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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

INDEX
INDEX.....................................................................................................................................................................1
KEYSTONE THEORY WRONG............................................................................................................................2
SPECIES LOSS TAKEOUTS.................................................................................................................................3
SPECIES LOSS TAKEOUTS.................................................................................................................................4
SPECIES LOSS TAKEOUTS.................................................................................................................................5
SPECIES LOSS TAKEOUTS.................................................................................................................................6
.................................................................................................................................................................................7
SPECIES ARE REPLACED...................................................................................................................................7
SPECIES NOT KEY TO SURVIVAL.....................................................................................................................8
GLOBAL WARMING = EXTINCTION INEVITABLE........................................................................................9
AFF NOT SOLVE FOR SPECIES LOSS.............................................................................................................10
...............................................................................................................................................................................11
CHINA IS KEY FACTOR.....................................................................................................................................11
GLOBAL COOPERATION IS KEY ....................................................................................................................12
ALTERNATE CAUSALITY.................................................................................................................................13
ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – POPULATION GROWTH..................................................................................14
ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – POPULATION GROWTH..................................................................................15
ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – FISHING.............................................................................................................16
ALTERNATE CASUALITY – OVERHUNTING................................................................................................17
ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – NON-NATIVE SPECIES....................................................................................18

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

KEYSTONE THEORY WRONG

REDUNDANCY PREVENTS ECOSYSTEM COLLAPSE-KEYSTONE THEORY IS WRONG

MASER ’92 (Chris Maser, internationally recognized expert in forest ecology and governmental consultant, 1992,
Global Imperative: Harmonizing Culture and Nature, p. 40)

Redundancy means that more than one species can perform similar functions. It’s a type of
ecological insurance policy, which strengthens the ability of the system to retain the integrity of its basic
relationships. The insurance of redundancy means that the loss of a species or two is not likely to
result in such severe functional disruptions of the ecosystem so as to cause its collapse because other
species can make up for the functional loss.

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

SPECIES LOSS TAKEOUTS


SPECIES EXTINCTION WON'T CAUSE HUMAN EXTINCTION – HUMANS AND THE
ENVIRONMENT ARE ADAPTABLE – THIS ANSWERS THEIR INVISIBLE THRESHOLD
ARGUMENT

DOREMUS ‘00(Holly, Professor of Law at UC Davis, Washington & Lee Law Review, "The Rhetoric and Reality of
Nature Protection: Toward a New Discourse," 57 Wash & Lee L. Rev. 11, Winter 2000)

In recent years, this discourse frequently has taken the form of the ecological horror story . That too is no
mystery. The ecological horror story is unquestionably an attention-getter, especially in the hands of skilled
writers [*46] like Carson and the Ehrlichs. The image of the airplane earth, its wings wobbling as rivet after
rivet is carelessly popped out, is difficult to ignore. The apocalyptic depiction of an impending crisis of
potentially dire proportions is designed to spur the political community to quick action . Furthermore, this story
suggests a goal that appeals to many nature lovers: that virtually everything must be protected. To reinforce this
suggestion, tellers of the ecological horror story often imply that the relative importance of various rivets to the
ecological plane cannot be determined. They offer reams of data and dozens of anecdotes demonstrating the
unexpected value of apparently useless parts of nature. The moth that saved Australia from prickly pear
invasion, the scrubby Pacific yew, and the downright unattractive leech are among the uncharismatic flora and
fauna who star in these anecdotes. n211 The moral is obvious: because we cannot be sure which rivets are
holding the plane together, saving them all is the only sensible course.
Notwithstanding its attractions, the material discourse in general, and the ecological horror story in particular,
are not likely to generate policies that will satisfy nature lovers. The ecological horror story implies that there is
no reason to protect nature until catastrophe looms. The Ehrlichs' rivet-popper account, for example, presents
species simply as the (fungible) hardware holding together the ecosystem. If we could be reasonably certain that
a particular rivet was not needed to prevent a crash, the rivet-popper story suggests that we would lose very
little by pulling it out. Many environmentalists, though, would disagree. n212
Reluctant to concede such losses, tellers of the ecological horror story highlight how close a catastrophe might
be, and how little we know about what actions might trigger one. But the apocalyptic vision is less credible
today than it seemed in the 1970s. Although it is clear that the earth is experiencing a mass wave of extinctions,
n213 the complete elimination of life on earth seems unlikely. n214 Life is remarkably robust. Nor is human
extinction probable any time soon. Homo sapiens is adaptable to nearly any environment. Even if the world of
the future includes far fewer species, it likely will hold people. n215
One response to this credibility problem tones the story down a bit, arguing not that humans will go extinct but
that ecological disruption will bring economies, and consequently civilizations, to their knees. n216 But this too
may be overstating the case. Most ecosystem functions are performed by multiple species. This functional
redundancy means that a high proportion of species can be lost without precipitating a collapse. n217

