“Over the years you swam the ocean, following dreams that were your own, now you are washed up on the shoreline. I can see your body lie. It’s a shame you have to die………… It’s not that we don’t know, it’s just that we don’t really care. Over the ocean, under the foam, carry me home” (To the last Whale. A critical Mass. By Graham Nash 1975)
It is sad to realize that this beautiful song, written over fifty years ago is even more relevant today. We have been talking big about conservation, carbon footprint, and species protection since Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” was published in the early 60s. In all that time, there has been so much talk and little accomplished. Bigger and bigger pick-up trucks, TV in every room, every street and home lit like a Christmas tree that you can’t see the stars anymore. We are a people afraid of the dark, afraid to be quiet, afraid to be still. Suddenly reality smacks us in the face. We must do something about this “Right Now.’’
We then rush projects to reduce climate change. In some major projects, like offshore wind power off the Mid-Atlantic coast, the long-term damage can be devastating. Not all boaters break inlets and encounter whales at sea. They are magnificent, beautiful, and can be intimidating if they suddenly breach close to your vessel. Legally you must stay clear of any whales by 100 yards. If they suddenly appear near you, slowly move away. Get out the binoculars and inhale a very special experience.
I have been advocating for whales many years. I study, draw, and paint them. I write articles to protect their food sources and politics for them. I have addressed the issue of the dangers of ocean windmill power as it is being developed from Cape Cod to Chesapeake. Billions of dollars of investment, political, professional careers and fortunes are at stake. It’s like Sutter’s Mill or the Klondike Gold Rush all over again. A little lesson before we get deep into this. The gold miners rarely made any fortunes. They were the chumps. It was the guys who overcharged for the equipment they needed who made the big score.
There is a lesson to be learned. Recently dead whales have been showing up “En Masse” on our shores. Fingers have been pointed at the development of the wind farms right over the horizon from New York and New Jersey beaches. A small amount of whales succumb to age and injury but this many? Impossible! As soon as questions arose, I knew these whale mortalities would be blamed on “Climate Change”! Why not? It’s the perfect deflection. Bingo! That’s exactly what is happening! Climate Change is a real and present danger to the planet, nature, and humanity. In the case of whale mortality, however, the chances that these recent deaths in the areas of windmill development are all a result of “climate change” is doubtful “to a micro scrabble degree”!
Whales are highly migratory. They visit warm water near the equator and then up to Arctic waters. They are mammals like us, but their physiology is naturally built for these extremes in temperature. They are warm-blooded, breathe air, and are highly intelligent. They have a thick layer of fat insulating their massive bodies in warm to cold waters. Of late, their forage fish and krill have been extremely plentiful in the areas in question. The ocean water has been healthy and even giant tuna are running just a fisherman’s cast from our sandy beaches. Hence, we are graced with whales returning to our area.
So, what is the culprit, the serial killer? Whales navigate by a system of sonar. Military underwater blasts have been proven to confuse them and to drive them ashore. Sounds we cannot hear can make them unstable in their navigation, hamper appetite to the point of starvation and push them into solo and group confusion. Recent sonar and similar testing, seafloor drilling, and pumping, and general disturbance have increased at ocean windmill lease sites, which intersect the migratory paths of whales (and also birds) off our shores. Once in operation, these windmills can also cause sounds that mimic sonar and disturb the whales’ navigational abilities. Constant artificial sounds can affect their eating patterns causing malnutrition and death. Think of it as sound torture used to gain intelligence from political prisoners. (“Vee vill make you talk!”) Eventually, you crack. Yet, in the cause of limiting the effects of climate change, after doing little for 60 years, we now are engaged in a folly to “Go Green” that will ultimately damage the environment and lives of whales and other sea creatures.
These windmills are larger than the size of windmills currently used in Europe and the USA. They stand approximately 650 ft. tall. Each one mimics the size of a skyscraper. Each blade is as long as a football field (300 ft). As the blades spin, they make a circumference of slightly less than 600 ft, due to the angles of the blades. Literally, thousands of these monsters are planned. They are a generation behind new windmills being built in Europe. These aren’t “State of the Art”. Europe is now engaged in building floating windmills to mitigate as much damage to the sea floor. Here we are using deep, large cement pilings for each. Each turbine uses 80 gallons of crude-based synthetic oil per year. 1000 windmills mean 80,000 gallons must be changed yearly. When there is leakage or damage from storms, etc. where will this oil end up? On our shores of course!!!
So, what do the whales have to say about this? All they are aware of is the commotion destroying their habitat. What do the commercial fishermen say about this? That it destroys or greatly inhibiting their livelihood! Yet the government and profiteers listen with their minds closed. The government, investors, and environmental agencies have made sure to keep you as minimally informed as possible. Why bother the suckers who are going to pay for this? It’s not like they are going to die or be driven from their homes like the whales!
Recently the contractors building these monsters say they are increasing the prices. New money will have to be raised. Where will these increases come from? You, of course! Our taxes will increase, and the cost of power will rise considerably! Meanwhile, I must laugh at the fact that our land-based power grid is antiquated. It loses 8 to 15% of all power it generates, and we still have power lines on poles when Europe has them underground, and there is no credible campaign to reduce power usage, no integrated, modern, fast, nationwide train system. Nope! Just create an environmental travesty and call it “Green”. In the end, politicians will claim success and claim another term. The investors will profit one way or another, after all these guys never lose and you will pay the tab.
AND THE WHALES? who I am most concerned about, and this has been written for. One by one, then pod by pod, they will disappear from “over the waves and under the foam” and lie dead upon our beaches. For the whales – PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG!
Note: It should be noted a portion of the whales that land on our shores do die of age or injuries.
C. 2023 By Mark C. Nuccio, All rights reserved Contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org
All illustration copyright Mark C. Nuccio