Green Manolo » Oil Versus the Whales

Oil Versus the Whales

By Christa

There’s no denying that the world at large is pretty dependent on oil for, well, just about everything. And that means that people are always on the lookout for new places to find it. Just at this moment, the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, which is partly owned by shell, is hunting for oil… in a stretch of the Pacific inhabited by a certain sort of gray whale that’s critically endangered.

They are on the brink of extinction. “Just around 30 female western gray whales of breeding age remain”, says Aleksey Knizhnikov, Oil and Gas Environmental Policy Officer for WWF Russia. “The loss of even a few breeding females could mean the end for the population.”

Their lives are already disrupted by oil exploration and exploitation, and the company already has two platforms in the area. The new one is planned to be near their primary feeding area, one of the only places where the sea is shallow enough to enable mothers to teach their young how to feed on the seabed.

Does anyone else tear up a little when they hear about this sort of thing, or is it just me? It’s not that my brain automatically goes “oil bad, animals good” – I get that we still need oil and that oil has to come from somewhere. But 30 Western North Pacific gray whales of breeding age, all getting disoriented by seismic surveys and then having their only known feeding ground disrupted by the construction of a rig? Bleah.

One Response to “Oil Versus the Whales”

  1. aurumgirl Says:

    See, I don’t get that we still need oil. I get that there are huge multinational oil corporations that never want to stop making fantastic profits from selling oil, and that they don’t care who or what gets hurt in the process. We think of all kinds of disrupted sea animal lives and all the other lost lives hurt by oil companies all the time, but really we’re a big part of the problem because we still want to believe we need the stuff.

    The fact is, we don’t. Yes, they’re massive companies and they’ve basically created a kind of energy/economic/political hegemony, so they’ll keep drilling wherever they will because they don’t care what they kill–but there are so many technologies that make oil obsolete. The trick is to take the money big oil sucks out of us and have it put into any one of, or several of, those vast other technologies for energy. Figure that out and all the destructive oil production stops.

    If we can’t make it happen on a large scale, I’m hoping people will figure out how to help individuals become “oil-free” by developing that technology on a scale individual people can easily purchase and use. Kind of like the idea of converting what was once a vehicle that only ran on diesel fuel into a car that can run on used vegetable fat (which finally gives us a safe means of using margarine, or all that hexane laced Wessen/Mazola/Crisco/Canola fat that no one should actually eat).

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
Copyright © 2004-2009; Manolo the Shoeblogger, All Rights Reserved

  • Recent Comments: