I must admit that this has not been a good time for the whales. While the public seems more determined then ever to help save the Southern Resident Orcas, and whales in general, the threats from governments and industries around the world remain strong.
In Washington State, although the governor’s task force met and made solid recommendations to the governor to help protect the state’s poster children, the orca; the legislature took the guts out of the law and ignored the people and nature once again. As always the money interests won the day. Just when I felt that maybe, just maybe humanity is getting it, our leaders cave to industry once again. This is the same old thing. Coal burning power plants, smoke stack industries, and dams were all good until we discovered the truth… by then it was too late. I know that the whale watching industry is a multi-million dollar industry, but really is that any reason to not protect nature? Are we going to let industry love these creatures to death for cold hard cash?
And the scientists, or so-called scientists, who hold one of the 75 or so research permits to get close up photos that adorn their websites should be ashamed. How much research do we need? Are scientific papers being published to change laws? Hell no! Is anything being served by these permits other than allowing these so-called scientists to get the friends and donors close? Basically as far as I can tell they fly their research flags and enjoy their special whale privileges only to sell giant posters to the public. Maybe there is some benefit, but I quite frankly don’t see it. Aren’t there enough great photos and 4k video of these endangered species? These vultures are much like the Audubon Society rushing out to kill and stuff the last Passenger Pigeon for museum exhibits. Do these whale lovers want that one last photo of orcas to hang on their wall as a species disappears? Now I totally understand humans wanting that photo, and the experience of an “up close” whale experience, but the time has come to back off.
If you are from Washington tell your governor in no uncertain terms that he should forget a “green” presidential run if he cannot even follow the advice of his own task force and protect the orcas. How can he be expected to save the planet as president if he can’t even find the cajones to protect the poster children of the state he is from? Tell him loud and clear; protect the orcas or find a real job… you know like the rest of us. I realize it is tough to stand up to money interests and really hard to stand up to big money, but that is what you were elected for. We already have Trump, why Governor Inslee wants to be like him is beyond me. I hope Washingtonians wake up and let him know. Protect the orcas or go back to sweeping streets or whatever else he did before becoming a lifelong politician.
Now I hear that the Makah from Neah Bay, Washington are attempting to start killing whales again. For cultural revival they say, but in 2000, even though activists blew that claim out of the water they whacked a whale in 2001 anyway. Did it work for the Makah then? No! Will it work for them now that Trump is in charge? I hope not. To see the tepid response from the once mighty Sea Shepherd Society, it appears that the environmental industry and ego-corporations have little interest. SSCS Seattle threatened lawsuits. Well I , for one, know the mighty legal strength of the once active society, but will it make any difference to the Mahak? What happened to the once great well-decorated Captain? Has he been co-opted? It appears so. Where are his ex-coast guard cutters named after celebrities so amply bragged about in propaganda films? Will the mythological Captain for nature show up? Will he? From what I have noticed maybe if the Mahak offer him an award to build his legacy, the 3 million dollar yacht might show up to accept it on behalf of the planet. It might help, but let’s be honest and say that even the best of us sells out and once again it will be up to the grunts to make a stand. Local grassroots organizations and individuals need to stand up and say hell no! The time of killing whales for sustenance is long past. Go to the grocery store and get over it.
I suggest we all make a stand. Show the Makah that whales mean more to the public then it does to those entrusted for years to represent and protect nature. Don’t spend your money in Neah Bay. Don’t visit Neah Bay and actively say no. Even though we are not a democracy, vote the bastards who support whale killing out of office. Lobbyists can’t pay off those not in office. What a concept… live the myth and put others more in tune to your way of thinking in charge. It is our country, our earth, own it.
For years aquariums made the excuse that it was important to capture live marine mammals to perform in public circus shows for public education. It was big money for Sea World and others, but disastrous for orcas. Sea World saw the light only after the public spoke with their money and attendance dropped. Maybe this is the only way. The responsibility falls to each and every one of us to make a stand.
As Theodore Roosevelt said: “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
Do not live in this twilight. Get off your smart phones, facebook, and youtube, and I suggest you get out there to make a difference.
Join us at www.gaianetwork.net, Orca Protection and Rescue, and local individuals to make a real difference unless you want the future of nature to sit stuffed in the museums of the future much like the Passenger Pigeon and so many other extinct species. Without nature, real wilderness, who are we? We’ll take your donations to help our volunteer crews, but I’d rather see you here on the front lines to help us all make a stand for nature.
Peter Jay Brown