I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
-Albert Einstein (contemplating nuclear devastation)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

No Ear Plugs for Threatened Marine Mammals!


Continuing in the Pentagon's out-of-control expansion of the U.S. military empire, the Navy plans to expand its sonar testing ranges and frequency of testing in a BIG way.  AND - The new plans relate to submarine (think TRIDENT) operations.

Here's some of what a recent MSNBC article had to say about the Navy's new plans (in italics).

The numbers are in the Navy's new draft environmental impact statement for exercises planned from 2014-2018. In it, the Navy says that, under its preferred alternative, sonar training and testing might unintentionally harm marine mammals 2.8 million times a year over five years.

"The numbers are staggering and there is absolutely no corresponding mitigation to account for this harm," Zak Smith, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told msnbc.com.

That's up from about 150,000 instances a year in the Navy's impact statement for 2009-2013, Smith added.

But the Navy said the numbers were misleading since the new area is much larger and more activities have been added since the last statement. "It's like comparing three grapes to a watermelon," Pacific Fleet spokesman Mark Matsunaga told msnbc.com.

"These are just worst-case estimates," he added. "That's not to say we're going to go out there and hurt them all."

Of course not Mark!  Just a whole bunch of them!!!  It is, indeed, "like comparing three grapes to a watermelon" (the Navy said it!!!).  Think of the existing training and testing as the grape, and the new plan as the watermelon.  Hmmmm...  We're talking some major collateral (mammalian) damage here folks.  And just so the U.S. military can keep ramping up to control more of the land, the sea, and the air (and don't forget space).

Flipper says, "I do not approve of the Navy's Draft EIS/OEIS!!!
Is all this increased testing and training really necessary?  Does it really have anything to do with our nation's (the people's) security (or is it the security of the National Security State, aka: Military Industrial Complex?)?  Is it OK to sacrifice scores of marine mammals in the name of national security?  Here's the Navy's official (and rather boilerplate) reasoning (from Draft EIS, V.1, P.3):

"The purpose of the Proposed Action is to conduct training and testing activities to ensure that the Navy meets its mission, which is to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas."
The United States (U.S.) Department of the Navy's Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (OEIS) website has the Draft EIS/OEIS for your reading pleasure (OK, so it's not exactly light reading).

You can get right to the section on marine mammals (and skip the section on marine invertebrates) by clicking here.

Most importantly - Click here to go directly to the online comment form where you can easily submit your comments to go on the record.  They will accept comments through July 10th, so don't delay. 

There is also a petition on this issue at SignOn.org.

Oh, and did I mention that the "Navy estimates traditional explosives testing and training might kill 1,000 marine mammals during the period" (CNBC article)!!! 

Peace (and Quiet for our marine mammalian friends),


P.S. - Does anyone want to leaflet the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions that guard the Trident subs at the Bangor base?  Perhaps we could convince the Navy's marine mammal sentries to call for a general strike in protest of the Navy's plan to harm scores of their comrades!!!


  1. Navy raises sonar impact on dolphins, whales dramatically, MSNBC, May 11, 2012
  2. (U.S.) Department of the Navy's Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (OEIS) website

No comments: