29 June 2010

The Oil and the Whales

This is not for fun. This is one of the most distressing video reports I have seen from the Gulf of Mexico. At about 7:00 minutes in, dolphins and a sperm whale appear, struggling to live, some clearly not succeeding.

A new article from National Geographic suggests that the removal of as few as three whales from the Gulf population of sperm whales could doom that population to extinction. At this point, it seems to me that the death of only three whales would be a miracle. I'm afraid the Gulf sperm whales are lost.

I just came from a presentation to the next generation (a crowd of 6 year-olds) of my whale program, "Whales, A World of Sound." My small effort to help a new generation fall in love with the whales isn't going to amount to anything if the whales don't have a healthy ocean that they can live in.

My friends at the Ocean Alliance are sending their research vessel to the Gulf to investigate the effect of oil and dispersents on the marine life there. They just published a report from their global survey of sperm whales showing how our human generated pollution has spread to every ocean in the world, far from the industrial centers that are the source of the toxic substances, and entered into the flesh of these amazing animals. The Gulf is a magnified version of what is happening everywhere in other forms. We are poisoning the oceans everywhere. And really, like the blowout, we seem to be incapable of stopping it. We don't even seem to be trying.

I am sick at heart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Terrible. Just terrible. So very disheartening. what can we possibly do?