Solstice 2021: Whales and Collective Consciousness vs. “Smart” Oceans, Internet of Underwater Things, and Annihilation by Technology

By Patricia Burke

Whale Trust reports,

“The humpback whale song is one of the most complex, non-human, acoustic displays in the animal kingdom.

But why males sing is still a mystery. [ ]

Whale Trust Maui researchers have been following, recording, and tracking humpback whales singers off the coast of Maui, Hawaii since the mid-70s. After decades of study, we are currently testing the hypothesis that the song may function as an index of association between individual males.[  ], the song may be a means for individual males to recognize how closely associated they are with other males, and may determine if specific males cooperate or compete for females. This hypothesis suggests that the changing nature of the song (with all singers in a region singing the same version at any one time) provides a measure of geographic association between males and a means of organizing male relationships in the breeding season.” – Whale Trust

We don’t yet understand the whale song, but we do know that  “In the North Pacific, underwater noise has doubled in intensity every decade for the past 60 years. Noise from shipping, seismic exploration, and military sonar contribute to underwater noise and may impact the ability of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) to conduct critical life processes such as foraging, finding mates, and navigating through their underwater environment,” according to Wild Whales.

Building an Internet of Underwater Things will not “help humanity monitor changing climate conditions” in and around the oceans (for example, as claimed by the World Smart Cities Association).

In fact, the IOUT is already destroying the ocean environment.

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A sea change, by an awakened civil society, not left to current political, regulatory and economic interests, is our only hope.

This applies to all the planet’s waters, from the vastness of the oceans and rivers to the matrixes in our cellular membranes.

Smart Oceans and The Internet of Underwater Things Are Already Hurtling Ahead, with No Speed Limits, Life Vests, or Lifeboats. Consequences Are Already Obvious. Sonar Harms Whales.

See: Internet of Underwater Things and Big Marine Data Analytics – A Comprehensive Survey

“The Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT) is an emerging communication ecosystem developed for connecting underwater objects in maritime and underwater environments. The IoUT technology is intricately linked with intelligent boats and ships, smart shores and oceans, automatic marine transportations, positioning and navigation, underwater exploration, disaster prediction and prevention, as well as with intelligent monitoring and security. The IoUT has an influence at various scales ranging from a small scientific observatory, to a midsized harbor, and to covering global oceanic trade.  [ ] Our hope is to inspire researchers, engineers, data scientists, and governmental bodies to further progress the field, to develop new tools and techniques.”

We Must Stop Focusing on the Hunting of Whales by Indigenous Cultures and Address the Planetary Footprint of the U.S. Military and Telecommunications Industry and Their Allies on the Ocean Environment NOW

In 2019, the International Monetary Fund published a podcast “The Value of Whales and Every Other Breath” noting,

“Whales absorb more carbon than rain forests and help produce half of the planet’s oxygen supply.  [ ] economist Ralph Chami, and whale conservationist Michael Fishbach, explain the carbon capture potential of whales and how supporting international efforts to restore whale populations around the world is one of the simplest ways to fight climate change.”

Time Magazine explained , “One Whale Is Worth Thousands of Trees in Climate Fight, New Report Says.”

“Great whales are the carbon-capture titans of the animal world, absorbing an average of 33 tons of CO2 each throughout their lives before their carcasses sink to the bottom of the ocean and remain there for centuries, according an article in the December issue of the IMF’s Finance & Development magazine. A tree, by contrast, absorbs no more than 48 pounds of the gas a year. In addition to binding significant amounts of CO2 themselves, whales also support the production of phytoplankton, which contributes at least 50% of all oxygen to the Earth’s atmosphere and captures as much CO2 as 1.7 trillion trees, or four Amazon forests.

Increasing phytoplankton productivity by just 1% would have the same effect as the sudden appearance of 2 billion mature trees, according to the study.

[ ] The authors put the value of one animal at more than $2 million, taking into account the value of carbon sequestered over the whale’s lifetime as well as other economic contributions such as fishery enhancement and ecotourism.

The researchers argue that if the whale population were allowed to grow to around 4 to 5 million — the total before the era of whaling — thereby capturing 1.7 billion tons of CO2 annually, it would be worth about $13 per person per year in subsidies.”

