Sunday, September 14, 2014

174.1 - Good News: "Save the Whales"

Good News: "Save the Whales"

We start the week the good news of proof that activism and conservation - or, to be more accurate, activism-driven conservation - can and does work. "Save the whales" almost became a joke a rather few years back, the phrase adopted by right wing trolls and numbskulls to mock all things radical, progressive, or merely liberal as foolish nonsense.

But guess what: because of that mocked activism, whales have been saved. Including, it now develops, a population of the largest animal that has ever existed on Earth: blue whales.

According to a new survey, the population of California blue whales, once near extinction as the result of whaling, has made a remarkable comeback and now stands at about 2,200, or 97 percent of 19-century historical levels.

They are the only population of blue whales known to have recovered from the depredations of whaling. Some others have, in fact, become extinct. But it still shows, in the words of Cole Monnahan, a doctoral student at the University of Washington who lead the study, "the ability of blue whale populations to rebuild under careful management and conservation measures."

Blue whales can grow to be 100 feet long and weigh more than 190 tons - twice as much as the largest known dinosaurs.

The comeback would be even more dramatic were it not for the fact that at least 11 of the whales are struck and sometimes killed by ships along the west coast each year - nearly four times the level allowed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a law that exists precisely because of the sort of activism the bozos of the right tried to ridicule. The deaths aren't enough to reduce the population, but they are enough to hinder its growth.

That said, this is still a remarkable success story for conservation efforts that quite bluntly exist only because a bunch of silly lefties thought it made sense to not kill off what is, again, the largest animal ever to exist on Earth.

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