US-Brazil relations solves Amazon deforestation
Zedillo et al ‘8 (Rethinking U.S.–Latin American Relations A Hemispheric Partnership for a Turbulent World Report of the Partnership for the Americas Commission The Brookings Institution November 2008 Ernesto Zedillo Commission co-chair; Former President of Mexico Thomas R. Pickering Commission co-chair; Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Memb e r s o f the Par t n e r s h i p for t h e Ame r i cas Commi ssi o n Mauricio Cárdenas Director of the Commission; Senior Fellow and Director, Latin America Initiative, Brookings Leonardo Martinez-Diaz Deputy Director of the Commission; Political Economy Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings
The link between carbon-intensive activities and changes in the world’s climate is now well established, and the consequences will be felt across the hemisphere. According to figure 2, if current human activity remains unchanged, the hemisphere will likely suffer from a variety of ecological shocks, including declines in agricultural yields, water shortages, the loss of animal and plant species, and more frequent and destructive storms in the Caribbean Basin. These extreme weather events could bring devastation to Central America, the Caribbean, and the southeastern United States, imposing a heavy human and material toll. As we know from recent storms, the costs of replacing homes, businesses, and infrastructure—along with the higher costs of energy if refineries and offshore rigs are damaged—will be vast. Hemispheric Solutions Addressing the challenge of energy security will require making energy consumption more efficient and developing new energy sources, whereas addressing the challenge of climate change will require finding ways to control carbon emissions, helping the world shift away from carbon-intensive energy generation, and adapting to some aspects of changing ecosystems. Potential solutions to these problems exist in the Americas, but mobilizing them will require a sustained hemispheric partnership. Latin America has enormous potential to help meet the world’s growing thirst for energy, both in terms of hydrocarbons and alternative fuels. Latin America has about 10 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. Venezuela accounts for most of these, though Brazil’s oil reserves could increase from 12 to 70 billon barrels if recent discoveries can be developed. Bolivia is an important producer of natural gas, Mexico has great potential in solar energy generation, and several countries in the region could potentially produce much more hydroelectric power. Brazil is a world leader in sugarcane-based ethanol production, and the United States is a leader in corn-based ethanol (figure 3). Solar and wind power, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean, remain underdeveloped. To expand the hemisphere’s energy capacity, massive infrastructure investments will be required. Major investments in oil production 13 (especially deep offshore), refining, and distribution will be needed to achieve the region’s potential. Developing the Tupi project in Brazil alone will cost $70–240 billion. Liquefied natural gas will become an important source of energy, but not before major investments are made in infrastructure to support liquefaction, regasification, transport, and security. U.S. and Canadian electricity networks, which are already highly integrated, can be further integrated with Mexico’s. Mexico also plans to connect its grid to those of Guatemala and Belize, eventually creating an integrated power market in Central America. Power integration in South America will demand even larger investments in generation, transmission, and distribution. Finally, reliance on nuclear power may grow because it is carbon free and does not require fossil fuel imports. However, efforts to expand energy capacity and integrate hemispheric energy markets face a variety of obstacles. Energy nationalism has led to disruptive disputes over pricing and ownership. Tensions and mistrust in South America have hindered regional cooperation and investment, particularly on natural gas. The security of the energy infrastructure, especially pipelines, remains a concern in Mexico and parts of South America. Gas, oil, and electricity subsidies distort patterns of production and consumption, and they are triggering protectionist behavior elsewhere. Technology on renewables remains underdeveloped, and research in this area can be better centralized and disseminated. Overcoming these obstacles will require high levels of cooperation among hemispheric partners. In addition to developing carbon-neutral sources of energy, the Western Hemisphere has other roles to play in combating climate change. The LAC region currently accounts for about 5 percent of annual global carbon emissions, and emissions per capita are still relatively low compared with other regions. However, minimizing the LAC region’s future carbon footprint will require new policies. Also, deforestation globally accounts for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The Amazon River Basin contains one of the world’s three most important rainforests, whose protection can therefore very significantly contribute to combating climate change. Brazil is pioneering the use of information technology to lessen deforestation in the Amazon.
Amazon deforestations causes extinction and turns warming
Takacs ‘96 (David, The Idea Of Diversity: Philosophies Of Paradise, 1996, p. 200-1.)
So biodiversity keeps the world running. It has value and of itself, as well as for us. Raven, Erwin, and Wilson oblige us to think about the value of biodiversity for our own lives. The Ehrlichs’ rivet-popper trope makes this same point; by eliminating rivets, we play Russian roulette with global ecology and human futures: “It is likely that destruction of the rich complex of species in the Amazon basin could trigger rapid changes in global climate patterns. Agriculture remains heavily dependent on stable climate, and human beings remain heavily dependent on food. By the end of the century the extinction of perhaps a million species in the Amazon basin could have entrained famines in which a billion human beings perished. And if our species is very unlucky, the famines could lead to a thermonuclear war, which could extinguish civilization.” Elsewhere Ehrlich uses different particulars with no less drama: What then will happen if the current decimation of organic diversity continues? Crop yields will be more difficult to maintain in the face of climatic change, soil erosion , loss of dependable water supplies, decline of pollinators, and ever more serious assaults by pests. Conversion of productive land to wasteland will accelerate; deserts will continue their seemingly inexorable expansion. Air pollution will increase, and local climates will become harsher. Humanity will have to forgo many of the direct economic benefits it might have withdrawn from Earth's wellstocked genetic library. It might, for example, miss out on a cure for cancer; but that will make little difference. As ecosystem services falter, mortality from respiratory and epidemic disease, natural disasters, and especially famine will lower life expectancies to the point where cancer (largely a disease of the elderly) will be unimportant. Humanity will bring upon itself consequences depressingly similar to those expected from a nuclear winter. Barring a nuclear conflict, it appears that civilization will disappear some time before the end of the next century - not with a bang but a whimper.