations will be required. Paul Werbos believes the best way to do this is to get launch costs down below $200 per kilogram. But several other factors help make the business case. For example, if the price of other energy sources goes up it helps to close the business case for SBSP. Other factors include the efficiencies associated with solar collectors, energy conversion, antennas/rectennas, signal path loss, etc. Dennis Wingo and others have suggested that the first customers for space-based solar power will be international–in areas such as India and Japan where the price per kilowatt/hour is astronomical compared to the Americas or Europe. All of this goes into making the business case. There will also be times when space-based solar power becomes priceless. When the Tsunami crushed the Pacific rim, when Hurricane Katrina flattened America’s Gulf Coast, and when United Nations forces responded to the beleaguered Darfur region the value of simply broadcasting power immeidately to the relief efforts would have been priceless in assisting the salvation of countless lives and facilitated the more immediate recovery of these disaster torn regions. Keep in mind American and Allied forces operating inside Iraq. Convoying petroleum through the streets of Iraqi cities is a large source of casualties…and the electrical power plants that convert that petroleum into electricity are under frequent attack…and the lights go out…and the people aren’t happy. As I’ve mentioned before, one of our defense analysts calculated that the U.S. is paying between $300-to-$800 per gallon for fuel delivered to the Iraqi electric plants. Mike Hornetschek reports that 70% of all logistics movements inside Iraq is petroleum. Inside Iraq, at this very moment–where people are dying–a supply of space-based solar power would have that priceless quality. And this is true wherever military forces and others are engaged not only in combat, but in nation building, humanitarian relief, disaster response, etc, etc, etc. The question was posed to me today, “What does the military need.” Here goes: According to Mike Hornitschek, a military base inside the United States consumes approximately 10 megawatts of electrical power. Forward military base overseas are consuming approximately 5 megaWatts of electrical power. I need space-based solar power satellites of the 5 megawatt class. Let’s say by 2015. This capability will transform our logistics and reduce our vulnerabilities. The development of this class of space-based solar power satellite is designed to deliver that priceless quality of energy. Best of all, it can be done with current technology using current spacelift vehicles. Think about that. But most important of all, developing the 5 megawatt class of satellite gets the ball rolling towards the 2050 vision that started this discussion. We WILL learn a great deal and we WILL find new efficiencies. We may make huge adjustments in the trade spaces as detailed in a previous discusion, and must be prepared to do so. In pressing ahead to field a 5 megawatt system, we will also be building the space industrial base and developing the rquisite spacefaring infrastructure to make the business case for the 2050 vision all the more viable. There will likely be cities or regional utilities that will want to buy their own 5 megawatt satellite (or larger) as a backup, which will help the business case even more and give us a better look at problems that lie waiting for us as we build bigger systems.

Heg prevents nuclear wars across the globe

Kagan 7senior associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Robert, July, End of Dreams, Return of History,, AG/JMP)

