In the news tonight was a court victory for the Navy, giving the Navy the go ahead to use loud, potentially deadly sonar in waters known to be inhabited by whales and other marine mammals sensitive to the sounds. The way it was reported, the court said national security outweighs ecological concerns.
It’s akin to the military deciding that an above ground, high-pitched sonic weapon was necessary for national security, and was allowed to continue working with that weapon in a locale where dogs were. In that case, people would be livid. I suspect the whales were short-shrifted because they’re not cute and cuddly, and living in our homes.
So, how far can this precedent be carried? Could national security interests be put ahead of other ecological concerns? It’s a great question, and one that has some chilling ramifications.