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War of the Whales: A True Story
War of the Whales: A True Story
War of the Whales: A True Story
Аудиокнига13 часов

War of the Whales: A True Story

Написано Joshua Horwitz

Озвучено Holter Graham

Рейтинг: 3.5 из 5 звезд

3.5/5

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Об этой аудиокниге

War of the Whales tells the unlikely story of a maverick marine scientist who discovered one of the U.S. Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine surveillance system originally designed to mimic marine mammal bio-sonar that became, ironically, an acoustic assault on an endangered species. When dozens of whales mysteriously began stranding on the shore of the small Caribbean island where Balcomb had studied marine life for years, the lone scientist challenged federal authorities with his assertion that the strandings were caused by sonar from U.S. Navy submarines.

In response to the unexplained deaths of dozens of whales, one of the nation’s most respected (and feared) environmental lawyers, Joel Reynolds, took action to hold the Navy accountable in a court of law. Working with Balcomb and his team from the National Resources Defense Council, the activists mounted a long battle on behalf of marine mammals against the world’s most powerful Navy, which disputed the charges and held firm in its belief that its sonar submarine exercises were vital to America’s national security. The battle went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Author Joshua Horwitz weaves into War of the Whales the hidden history of the Cold War competition that spurred the development of the submarine and of sonar technology. His book is written with all the ingredients of great narrative nonfiction—heroic idealists, scientific mystery, legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue.
ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательSimon & Schuster Audio
Дата выпуска1 июл. 2014 г.
ISBN9781442372887
Автор

Joshua Horwitz

Joshua Horwitz is the cofounder and publisher of Living Planet Books in Washington, DC, which specializes in books by thought leaders in science, medicine, and psychology.