Were the United States to diminish its influence in the regions where it is currently the strongest power, the other nations would settle disputes as great and lesser powers have done in the past: sometimes through diplomacy and accommodation but often through confrontation and wars of varying scope, intensity, and destructiveness. One novel aspect of such a multipolar world is that most of these powers would possess nuclear weapons. That could make wars between them less likely, or it could simply make them more catastrophic. It is easy but also dangerous to underestimate the role the United States plays in providing a measure of stability in the world even as it also disrupts stability. For instance, the United States is the dominant naval power everywhere, such that other nations cannot compete with it even in their home waters. They either happily or grudgingly allow the United States Navy to be the guarantor of international waterways and trade routes, of international access to markets and raw materials such as oil. Even when the United States engages in a war, it is able to play its role as guardian of the waterways. In a more genuinely multipolar world, however, it would not. Nations would compete for naval dominance at least in their own regions and possibly beyond. Conflict between nations would involve struggles on the oceans as well as on land. Armed embargos, of the kind used in World War i and other major conflicts, would disrupt trade flows in a way that is now impossible. Such order as exists in the world rests not merely on the goodwill of peoples but on a foundation provided by American power. Even the European Union, that great geopolitical miracle, owes its founding to American power, for without it the European nations after World War ii would never have felt secure enough to reintegrate Germany. Most Europeans recoil at the thought, but even today Europe 's stability depends on the guarantee, however distant and one hopes unnecessary, that the United States could step in to check any dangerous development on the continent. In a genuinely multipolar world, that would not be possible without renewing the danger of world war. People who believe greater equality among nations would be preferable to the present American predominance often succumb to a basic logical fallacy. They believe the order the world enjoys today exists independently of American power. They imagine that in a world where American power was diminished, the aspects of international order that they like would remain in place. But that 's not the way it works. International order does not rest on ideas and institutions. It is shaped by configurations of power. The international order we know today reflects the distribution of power in the world since World War ii, and especially since the end of the Cold War. A different configuration of power, a multipolar world in which the poles were Russia, China, the United States, India, and Europe, would produce its own kind of order, with different rules and norms reflecting the interests of the powerful states that would have a hand in shaping it. Would that international order be an improvement? Perhaps for Beijing and Moscow it would. But it is doubtful that it would suit the tastes of enlightenment liberals in the United States and Europe. The current order, of course, is not only far from perfect but also offers no guarantee against major conflict among the world's great powers. Even under the umbrella of unipolarity, regional conflicts involving the large powers may erupt. War could erupt between China and Taiwan and draw in both the United States and Japan. War could erupt between Russia and Georgia, forcing the United States and its European allies to decide whether to intervene or suffer the consequences of a Russian victory. Conflict between India and Pakistan remains possible, as does conflict between Iran and Israel or other Middle Eastern states. These, too, could draw in other great powers, including the United States. Such conflicts may be unavoidable no matter what policies the United States pursues. But they are more likely to erupt if the United States weakens or withdraws from its positions of regional dominance. This is especially true in East Asia, where most nations agree that a reliable American power has a stabilizing and pacific effect on the region. That is certainly the view of most of China 's neighbors. But even China, which seeks gradually to supplant the United States as the dominant power in the region, faces the dilemma that an American withdrawal could unleash an ambitious, independent, nationalist Japan. In Europe, too, the departure of the United States from the scene -- even if it remained the world's most powerful nation -- could be destabilizing. It could tempt Russia to an even more overbearing and potentially forceful approach to unruly nations on its periphery. Although some realist theorists seem to imagine that the disappearance of the Soviet Union put an end to the possibility of confrontation between Russia and the West, and therefore to the need for a permanent American role in Europe, history suggests that conflicts in Europe involving Russia are possible even without Soviet communism. If the United States withdrew from Europe -- if it adopted what some call a strategy of "offshore balancing" -- this could in time increase the likelihood of conflict involving Russia and its near neighbors, which could in turn draw the United States back in under unfavorable circumstances. It is also optimistic to imagine that a retrenchment of the American position in the Middle East and the assumption of a more passive, "offshore" role would lead to greater stability there. The vital interest the United States has in access to oil and the role it plays in keeping access open to other nations in Europe and Asia make it unlikely that American leaders could or would stand back and hope for the best while the powers in the region battle it out. Nor would a more "even-handed" policy toward Israel, which some see as the magic key to unlocking peace, stability, and comity in the Middle East, obviate the need to come to Israel 's aid if its security became threatened. That commitment, paired with the American commitment to protect strategic oil supplies for most of the world, practically ensures a heavy American military presence in the region, both on the seas and on the ground. The subtraction of American power from any region would not end conflict but would simply change the equation. In the Middle East, competition for influence among powers both inside and outside the region has raged for at least two centuries. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism doesn 't change this. It only adds a new and more threatening dimension to the competition, which neither a sudden end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians nor an immediate American withdrawal from Iraq would change. The alternative to American predominance in the region is not balance and peace. It is further competition. The region and the states within it remain relatively weak. A diminution of American influence would not be followed by a diminution of other external influences. One could expect deeper involvement by both China and Russia, if only to secure their interests. 18 And one could also expect the more powerful states of the region, particularly Iran, to expand and fill the vacuum. It is doubtful that any American administration would voluntarily take actions that could shift the balance of power in the Middle East further toward Russia, China, or Iran. The world hasn 't changed that much. An American withdrawal from Iraq will not return things to "normal" or to a new kind of stability in the region. It will produce a new instability, one likely to draw the United States back in again. The alternative to American regional predominance in the Middle East and elsewhere is not a new regional stability. In an era of burgeoning nationalism, the future is likely to be one of intensified competition among nations and nationalist movements

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