Asteroid Affirmative

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Economy ! – War

Continued economic decline will result in global war.

Mead 9 (Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. The New Republic,

So far, such half-hearted experiments not only have failed to work; they have left the societies that have tried them in a progressively worse position, farther behind the front-runners as time goes by. Argentina has lost ground to Chile; Russian development has fallen farther behind that of the Baltic states and Central Europe. Frequently, the crisis has weakened the power of the merchants, industrialists, financiers, and professionals who want to develop a liberal capitalist society integrated into the world. Crisis can also strengthen the hand of religious extremists, populist radicals, or authoritarian traditionalists who are determined to resist liberal capitalist society for a variety of reasons. Meanwhile, the companies and banks based in these societies are often less established and more vulnerable to the consequences of a financial crisis than more established firms in wealthier societies. As a result, developing countries and countries where capitalism has relatively recent and shallow roots tend to suffer greater economic and political damage when crisis strikes--as, inevitably, it does. And, consequently, financial crises often reinforce rather than challenge the global distribution of power and wealth. This may be happening yet again. None of which means that we can just sit back and enjoy the recession. History may suggest that financial crises actually help capitalist great powers maintain their leads--but it has other, less reassuring messages as well.If financial crises have been a normal part of life during the 300-year rise of the liberal capitalist system under the Anglophone powers, so has war. The wars of the League of Augsburg and the Spanish Succession; the Seven Years War; the American Revolution; the Napoleonic Wars; the two World Wars; the cold war: The list of wars is almost as long as the list of financial crises. Bad economic times can breed wars. Europe was a pretty peaceful place in 1928, but the Depression poisoned German public opinion and helped bring Adolf Hitler to power. If the current crisis turns into a depression, what rough beasts might start slouching toward Moscow, Karachi, Beijing, or New Delhi to be born? The United States may not, yet, decline, but, if we can't get the world economy back on track, we may still have to fight.

Asteroid Mining – Platinum

Asteroid Mining is necessary for elements like platinum and planetary defense

Valentine 7’

(Dr. Lee S. Valentine is the Executive Vice President of the Space Studies Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, Critical Trajectories for the Human Settlement of the High Frontier, NEW TRENDS IN ASTRODYNAMICS AND APPLICATIONS III. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 886, pp. 123-130 (2007),

The evolution from small tourist stations of the next decade to large space hotels will make economical the use of fully closed life-support systems. These could be considered the first space colonies. Derivatives of these commercial space hotels may form suitable Moon and asteroid mining habitats. Using nonterrestrial materials is a key to opening the space frontier. Dozens of rendezvous missions to Near Earth Objects will be needed to assay their resources and to plan rational NEO diversion. The development of NEO mining techniques serves two purposes, raw materials supply and planetary defense. We need economical trajectories to and from these bodies. These trajectories must not only be economical in terms of delta V or time, but in dollars, and in the time value of money, factors not generally considered by the OMB. Satellite solar power stations may be a $500 billion per year market worldwide and cheap nickel steel from asteroids may be an enabler of power satellite construction. One asteroid of the right size and composition in a suitable orbit could open this market. Platinum group metals may be an important export, either as a primary product, or as a byproduct of nickel steel alloy production. Other products, derived from carbon, may also be important. The first economical product from an asteroid mine is likely to be water, for propellant or life-support and radiation shielding in space hotels.

Platinum k2 Oil Dependence

PGM K2 end dependence on petroleum but there’s not enough supply now. Asteroid mining will provide that back up.

Gerlach 05 (Charles L. founder and CEO of Gerlach Space Systems LLC 2005 INTERNATIONAL SPACE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE National Space Society Profitably Exploiting Near-Earth Object Resources May 19–22, 2005. Google Scholar) TS

Fuel cell adoption may ultimately become the most important dynamic in the platinum market. Platinum is critical to fuel cell performance because it is critical to achieving the required levels of fuel cell power density and efficiency. It is essential to the catalysis of anodic and cathodic reactions in the stack. It is important to the catalysis of reforming, shift, and preferential oxidation reactions in the fuel processor. The fuel cell industry's demand for platinum and other PGMs is expected to eventually dwarf all other sectors and will place an incredible strain on the supply of platinum and the environment.

Just as O’Neill43 justified investment in the development of his massive L5 space colonies with the need to construct space solar power satellites (SSPS) to meet the world’s growing energy needs, exploitation of asteroid resources in part be justified by the desire to find new, more environmentally friendly ways to meet our energy needs in the face of fossil fuel depletion. One step that can be taken to address growing fossil fuel demand is to shift from a petroleum economy to a hydrogen economy, where the gasoline internal combustion is replaced by hydrogen fuel cells. However, one potentially serious roadblock to this shift is the requirement for platinum as a catalyst in fuel cells,44 with limited platinum reserves and high platinum production costs may slow or even halt fuel cell adoption (Figure 10).

Oil dependency makes war inevitable with China and tanks any hope of relations with other countries – alt. sources solve

Reynolds, American Surveyor, 10

(Lewis , American Surveyor, “Seven Dangerous (and Surprising) Side Effects of US Dependence on Foreign Oil”, August 4th,, accessed 6-20-11, AH)

It creates strained foreign relations and sets the stage for an unstable future. The entire U.S.-Middle East foreign policy has been structured around the obvious importance of the region for the world’s oil supply. Policy makers don’t like to discuss it openly, but oil is always the elephant in the room when it comes to U.S. foreign relations—even with nations outside the Middle East. One of the great questions in the context of geopolitical struggle for oil is whether the great oil consuming nations—which will soon include the U.S., China, Russia—will view one another as allies, competitors, or some combination of both. The U.S. has love-hate relationships with both countries. There is historic rivalry between the U.S. and Russia leading back generations. The relationship with China is murky at best. Events are already in motion that could set the stage for a U.S.-Chinese confrontation. Oil consumption continues to grow modestly in the U.S., but in China it is exploding. On a global scale, oil consumption will certainly continue to grow into the foreseeable future, yet there are considerable questions as to whether global production can be increased much beyond current levels if at all. With both the U.S. and China needing oil, competition is inevitable. Responsibility lies with both sides to take actions to avoid the long progression toward a conflict. A Sino-American energy war is far too likely if both countries continue on their present courses without developing substantial alternative energy sources.
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