AT: NATO Stops Overfishing and Whaling

This contention is ludicrous.

There is no evidence that NATO forces would engage in practices to stop any sort of overfishing let alone whaling when they have just been deployed to the Baltics to prevent a Russian invasion, there is no evidence they would succeed at it, and there is no evidence that these regional seas are important to the environment. Overfishing and whaling occurs on all of the rest of the oceans.

Climate change overwhelms any solvency.

Northeastern  News, 2021,  https://news.northeastern.edu/2021/08/26/global-climate-change-impacting-ocean/

The vast majority of the world’s oceans may never be the same if humanity doesn’t curb our carbon emissions. As much as 95% of the climates in the surface ocean that exist today could completely disappear within 80 years, according to new research led by Katie Lotterhos, associate professor of marine and environmental sciences at Northeastern. That means that the creatures that live there could soon be subject to conditions that they have never experienced—and some of those conditions might literally erode their skeletons and shells.

​​Climate change killing whales on mass scale

World Wildlife Fund 07. (“Whales In Hot Water: Global Warming’s Effect On World’s Largest Creatures.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070522125023.htm>.)

The report “Whales in hot water?” examines the impacts on cetaceans including: Changes in sea temperature Declining salinity because of the melting of ice and increased rainfall Sea level rise Loss of icy polar habitats Decline of krill populations in key areas. Krill is a tiny shrimp-like marine animal that is dependent on sea ice and is the main source of food for many of the great whales. “Whales, dolphins and porpoises have some capacity to adapt to their changing environment,” said Mark Simmonds, International Director of Science at WCDS. “But the climate is now changing at such a fast pace that it is unclear to what extent whales and dolphins will be able to adjust, and we believe many populations to be very vulnerable to predicted changes.” Climate change impacts are currently greatest in the Arctic and the Antarctic. According to the report, cetaceans that rely on polar, icy waters for their habitat and food resources – such as belugas, narwhal, and bowhead whales – are likely to be dramatically affected by the reduction of sea ice cover. As sea ice cover decreases there will be more human activities such as commercial shipping, oil, gas and mining exploration and development, and military activities in previously untouched areas of the Arctic. “This will result in much greater risks from oil and chemical spills, worse acoustic disturbance and more collisions between whales and ships,” said the lead author of the report, Wendy Elliott, from WWF’s Global Species Program. Other projected impacts of climate change listed in the report include: reduction of available habitat for several cetacean species unable to move into colder waters (e.g. river dolphins), the acidification of the oceans as they absorb growing quantities of CO2, an increased susceptibility of cetaceans to diseases, and reduced reproductive success, body condition and survival rates. Climate change could also be the nail in the coffin for the last 300 or so endangered North Atlantic right whales, as the survival of their calves has been directly related to the effects of climate variability on prey abundance. WCDS and WWF are urging governments to cut CO2 global emissions by at least 50 percent by the middle of this century. The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed it was possible to stop global warming if the world’s emissions start to decline before 2015. The two conservation organizations further call on the International Whaling Commission to facilitate research on future impacts of climate change on cetaceans, including supporting a special climate change workshop in the coming year, elaborate conservation and management plans in light of the climate change threat, and increase efforts and resources to fight other threats to cetaceans.

And even if they did enforce regulations, it could only be in a small percentage of the ocean

Sarah Gibbons, 9-25, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/paper-parks-undermine-marine-protected-areas, Less than 3 percent of the ocean is ‘highly protected 19,

Countries earn a lot of media buzz for announcing bold plans to section off thousands of square miles of ocean for protection. That’s because scientists say these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are effective tools to protect the marine plants and animals facing threats from ocean acidification, heatwaves, overfishing, and pollution. MPAs can provide benefits like protecting endangered species or helping replenish fish stocks that spill into neighboring fisheries. The most highly regulated parks have the most benefits. And according to a report released on Wednesday by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), unabated emissions will have severe impacts on biodiversity. But for MPAs to actually reach the level of protection needed to mitigate those impacts of climate change, experts say the UN will have to think much more critically about how they regulate those areas and what will happen to countries that fail to deliver on their promises. If a park remains in limbo for too long—stuck between declaration and implementation—it may be referred to as a “paper park” by conservation groups but will still face little international pushback. In 2014, scientists called for 30 percent of the world’s oceans to be protected by a network of MPAs by 2030, yet it already seems likely the world will fall short of the UN’s goal to protect 10 percent of oceans by 2020. Though the UN says we’re 8 percent of the way there, experts caution that only 2.2 percent of the world’s oceans are fully off limits to commercial activity, and only 4.8 percent is actively managed. “It’s not just 30 percent protected, but 30 percent highly protected,” says Matt Rand, director of the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project. Why countries fai “There are two ways to look at paper parks,” says Russel Moffitt, a program manager for the Atlas of Marine Protection who tracks marine park progress. He says the term can refer to parks that are only designated on paper: “That’s usually a process issue or governance issue.” Paper parks also can spring from “regulations that are so weak, [where] there’s such a lack of enforcement or community involvement that even though there’s a marine reserve, there’s no objective met.” A study published last year in the journal Science found that industrial fishing was present in 432 of the 727 MPAs in the European Union. MPAs are often created in ecologically rich waters where the strict regulations can protect the most life. That can often set up a contentious dynamic between those who want to protect fish and those who want access to them.