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Отзывы о War of the Whales

Рейтинг: 3.4838709677419355 из 5 звезд
3.5/5

31 оценка8 отзывов

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  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    My kind of book, interesting to me on several fronts. Very in depth reporting on the head on collision between the cetacians - whales, dolphins etc. - in our oceans and the sonar, particularly low range and mid-range. With heightened need for security and proliferation of nuclear submarines throughout the world, the US Navy is in constant readiness. The book details the struggle to balance navy warfare needs with marine mammal protection. It's a huge problem around the world. Horwitz introduces the reader to all the passionate, serious environmentalists and scientists involved in this struggle as well as the behind the scene Navy posturing. You'll never see a whale again the same way.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    A must listen, masterfully composed and narrated makes it a beautiful listen.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Engrossing and powerful story of people fighting to save whales while dealing with the reality of nations in conflict and submarine warfare. Highly recommended.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    War of the Whales: A True Storyby Joshua HorwitzWhat a heartbreaking story! Sonic blasts, mapping, sonar explosives, and more including military games that cause death, strandings ( which cause death), and bleeding in the brain for underwater mammals. This is the journey of a scientist and a whistleblower that battles for the humane treatment of these animals. I really wanted to punch the creeps in the Navy that were so unethical but fortunately there is evidence they couldn't hide.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    Really interesting details about whales and the Navy. I liked this most when it was focusing on the investigations, as it slowed down somewhat with the trial discussions.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    The issue surrounding Navy sonar and beached whales has always been a mystery to me so this book was a perfect way to learn more. The book is about how a few scientists and environmental groups have fought the US Navy in courts since 2000, focusing mainly on Joel Reynolds (environmental lawyer of the NRDC) and Ken Balcomb (whale researcher) and the events of a whale beaching in 2000 in the Bahamas. The drama and power of that event is slowly and effectively revealed. I will never forget the lasting image of the dead whale sinking into the depths to join its ancestors. This is a complex topic and the book is wide ranging but ultimately worth the trip. The issue of ocean noise is not resolved. The Navy, private and commercial sources are having a detrimental impact on marine life and it is getting worse. We are fortunate to have people like Balcomb and Reynolds, they are modern heroes, but will it be enough.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Dozens of beaked whales beach themselves in the Bahamas. This leads to a legal battle against the U.S. Navy. Joshua Horwitz details the story, scientists, the legal battle, and the science in War of the Whales.It’s an uphill battle when the other side is the most powerful fighting machine on the seas. It’s an even steeper hill when you realize nearly all of the experts are on the navy’s payroll.For decades the navy has been studying marine mammals for their speed through the water and especially their echolocation. A beaked whale’s ability to locate object underwater far surpasses anything the navy can do with sonar.But the navy does have power. If it can’t fine tune its reception, it can turn the volume up. Way up. 200+ decibels of power that appears to drive marine mammals right out of the ocean.The book also shows the malignant problems of regulatory capture. The National Marine Fisheries Service is supposed to oversee the environmental impact of the navy. But fails to do much bur rubber stamp cursory navy reports.Some of the key reports end up getting dumped during dead spots, just like corporate bad news filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. One key report in the book that actually points some blame at the navy was filed at 5:30 on a Friday December 21, 2001, the last day of the federal work year and start of the Christmas weekend. There is no need to impose a media blackout, when all of the media are gone.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    War of the Whales reads like a murder mystery. Lots of action, lots of intrigue, lots of plot twists. Chapters begin with locations and dates, like TV’s Law & Order. The chapters are long at first, but the pace quickens as we race to the finish. It culminates in a courtroom drama, followed by the relief of a denouement. Unlike most thrillers, it also has lots of heroes. Each achieves goals in remarkably different ways. The characters are developed as deeply as any you would find in fiction, where the truth wouldn’t hurt. The overall effect is a tremendous read, passionate, paced and consumingWhales have been a crop to harvest for hundreds of years. In 1939, we slaughtered 40,000 giant blue whales alone. We used them for margarine and engine oil. The blue barely survive; others were hunted to extinction. Then in the 60s, whales went the anthropomorphic route, with Namu, Shamu and Flipper suddenly making them cuddly near-humans. Thirty years later, most whales were on the endangered species list. Didn’t stop the navies of the world, however. Not satisfied with using them for target practice, they blow their brains out with sonar. And deny it.The oceans of the world are their own ecological system. There is weather underneath, and rivers and channels within. Walter Munk, who could accurately predict weather decades before satellite radar (he predicted the brief pause in the bad weather that allowed Eisenhower to launch D-Day), theorized that sound could carry along those layered channels with far greater efficiency than through the air. Five times as fast. Sonar equipment could pick up submarines hundreds of miles away. Dolphins do it. That’s why we could train them to pick out mines in the dark and mud, and distinguish between decoys and real mines, with 100% accuracy. Whales use those water layers to communicate around the globe. At least they can when the ocean isn’t polluted with the cacophony of shipping, exploration, and the real subject of this book – sonar training by the navy. At 240 decibels (twice what’s damaging to the far duller human ear), naval sonar is crippling overkill. Naval documents acknowledge their responsibility in harm to wildlife, but national security trumps all in our society. The whales will have to go.I appreciated the candor when the navy initially tried to determine the veracity of environmental claims. It came to the conclusion there were simply no impartial research scientists available, because all of them had been in the pay of the navy at one time or another.I like that that the long list of heroes consists of almost equally of men and women. Their passion and dedication to sea mammals has focused them and specialized them in amazing, creative and productive ways. And there is a marvelous tour with a whale that describes precisely how a whale’s body mobilizes and changes to accommodate the extreme depths, yet also keeps from decompression problems when they surface. Now I understand the miracle of the effortless dive.Horwitz cites a horripilating vimeo (35584781) taken by Ken Balcomb, the central human in this drama. It piercingly demonstrates sonar so loud it can be heard (painfully) in the air, and the confusion it causes among the sea mammals, who lose their bearings and have nowhere to escape to. The best I can describe the sound is new chalk on a blackboard, heard through a stethoscope, with the volume turned up – to 11. It is no wonder they strand on the shore with blood streaming from their eyes, and no amount of human care can steer them back into the ocean. Even if they could, it would be too painful.War of the Whales is a good fight, but an endless one: “The environment is never saved. It always needs saving.”David Wineberg