Pygmy Sperm Whale Stranding In Galveston—Every News Story Gives You The Opportunity To Learn More And To Take Action
A Pygmy Sperm Whale washed up on the beach in Galveston early on Wednesday.
Above you see a Houston Chronicle picture of the incident.
“A vacationer from Dallas and his 11-year-old daughter discovered a pygmy sperm whale thrashing about in the surf Wednesday morning on the West End. The Marine Mammal Stranding Network came to Shores Drive and FM 3005 shortly after 9 a.m. and placed a stretcher under the whale and lifted it into a rescue truck. The animal was breathing and its eyes were open. It was taken to a holding tank at the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network.”
Unfortunately, the whale has since been euthanized.
The article I link to above does not assert that these dolphin deaths have been caused by the BP oil disaster. It does say though that this is possible and tests are being done to determine the facts.
From The Huffington Post–
“Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist’s video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn’t degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012. At a science conference in Washington Saturday, marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn’t.”
Here is the web page for Dr. Samantha Joye. Dr. Joye led the study about the oil at the bottom of the gulf.
The impact of the BP spill may not be as bad as some first feared. But it appears to be bad enough.
The government, academic researchers, the press, and groups such as Greenpeace should keep monitoring conditions in the Gulf.
(Below–A picture of the oil-covered bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. It seems that sea worms of some kind do well in oil. Here is a previous post I’ve written here about sea worms.)
Every news story offers the chance to learn more than we know at the moment. It is up to each of us to learn about the world. When we learn more, then we are more likely to take action to improve the world.
A great book on marine mammals is the National Audubon Society’s Guide To Marine Mammals of the World. (Books remain the strongest source on many issues and subjects. Please consider getting off the computer and reading a book.)
Here are some basic facts about the Gulf of Mexico. This site I link to here, Gulfbase.org, has far more than just basics if you would like to know more.
A useful book on the coast in and around Galveston is The Formation and Future of the Upper Texas Coast by John Anderson. This book, published by Texas A & M, has scientific value while also being accessible.
I cannot stress this fact enough—It is up to the individual to learn about the world and to take action to improve the world.
You may well decide to take that action in concrt with others. But at core—You must decide yourself to be involved.
NASA reports that the years between 2000 and 2009 were the warmest decade in the world on record so far.
(Above—Fallen Angels in Hell. Painted in 1841 by John Martin.)
From the New York Times story on the issue—
“The decade ending in 2009 was the warmest on record, new surface temperature figures released Thursday by theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration show. The agency also found that 2009 was the second warmest year since 1880, when modern temperature measurement began. The warmest year was 2005. The other hottest recorded years have all occurred since 1998, NASA said…James E. Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said that global temperatures varied because of changes in ocean heating and cooling cycles….“When we average temperature over 5 or 10 years to minimize that variability,” said Dr. Hansen, one of the world’s leading climatologists, “we find global warming is continuing unabated.”
From the NASA release—
“Climate scientists agree that rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap incoming heat near the surface of the Earth and are the key factors causing the rise in temperatures since 1880, but these gases are not the only factors that can impact global temperatures….Three others key factors — including changes in the sun’s irradiance, oscillations of sea surface temperature in the tropics, and changes in aerosol levels — can also cause slight increases or decreases in the planet’s temperature. Overall, the evidence suggests that these effects are not enough to account for the global warming observed since 1880.”
I don’t have kids. I’m 42. I’ll be here for whatever remaining amount of time. Many years hopefully. I’ll get by one way or another. And I will remain involved because I think it is important to remain involved.
For those of you with kids, you can decide to take part in politics or not. You can have your kids live in a good world or a bad world. You can ask people you know to be involved in politics and advocacy.
You can leave your kids a world of rising oceans and a nation where nobody has health insurance, or you can do your best to make our nation and our world a decent place to live.
It is your call.
Yesterday I Joined Both Greenpeace And Democratic Women Of Denton County, Texas–Let Us Think And Act Both Locally And Globally
I have a blogger comrade who is a co-founder of the Democratic Women of Denton County.
