Dolphins, War, Drones & Global Warming

Apparently the U.S. Navy has been using trained dolphins and other marine mammals to support the Navy in warfare situations since the 1960s. I became aware of the program when, some 20 years ago, I was living on a boat in San Diego Bay and saw the Navy training dolphins from special-built skiffs.

Those wondrous marine mammals were trained to detect mines, take underwater photographs, bring things to Navy divers and who knows what else.

I was always horrified by the program. I’ve done a lot of sailing in the past, including significant time off shore – way off shore. So often a pod of dolphins would join us for awhile, surfing on our bow wake and obviously simply having a gloriously good time. It somehow seemed very wrong to use the good will of another intelligent sentient being and press it into the service of destruction.

Of course animals have been used in war probably since war began. But somehow, the training of the dolphins in my bay back yard was truly upsetting.

I was delighted to learn that on November 24th the Navy announced it was shutting down or at least cutting back on the dolphin training program at least in San Diego Bay. Apparently the Navy has found ways of building torpedo or dolphin shaped underwater vehicles that will accomplish the same tasks.

In my mind these replacements may well be like the unmanned drones that at least the U.S. is using. We are distancing ourselves more and more from the horror of war and killing, while the killing goes on.

And, of course, law enforcement in this country are clamoring for the same power.

Meanwhile, evidence of global warming increases, with Super-storm Sandy, and Typhoon Bopha that struck in the southern Philippines today, Dec. 4, 2012. At the same time the UN sponsored Doha Climate Change Conference successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocols (that the U.S. has never signed) struggles with no commitment from the U.S. and other major polluters.

I don’t know what it will take for America to develop the political will to acknowledge climate change is happening and it that will take our efforts along with many other countries to make the changes that have a chance of slowing rising sea level slim – and scary. This map isn’t perfect, but if you fiddle a bit you can get a sense of what various rises in sea level might mean.

Meanwhile, I continue not to bring plastic bags home and contact my elected representatives urging action – I don’t know what else to do.

What do you suggest?

Love, blessings, and abundance,

Anne Wayman: When Grandmother Speaks

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