Impact Defense File.docx - Impact Defense Environment\/Natural Harms AIDs Humans are evolving to not include the CCR5 receptor which HIV needs to effect

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Unformatted text preview: Impact Defense Environment/Natural Harms AIDs Humans are evolving to not include the CCR5 receptor which HIV needs to effect its host. Smith 2k6 (Stephen, Reporter at Health and Science Desk for Boston Globe, “A Darwinian view of AIDS”, March, ? page=full, AD: 6/30/09) jl As researchers unlocked the secrets of HIV, they found a gene mutation they suspect may protect against the virus that causes AIDS. Human cells have locks on their surface -- scientists call them receptors -- and a virus must insert its key into these locks to gain entry. One of those is called CCR5, and HIV needs to unlock it to be able to infect cells. But scientists in recent years discovered that 5 to 10 percent of people in northern Europe don't have CCR5 receptors. ''And that's where the story gets interesting," said Dr. Calvin Cohen, research director for Community Research Initiative of New England, which conducts trials of AIDS drugs. In contrast, people in Africa and Asia universally possess CCR5. So researchers theorized that lower HIV rates in northern Europe might be due in part to some people lacking the cellular lock. But why don't they have it? Right now, it's only an informed hunch, but scientists suspect that the mutation exhibited by northern Europeans may be an artifact of the bubonic plague. The theory goes like this: As the plague swarmed Europe starting in the 14th century, it wiped out people who possessed CCR5 but spared those who lacked it. ''What we're talking about is a Darwinian process," Harmit Malik, who specializes in the study of genetic conflict at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. ''What was a really rare mutation was what survived. Everyone else had fallen prey to this particular pathogen." Air Pollution No health impact CORDATO 2003 (Roy, Vice president for research and resident scholar at the Locke Foundation. From 1993 to 2000 he served as the Lundy Professor of Business Philosophy at Campbell University, Ground-Level Ozone: Myths, Facts, and Politics, Published by the John Locke Foundation, March) When setting ozone standards, then, the public policy issue is one of comparative risks. That is, are the risks that will be avoided in terms of “pulmonary degradation” by any given ozone standard, be greater or less than the risks that will be incurred in terms of skin cancers and cataracts? There have been several studies that have looked at this question and attempted to quantify the results. In the paper by Lutter and Wolz, cited above, it was concluded that the 80 ppb standard would generate no net health benefits. “Our preliminary analysis suggests that the value of increased UV-B-related health effects from tropospheric ozone reductions may be similar in magnitude to the value of decreased respiratory health effects.”20 In prepar-ing extensive comments on the 80 ppb ozone standard for the Center for the Study of Public Choice at George Mason University, Susan Dudley concluded that “the proposal could result in negative health benefits of $282 million” per year.21 That is, the 80 ppb standard as adopted by North Carolina could actually be generating net harm. Since the state does not officially recognize the fact that ground-level ozone generates any benefits, it is not surprising that the Division of Air Quality did not consider these benefits when choosing to adopt the 80 ppb threshold. Likewise, the legislature, in adopting the Clean Smokestacks bill, made no inquir-ies regarding the effects of the legislation on skin cancer or cataracts. In fact, there was no cost-benefit analysis of any kind to justify enactment of the legislation. North Carolina is not alone in ignoring the full health effects of ground-level ozone. The Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) sets a clear standard for the EPA in its efforts to evaluate the health effects of new regulations. In setting emission standards, the EPA must submit a “Cri-teria Document” that evaluates “all identifiable effects on public health or welfare which may be expected from the presence of such pollutants in the ambient air.”22 But in setting its crite-ria, the EPA not only presented no quantitative analysis of the UV-B effects of ozone but, in its official Criteria Document, it did not even mention these effects. In other words, when con-sidering the health impacts of its proposed standard, the EPA looked only at the benefits and ignored the costs. In doing so it insured the conclusion that the new standard would be justi-fied . Trees are key to air pollution—they overwhelm industrial sources NEW SCIENTIST 2004 (October 17, ) Industry has dramatically cut its emissions of pollutants, called volatile organic compounds. But those cuts have been more than offset by the amount of VOCs churned out by trees. The revelation challenges