She is going to move the good people of Denton County to the left!
Here is some history of Denton County. This county is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
I mailed just enough money to become a member of both groups.
Above you see the envelopes all ready to go that I mailed away yesterday.
I took a picture of them leaning up against a tree.
Why not? Greenpeace likes trees. And I imagine that the Democratic Women of Denton County like trees just fine as well.
Let us act and think both locally and globally.
Recently on Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now program, I heard an interview with the new Director of Greenpeace.
Kumi Naidoo, of South Africa, is the first African to lead Greenpeace since it was founded in 1971.
(Above is a picture of Mr. Naidoo. I don’t know who that young person is next to him.)
The BBC story says Greenpeace is shifting its focus from whaling and nuclear power to issues of global poverty and climate change.
Mr. Naidoo asserts that climate change is a matter of basic justice and human rights.
Mr. Naidoo says wars take place because of resources depleted and shifted by climate change, and some are forced to become refugees because of changing conditions on the Earth.
Here is an excerpt from an article Mr. Naidoo wrote for the BBC—
“I have been an activist for the majority of my life, and my personal journey began at the age of 15 in apartheid South Africa where I was involved with the liberation struggle, eventually having to flee to the UK in 1987. After the release of Nelson Mandela, I returned to South Africa and was involved in strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world, both through Civicus – the global organisation aiming to boost citizen involvement in issues – where I served as secretary general for the past 10 years, and through the Make Poverty History campaign of which I was one of the founders in 2003….I have always personally connected the poverty movement with stewardship for the environment; and having served for the past year as chair of tcktcktck, the global campaign for climate action, it felt like a natural progression to move to Greenpeace… I see a need to bring together the poverty movement and the environmental movement as we face up to the greatest challenge of our time: climate change….Climate change is real and happening now. It already accounts for over 300,000 deaths throughout the world each year, according to the Global Humanitarian Forum. Not only that, but I am aware that time is very much against us. We must take radical action, and I believe that the work that Greenpeace does across the globe is vital in our understanding of climate change and also the actions that are needed.”
I enjoy the article on the Greenpeace site called “Hounding Obama in Oslo.“ It is about Greenpeace in Oslo asking President Obama to take the lead on climate change as he accepts the Nobel Peace Prize.
Greenpeace merits our attention and support. This new focus on global poverty and climate change addresses some of the most pressing issues in our world.
Along with a picture of a fishing boat I took in Corpus Christi, Texas earlier this year, here are some quick Sunday links.
Corpus Christi is a nice place to spend a weekend.
Have a great week ahead and thank you for reading Texas Liberal.
There has been much marine life in the news in recent weeks.
Japan is undertaking a new whale hunt for ”research.” It will be the first so-called legal hunt of Humpback Whales since 1963. Theoretically, the number of Humpbacks is now high enough to sustain a hunt.
It seems a restored population is in fact bad news for these whales. It is indeed hard to get ahead sometimes.
The photo is a Greenpeace file picture of previous Japanese research on whales.
Here is a story about a firm in Tokyo that offers “whale curry” as something for you to eat. Another product of the research no doubt.
A Minke Whale found its way far into the Amazon River. Local people tried to save it by splashing water on its back when it swam into shallow waters, and by attempting to use boats to push it back to the ocean. These efforts were not successful.
This BBC story relates that rivers and lakes that become brown after being clear may in fact be much more clean and natural. What was keeping some European and North American waterways clear was acid rain that was killing off what would otherwise turn the water a more healthy brown.
Here is a story from Practical Fishkeeping about an attack by billions of jellyfish on the only salmon farm in Ireland.
The jellyfish involved were Mauve Stinger Jellyfish.
Close to where I live, the former Texas A & M at Galveston floating classroom ship Texas Clipper has been sunk near South Padre Island so that it might become an artificial reef. This is reported by The Galveston County Daily News.
Here is a link to the great liberal magazine The Nation. I’ve linked it here to articles discussing the merits of the Democrats running for President in 2008.
Please consider becoming involved in politics and becoming a fighting liberal!