In what should have been an April Fool’s day article, the New York Times blames the recent spate of dead humpback whales washing up on New Jersey and New York shores – 23 as of last count – on online shopping and, of course, climate change.
I’m surprised the Times article doesn’t blame white supremacy, racism, and Donald Trump, who is rumored to have said, “Whales are for losers and endangered ones are the biggest losers.”
It’s always good to learn something new and I confess that, before today, I did not know whales shopped online and that they began doing so just before Christmas, er, the Winter Holiday, last year. Previously, before migrating to online shopping, whales and other marine life shopped for their Christmas, er, the Winter Holiday, gifts at the Atlantis Mall, which is located off the eastern continental shelf, on the Neptune Highway. As the billboards advertise, “Turn left at the giant crab and follow the signs.” Charlie the Tuna, self-described as having good taste, is known to frequent the Mall’s Nieman-Marcus store.
The Times argues that the increase in online shopping in response to the Covid-19 pandemic caused an increase in marine traffic, which is responsible for all of those whale deaths. Of course, the pandemic is behind us, which does not explain why, beginning this past December, whale deaths have spiked.
Of course, it cannot have anything to do with all of the site work on offshore projects in the New York Bight, which involves using powerful sonar. As we all know, that is impossible. You are not even allowed to think that sonar mapping can cause whale deaths. Trust the Science!
Last year, an article in Science stated that whales flee from sonar – sometimes to their deaths. So, offshore wind developers using sonar in the area might be contributing to whale deaths. Except, now “Science” claims that whales are not affected by all of that sonar activity for offshore wind, at least not since all of the online shopping began.
Sean Hayes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) chief of protected species, wrote a memo on May 13, 2022, about concerns that offshore wind construction could harm the endangered right whale. As his memo states, “[u]nlike vessel traffic and noise, which can be mitigated to some extent, oceanographic impacts from installed and operating turbines cannot be mitigated for the 30-year lifespan of the project, unless they are decommissioned.”
Mr. Hayes’ memo focused on endangered right whales. But if those whales are adversely affected by noise and construction, it stands to reason that other whale species, such as humpbacks, will be adversely affected, too.
But for the Biden administration, and the many environmental groups who will receive the many billions of green energy largesse being ladled out, whales are no longer a concern. And if offshore wind development kills thousands of whales, well, tough.
Serves ‘em right for shopping online.
Jonathan A. Lesser, PhD is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and president of Continental Economics; he boasts 30+ years of experience working for regulated utilities and 20+ years in the energy industry as a consultant, and Dr. Lesser has testified in front of numerous regulatory and legislative bodies including the U.S. Congress.