We have lost another orca, L41 from the Southern Resident pod. There are now 72 left. L41 was signiﬁcant to the Southern Resident population because he and one other male, J1, fathered a majority of the whales born since 1990. J1 fathered 16 whales, and L41 fathered 20 whales, according to NOAA.
At the same moment in history, we humans are beginning to panic over the spread of a new corona virus. China has been shut down entire cities the size of Los Angeles, so the 900+ deaths we hear about need to be way under estimated. Something is scary when the imperial government that has, in the recent past, had no issue gunning down a 1000 dissenters at Tiananmen Square, now quarantines entire cities. Is this the pandemic some have warned us of? I certainly hope not.
As human population expands and wilderness contracts, nature suffers. The earth is a hugely complicated interdependent network that has for millions of years sustained itself. The earth is presently facing a mass extinction blamed not on a volcano or asteroids, but on us. Because we have chosen to dominate nature rather than live with it. Simple as that. There are fewer animals, bugs, bacteria, fugues, all that wonderful stuff that keeps nature in check. You know, like checking and controlling viruses… Think about it.
Would we pay more attention to our environment if 2% of all humans perished due to a disease run amuck in nature because of us? It could happen, and obviously today’s governments are very worried about it. So what do we do? I say maybe pay attention to the whales…
The Sothern Resident Orcas have many issues. The first being: years ago when so many were captured and traumatized to load aquariums for our pleasure. Some say education… I disagree. We humans, at least some of us have learned that lesson and orca shows are now passé. The toll human capture took in the 70s is now multiplied by other numerous issues. Lack of salmon needs to be addressed by dam removal ultimately, but I know it’s a difficult concept to grasp, but how about we stop taking so many? Do sport fishermen need to take thousands, or consumers eat so much? Maybe we start taking care of the rivers still left. Maybe even.. and I know this might be politically incorrect, but why not convince the Lummi to stop, or at least curtail their commercial takes. Hell, I have been told the Lummi believe they are related to orcas… as do I, so why is it a big stretch to stop starving grandma for a while? Mariners can drive their boats with the respect these waters deserve, and give these resident creatures at least the distances demanded by law. I have found the WSF people have been very interested their not being the problem. Let’s get them involved. Oh yeah, keep salmon farms out of the wild. Open pen salmon farming has no place in the wild oceans. I’m just saying….
We can all do these things, some of us might suffer financially, but local culture and island life will flourish. As much as we need to save the orcas, we need to save ourselves. The same way.
As those of us here in the San Juan Islands mourn yet another orca death, we must use this loss to motivate us all to start changing our ways. You know little steps do not hurt so much.
Remember, as the Southern Resident Orcas slip toward extinct, so go we.
No matter how cool your new pick up looks in the yard, or how well your IRA is doing take a minute and look around. We need a healthy environment with all kinds of plants and animals to survive. The three rules of nature are BIODIVERSITY, INTERDEPENDENCE, and FINITE RESOURCES. By wiping out one we wipe out the rest. We need to save what we still have and build from there.
To begin, we must save these damn whales and build from there. I know it is not a human trait, but we must really forget our petty differences and all do our part. The one thing we can do right now, is stop boat harassment. The locals be they fishermen or whale watchers know the Southern Residents. Instead of zooming to bring hungry tourists close, go the other way. Show some respect and your concern for a future. What a concept?
Young people are speaking out like the young woman from Iceland. I believe we should listen. It is their future. My generation seems to have been ruled by interests alone… what happened to principles?
Young people deserve better and it is time for our voices to actually be heard. Conserve the earth, save the whales, give us a chance survive and thrive. I personally don’t believe living on Mars is a solution.