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11 thoughts on “Navy sonar use stirs commotion among whale advocates

  1. I have no problem with taking measures to provide some reasonable protection to this world’s wonderful creatures. What needs to be remembered is that the freedoms we have in the United States, such as protesting the use of sonar, is a result of the very equipment that uses sonar!
    This country has the best military in the world. Because of the world we live in, our military needs to test its systems and abilities to stay sharp. The use of sonar is part of that.

    Restricting the use of sonar is difficult as the wildlife it might affect is very mobile, so establishing restricted areas is not reasonable, practical or effective.

    Sonar is one of the sounds of our freedom.

    “For those who fought for it, FREEDOM has a taste the protected will never understand” – Unknown.

  2. Maybe the whale advocates will succeed in having our entire military shut down (it is soooooo politically incorrect, isn’t it?). Then when we’re taken over by the Chinese, they can relish in the environmental restrictions THAT government will abide by. I think they’ll also enjoy the increased freedom they’ll have to monitor and protest their new government’s activities.

  3. Interesting. Did you know the NRDC (Natural Resource Defense Council has a regional office in Beijing,China. I figured since they have commented on so many of the blogs about the Navy, I thought I should check them out. Hmmm, they have a lawsuit against the Navy for the use of sonar. Hmmm…
    http://www.nrdc.org/about/

  4. Granny,
    I can’t tell you why NRDC has an office in Beijing or why you find that intriguing. You may want to check out this article called “China Syndrome” in the NRDC publication “OnEarth,” http://www.onearth.org/article/the-china-syndrome

    If you’re looking for a little history about the sonar issue, including NRDC, just type “sonar” into the search field of his blog and check out some of my coverage.

  5. This is a fairly routine post-overhaul operation that has been conducted in the Hein Bank/Eastern Bank area for many decades. The depth of water is perfect for a rescue/recovery operation in case of a causualty. The first time I went there is in 1983.

    Somewhat related is that today is the 46th anniversary of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) sinking with all hands lost in 1963.

    http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/uss-thresher.htm

    Some you who are uniformed may ask “Why is this date important”? Because, many of our lessons learned, such as areas chosen for post-overhaul dives (including the location of the USS San Francisco dive on Tuesday) were a direct result of that disaster.

    Just some food for thought (not that this blog would really care) as the environmental PR machine gears up to fight this latest skirmish with the Navy.

  6. “We estimate that the distance between our hydrophone at Lime Kiln Lighthouse and the submarine was in the neighborhood of 10 nautical miles,” Veirs said. “For our hydrophones to pick up the strong signals that they did, the submarine was emitting sound with source level in the range of 174 to 226 dB re 1 microPa@1m.”

    I love how people try to use any type of hard numbers they can to support their argument. So lets take into account a few things shall we? There is NO WAY to tell what the Transmitted Power level was based on the information you guys have. There are too many variables that you just dont have! You make an assumption of approximately 10nm.. what is that based on? You also dont know the depth of the transmission, the lateral distance, the sound velocity profile of the water for that given time, Layer depths, need I say more? The numbers you have provided are a shoddy guess, at that.

    Even if you were “Spot on” with your guess, your broad range of transmission power has a 55 dB spread! For every 6dB delta the distance doubles in the same direction. I am not convinced in the slightest that you truly grasp the required knowledge to be representing any side on this issue.

  7. Nonya you are spot on.
    The one thing you might add is that without a calibrated system you have no idea where to even start guessing how loud it was.
    Perhaps the professor should stick to what he knows.

  8. Most of these comments are from people who have obviously made up their minds before even considering the facts. The wide range of the estimate of the strength of the sound source takes into account the uncertainty of the conditions, and shows that the estimate was made with careful concern for accuracy. Even with this uncertainty, the source was clearly loud enough to cause harm if you consider the information from NOAA and others.

    What these people are really saying is that the military should be able to do anything it wants. However, we have a long history in this country of regulating what the military can do, and this is to protect other things that we value. For example, the Bill of Rights prohibits the military from forcibly housing soldiers in your house, and from taking away your guns. This is part of the freedom that we need to protect. We also restrict where the Air Force can make sonic booms, and where the Army can conduct exercises with live bombs. That is how it should be, and this case is no different.

  9. “Restricting the use of sonar is difficult as the wildlife it might affect is very mobile, so establishing restricted areas is not reasonable, practical or effective.

    Sonar is one of the sounds of our freedom.

    “For those who fought for it, FREEDOM has a taste the protected will never understand” – Unknown.”

    I can’t justify taking a chance on my grandchildren’s – and YOURS – loss of living in a free country if our national security is comprimised by limiting and regulating our submarine sonar training.

    It seems to me our whales are far more harmed by living in the toxic waterways we provide.

    Where is the outrage and the lawsuits over toxic waterways?

    Our military, Navy in this case, is an easy target and to cripple our submarine force is to cripple our country’s ability to hold off a enemy take-over.
    Who are these individuals so keen on suing and regulating our submarine training – and why?

    Just wondering… Sharon O’Hara

  10. “Who are these individuals so keen on suing and regulating our submarine training…

    Environmental activists.

    – and why?”

    Because they have been indoctrinated to believe that all traces of human habitation should, (and even more absurdly, CAN) be mitigated from the face of the planet.

  11. Blue Light… You’ve left me without a word to add….but one question: Where can I get a good spell-check?

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