Asteroid Affirmative

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Starvation ! = D Rule

Ignoring famine still leaves the subject morally apprehensible

Andre and Velasquez in 92 [Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez, “World Hunger: A Moral Response” Issues in Ethics - V. 5, N. 1 Spring 1992, Santa Clara University Abstract, PN]

Giving aid to the poor in other nations may require some inconvenience or some sacrifice of luxury on the part of peoples of rich nations, but to ignore the plight of starving people is as morally reprehensible as failing to save a child drowning in a pool because of the inconvenience of getting one's clothes wet.

In fact, according to Singer, allowing a person to die from hunger when it is easily within one's means to prevent it is no different, morally speaking, from killing another human being. If I purchase a VCR or spend money I don't need, knowing that I could instead have given my money to some relief agency that could have prevented some deaths from starvation, I am morally responsible for those deaths. The objection that I didn't intend for anyone to die is irrelevant. If I speed though an intersection and, as a result, kill a pedestrian, I am morally responsible for that death whether I intended it or not.

Asteroid Impact  Supersonic Shockwave

Impact of an asteroid would create a supersonic shock and would devastate anything in its path.

Shiga 2009 (David) (New Scientist; 9/26/2009, Vol. 203 Issue 2727, p30-33, 4p)

Supersonic shock wave. If you were unfortunate enough to be looking up from directly below, the explosion would be brighter than the sun. The visible and infrared radiation would be strong enough to make anything flammable ignite, says Mark Boslough of Sandia National Laboratory in Livermore, California. "It's like being in a broiler oven," he says. Anyone directly exposed would quickly be very badly burned. Even before the sound of the blast reaches you, your body would be smashed by a devastating supersonic shock wave as the explosion creates a bubble of high-pressure air that expands faster than the speed of sound. Planetary scientist Jay Melosh of Purdue University in New York once experienced a shock wave from an experiment that exploded 500 tonnes of TNT, a tiny blast in comparison with the blast from an asteroid. "I was standing on top of a hill about 1.5 kilometres away wearing earplugs," he recalls. Melosh says you would see the shockwave in the air due to the way it refracts light. "It's a shimmering bubble," he says. "It spreads out in complete silence until it reaches you, then you hear a double boom." Melosh was at a safe distance, but at ground zero below an exploding asteroid, the shock wave would be powerful enough to knock down buildings. It would arrive about 30 seconds after the blazing hot flash of light, and could also knock any nearby planes out of the sky, Boslough says. Any surviving buildings would be pummelled by raging winds blowing faster than any hurricane can muster.

Asteroid Impact  Extinction

Empirically proven – an asteroid wiped out the Clovis 13,000 years ago.

Abrams in 2008 (Stone-Age Asteroid May Have Wiped Out Life in America, January 2008, EBSCO, znf)

Some 13,000 years ago, the Clovis people wandered North America, hunting ground sloths, mammoths, and other creatures — until hunters and prey both vanished. What happened? A team of scientists now think they know: A miles-wide comet, they announced in May, seems to have exploded just north of the Great Lakes, triggering a 1,000-year cold spell that helped bring on the extinction of the Clovis and the animals. For years, the disappearance of the Clovis culture and sudden extinction of 35 genera of animals were explained by two competing theories. One blamed climate change, although similar change at other times had not resulted in mass extinction. The other fingered the humans themselves: Newly arrived from Asia, the Clovis killed off everything in a murderous spree and subsequently starved. "They would be very strange hunters, if you look at the ethnographic record, to knock out 35 genera that quickly," says Douglas Kennett, an archaeologist at the University of Oregon who conducted the research with 25 colleagues. The key to the new hypothesis is a thin layer of black soil found at more than 50 North American sites. In it are magnetic grains containing iridium, an element thought to indicate extraterrestrial origins. The sediments also contain metallic and carbon spherules, as well as melted charcoal, likely the result of forest fires that swept the continent after the impact. Although no crater has been found, concentrations of these indicators are highest around the Great Lakes. Perhaps the impact was absorbed and erased by the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which at the time reached from the Arctic Ocean to that point, the researchers say. Or maybe the comet exploded before it hit Earth. "Think about it — people would have seen it coming," says Kennett. "This was a bad day."

Asteroid Impact  Economic Collapse

Asteroid impact would result in various calamities such as earthquakes, food shortages, fires and economic collapse resulting in mass death (*)

Chapman in 5-11 (Chapman, Clark R., Astronomy, 00916358, May2011, Vol. 39, Issue 5)

I'll leave it to science fiction to describe how individuals, nations, emergency planners, religions, and economic interests worldwide might respond to the ever-more-confident predictions of a cometary calamity as the months pass. But we can estimate what would happen, physically, when the comet struck. First, we can calculate the immediate damage in the region where the object hits. Planetary scientist Jay Melosh of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and his colleagues have a starting place for the calculation: They created a website application called "Impact: Earth" ( where you can plug in values to simulate collision aftereffects. In our scenario, we have a comet 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in diameter, with a density of 1,000 kilograms per cubic meter (the density of ice). It strikes at 20 miles/second (32 km/s) into a rural area of sedimentary rock. At 50 miles (80 km) from ground zero, the fireball of the exploding comet -- which would appear 60 times bigger than the Sun -- would immediately burn us and every flammable thing around us. Surrounding buildings would suffer major damage from the resulting earthquake -- nearly as big as the Chilean one of February 2010 -- that would reach our charred remains about 16 seconds after impact. Some 4 minutes after impact, an enormous airblast with winds approaching 1,200 mph (1,900km/h) would sweep away anything left standing. If we were 300 miles (480 km) away from ground zero, we would likely survive, at least initially. Because we know of the impending impact, we could hide in a well-constructed building to avoid burns from the fireball, protect ourselves from falling rocks, and endure the earthquake and airblast. Either the earthquake about 1.6 minutes after impact or the hurricane-force airblast arriving 24.4 minutes after the impact might badly damage ordinary wood-frame houses. Our best option would be to evacuate far away from ground zero long before the comet approached Earth. But we still wouldn't be safe. What calculations such as "Impact: Earth" don't describe are the global environmental and infrastructure damage, which could disrupt civilization worldwide for months and years to come. For example, as the comet penetrates the atmosphere, chemical reactions would likely destroy Earth's protective ozone layer. Some scientists think there could be an enormous electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that might disable electrical grids around the world and render communications and electronic equipment (including Earth's orbiting satellites) nonfunctional. Unfortunately, we don't know much about the effect; scientists haven't seriously researched impact-induced EMPs. In addition, Earth would undergo significant climate changes as Sun-blocking dust is launched into the atmosphere after impact. As dust circles the globe during the ensuing weeks, perhaps crossing the equator into the opposite hemisphere, temperatures would cool dramatically, threatening an agricultural growing season and hence the world's food supply. With more than a year of warning, the international community could mitigate the worst effects before impact: prepare for unprecedented food shortages, the required medical effort, and the possible collapse of the world's economic infrastructure. Maybe humanity could weather the storm without letting fears of the terrible prognosis exacerbate tensions, which would magnify the unfolding tragedy. With foreknowledge, civilization might survive, depending on whether we can stay resilient as we face such a natural disaster.
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