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

SPECIES LOSS TAKEOUTS


SPECIES LOSS WON’T RISK EXTINCTION – NO CREDIBLE REASON IT WILL SNOWBALL

SAGOFF ’97 (Mark, Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment and past President of the
International Society of Environmental Ethics “Do we consume too much?” The Atlantic Monthly, June)

There is no credible argument, moreover, that all or even most of the species we are concerned to protect are
essential to the functioning of the ecological systems on which we depend. (If whales went extinct, for example,
the seas would not fill up with krill.) David Ehrenfeld, a biologist at Rutgers University, makes this point in
relation to the vast ecological changes we have already survived. "Even a mighty dominant like the American
chestnut," Ehrenfeld has written, "extending over half a continent, all but disappeared without bringing the
eastern deciduous forest down with it." Ehrenfeld points out that the species most likely to be endangered are
those the biosphere is least likely to miss. "Many of these species were never common or ecologically
influential; by no stretch of the imagination can we make them out to be vital cogs in the ecological machine."

ONLY A SMALL NUMBER OF SPECIES ARE NEEDED – YOUR CONCERNS OF EXTINCTION


ARE EXAGGERATED

Kimbrell ’02 (Andrew Executive Director of the International Center for Technology Assessment and the
Center for Food Safety, The Fatal Harvest Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, p. 83-4]

There is a second practical problem with assigning value to biological diversity. In a chapter called “The
Conservation Dileema” in my book The Arrogance of Humanism, I discuss the problem of what I call
nonresources. The sad fact that few conservationists care to face is that many species, perhaps most, probably
do not have any conventional value at all, even hidden conventional value. True, we cannot be sure which
particular species fall into this category, but it is hard to deny that a great many of them do. And unfortunately,
the species whose members are the fewest in number, the rarest, the most narrowly distributed – in short, the
ones most likely to become extinct – are obviously the ones least likely to be missed by the biosphere. Many of
these species were never common or ecologically influential; by no stretch of the imagination can we make
them out to be vital cogs in the ecological machine. If the California condor disappears forever from the
California hills, it will be a tragedy. But don’t expect the chaparral to die, the redwoods to wither, the San
Andreas Fault to open up, or even the California tourist industry to suffer – they won’t.
So it is with plants. We do not know how many species are needed to keep the planet green and healthy, but it
seems very unlikely to be anywhere near the more than quarter of a million we have now. And if we turn to the
invertebrates, the source of nearly all biological diversity, what biologist is willing to find a value –
conventional or ecological – for all 600,000-plus species of beetles?

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

SPECIES LOSS TAKEOUTS


EMPIRICALLY DENIED – WE ARE DESTROYING ECOSYSTEMS NOW

Pimm and Raven ’00 (Stuart L, Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Peter, Missouri Botanic
Garden, Biodiversity: Extinction by Numbers, Feb. 24Nature,
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v403/n6772/full/403843a0.html)
Humanity is rapidly destroying habitats that are most species-rich. About two-thirds of all species occur in the
tropics, largely in the tropical humid forests3. These forests originally covered between 14 million and 18
million square kilometres, depending on the exact definition, and about half of the original area remains4. Much
of the rain-forest reduction is recent, and clearing now eliminates about 1 million square kilometres every 5 to
10 years4, 5, 6. Burning and selective logging severely damages several times the area that is cleared5, 6.

EMPIRICALLY PROVEN THERE IS NO IMPACT TO SPECIES LOSS – THEY ARE REDUNDANT


AND WON’T COLLAPSE THE ECOSYSTEM

Davidson ’00 (Carlos, Conservation biologist with background in economics, Economic Growth and the
Environment: Alternatives to the Limits Paradigm, May 1)

