It wasn’t a night conducive to sleeping, especially since a trembling Koko spent much of it panting in my ear. Outside, the rain fell in torrents, near-constant flashes of lightening illuminated the sky and the thunder cracked, rumbled and boomed at a volume and intensity that can only be described as unusually spectacular.
I knew we were in for some excitement when I saw the streaked and furrowed clouds that made for last night’s glorious sunset, which I viewed from the freshly washed sand of a beach pounded by giant, glassy waves that mirrored the pastel hues of the sky.
The thunder started early, and distant, almost mimicking the roar of the sea, but slowly growing nearer, and louder, until it was right on top of us, and it continued on that way through the night’s wee hours, before it slowly drifted away about 5 a.m., leaving me feeling simultaneously amped and bleary.
It seems that military activities in other parts of the world are leaving the same legacy of harmed marine mammals and toxic pollution that we’re seeing locally. A report in the scientific journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, which is available on line only to subscribers, tells of how Welsh scientists are working to protect the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seals from threats posed by active sonar exercises. The article also reports:
Much of the Aegean is also being polluted by uranium derived from ordnance detonation in the international waters surrounding the Greek Islands. “In 2003, during Aegean Sea exercises, the Greek navy fired 20,000 missiles containing depleted uranium…but later claimed to be unaware of the great hazards [to the marine environment] caused by this material,” says Anastasia Miliou, Manager and Head Scientist of the Greek non-profit Archipelagos, headquarered on the island of Ikaria. Training exercises in the Aegean are conducted not only by the Greek armed forces, but also by those from Turkey and NATO. “The result is a dramatic impact on marine ecosystems, as millions of organisms are killed, severe underwater noise pollution is produced, and large amounts of toxic substances are released into the environment,” she continues.
Kinda makes you wonder what’s happening here in Hawaii during the RIMPAC exercises. I mean, how likely is it that the Greek navy would be firing missiles with DU, but the American navy wouldn’t be? Especially when you consider that we’re making these toxic munitions. So far, all of the DU attention in the Islands has been focused on the Army. Maybe it’s time to look more carefully into the Navy’s record on this.
Meanwhile, Sen. Inouye is trying to get Congress to appropriate $68.5 million to build a missile defense site at PRMF, Kauai’s navy base, ostensibly to protect us from Iran’s missiles. That’s just about what it would cost to restore the full school year here in Hawaii, and yet another indication of how our nation’s priorities are seriously amiss.
In related news, The Guardian has reported that a whistleblower from the International Energy Agency is claiming that “the world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit,” but the news has been downplayed to stave off panic buying.
The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.
A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was "imperative not to anger the Americans" but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. "We have [already] entered the 'peak oil' zone. I think that the situation is really bad," he added.