posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 06:24 PM
I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read this threadl
Many of you here seem to look at things one-dimensionally.
You're either going to give up the world to the Kim Jong-il and Osama bin Laden to save some worthless animals who probably aren't hurt anyway, or
Whales are much more important that the United States of America's defense posture, and besides, Kim Jong-il wouldn't harm a fly, so we can all
agree to stop torturing the whales, and while we're at it, let's all sit around the campfire in a circle and sing "Kumbaya".
I like to think I have a bit of, if not understanding, at least some objectivity: I am an active diver and member of both the Ocean Conservatory and
the Cousteau Society, but I also spent a year on a sub when I was in the Navy.
The bottom line is that they're both important and we have to figure out a way to get as much realistic Navy training as possible while damaging the
marine environment as little as possible. And we have to do it cheaply, because we as a society don't have all the much money.
Someone said there're already dead areas and we could train there. That isn't the case. There are areas where the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar and
bleaching have killed a lot of coral, but you won't find many whales there. Besides, we probably already have a theoretical baseline of the sonar in
question in open seas; it's how the sonar acts on the littoral and around thermoclines which needs to be understood and trained; those are the places
where, unfortunately, there are lots of cetaceans.
So what's the answer? I certainly don't know! No one that I know of (and certainly no one on this thread) understands the influence of sonar
propagation on cetaceans, whether it can be minimized by changing frequency, amplitude or pulse rate.
Since we do need to be able to use sonar wherever there's water, our first effort would be to start the Government, with the oversight and help of
private research organizations like universities and the Cousteau Society, carrying out as much research as possible to find out what is the least
invasive sonar approach while still maintaining a modicum of good defense capabilities.
Second, we should task our defense contractors to get the most from passive acoustic and temperature sensors, with the newer processors available now
integrating as much of the passive spectrum as possible; and to increase the sensitivity of active acoustic sensors so that lower propagation
amplitudes are possible.
This can certainly be done without too much re-prioritization of the defense budget!
But looking at the problem as an all-or-none argument will not improve the lives of the cetaceans or the country's defense capabilities, and
ultimately we will all look like ignoramuses.
[edit on 9-7-2006 by Off_The_Street]