Non-unique: Plastic

Harrabin, 2021, February-https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43115486, Ocean plastic tide ‘violates the law’

The global tide of ocean plastic pollution is a clear violation of international law, campaigners say. They have been urging for a new global treaty to tackle the problem. But a new report – to be presented to a Royal Geographical Society conference on Tuesday – says littering the sea with plastics is already prohibited under existing agreements. The report urges those governments that are trying to tackle the issue to put legal pressure on those that are not. The paper (downloadable PDF) has been written by the veteran environment journalist Oliver Tickell. It has been produced as Irish scientists publish details of a study in which they found microplastics in three-in-every-four deep-water fish sampled in the northwest Atlantic. Plastic ‘hand-wringing Mr Tickell’s principal conclusion is backed by ClientEarth, the legal group that successfully sued the UK over failures to meet air pollution laws. The journalist says legal action against big polluters such as China, India and Indonesia can be taken only by a nation state. ,,, He believes small islands suffering the worst impacts of marine plastic pollution may be fearful of confronting the generally larger, more powerful countries responsible for the problem. media captionScience reporter Victoria Gill looks at why there is so much plastic on beaches China, India and Indonesia are among the worst culprits.

Environmental laws are just never enforced
UNEP News, 2019, https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/dramatic-growth-laws-protect-environment-widespread-failure-enforce

The first-ever global assessment of environmental rule of law finds weak enforcement to be a global trend that is exacerbating environmental threats, despite prolific growth in environmental laws and agencies worldwide over the last four decades. Despite a 38-fold increase in environmental laws put in place since 1972, failure to fully implement and enforce these laws is one of the greatest challenges to mitigating climate change, reducing pollution and preventing widespread species and habitat loss, the UN Environment report found. The report is being released as climate experts and political and economic leaders seek to address dire findings released in October by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which urged rapid action to transform the global economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.” “This report solves the mystery of why problems such as pollution, declining biodiversity and climate change persist despite the proliferation of environmental laws in recent decades, ”David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment said, “ Unless the environmental rule of law is strengthened, even seemingly rigorous rules are destined to fail and the fundamental human right to a healthy environment will go unfulfilled.” While international aid did help countries to enter into over 1,100 environmental agreements since 1972 and develop many environmental framework laws, neither aid, nor domestic budgeting, has led to the establishment of strong environmental agencies capable of effectively enforcing laws and regulations. The report authors identify multiple factors contributing to poor enforcement of environmental rule of law, including poor coordination across government agencies, weak institutional capacity, lack of access to information, corruption and stifled civic engagement “We have the machinery in the form of laws, regulations and agencies to govern our environment sustainably,” Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of UN Environment said, “ Political will is now critical to making sure our laws work for the planet. This first global assessment on environmental rule of law highlights the work of those standing on the right side of history — and how many nations are stronger and safer as a result.” The report details the many developments in environmental law since 1972, including the adoption of a constitutional right to a healthy environment by 88 countries, with another 65 countries having enshrined environmental protection in their constitutions. In addition, over 350 environmental courts and tribunals have been established in over 50 countries, and more than 60 countries have at least some legal provisions for citizens’ right to environmental information.  “The international community can do more,” Carl Bruch, Director of International Programs at the Environmental Law Institute said. “Too often donor support focuses on very specific areas of the environment, resulting in robust environmental programs in some areas, and no funding or attention to other areas. This patchwork approach can undermine environmental rule of law by not providing consistency in implementation and enforcement and by sending confusing messages to the regulated community and the public.  As a result, many of these laws have yet to take root across society, and in most instances, the culture of environmental compliance is weak or non-existent.”

Marine ecosystems resilient—adaptability

Kennedy, 2 et al, Ph.D. in Biological Science @ University of Rhode Island, Twilley, Ph.D. @ University of Florida, 02

(Victor S., Robert R., August 02, Joan A. Kleypas, James H. Cowan, Jr., Steven R. Hare, PEW Center on Global Climate Change, “Coastal and Marine Ecosystems & Global Climate Change,” http://www.c2es.org/docUploads/marine_ecosystems.pdf, 7/14/14, SM)

  1. Other Perspectives on Climate Change¶ There is evidence that marine organisms and ecosystems are resilient to environmental change. Steele (1991) hypothesized that the biological components of marine systems are tightly coupled to physical factors, allowing them to respond quickly to rapid environmental change and thus rendering them ecologically adaptable. Some species also have wide genetic variability throughout their range, which may allow for adaptation to climate change. ¶ There are at least two schools of thought among physiologists and ecologists who have ¶ considered possible effects of climate warming on the survival of marine animals (Culotta, 1994). Some¶ believe that marine systems experience fewer extinctions of species compared to terrestrial systems because large numbers of marine species have wide geographic temperature ranges as well as greater capacity to migrate to new habitats through their larvae that drift in the water column. Others counter¶ that the seeming lack of evidence for recent marine extinctions is a result of limited information on ¶ biodiversity, that not all marine species have drifting larvae, and that many larvae are short-lived or¶ remain relatively close to the parental population before becoming juveniles.