the notion that planting trees is a good way to clean up the atmosphere. When fossil fuels used in industry and automobiles fail to combust completely, they generate VOCs, which react with nitrogen oxides and sunlight to form poisonous ozone in the lower atmosphere. In the past few decades, the introduction of more efficient engines and catalytic converters has dramatically reduced these emissions. But trees also produce VOCs, which tend to be ignored by scientists modelling the effects of ozone on pollution. So a team led by Drew Purves at Princeton University investigated the impact of newly planted forests on VOC levels in the US. The researchers used the US Forest Service Industry Analysis, a database of 250,000 randomly sampled forest plots around the country, and the known VOC emission rate for each tree species for the study. They calculated that vegetal sources of monoterpenes and isoprene rose by up to 17% from the 1980s to the 1990s – equivalent to three times the industrial reductions. Alt Cause: Generic for all Environment Key Stuff No single factor is key—alt causes exist GERBER 2007 (Richard, On Health Blog, March 23, ) The unusual phenomenon was first noticed by eastern beekeepers starting last fall. Researchers, including some connected with the Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences, have identified some of the possible contributors, but have not yet found a single cause. Initial studies on bee colonies experiencing the die-offs have revealed a large number of disease organisms, with most being “stress-related” diseases but without any one agent as the culprit. Climate chaos and extreme weather seem to be a major factor. It is hard to tell if wild honey bee populations have been affected by the CCD disorder because Varroa mites have “pretty much decimated the wild honey bee population over the past years ,” said Maryann Frazier of The Pennsylvania State University Department of Entomology. “This has become a highly significant, yet poorly understood problem that threatens the pollination industry and the production of commercial honey in the United States… Because the number of managed honeybee colonies is less than half of what it was 25 years ago, states such as Pennsylvania can ill afford these heavy losses.” Dennis van Engelsdorp, acting state apiarist with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said “Every day, you hear of another operator, It’s just causing so much death so quickly that it’s startling.” Lee Miller, director of the Beaver County extension office, said the deaths appear to be stressrelated, but that stress could come from several sources. Dennis van Engelsdorp of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said that initial studies found a large number of disease organisms present, with no one disease being identified as the culprit. And while studies and surveys have found a few common management factors among beekeepers with affected hives, no common environmental agents or chemicals have been identified. Amazon-Specific No Amazon impact BBC 12 In the decade between 1996 and 2005, 19,500 sq km (7,530 sq miles) of jungle was lost on average every single year. The comparison is overused, but that really is an area about the size of Wales or New Jersey each year. It reached a peak in 2004 when more than 27,000 sq km was lost. Then, in 2004 Brazil declared war - it said it would cut deforestation by 80% by 2020. Why are ecologists setting fire to the Amazon? Seven years later and it has almost reached its goal. The latest figures, released just weeks ago, show that 2011 had the lowest rates of deforestation since records began three decades ago - just over 6,200 sq km was cut. That's 78% down on 2004, still a lot of trees - an area the about the size of Devon, or Delaware - but a huge improvement. No impact—a) the Amazon is recovering and b) even if it was totally destroyed there’s no impact NEW YORK POST 6-9-2005 (Posted at Cheat Seeking Missiles, date is date of post, ) "One of the simple, but very important, facts is that the rainforests have only been around for between 12,000 and 16,000 years. That sounds like a very long time but, in terms of the history of the earth, it's hardly a pinprick. "Before then, there were hardly any rainforests. They are very young. It is just a big mistake that people are making. "The simple point is that there are now still - despite what humans have done - more rainforests today than there were 12,000 years ago." "This lungs of the earth business is nonsense; the daftest of all theories ," Stott adds. "If you want to put forward something which, in a simple sense, shows you what's wrong with all the science they espouse, it's that image of the lungs of the world. "In fact, because the trees fall down and decay, rainforests actually take in slightly more oxygen than they give out. "The idea of them soaking up carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen is a myth. It's only fastgrowing young trees that actually take up carbon