Aff_AT_K_Toolbox SOME OLD BAD CARDS SORT AND DELETE ME PLS.doc - Extinction OW Alt doesn\u2019t solve the case \u2013-outweighs \u2013 turns their

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Unformatted text preview: Extinction OW Alt doesn’t solve the case – ---outweighs – turns their impact ---Extinction outweighs Anders Sandberg, James Martin Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, et al., with Jason G. Matheny, Ph.D. candidate in Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Special Consultant to the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Milan M. Ćirković, Senior Research Associate at the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade and Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia and Montenegro, 2008 (“How can we reduce the risk of human extinction?,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 8th, Available Online at ) The facts are sobering. More than 99.9 percent of species that have ever existed on Earth have gone extinct . Over the long run, it seems likely that humanity will meet the same fate. In less than a billion years, the increased intensity of the Sun will initiate a wet greenhouse effect, even without any human interference, making Earth inhospitable to life. A couple of billion years later Earth will be destroyed, when it's engulfed by our Sun as it expands into a red-giant star. If we colonize space, we could survive longer than our planet, but as mammalian species survive, on average, only two million years, we should consider ourselves very lucky if we make it to one billion. Humanity could be extinguished as early as this century by succumbing to natural hazards, such as an extinction-level asteroid or comet impact, supervolcanic eruption, global methane-hydrate release, or nearby supernova or gamma-ray burst. (Perhaps the most probable of these hazards, supervolcanism, was discovered only in the last 25 years, suggesting that other natural hazards may remain the probability of any one of these events killing off our species is very low—less than one in 100 million per year, given what we know about their past frequency. But as improbable as these events are , measures to reduce their probability can still be worthwhile. For instance, investments in asteroid detection and deflection technologies cost less, per life saved, than most investments in medicine. While an extinction-level asteroid impact is very unlikely, its improbability is outweighed by its potential death toll. The risks from anthropogenic hazards appear at present larger than those from natural ones. Although great progress has been made in reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the world, humanity is still threatened by the possibility of a global thermonuclear war and a resulting nuclear winter. We may face even greater risks from emerging technologies. Advances in synthetic biology unrecognized.) Fortunately might make it possible to engineer pathogens capable of extinction-level pandemics. The knowledge, equipment, and materials needed to engineer pathogens are more accessible than those needed to build nuclear weapons. And unlike other weapons, pathogens are self-replicating, allowing a small arsenal to become exponentially destructive. Pathogens have been implicated in the extinctions of many wild species. Although most pandemics "fade out" by reducing the density of susceptible populations, pathogens with wide host ranges in multiple species can reach even isolated individuals. The intentional or unintentional release of engineered pathogens with high transmissibility, latency, and lethality might be capable of causing human extinction. While such an event seems unlikely today, the likelihood may increase as biotechnologies continue to improve at a rate rivaling Moore's Law. Farther out in time are technologies that remain theoretical but might be developed this century. Molecular nanotechnology could allow the creation of self-replicating machines capable of destroying the ecosystem. And advances in neuroscience and computation might enable improvements in cognition that accelerate the invention of new weapons. A survey at the Oxford conference found that concerns about human extinction were dominated by fears that new technologies would be misused. These emerging threats are especially challenging as they could become dangerous more quickly than past Such remote risks may seem academic in a world plagued by immediate problems, such as global poverty, HIV, and climate change. But as intimidating as these problems are, they do not threaten human existence. In discussing the risk of nuclear winter, Carl Sagan emphasized the astronomical toll of human extinction: A nuclear war imperils all of our descendants, for as long as there will be humans. Even if the population remains static, with an average lifetime of the order of 100 years, over a typical time period for the biological evolution of a successful species (roughly ten million years), we are talking about some 500 trillion people yet to come. By this criterion, the stakes are one million times greater for extinction than for the more modest nuclear wars that kill "only" hundreds of millions of people. There are many other possible measures of the potential loss—including culture and science, the evolutionary history of the planet, and the significance of the lives of all of our ancestors who contributed to the future of their descendants. Extinction is the undoing of the human enterprise. There is a discontinuity between risks that threaten 10 percent or even 99 percent of humanity and those that threaten 100 percent. For disasters killing less than all humanity, there is a good chance that the species could recover. If we value future human generations, then reducing extinction risks should dominate our considerations. Fortunately, most measures to reduce these risks also improve global security against a range of lesser catastrophes, and thus deserve support regardless of how technologies, outpacing society's ability to control them. As H.G. Wells noted, "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." much one worries about extinction. These measures include: Removing nuclear weapons from hair-trigger alert and further reducing their numbers; Placing safeguards on gene synthesis equipment to prevent synthesis of select pathogens; Improving our ability to respond to infectious diseases, including rapid disease surveillance, diagnosis, and control, as well as accelerated drug development; Funding research on asteroid detection and deflection, "hot spot" eruptions, methane hydrate deposits, and other catastrophic natural hazards; Monitoring developments in key disruptive