Biodiversity limits. The original rivet metaphor (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1981) referred to species extinction and
biodiversity loss as a limit to human population and the economy. A wave of species extinctions is occurring
that is unprecedented in human history (Wilson 1988, 1992, Reid and Miller 1989). The decline of biodiversity represents
irreplaceable and incalculable losses to future generations of humans. Is biodiversity loss a case of limits, as suggested by the rivet
metaphor, or is it a continuum of degradation with local tears, as suggested by the tapestry metaphor? In the rivet metaphor, it is not
the loss of species by itself that is the proposed limit but rather some sort of ecosystem collapse that would be triggered by the species
loss. But it is unclear that biodiversity loss will lead to ecosystem collapse. Research in this area is still in its
infancy, and results from the limited experimental studies are mixed. Some studies show a positive relationship between
diversity and some aspect of ecosy stem function, such as the rate of nitrogen cycling (Kareiva 1996, Tilman et al. 1996). Others
support the redundant species concept (Lawton and Brown 1993, Andren et al. 1995), which holds that above
some low number, additional species are redundant in terms of ecosystem function. Still other studies support the
idiosyncratic species model (Lawton 1994), in which loss of some species reduces some aspect of ecosystem function,
whereas loss of others may increase that aspect of ecosystem function.
The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function is undoubtedly more complex than any simple metaphor.
Nonetheless, I believe that the tapestry metaphor provides a more useful view of biodiversity loss than the rivet metaphor.
A species extinction is like a thread pulled from the tapestry. With each thread lost, the tapestry gradually becomes
threadbare. The loss of some species may lead to local tears. Although everything is linked to everything else,
ecosystems are not delicately balanced, clocklike mechanisms in which the loss of a part leads to collapse. For
example, I study California frogs, some of which are disappearing. Although it is possible that the
disappearances signal some as yet unknown threat to humans (the miner's canary argument), the loss of the
frogs themselves is unlikely to have major ecosystem effects. The situation is the same for most rare organisms,
which make up the bulk of threatened and endangered species. For example, if the black toad (Bufo exsul) were
to disappear from the few desert springs in which it lives, even careful study would be unlikely to reveal
ecosystem changes. To argue that there are not limits is not to claim that biodiversity losses do not matter. Rather, in
calling for a stop to the destruction, it is the losses themselves that count, not a putative cliff that humans will fall off of
somewhere down the road.
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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

SPECIES LOSS TAKEOUTS

EVEN IF YOU WIN A RISK OF ECOSYSTEM COLLAPSE, THE TIME FRAME IS INCREDIBLY
LONG

The San Francisco Chronicle – 7-26-2001 (Jane Kay, Study takes historical peek at plight of ocean
ecosystems)

The collapse of ecosystems often occur over a long period.


In one example, when Aleut hunters killed the Alaskan sea otter about 2,500 years ago, the population of their
natural prey, the sea urchin, grew larger than its normal size. In turn, the urchins grazed down the kelp forests,
important habitat for a whole host of ocean life.
Then, when fur traders in the 1800s hunted the otters and sea cows almost to extinction, the kelp forests
disappeared and didn't start to regenerate until the federal government protected the sea otters in the 20th
century. In California, the diversity of spiny lobsters, sheephead fish and abalone kept down the urchin
numbers.
At present in Alaska, the kelp beds are declining again in areas where killer whales are preying on sea otters.
Biologists think the killer whales switched to otters for food because there are fewer seals and sea lions to eat.

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

SPECIES ARE REPLACED

EXTINCT SPECIES ARE REPLACED

PALMER ’92 (Thomas Palmer, The Atlantic, January, 1992, p. 83)


Students of evolution have shown that species death, or extinction, is going on all the time, and that it is an essential
feature of life history. Species are adapted to their environments; as environments change, some
species find themselves in the position of islanders whose islands are washing away, and they go under. Similarly, new
islands (or environments) are appearing all the time, and they almost invariably produce new species.

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

SPECIES NOT KEY TO SURVIVAL

BIODIVERSITY ISN’T KEY TO SURVIVAL

CALGARY HERALD ’97 (Calgary Herald, lexis-nexus, August 30, 1997)