dioxide," Stott says. "In terms of world systems, the rainforests are basically irrelevant. World weather is governed by the oceans that great system of ocean atmospherics. "Most things that happen on land are mere blips to the system, basically insignificant," he says. Both scientists say the argument that the cure for cancer could be hidden in a rainforest plant or animal - while plausible - is also based on false science because the sea holds more mysteries of life than the rainforests. And both say fears that man is destroying this raw source of medicine are unfounded because the rainforests are remarkably healthy. "They are just about the healthiest forests in the world. This stuff about them vanishing at an alarming rate is a con based on bad science," Moore says. Amazon does not regulate oxygen—their argument doesn’t factor decomposition which consumes all the oxygen rainforests create NEW WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA 2009 (“Rainforest,” date is last mod, March 27, ) It is commonly believed, erroneously, that one of the key values of rainforests is that they provide much of the oxygen for the planet. However, most rainforests do not in fact provide much net oxygen for the rest of the world. Through factors such as the decomposition of dead plant matter, rainforests consume as much oxygen as they produce, except in certain conditions (primarily swamp forests) where the dead plant matter does not decay, but is preserved underground instead (ultimately to form new coal deposits over enough time). Amazon is not key to oxygen—decomposition makes it net neutral LOMBORG 2001 (Bjorn, adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre and a former director of the Environmental Assessment Institute in Copenhagen, The Skeptical Environmentalist, p. 115) There are two primary reasons for viewing the tropical forests as a vital resource. In the 1970s we were told that rainforests were the lungs of the Earth. Even in July 2000, WWF argued for saving the Brazilian Amazon since “the Amazon region has been called the lungs of the world.” But this is a myth. True enough, plants produce oxygen by means of photosynthesis, but when they die and decompose, precisely the same amount of oxygen is consumed. Therefore, forests in equilibrium (where trees grow but old trees fall over, keeping the total biomass approximately constant) neither produce nor consume oxygen in net terms. Even if all plants, on land as well as at sea, were killed off and then decomposed, the process would consume less than 1 percent of the atmosphere’s oxygen. Amazon is not key to oxygen LA TIMES 6-8-2005 ( ) Even without the massive burning, the popular conception of the Amazon as a giant oxygen factory for the rest of the planet is misguided, scientists say. Left unmolested, the forest does generate enormous amounts of oxygen through photosynthesis, but it consumes most of it itself in the decomposition of organic matter. Researchers are trying to determine what role the Amazon plays in keeping the region cool and relatively moist, which in turn has a hugely beneficial effect on agriculture - ironically, the same interests trying to cut down the forest. The theory goes that the jungle's humidity, as much as water from the ocean, is instrumental in creating rain over both the Amazon River basin and other parts of South America, particularly western and southern Brazil, where much of this country's agricultural production is concentrated. "If you took away the Amazon, you'd take away half of the rain that falls on Brazil," Moutinho said. "You can imagine the problems that would ensue." A shift in climate here could cause a ripple effect, disrupting weather patterns in Antarctica, the Eastern U.S. and even Western Europe, some scholars believe. This is what worries ecologists about the continued destruction of the rain forest: not the supposed effect on the global air supply, but rather on the weather. "Concern about the environmental aspects of deforestation now is more over climate rather than [carbon emissions] or whether the Amazon is the 'lungs of the world,' " said Paulo Barreto, a researcher with the Amazon Institute of People and Environment. "For sure, the Amazon is not the lungs of the world," he added. "It never was." Bees The impact is Bee-S. The Australian Magazine ‘9 (Rod Liddle, “Bee All & End All”, 11-21, L/N) So what about bees? You will undoubtedly have read many articles over the past year or so telling you that the bees are dying out and that, as a consequence of this, we will die out, too. Bees, we are told, are crucial to the pollination of the world's foodstuffs, so if they die there will be no more food. And they are dying. Is this true? The latest evidence suggests this: there are more bees buzzing around than ever before and even if they all died out it would have only a minuscule effect upon world food production. We'll come back to the evidence for that shortly, but let's look at the bee holocaust myth first. There is, we are told, a