Greenpeace launched its “Save the Whales” campaign on April 27, 1975. But in the ensuing years, Greenpeace has gone full Orwell. Greenpeace is no longer interested in saving the whales. It may actually be aiding and abetting the Biden administration and the offshore wind industry in killing whales supposedly to “save the planet.”
Since December, dozens of whales and dolphins have washed up dead along East Coast beaches, especially the New Jersey coast. There are no eyewitnesses to, and no video of, the deaths so no one knows for sure what is killing the animals.
The deaths are coincident, however, with an increase in activity by the offshore wind industry as it surveys locations to erect its turbines. These surveys include seismic testing that involves bouncing sounds off the bottom of the ocean. It is possible that these sounds impair sound-sensitive whales and dolphins in such a way that deaths can result.
Green activists certainly believed as much when the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the U.S. Navy over its sonar testing in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Greens also oppose seismic testing when conducted by the oil industry in its offshore activities.
The Biden administration denies that there is evidence that the whales and dolphins are being harmed by the offshore wind industry.
“At this point, there is no evidence to support speculation that noise resulting from wind development-related site characterization surveys could potentially cause mortality of whales, and no specific links between recent large whale mortalities and currently ongoing surveys,” says the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
And not only does Greenpeace embrace the agency’s denial, but it denounces links between offshore wind seismic testing and the whale and dolphin deaths as a fossil fuel industry-funded “right-wing disinformation campaign.”
So what’s the truth?
Once again, there are no eyewitness or video. But there is some inconvenient paperwork.
As it turns out, the federal agency has actually issued permits to the offshore wind industry to kill whales, dolphins and even seals. And not just one or two members of the species.
A currently proposed permit would allow New Jersey-based offshore wind developer Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, L.P., , a partnership of foreign-owned wind companies, to kill 42 whales, 2,678 dolphins, and 1,472 seals.
Not very green. But it gets worse.
Among the 42 whales that Atlantic Shore Offshore Wind has been licensed to kill are 13 whales that are listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. Three whales are the North Atlantic right whale, a species federal regulators are wielding to wreck the Maine lobster and groundfishing industries on behalf of the offshore wind industry.
And this is not the only such permit. There are others already issued with more on the way. Each one allows for the killing of dozens of whales and thousands of dolphins and seals. And all this permitted killing is just for the survey phase of construction. There is the actual erection of wind turbines, and their operations and maintenance still to come.
So while we have the federal government telling the public that there is no evidence that the offshore wind industry is killing whales and dolphins, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seems to know there is actually enough evidence that the industry needs permits to kill and even permits it to kill protected species.
The Supreme Court in Winter v. NRDC allowed the Navy to continue its sonar testing despite potential harm to whales and dolphins because of national security. So maybe the killing of a few dozen whales and thousands of dolphins and seals by the offshore wind industry could be justified in order to save the planet from climate change.
But regardless of your view of climate change science, the reality is that there is no amount of offshore wind that can be built that would affect weather or the climate in the slightest. So… save the whales.