Ecologists have long maintained that diversity is one of nature's greatest strengths, but new research
suggests that diversity alone does not guarantee strong ecosystems. In findings that could intensify the
debate over endangered species and habitat conservation, three new studies suggest a greater abundance
of plant and animal varieties doesn't always translate to better ecological health. At least equally
important, the research found, are the types of species and how they function together. "Having a long list of
Latin names isn't always better than a shorter list of Latin names," said Stanford University biologist Peter
Vitousek, co-author of one of the studies published in the journal Science. Separate experiments in
California, Minnesota and Sweden, found that diversity often had little bearing on the performance of
ecosystems -- at least as measured by the growth and health of native plants. In fact, the communities with
the greatest biological richness were often the poorest when it came to productivity and the cycling of
nutrients. One study compared plant life on 50 remote islands in northern Sweden that are prone to frequent
wildfires from lightning strikes. Scientist David Wardle of Landcare Research in Lincoln, New Zealand, and
colleagues at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, found that islands dominated by a few
species of plants recovered more quickly than nearby islands with greater biological diversity. Similar
findings were reported by University of Minnesota researchers who studied savannah grasses, and by
Stanford's Vitousek and colleague David Hooper, who concluded that functional characteristics of plant
species were more important than the number of varieties in determining how ecosystems performed.
British plant ecologist J.P. Grime, in a commentary summarizing the research, said there is as yet no
"convincing evidence that species diversity and ecosystem function are consistently and causally
related." "It could be argued," he added, "that the tide is turning against the notion of high biodiversity
as a controller of ecosystem function and insurance against ecological collapse."

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

GLOBAL WARMING = EXTINCTION INEVITABLE

GLOBAL WARMING MEANS EXTINCTION IS INEVITABLE AND THE AFF WILL NEVER BE
ABLE TO SOLVE 100% FOR GLOBAL WARMING

IN THE NEWS ’06 (November 11, www.inthenews.co.uk/news/news/environment/global-warming-increasing-


extinction-rates-$457987.htm)

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

AFF NOT SOLVE FOR SPECIES LOSS

FACTORS OF SPECIES LOSS ARE ALREADY STEADFAST IN THE STATUS QUO—THE AFF
WILL NOT SOLVE FOR THIS

AMOS ’05 (jONATHON, BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/l/hi/sci/tech/4391835.stm, March 30)

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

CHINA IS KEY FACTOR


CHINA IS THE WORST ENVIRONMENTAL PERPETRATOR, AND WILL CAUSE EXTINCTION –
THE PLAN DOES NOTHING TO STOP THIS MAJOR THREAT.

FRENCH ’06 (Howard, New York Times, Dec. 4,


www.howardwfrench.com/archives/2006/12/04/chinaas_green_debt/)

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

GLOBAL COOPERATION IS KEY

GLOBAL COOPERATION IS KEY TO PREVENT SPECIES LOSS

PSRAST ’06 (Physicians and Scientists for Responible application of Science and Technology, May 12,
http://www.psrast.org/globecolcr.htm)

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

ALTERNATE CAUSALITY

ALT CAUSES MAKE SPECIES LOSS INEVITABLE

New Straits Times ‘01 (Malaysia February 4, 2001, L/N)

Yule rates the loss of biodiversity as the number one environmental crisis. "The extinction of species
that we know and don't not know of is happening at an alarming rate, caused by pollution and the
destruction of habitats. Other crises include global warming, river and air pollution, destruction of
rainforests and even over population."

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – POPULATION GROWTH

ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – POPULATION GROWTH CAUSES SPECIES LOSS

POPULATION REPORTS ’00 (VOL XXVIII, NO. 3, FALL 2000, SERIES M - #15, SPECIAL TOPICS,
WWW.INFOFORHEALTH.ORG/PR/M15/M15CHAP1.SHTML)

THE POPULATION EXPLOSION AND OTHER HUMAN ACTIVITIES WILL CAUSES SPECIES
EXTINCTION, THE AFF CAN NEVER SOLVE FOR ALL THESE REASONS

PSRAST ’06 (Physicians and Scientists for Responible application of Science and Technology, May 12,
http://www.psrast.org/globecolcr.htm)

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – POPULATION GROWTH

THE RAPID POPULATION GROWTH IS THE CAUSES FOR SPECIES LOSS – THE AFF DOESN’T
SOLVE FOR THIS

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ’06


(http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/biodiversity/biodiversity.html, Jan. 4)

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – FISHING

ALT CAUSUALITY – FISHING CAUSES MASS BIODIVERSITY LOSS

PSRAST ’06 (Physicians and Scientists for Responible application of Science and Technology, May 12,
http://www.psrast.org/globecolcr.htm)

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

ALTERNATE CASUALITY – OVERHUNTING

OVERHUNTING CAUES MASS SPECIES EXTINCTION

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ’06


(http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/biodiversity/biodiversity.html, Jan. 4)

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BAYLOR DEBATE INSTITUTE ‘08 SPECIES ANSWERS

ALTERNATE CAUSALITY – NON-NATIVE SPECIES

INVASION OF NON-NATIVE SPECIES IS FACTOR IN EXTINCTION

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ’06


(http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/biodiversity/biodiversity.html, Jan. 4)

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