Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The US Navy is deliberating right now on a plan to use high frequency underwater sound for testing in Hawaii and the coasts of California, the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico that is estimated to deafen more than 15,900 whales and dolphins and kill 1,800 more over the next 5 years.
And the Navy knows that whales and dolphins depend on sound to navigate and live. These are the routes that whales travel from countless ports of the Americas to the Arctic oceans each year. Therefore a half a million Americans, especially Native American Elders who sent this to me, say "Stop this Genocide."
Here are more reasons why:
As a relative of the late former Secretary of the Navy John Chafee, I know he is rolling in his grave at this unnecessary testing that would massacre thousands of whales and dolphins who have heroically saved thousands of lives protecting ports in war and peacetime.
Shouldn't they somehow be symbolically honored rather that repaying them this way? Why would the Navy want to tarnish its valiant image through cruelly destroying our own whales, along with the whales of the Americas, with the world watching?
Especially after President Obama won moral compass points worldwide at the 2011 Whaling Commission Conference through his assurances that "the United States continues to support the commercial whaling moratorium." After also receiving a variety of art work created by school children asking the President to 'save the whales,' he even sent a thank you note with a family & dog photo for working alongside of Greenpeace, said Phil Kline.
Therefore, doesn't this testing fly in the face of the President's protection of whales, especially since the urgent need for these high frequency underwater sound tests have ever been explained to the public? And if other countries whose combined Defense Budgets are less than ours do not conduct this kind of testing, we are most likely not at risk, so this paranoid overkill testing must stop immediately! This is a prime example of what President Eisenhower in his farewell speech, urged Americans to guard against.
Former Navy Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan and other military leaders now strongly suggest that we would be safer as a Nation by shifting a greater percentage of our military budgets, like these tests, to community needs, like schools, healthcare, renewable energy, and restoring oil devastated habitats, to support life. (Click HERE to see a related video, courtesy of Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's.) Doesn't that make more sense than destroying America's "Natural Capital," which includes our marine life, on which the world's economies are based. Where is the joy of sailing on dead stinking seas?
This strong intuitive feeling comes from knowing and working with Sec. Chafee ever since he sent a telegram to my brother Rick and me at the 1968 Grenoble Olympics saying, "The Chaffees of Rhode Island are rooting for the Chaffees at Grenoble." Rhode Island's Governor Bruce Sundlun, also a skier, whose life was saved by John, then threw a party at the Watergate for us to meet on my return from USO Shows in remote bases in Viet Nam in 1971, including visiting his ship, the Kitty Hawk. Having a sense of humor, he asked on meeting for my autograph. I wrote, "Make Snow, Not War!" (it made Time Magazine).
John went on to become a Senator (R), and supported all our sports legislation that democratized, equalized and streamlined amateur sports in America. Beloved on both sides of the aisle - what's missing today - he went on to author the revised "Clean Air, Water and Endangered Species Act" in the mid 90's. So he would be infuriated by such an attack on our dolphins and whales whose populations have been recently gravely reduced by BP's Cataclysmic Spill in the Gulf and Atlantic, and the radiation still spewing every day in the Pacific from Fukushima, plus the dead zone islands from Japan's Tsunami and plastic garbage that has grown from the size of Texas to the size of the U.S, said NRDC's Bobby Kennedy on "Oprah."
On Friday July 13, (considered by many a sacred Earth day), a news story coincidently reported "The Discovery of the Dolphin Language:" Just as using an IPad has just blessedly unlocked amazing depths of communication for many autistic youth (July 15 CBS News), researchers in the U.S. and U.K. made a significant breakthrough in deciphering dolphin language that uses sound pictures to beam to members of their pod, alerting them of danger. They can also communicate with humans now in complex sentences using nouns and verbs. Their sono-visual sense resembles typical ultrasound images seen in hospitals, along with a complex visual language of their own.
This sheds more light on how the Navy´s sound tests would destroy these mammals` ear drums so they could not navigate or warn pods of dolphin (and whales) to survive. Here is our big chance for them to assist humanity in unlocking the secrets of the natural world to possibly help us streamline regenerating our dying oceans, their only home.
The Navy has brilliantly invested tens of millions of our taxpayers monies to develop communications with dolphins to be valuable soldiers, so hopefully this breakthrough shows them a way to use this even more valuable intelligence resource in a wiser humane way that proves we are the most intelligent specie on Earth!
Therefore, on behalf of Native American Elders, children, Secretary Chafee, half a million U.S. citizens who signed this petition, and People of the Americas, we urge the Navy to restore its moral compass by spending those test funds on heroically regenerating our "dying oceans" since the survival of generations depends on our marine life for food and tourism!
"Please do the right thing, right now and stop this plan that would excruciatingly deafen and slowly destroy 15,900 whales and dolphins and kill 1,800 more of our wisest supportive soldier-mammals." Those are the orders I am passing on from Secretary Chafee, along with "Please God, bless America!"
And since these are the Whales of not just the U.S. but the Americas, please contact 1-800-USA-NAVY and/or President Obama via 202-456-1111 or email us, and/or say a prayer the way the Elders do, thanking the Navy leaders in advance for seeing the light and protecting our beloved pure-spirited mammal allies, friends and Tourism Surperstars!Suzy Chaffee is a former Olympic skier who helped invent dancing down mountains, turned activist, journalist, filmmaker, and has worked with seven U.S. Presidents. She is now co-chairman of a non-profit partnership of the Elders of the Americas and Olympians, called the Native American Olympic Team Foundation, helping heal Mother Earth for all our children through joyful sports and education. For more information, contact Suzy at SuzyNativeVoices(at)aol.com or visit Snow-Riders.org or NAOTF.org.