global pollination crisis caused by a dramatic reduction in the number of bees. We are further told that bees are "largely" responsible for the pollination of world food crops - when a figure is put on this "largely", it is usually between 70 and 80 per cent. There is a film out at the moment called Vanishing of the Bees - another one of those sky-falling-in ecodocs, like the stuff done by Al Gore about climate change. There's a non-fiction book called A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum, and the notable Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland has written a dystopian fantasy about a beeless world. There are articles in newspapers and online, such as "Are GM Crops Killing Bees?" (No, they're not.) The European Union has demanded urgent bee action and British MPs have not been lax, either. There are two early day motions insisting that something be done, sharpish, about the bee holocaust. One MP has on his website the famous quote from Einstein: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left." And here's the spooky thing: the bees started disappearing last year - four years, then, takes you up to... aaaagggh! We're going to die! Here's another spooky thing: Einstein never said that stuff about bees; somebody else made it up and it has somehow got itself attributed to him over the years. This is a lesson; it is how Armageddon works, through Chinese whispers and pseudo-science. And everyone is taken in, not least the politicians. There was an article in the academic imprint Current Biology recently, summarised and made intelligible for the lay reader in New Scientist last month. It's by two pollination experts, Lawrence Harder from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and Marcelo Aizen, a researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina . They set about pinning down a couple of myths. First, it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact, managed hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 per cent over the last five years. This is largely down to more managed hives in South America, Africa and Asia. It is perfectly true that there has been a reduction in the US and Western Europe; this may be partly due to outsourcing to the Third World, where production costs are cheaper, and some reductions in the West may have been the consequence of viruses or colony collapse disorder. But these latter are merely short-term blips. The bee disaster scenario is dependent upon data that is far too regional to take seriously and "not representative of global trends". The truth is that there are more bees in the world than ever . Second, as Harder and Aizen put it: "It is a myth that humanity would starve without bees." While about 70 per cent of our most productive crops are animal-pollinated (by bees, hoverflies and the like), very few rely on animal pollination completely. Furthermore, most staple foods - wheat, rice and corn - do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating . If all the bees in the world dropped dead tomorrow afternoon, it would reduce our food production by only between 4 and 6 per cent. Further still, the average yield of animal-pollinated crops has increased quite dramatically over the past decade or so, which you would not expect to see if Armageddon was just around the corner . Harder and Aizen have a warning that luxury foods might be hit by a pollination crisis in the future, because demand for them is outstripping the pollinating capacities of even the increased numbers of bees. But they say: "Overall we must conclude that claims of a global crisis in agricultural production are untrue.'"Their paper does not yet seem to have been picked up by the mainstream press, still less the campaigners, the politicians or the distributors of the film Vanishing of the Bees. In fact, the claim that bees solve extinction is so stupid you should vote against them for reading it. You know, just to set an example. Delaplane ’10 (Keith, Prof. Entomology – U. Georgia, “On Einstein, Bees, and Survival of the Human Race”, Last Updated 4-5, Written after 2009, AESEntomologyUGA.html) This sounds presumptuous, doesn’t it? I mean, lumping bees alongside weighty stuff like survival of the human race. But the fact is, associations like this do get bantered about, especially in times like ours when the welfare of pollinators is a hot topic. Politicians, taxpayers, and agriculturalists are asking, So, just how important are bees? For the most part, beekeepers have been quick to take a high view on this question. And no doubt, one of the rewarding things about working with honey bees is the fact that they are important. Important at the human scale – not just important to me or my fellow beekeepers, but important to the quality of life enjoyed by beneficiaries of developed economies the world over. This importance does not hang on honey production, but pollination - nothing less than our food supply. So it i...
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