technologies, such as nanotechnology and computational neuroscience, and developing international policies to reduce the risk of catastrophic accidents. Accept our impacts ( ) We don’t need to win our epistemology is perfect – but it’s better to try and understand the world through flawed empiricism than just give up on all meaning – it’s key to persuading audiences Sil 2k [Rudra Sil, assistant professor of Political Science at University of Pennsylvania. “Against Epistemological Absolutism: Toward a “Pragmatic” Center,” in Beyond Boundaries ed Sil and Eileen M. Doherty 2000 p160161] ***K Bullets In the end, there may be no alternative to relying on the judgment of other human beings, and this judgment is difficult to form in the absence of empirical findings. However, instead of clinging to the elusive idea of a uniform standard for the empirical validation of theories, it is possible to simply present a set of observational statements – whether we call it “data” or “narrative” – for the modest purpose of rendering an explanation or interpretation more plausible than the audience would allow at the outset. In practice, this is precisely what the most committed positivists and interpretivists have been doing anyway; the presentation of “ logically consistent” hypotheses “ supported by data ” and the ordering of facts in a “thick” narrative are both ultimately designed to convince scholars that a particular proposition should be taken more seriously than others. Social analysis is not about final truths or objective realities, but nor does it have to be a meaningless world of incommensurable theories where anything goes. Instead, it can be an ongoing collective endeavor to develop, evaluate, and refine general inferences- be they in the form of models, partial explanations, descriptive inferences, or interpretations- in order to render them more “sensible” or “plausible” to a particular audience. In the absence of a consensus on the possibility and desirability of a full-blown explanatory science of international and social life, it is important to keep as many doors open as possible. This does not require us to accept each and very claim without some sort of validation, but perhaps the community of scholars can be more tolerant about the kinds of empirical referents and logical propositions that are employed in validating propositions by scholars embracing all but the most extreme epistemological positions. No impact – Democracy and economic liberalization checks their impacts O’Kane ‘97 (“Modernity, the Holocaust and politics,” Economy and society, February, ebsco) Modern bureaucracy is not ‘intrinsically capable of genocidal action’ (Bauman 1989). Centralized state coercion has no natural move to terror . In the explanation of modern genocides it is chosen policies which play the greatest part, whether Chosen policies cannot be relegated to the position of immediate condition (Nazis in power) in the explanation of the Holocuast. in effecting bureaucratic secrecy, organizing forced labour, implementing a system of terror, harnessing science and technology or introducing extermination policies, as As Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR have shown, furthermore, those chosen policies of genocidal government turned away from and not towards modernity. The choosing, however, is not independent of circumstances. An analysis of the history of each case plays an important part in explining where and how genocidal governments come to power and analysis means and as ends. of political institutions and structures also helps towards an understanding of the factors which act as obstacles to modern genocide. But it is not just political factors Modern societies have not only pluralist democratic political systems but also economic pluralism where workers are free to change jobs and bargain wages and where independent firms, each with their own independent bureaucracies, exist in competition with state-controlled enterprises. In which stand in the way of another Holocaust in modern society. modern societies this economic pluralism both promotes and is served by the open scientific method. By ignoring competition and the capacity for people to move between organizations whether economic, political, scientific or social, Bauman overlooks crucial but also very ‘ordinary and common’ attributes of truly modern It is these very ordinary and common attributes of modernity which stand in the way of modern genocides. societies. Framework Our epistemology is right – Policy debate is key to effecting institutional change Heydemann 2 (Steve,director – Program on Philanthropy and Nonprofit Sector @ Social Science Research Council, frmr Prof Poli Sci – Columbia, “Defending the Discipline,” Journal of Democracy Vol. 13, No. 3, Muse) Though Kramer's book is severely flawed, 2 the larger question remains: Is his diagnosis of the field accurate? Have we exaggerated the prospects for democratization and misread the state of politics in the Middle East? Are we guilty of uncritically applying inappropriate theories and methods? Have we neglected what really matters in pursuit of theoretical novelty? The straightforward answer is that these perceptions of the field are misguided. When it comes to the study of democratization and economic reform — especially the past 10 to 15 years' work on the political economy of regime formation and transition— the field has been largely right. The persistence of authoritarianism, not the inevitability of democracy, has been the principal focus of research. The overwhelming sentiment among researchers has been not uncritical optimism about prospects for democratization but a cautious and critical skepticism, verging at times on frank pessimism. 3 Certainly, at the start of the 1990s scholars of the Middle East were anxious to explore the local effects of the changes then transforming the international system, including the possibility of political change from below, and with good reason. No one paying attention to events on the ground—the newfound interest among regimes circa 1990 in the rhetoric of pluralism, markets, and democracy; the growth of social movements around issues ranging from human rights to electoral reform to environmentalism; the increasingly visible signs of exhaustion among existing systems of rule—could have failed to note how the events of 1989 resonated across the Middle East, creating possibilities for change that had seemed quite remote only a few years earlier. Research on civil society, far less prominent in Middle East studies than in other fields, was one of several reactions to these new possibilities and helped turn the attention of researchers to modes of politics that previously had been neglected. 