Environment resilient  — we don’t need to worry about it

Kareiva et al 12 – Chief Scientist and Vice President, The Nature Conservancy (Peter, Michelle Marvier professor and department chair of Environment Studies and Sciences at Santa Clara University, Robert Lalasz director of science communications for The Nature Conservancy, Winter, “Conservation in the Anthropocene,” http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/past-issues/issue-2/conservation-in-the-anthropocene/)

  1. As conservation became a global enterprise in the 1970s and 1980s, the movement’s justification for saving nature shifted from spiritual and aesthetic values to focus on biodiversity. Nature was described as primeval, fragile, and at risk of collapse from too much human use and abuse. And indeed, there are consequences when humans convert landscapes for mining, logging, intensive agriculture, and urban development and when key species or ecosystems are lost.¶ But ecologists and conservationists have grossly overstated the fragility of nature, frequently arguing that once an ecosystem is altered, it is gone forever. Some ecologists suggest that if a single species is lost, a whole ecosystem will be in danger of collapse, and that if too much biodiversity is lost, spaceship Earth will start to come apart. Everything, from the expansion of agriculture to rainforest destruction to changing waterways, has been painted as a threat to the delicate inner-workings of our planetary ecosystem. The fragility trope dates back, at least, to Rachel Carson, who wrote plaintively in Silent Spring of the delicate web of life and warned that perturbing the intricate balance of nature could have disastrous consequences.22 Al Gore made a similar argument in his 1992 book, Earth in the Balance.23 And the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment warned darkly that, while the expansion of agriculture and other forms of development have been overwhelmingly positive for the world’s poor, ecosystem degradation was simultaneously putting systems in jeopardy of collapse.24¶ The trouble for conservation is that the data simply do not support the idea of a fragile nature at risk of collapse. Ecologists now know that the disappearance of one species does not necessarily lead to the extinction of any others, much less all others in the same ecosystem. In many circumstances, the demise of formerly abundant species can be inconsequential to ecosystem function. The American chestnut, once a dominant tree in eastern North America, has been extinguished by a foreign disease, yet the forest ecosystem is surprisingly unaffected. The passenger pigeon, once so abundant that its flocks darkened the sky, went extinct, along with countless other species from the Steller’s sea cow to the dodo, with no catastrophic or even measurable effects.These stories of resilience are not isolated examples — a thorough review of the scientific literature identified 240 studies of ecosystems following major disturbances such as deforestation, mining, oil spills, and other types of pollution. The abundance of plant and animal species as well as other measures of ecosystem function recovered, at least partially, in 173 (72 percent) of these studies.25¶ While global forest cover is continuing to decline, it is rising in the Northern Hemisphere, where “nature” is returning to former agricultural lands.26 Something similar is likely to occur in the Southern Hemisphere, after poor countries achieve a similar level of economic development. A 2010 report concluded that rainforests that have grown back over abandoned agricultural land had 40 to 70 percent of the species of the original forests.27 Even Indonesian orangutans, which were widely thought to be able to survive only in pristine forests, have been found in surprising numbers in oil palm plantations and degraded lands.28¶ Nature is so resilient that it can recover rapidly from even the most powerful human disturbances. Around the Chernobyl nuclear facility, which melted down in 1986, wildlife is thriving, despite the high levels of radiation.29 In the Bikini Atoll, the site of multiple nuclear bomb tests, including the 1954 hydrogen bomb test that boiled the water in the area, the number of coral species has actually increased relative to before the explosions.30 More recently, the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was degraded and consumed by bacteria at a remarkably fast rate.31¶ Today, coyotes roam downtown Chicago, and peregrine falcons astonish San Franciscans as they sweep down skyscraper canyons to pick off pigeons for their next meal. As we destroy habitats, we create new ones: in the southwestern United States a rare and federally listed salamander species seems specialized to live in cattle tanks — to date, it has been found in no other habitat.32 Books have been written about the collapse of cod in the Georges Bank, yet recent trawl data show the biomass of cod has recovered to precollapse levels.33 It’s doubtful that books will be written about this cod recovery since it does not play well to an audience somehow addicted to stories of collapse and environmental apocalypse. Even that classic symbol of fragility — the polar bear, seemingly stranded on a melting ice block — may have a good chance of surviving global warming if the changing environment continues to increase the populations and northern ranges of harbor seals and harp seals. Polar bears evolved from brown bears 200,000 years ago during a cooling period in Earth’s history, developing a highly specialized carnivorous diet focused on seals. Thus, the fate of polar bears depends on two opposing trends — the decline of sea ice and the potential increase of energy-rich prey. The history of life on Earth is of species evolving to take advantage of new environments only to be at risk when the environment changes again. The wilderness ideal presupposes that there are parts of the world untouched by humankind, but today it is impossible to find a place on Earth that is unmarked by human activity. The truth is humans have been impacting their natural environment for centuries. The wilderness so beloved by conservationists — places “untrammeled by man”34 — never existed, at least not in the last thousand years, and arguably even longer.