Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saving whales & oceans

Having spent most of my life in coastal towns and cities, I've been fortunate to see many a whale, in California and New Zealand. The year I lived on a hill with an ocean view, I'd routinely wake up to thes sight of migrating whales. There's nothing like the sight of a 100-ton animal to put one's life in perspective, not to mention inspire awe, wonder and joy. So when I opened the paper today and saw the article "Watching Whales Watch Us," New York Times, July 12, 2009, that was the first thing I read. I was quickly dismayed. It's about the connection between whale beachings and underwater military testing...and how tests done on the dead whales after the fact found the whale had bleeding ears and had suffered the bends from coming the surface too fast. Grief? Could you imagine?

"As described in a 2005 report published by the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Sounding the Depths II: The Rising Toll of Sonar, Shipping and Industrial Ocean Noise on Marine Life,” oceans that as recently as 100 years ago had been one vast, ongoing whale and piscine chorus have now essentially become senses-wilting miasmas of human-made noise."

The article also details how complex, advanced and intelligent whales are"
"Whales, we now know, teach and learn. They scheme. They cooperate, and they grieve. They recognize themselves and their friends. They know and fight back against their enemies. And perhaps most stunningly, given all of our transgressions against them, they may even, in certain circumstances, have learned to trust us again."

The story hit me hard. If you haven't read it, please go do. Why anyone needs more evidence that guns, military and missiles, whales and ocean don't form a health & happy cocktail for the world is beyond me, but there you go. Read the article. After you might want to check out these sites:

Save the Whales
10 Solutions to Save the Oceans, Conservation
GreenPeace, Defending Our Oceans


Karen said...

New Zealand?! When were you in New Zealand?

Bird in the Tree said...

I've been to New Zealand three times! When I worked at Inside Communications, I was always the one who covered Ironman New Zealand (Air New Zealand sponsored the race and gave press tickets). the last time I went was '98, after the split and I took some time after to explore at will