4 Nonetheless, from the early 1990s on, the main focus of research on the politics of reform in the Middle East has been to explain why reforms have been so limited; how authoritarian regimes have managed to exploit the rhetoric of reform to reconfigure and renew their political [End Page 103] power; why it is that in the Middle East vibrant civil societies coexist with durable authoritarian regimes, while elsewhere such civil societies have been central to democratic transitions; and how regimes in the Middle East have managed to separate economic and political reform, processes that have often been seen as interdependent. Research has centered on such notions as selective liberalization, defensive democratization, reform as a survival strategy, coalition management, and successful authoritarianism, and has explored whether the stability of authoritarianism can be taken as evidence of Middle Eastern exceptionalism. 5 In fact, the most recent wave of research is on failed liberalization, the reversal of reform, and how the political openings that took place in a number of Middle Eastern states in the late 1980s and early 1990s were shut down by regimes that came to fear their consequences. Moreover, research on economic and political reform in the Middle East has clearly benefited from the use of comparative theories and methods by regional specialists. Given the interdependence of economic reform and democratization in much of the world, what accounts for the ability of regimes in the Middle East to liberalize their economies selectively without opening their political systems? Why has authoritarianism in the Middle East persisted despite the presence of virtually every factor that has been used to explain its collapse elsewhere, from failures of development to defeats in war? Since the massive use of coercion did not keep authoritarian regimes alive in Eastern Europe, Africa, or Latin America, how can we explain the persistence of such regimes in the Middle East simply by reference to their brutality? Does Tocqueville tell us anything relevant to this region? Does Islam make the Middle East exceptional, and if so, how? 6 How can we account for the absence or weakness of what might be called liberal Islam? These questions, which get to the fundamental core of what matters about Middle Eastern politics today, are well represented within Middle East studies. Yet they cannot be answered by looking at the Middle East in isolation. These questions require not simply introspection but critical engagement with the larger disciplines within which the applicable tools and methods are developed, challenged, and refined. Does such attention to theory lead the field down esoteric byways, detached from the concerns of policy makers? That research has an obligation to serve foreign policy goals is a dubious proposition, but interaction between research and policy on questions of reform is evident, even if the two often pull in different directions. On the one hand, U.S. policy favors stability in the short run, with little apparent regard for the longer-term costs of sustaining authoritarian regimes. Policy makers have tended to subordinate political reform to economic reform in the belief that markets will create the preconditions for political change—eventually. In other words, U.S. policy has evolved to favor markets now, democracy later. Academic specialists, on the other hand —including [End Page 104] some with high-level government experience—tend to be skeptical if not critical of this approach, generally preferring more assertive U.S. support for democratization. 7 Nonetheless, the feasibility of promoting markets without also seeking democracy—of supporting what has become a shift from populist to partially market-based forms of authoritarianism—is sadly consistent with the findings of the research literature. Moreover, this divergence between the policy and research communities is not an indicator of academic failure but a reflection of policy makers' neglect , whether intentional or not, of a research literature that has been largely accurate in assessing the rise and decline of political liberalization in the Middle East during the course of the 1990s. The K doesn’t disprove our truth claims – Mid East scholarship is broad and reflexive – it can effectively integrate critique Lockman 5 (Zachary, Chair – Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies @ NYU, Spring ‘5, “Critique from the Right: The Neo-conservative Assault on Middle East Studies,” The New Centennial Review 5.1, Muse) It may be too soon to tell, but from the vantage point of the first years of the twenty-first century it would seem that area studies has weathered the storms of the immediate post–Cold War period. In large part this may have been because these fields, including Middle East studies as practiced in the United States, were by the 1990s not what they had been 30 years earlier. The sharp decline (within academia, at least) of once dominant paradigms like a cultural- essentialist Orientalism and modernization theory resulted in the dissipation of the intellectual coherence that had characterized the field in its first decades. But the kind of intellectual fragmentation that had come to characterize Middle East studies was the norm across a great many other fields and disciplines and was counterbalanced, probably even outweighed, by the fact that many Middle East specialists, perhaps especially younger scholars, were now not only well versed in the theoretical and methodological issues and debates of their own disciplines but also routinely engaged with innovative work that cut across or transcended disciplinary boundaries . They could thus increasingly manage, without any great difficulty, to participate in productive scholarly conversations not only with their disciplinary colleagues (fellow historians, political scientists, anthropologists, literature specialists, etc.) but also with scholars from other disciplines interested in this part of the world and in others as well. Moreover, because so many scholars working on the Middle East were participants in the scholarly conversations and debates that had transformed broad segments of the humanities and the social sciences in recent decades, Middle East studies had to a considerable extent overcome its [End Page 73] insular and rather backward character and was now much more open to, and engaged with, the wider intellectual world than had once been the case. The developments of the last two or three decades, including the critiques of Orientalism and modernization theory; the broad range of new wor...
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