Monday, October 31, 2005

Naval Sonar and Dolphins

I'm not up to more than a link salad these days:

Navy denies Tasmania whale deaths

One thing I noted in Why sonar may harm whales and dolphins is this quote:

"Can marine life hear it [the sonar]? Yes. Does it have a major effect? We don't know."
This uncertainty alarms wildlife groups. They're now threatening legal action to protect sea-life from the sonar.

It's the 'we don't know' that has my attention. I'm taking a lot of environmental law or related topics just this second, and there's this idea, the precautionary principle, that gets a lot of airtime -- deservedly so. It goes like something like this:

Uncertainty is normal, and people have to make decisions anyway, even if they're not 100 percent sure what the best course of action is. That's no excuse for refusing to make a decision. Nor is it an excuse for being a putz -- if you don't know what the results of your action will be, BE CAREFUL.

Call for study on impact of sonar

Disorientation Seen in Mass Australia Whale Deaths


Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society