Navy sonar is like unsolicited sales calls to whales.

I first read about this last fall. From the Christian Science Monitor:

In a 6-3 ruling on Wednesday, the high court criticized a federal judge in California for imposing restrictions that the majority justices said jeopardized national security in an effort to protect the environment.

MFA sonars send intense pulses of noise through the water that can disrupt or injure marine mammals nearby. Scientists say it can trigger fatal mass strandings under certain circumstances.

Joel Reynolds, a senior NRDC attorney, said the high court left in place undisputed portions of the federal judge’s order concerning Navy training. As a result, the Navy must continue to abide by a 12-mile coastal buffer zone and must continue to avoid the Catalina Basin, an area with a high concentration of marine mammals.

Check out this killer whale video to actually see whales in Puget Sound reacting to Navy sonar.  Umm, how much proof are they waiting for?

Well, that’s the point, isn’t it. The Navy has the proof, they’re just making a judgment call (no puns, thanks.) that they have to keep making the same sonar sounds over and over, like 3 year olds playing with their toys.   I’ve noticed some scientists are like this, too, unfortunately; they base science on a hypothesis, with a provable result, and then spend years doing the SAME tests over and over. That sounds like a video game to me.

Anyway, I see very few editorial cartoons about natural history or science or even technology, and I don’t know why. Do they know something I don’t? Maybe. So I do some, because the world outside of the White House is important, too, but I space them out!  C

The Cartoonist Who Cried Wolves! Wolves!

Right after Obama took office he cancelled Bush’s plans to rewrite the Endangered Species Act, affecting wolves, among other animals. I took note of that, knew I wanted to do a cartoon on it, but then put it aside because I wasn’t sure if the EPA was already done, or just thinking out loud. Once you have to write about the news – and believe me, as an editorial cartoonist I’ve become a better journalist – you notice how much of the news is really stuff that might happen, or will happen. Then they report it all again when it does happen, as if it’s fresh meat!

So as I was saying, it actually did become law last Friday. Only Obama RESCINDED his protection promises for wolves, and turned them over to the lawless states, not the Federal government any more! So Bush’s original plan succeeded.  

The LA Times reported this in a very neutral, uninteresting, boring tone. In a blog there, not in the paper. Oh, and they left some things out. The NY Times gets it:

Jenny Harbine, a lawyer with Earthjustice in Bozeman, Mont., which has sued to keep the federal protections, said, “We’re disappointed.” She added, “Idaho has shown an eagerness to kill as many wolves as possible, and they are drawing up plans for killing wolves

Cartoonists that love animals and aren’t ashamed.

I wanted to give a shoutout to two extremely talented and funny syndicated guys that work for a cause, and yet don’t get all preachy. (And note the word funny, which most certainly does not describe most syndicated strips.)  This fall, both of these guys aimed many of their cartoons in support of Proposition 2, which just passed here in California! It will affect more than 19 million animals, Farm Sanctuary says, and will most definitely “persuade” other states that it is essential to treat farm animals as living creatures.

A California initiative on the November ballot — Proposition 2, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act — will phase out the cramming of veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens into small cages and crates.

The Huffington Post has an interesting interview with  Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the comic strip MUTTS. (I don’t believe in reading the PuffPost regularly, when they don’t believe in paying their writers (over 2000 now), when it’s the BIGGEST BLOG in the world. (We won’t go into the fact that Arriana Huffington is a billionaire, too.)) 

MM: What inspired you to run a whole week of strips on the humane treatment of farm animals?

PM: Prop 2 is just too important to not tackle. Even though the reform will be modest, it puts a stake into the ground that the way we treat farm animals matters.

MM: Why is Prop 2 important to you, and what can your readers do to help?

PM: Because 20 million animals will be directly impacted, suffering less, if this measure passes. It will also send a clear message to the factory farm conglomerates that, on

Take this election cartoon to the voting booth with you today.

read this cartoon before you go to the voting poll
"It's a poll. And I'll call you a weenie if you're undecided."

Well, the big day is here. I doubt anyone will be looking at cartoons today, but life goes on, as do blogs and bloggers, so here I am.

And no, I’m not undecided! I’m very decided!

I’m really worried about Yes on Proposition 2. It’s about pigs and veal, but mostly about chickens, since California is apparently an egg state. I did not know that. They want farmers to give hens more room, instead of having NO room in cages to use their wings, stand, sit, anything. Seems like it’s not too much to ask. The animals are alive on this green earth. Not for long (egg hens are allowed to live for only about 6 months), which is even more reason for them to have a few moments of happiness and peace. read more