NOTE FROM JEFF: I'm posting these articles not so much for their 'information content' but to show what is reaching the public mind with respect to the reality of the REAL threats to whales and dolphins as well as the global nuclear scenario. It all comes across as little more than a form of entertainment. None of these people have ANY clue as to the gravity of the situation with the whales: seismic testing is literally 'exploding' all over the world's oceans as is the U.S. Navy testing of active sonar and a host of its other ecocidal technologies. The entire Pacific ocean is contaminated beyond comprehension with a full-spectrum of synthetic radio-nuclides including tons of plutonium from Fukushima...this, by orders of magnitude the GREATEST ecological disaster in the history of industrial 'civilization' is barely on the radar of ANY 'environmental' organization. NO 'save the whales' orgs even MENTION it; they are too busy pushing the 'global warming' and 'carbon as demon' hoaxes. In the article below note the 'whale-safe' PR from PG & E; what they don't tell you is that EACH blast from one of these air-guns can release up to 30,000 joules of explosive energy...in water, enough not only to deafen but to maim or kill any cetaceans or other marine life within a radius of many kilometers. Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd/'Whale Wars') and Louis Psihoyos (The Cove) continue to rake in millions of $ annually riding on their info-tainment mind-share, but neither of them HAS EVER MENTIONED SEISMIC TESTING OR NAVAL SONAR ONCE. Why? Isn't it clear that they receive massive funding from the Navy and 'big oil' to keep them focused on demonizing the 'evil Japanese'? People...or those of you who can still be classified as true 'people'...when are we going to WAKE UP to the reality of what is happening? When are we going to make the connection between driving cars and cetacean genocide, that every time we purchase petroleum we are funding the 'war on terror' against the cetaceans waged by military-industrial henchmen? More coming soon on how more than likely, Fawley Research Labs is funded by the Navy and 'big oil', as well as the seismic exploration vessel Pacific Star hit and killed a huge blue whale off the coast of southern California a couple days ago.
Whales Intervene In Nuclear Plant's Seismic Testing
Endangered humpback whales have converged on the Central Coast of California just as the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant prepares for seismic testing that has been accused of frightening, deafening, and killing sea life. The nuclear plant was built at the mouth of a coastal canyon beginning in 1968 above a then-unknown fault line, the Hosgri Fault. In 2008, another previously unknown fault was discovered running along the shoreline.
Beginning in September, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. plans to produce a 3-D map of the shoreline fault’s deeper regions by firing high energy air guns dragged in an array behind a research vessel.Hydrophones in the water and geophones on the seafloor would collect data on the sound as it resonates through sea and earth, and the resulting data should help geologists map the fault.
During the survey, an array consisting of 18 active air guns, divided into 2 subarrays, would likely be used. The array would consist of a mixture of Bolt 1500LL and Bolt 1900LLX airguns. The subarrays would be configured as two identical linear arrays or “strings”. Each string would have ten air guns; the first and last air guns in the strings are spaced 16 m apart. Nine air guns in each string would be fired simultaneously (for a total volume of ~3,300 in3), whereas the tenth is kept in reserve as a spare, to be turned on in case of failure of another air gun. The subarrays would be fired alternately during the survey. Each of the two subarrays would be towed ~140 m behind the vessel and would be distributed across an area of ~12×16 m behind the primary vessel, offset by 75 m. The shot interval would be 25 m during the study. The firing pressure of the subarrays is 1900 psi. During firing, a brief (~0.1 s) pulse of sound is emitted. The air guns would be silent during the intervening periods.
A 1994 study found that air guns are less harmful to sea life than the chemical explosives formerly used for such studies, but that air guns still are not without risks to fish, marine invertebrates, birds and mammals:
Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) have been shown to change their behavior (e.g. moving away from the sound source, reduced dive duration) at threshold distances of between 400 meters and 7 kilometers from the seismic vessel. Whilst it might be assumed that avoidance behavior will protect cetaceans from injury, individual dolphins will sometimes approach survey vessels and even swim under air gun arrays. It is not clear, either, whether transient avoidance may lead to any longer-term disruption of home range in cetaceans.”
But isn’t seismic testing worth the risk? After all, according to PG&E, “The Project is being undertaken due to public concerns with operating a nuclear power plant in a seismic active area of California post the Fukushima Daiichi emergency.”
Some activists don’t think that’s a good reason:
“Our position is that seismic testing is a threat not only to whales, but to all of us, because it allows Pacific Gas and Electric to delay removal of the nuclear plant from the earthquake fault,” according to Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing, a facebook page launched this summer.
PG&E is already conducting “low energy marine studies” in the region. Although low energy testing is not as loud, the utility warns fishermen: “Marine and commercial boat traffic are encouraged to remain at least a mile away from the vessel while it operates in the area to avoid entanglement with research equipment.”
PG&E promises that “procedures have been implemented to monitor and protect marine mammals while the study is underway.”
Meanwhile, untold numbers of humpback whaleshave congregated in the waters PG&E is surveying, including Avila Beach, a community four to five miles from the nuclear plant where this video was filmed last week:
Offshore Nuclear Seismic Testing? Cue the Humpback Whales
The Diablo Canyon Nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo in the central coast of California is the state's only nuclear facility currently operating—the San Onofre plant near Camp Pendleton in North San Diego county has been shut down since January and appears to be on the road to decommissioning. There's at least one big problem with the Diablo facility (besides the name): it was built directly above a fault line.
The plant's license to operate for another two decades is in a multi-year review process and certainly the Fukushima disaster has not put Californians at ease when it comes to the combination of nuclear power and seismic activity. The Diablo facility is set to begin a round of off-shore seismic tests next month to map the bathymetry of the sea floor using "high energy air guns" dragged behind a research boat. As you might suspect, the creatures of the sea don't seem to like these experimental explosions. They've beenknown to flee.
As if the whales got the memo, humpbacks have recently put on quite a show in the cove a stone's throw from the Diablo Plant. A local photographercaptured some astounding images recently and this video surfaced last week showing some very close encounters with a massive humpback feeding just off shore.
Nuclear power is a thorny matter, particularly for environmentalists. We're three decades out from the disaster of Three Mile Island without any comparable mishaps in the States and nuclear power produces almost no greenhouse gasses. France has long generated most of its power through nuclear and has such a surplus that it exports electricity all over Europe. Perhaps we should all get over the "fright factor" as Slate called it.
Wonderful. Diablo is about 200 miles north of me, I am 24 miles north of San Onofre (33 degrees lat). We are doing some incredibly evil crap off the SoCal coast these days. I added some info on the seismic mapping and Diablo Canyon on my SanO post. Thanks so much for your posts Jeff! I really enjoy reading your notes and the research you post. Thanks for doing what you do!