Earth Talk: Save the Whales (Again?)

first_imgDear EarthTalk: I understand the Navy is doing sonar testing and training in the oceans and that their activities will likely kill hundreds if not thousands of whales and other marine mammals. What can be done to stop this? – Jackie Bomgardner, Wilton, CTActive sonar is a technology used on ships to aid in navigation, and the U.S. Navy tests and trains with it extensively in American territorial waters. The Navy also conducts missile and bomb testing in the same areas. But environmentalists and animal advocates contend that this is harming whales and other marine wildlife, and are calling on the Navy to curtail such training and testing exercises accordingly.“Naval sonar systems work like acoustic floodlights, sending sound waves through ocean waters for tens or even hundreds of miles to disclose large objects in their path,” reports the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). “But this activity entails deafening sound: even one low-frequency active sonar loudspeaker can be as loud as a twin-engine fighter jet at takeoff.” According to CBD, sonar and other military testing can have an especially devastating effect on whales, given how dependent they are on their sense of hearing for feeding, breeding, nursing, communication and navigation. The group adds that sonar can also directly injure whales by causing hearing loss, hemorrhages and other kinds of trauma, as well as drive them rapidly to the surface or toward shore.In 2007, a U.S. appeals court sided with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which had contended that Navy testing violated the National Environmental Policy Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act. But within three months of this ruling, then-President George W. Bush exempted the Navy, citing national security reasons. The exemption was subsequently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court upon challenge, and the Navy released estimates that its training exercises scheduled through 2015 could kill upwards of 1,000 marine mammals and seriously injure another 5,000.Luckily, in September 2013 a federal court in California sided with green groups in a lawsuit charging that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) failed to protect thousands of marine mammals from Navy warfare training exercises in the Northwest Training Range Complex along the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. In the opinion, Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas ruled that NMFS’s prior approval of the Navy’s activities there failed to use the best available science to assess the extent and duration of impacts to the marine mammals.As a result of the ruling, NMFS must reassess its permits to ensure that the Navy’s activities comply with protective measures per the Endangered Species Act. “This is a victory for dozens of protected species of marine mammals, including critically endangered Southern Resident orcas, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins and porpoises,” says Steve Mashuda, an attorney with the environmental law firm, Earthjustice, which represented the coalition in the lawsuit. The recent ruling will no doubt be challenged. Also, the Navy still has the green light to use sonar and do weapons testing off the East Coast despite the risks.Concerned readers can send a message through the NRDC website calling on U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to direct the Navy to adopt safeguards to protect marine mammals during training without sacrificing national security.last_img read more

4 ways to ease your quarantine tension

first_img 43SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details We all get stressed. If you’re stressing right now, our current change in lifestyle may have something to do with it, but there may be a million reasons why we feel this way. The good news is there are some simple ways you can help alleviate the tension. Here are four to consider…Talk to someone: Sometimes you just need an information download. Keeping your emotions all bottled up can be uncomfortable. A quick FaceTime with your mom or your BFF might be all you need to lift the tension you’re dealing with.Have a good laugh: If it sounds too easy, it’s because it is. Laughing releases endorphins that can improve your mood and will also put you in a good head space. There’s no better way to feel relaxed than some big laughs. Need somewhere to start? How about this supercut of Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globes monologues (not for the faint of heart, but posted by NBC, so take that for what it’s worth).Work up a good sweat: I never thought I’d say this, but I really miss the gym. I think I’ve gained about 5 pounds during the quarantine so far. But working out has more advantages than just maintaining your weight. Like laughing, exercise will release endorphins that will improve your mood. A quick walk around the block will get your blood flowing and make you feel good.Shutdown all the electronics: Chances are you’re around devices of some sort most of the time, so take some time and disconnect. With a lot of us working from home right now, it can be really easy to spend too much time staring at screens. Find some things to do in your backyard or around the house and let those electronics rest.last_img read more

Kyrgios, Becker in war of words over Zverev’s partying video

first_imgNick Kyrgios and Boris Becker traded insults on social media on Tuesday following the Australian’s criticism of Alexander Zverev after a video appeared to show the German dancing in a crowded club despite the COVID-19 pandemic.The video was posted on Instagram by German designer Philipp Plein and later deleted. There was no indication of when the video was taken.Zverev said last week he would self-isolate after playing in Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour exhibition tournament in Serbia and Croatia, which had to be abandoned after numerous players tested positive for COVID-19. Kyrgios on Monday called Zverev, the current men’s world number seven, “selfish”, prompting a rebuke from commentator and former six-time Grand Slam champion Becker.”Don’t like no #rats! Anybody telling off fellow sportsman/woman is no friend of mine! Look yourself in the mirror and think your better than us… @NickKyrgios,” Becker said on Twitter.Kyrgios was prompt in his reply: “For goodness sake Boris, I’m not competing or trying to throw anyone under the bus. It’s a global pandemic and if someone is as idiotic as Alex to do what he has done, I’ll call him out for it. Simple.”Zverev, 23, took part in Djokovic’s event, which saw crowds packed into stands in Belgrade while players hugged at the net and played basketball in Croatia. The German player said he and his team had tested negative. “We all live in the pandemic called #Covid_19! It’s terrible and it killed to many lives…we should protect our families/loved ones and follow the guidelines but still don’t like #rats @NickKyrgios,” Becker continued.Kyrgios had previously criticized the organizers of the Balkan event and hit out at governing bodies for their plans to restart professional tennis during the pandemic.”Rats? For holding someone accountable? Strange way to think of it champion, I’m just looking out for people. When my family and families all over the world have respectfully done the right thing,” Kyrgios said, adding with a flourish:”@TheBorisBecker is a bigger doughnut than I thought … can hit a volley, obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed though.”Topics :last_img read more