James Taylor Takes a Stand Against Navy’s Sonic Assault on WhalesÂ
Dear Anne,The Navy’s sonic assault on whales should be stopped immediately. I’m asking for your help to make it happen.Let me be clear: I have the deepest respect for the U.S. Navy. When I was growing up, my father was a doctor and commander in the Navy. His role in helping to establish a base at the South Pole in 1957, as part of the International Geophysical Year, had a lifelong impact on me.We loved the Navy because it helped win World War II. But we also loved the Navy because it was a leader in the scientific study of the natural world.That’s why I feel so strongly that today’s Navy should be using its vast resources to protect not just our nation but the health of our planetâ€™s oceans as well.And it’s why I am so distressed by the acoustic onslaught the Navy is now waging beneath our planet’s oceans — an onslaught known to kill whales with dangerous mid-frequency sound waves.Mid-frequency sonar is designed to detect enemy submarines. The Navy’s warships deploy underwater speakers that blast the ocean with noise in excess of 235 decibels — a sonic barrage roughly comparable to a Saturn V rocket at blast-off.That explosive level of noise can cause whales — who have an exquisite sense of hearing — to panic, surface too quickly, and hemorrhage internally. Many beached whales have been found bleeding around their brains and ears after their fatal encounters with military sonar.Imagine a sound so disorienting or so painful that you jump out of the sea and die on the beach rather than be subjected to it for another minute! From a whale’s point of view, the Navy’s sonic assault must seem like torture.
But that torture isn’t just cruel, it’s unnecessary.You see, the Navy could adopt simple safety measures when training with sonar that would prevent the needless infliction of pain and death on these magnificent animals. For example, the Navy could avoid marine habitats where whales are known to migrate, feed, and raise their young. These common-sense precautions would not compromise military readiness. But the Navy refuses. So the maiming and killing of whales goes on.This callousness toward nature — toward the ocean itself — does not reflect the Navy I grew up with. We deserve better. And, as Americans, it’s our right to demand better.
Our message is simple: Whales should not have to die for military practice.
Please join me and millions of other people in getting that message to the U.S. Navy and to Congress. Click here now and tell the Navy to do the right thing.
Then please help us build a nationwide outcry by forwarding this message to your friends and family members who would want to know about the Navy’s reckless assault on whales and other marine life.
Let’s not wait for hundreds, or even thousands, more whales to suffer and die. Please stand with me in demanding a more humane Navy right now.
NRDC Action Fund
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