The article “Nature’s Solution to Climate Change” by the International Monetary Fund Finance and Development explains,

“Wherever whales, the largest living things on earth, are found, so are populations of some of the smallest, phytoplankton. These microscopic creatures not only contribute at least 50 percent of all oxygen to our atmosphere, they do so by capturing about 37 billion metric tons of CO2, an estimated 40 percent of all CO2 produced. To put things in perspective, we calculate that this is equivalent to the amount of CO2 captured by 1.70 trillion trees—four Amazon forests’ worth—or 70 times the amount absorbed by all the trees in the US Redwood National and State Parks each year.  More phytoplankton means more carbon capture.

In recent years, scientists have discovered that whales have a multiplier effect of increasing phytoplankton production wherever they go. How? It turns out that whales’ waste products contain exactly the substances—notably iron and nitrogen—phytoplankton need to grow. Whales bring minerals up to the ocean surface through their vertical movement, called the ‘whale pump,’ and through their migration across oceans, called the ‘whale conveyor belt (see Chart 1).’ Preliminary modeling and estimates indicate that this fertilizing activity adds significantly to phytoplankton growth in the areas whales frequent.”

Enhancing protection of whales from human-made dangers would deliver benefits to ourselves, the planet, and of course, the whales themselves. This “earth-tech” approach to carbon sequestration also avoids the risk of unanticipated harm from suggested untested high-tech fixes. Nature has had millions of years to perfect her whale-based carbon sink technology. All we need to do is let the whales live.

Despite the drastic reduction in commercial whaling, whales still face significant life-threatening hazards, including ship strikes, entanglement in fishing nets, waterborne plastic waste, and noise pollution. While some species of whales are recovering—slowly—many are not.

Our conservative estimates put the value of the average great whale, based on its various activities, at more than $2 million, and easily over $1 trillion for the current stock of great whales.

Recognizing that deforestation accounts for 17 percent of carbon emissions, REDD provides incentives for countries to preserve their forests as a means of keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere. [ ] we can create financial mechanisms to promote the restoration of the world’s whale populations. Incentives in the form of subsidies or other compensation could help those who incur significant costs as a result of whale protection. For example, shipping companies could be compensated for the cost of altered shipping routes to reduce the risk of collisions.

International financial institutions, in partnership with other UN and multilateral organizations, are ideally suited to advise, monitor, and coordinate the actions of countries in protecting whales. The World Bank has the expertise to design and implement specific programs to compensate private sector actors for their efforts to protect whales.  Other UN and multilateral organizations can oversee compliance and collect data to measure the progress of these efforts.” – IMF

The Devastatingly Wrong Math on Whales

Unfortunately, the math used by the IMF is wrong, because climate agreements do not include military impacts.

This results in the international community self righteously bullying indigenous and economically disadvantaged populations, often living in fragile ecosystems, hunting for food, while the U.S. mindlessly kills whales in military games.

This is how the environmental movement’s core values are manipulated by economic interests, and this needs to be stopped.  By environmentalists.

Let’s Not Assume that the IMF has the Expertise to Manage This. The Smart Ocean and the Internet of Underwater Things for Profit and War is Not a Survivable Chapter of Human Exploitation of Earth, (and We Can’t Just Colonize Mars)  

In 2010, the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts reported,

“Recovery of whale populations from historic overexploitation has been patchy and incomplete. While some populations and species show encouraging signs of recovery, others show almost no signs of improvement despite a complete ban (e.g. ‘the moratorium’) on commercial whaling having been in place for almost 25 years.

Whales have a very slow reproductive rate with adult females giving birth to one calf every few years. []

Since industrial whaling emerged in the 17th century, over a million whales have been killed globally. This scale of whaling has severely impacted most whale populations and significantly changed their ecological role within the broader marine environment.”

In 2021, an Australian warship pulled into port after military “games” with the US, with 2 dead whales on its hull.  The U.S. claimed that it takes steps to protect whales. Not in Guam.

That protection is being  translating into dual use underwater surveillance and the IOUT.  This has to stop.

If outdated paradigms persist, given the hubris that continues to promote devastation to the natural electromagnetic environment, including the earth, the skies, and now the sea, we’ll not only lose the humpback’s whale song, we’ll lose the entire ocean ecosystem.  We are in deep weeds. Jump ship now from militarized environmental finance.


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