Monday, May 30, 2011

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

It has been over a year now since BP's Deepwater Horizon well flooded the Gulf of Mexico with 5 million barrels of oil but the horrible gift BP gave to the Gulf just keeps on giving in so many ways; not the least of which is the alarmingly high death rate among Bottlenose Dolphins. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported that over 150 dolphin carcasses have washed up on Gulf coasts since January. Scientists attribute this unusually high number directly to the effects of the BP oil spill and the dispersants used to clean it up. And who knows how many other dolphins have died as a result of this disaster but whose bodies have sunk to the oil slime covered sea floor.

BP executives and shareholders have moved on, regaining their six figure bonuses and dividend payments respectively, but sadly dolphins continue to die. And while BP executives measure time in fiscal years, and their shareholders mark the passage of their lives in decades, the time it will take to repair the damage that BP has done to the once pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico can be measured in centuries.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fish Eaters Beware

Two new studies confirm that the levels of toxic pollutants, including PCBs, PBDE flame retardants and DDT, are accumulating at an increasing rate in the bodies of dolphins and whales. Known as persistent organic pollutants, or POPs, they have been linked to cancer, neurological damage, and birth defects in both animals and humans. In particular, these deadly chemicals have been found in large amounts in the blubber of Bottlenose Dolphins. Ironically, since humans eat many of the same species of fish that these dolphins do, these pollutants caused by man are now coming full circle back to kill him. I suppose there is justice in that. So all you fish eaters out there beware; that spare tire that you are carrying around your waist will kill you in more ways than one.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Crack In The Ice

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) reports that the Icelandic whaler who has slaughtered nearly 300 endangered Fin Whales over the past five years is 'hanging up his harpoon'. The man will not be named here because such a cruel and insensitive person does not deserve recognition; especially since his reason for stopping is financial. Apparently his sale of whale meat to Japan has been disrupted by their recent tsunami tragedy, and there is no longer any market for whale meat in his country. It is too bad that his decision was not made out of a realization of the barbarity of his past practices, but at least he is stopping. Perhaps with this crack in the ice, more of his peers in Iceland and Norway will follow his lead.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lord of the Rings meets Finding Nemo

I am donating 100% of the royalties I receive on the next 5,000 copies (paperback or digital) that I sell of The Tempest's Roar, to organizations whose goal it is to save the whales and dolphins. And I would like to encourage you to buy my book to help in this cause: it is available at,, and other online booksellers in either paperback or digital versions (the Kindle and Nook versions are currently selling for $3.19).

Among those who have read it I think one reviewer said it best when he described it as Lord of the Rings meets Finding Nemo. To learn more about this story that blends scientific fact with speculative fiction and thereby appeals to both the head and the heart, please go to my website at

Monday, May 2, 2011


Did you ever notice that when Americans (and to be fair, sometimes even the British or their Colonial cousins) try to communicate with someone who doesn't speak English, they always talk v--e--r--y s--l--o--w--l--y or REALLY, REALLY LOUD? It's as if they expect that by doing this the other person is suddenly going to smile and say "Oh that! Why didn't you say so?"

To me that's akin to the guy in California who takes people out in his catamaran with an underwater pod and let's them play different sounds, including previously recorded whale song, over speakers to see if passing whales or dolphins react.

Can't you just imagine what the whales must think of this. Picture this, two Humpbacks are out there gulping down anchovies by the gazillions, and along comes this catamaran filled with tourists. Here is what the conversation between the whales might sound like. "Oh God, here come those stupid humans again. Just watch, they're going to play that annoying conversation they recorded of a Grey Whale last week and expect us to roll over and let them scratch our bellies."

Poor whales. Silly us. Do Berlitz or Rosetta Stone offer a course in Whalish??? No? Pity!