Starving Orcas, Humans Next

*Oceans occupy more than 95 percent of all living space on Earth. Oceans drive Earth’s climate. Oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of all fossil fuel combustion heat. The oceanic heat is now equivalent to detonating three Hiroshima-style bombs every second for 75 straight years. That heat is wreaking death upon all life on Earth.

This week, scientists announced that worst-case scenario climate model predictions underestimated oceanic heat by a whopping 40 percent.

Houston, we have a problem.

Starving Orcas - Salish Sea Map
Image credit: Crag Law Center

During late December 2018, my colleagues at the Center for Whale Research monitored the Pacific Northwest Salish Sea and its 74 critically endangered Southern Resident orcas (pods J, K, L).

They found that 42-year-old J17, a grandmother, is starving to death as evidenced by a peanut head, or, misshapen head and neck due to famine. Also, 27-year-old K25, a male who lost his mother in 2017 and unable to fend for himself, is deathly skinny. Neither of these glorious masterpieces is expected to live much longer.

It is unacceptable today to deny that all of Earth’s life support systems, i.e. pollinatorsancient forests and coral reefs are flashing a code red planetary emergency.

Starving Orcas - Ancient Forests Destroyed
138 acres of ancient forests are looted every minute 24/7/365. Image credit: T.J. Watts

The Salish Sea is a glaring example of the hideous collision of the accelerating Man-made climate crisis, Man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction and the annual 250 billion metric ton accumulation of Man-made poisons.

We must not go quietly into this ghastly impoverished future. Image credit: Action Network

The Salish Sea is a hot spot for acidity. As this sea has absorbed rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning subsidized fossil fuels, a byproduct, carbonic acid, has rapidly accumulated. That acidity has rippled through 3,000 kinds of large and small forms of Salish marine life.


42-year-old J17, a grandmother, is starving to death…”

Starving Orcas - J17, a grandmother - wasting away
J17 is quickly wasting away because the Chinook salmon are gone. Image credit: Center for Whale Research

Commercial and recreational fisheries throughout the Pacific Northwest have annihilated salmon, in particular, the Chinook, the main food source for Southern Resident orcas. No food. No orcas.

Every salmon stolen by Man from the Salish Sea accelerates the extermination of all the Southern Resident orcas. Unacceptable. Image credit: Washington Department Fish & Wildlife

106 water treatment facilities emptying into the Salish Sea have dumped mega tons of flame-retardants, cocaine, crystal meth, opioids and hundreds of other pollutants. All Salish marine life is poisoned.

The solution is a no-brainer:

  • End all commercial and recreational fisheries.
  • Remove all 14 dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers thereby beginning to repair vital salmon breeding habitat. Those rivers desperately need higher flow, more oxygen and lower water temperatures.
  • Reduce global fossil fuel emission now.
  • Immediately end the$5.3 trillion subsidies for fossil fuels.
  • Outlaw Canada’s proposed700 percent increase in Salish Sea oil tanker traffic carrying Alberta’s tar sands oil via the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The propeller noise alone will kill all the remaining orcas.
  • Implement strict zero pollution laws for the 106 water treatment facilities draining into the Salish Sea.
  • Fish farms are spreading diseases and microbes into the few remaining wild salmon. Therefore, it is time to end all fish farming.

There is no waste nor pollution in Nature. The only way that Man can survive is to follow Nature’s flawless time-tested blueprint.

2018 world cereal production was down 62.5 million metric tons. Image credit: TRTWORLD

Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen. The fate of the Salish Sea orcas portend Man’s fate unless immediate corrective actions are undertaken.

The U.S. 4th Climate Assessment, complied by more than 300 scientists and vetted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense (DOF), forecasted food shortages in the 2020 decade from increased intensity, frequency and duration of heatwavesdroughts and firestorms from burning more fossil fuels. It’s suicidal for the President to respond, “I don’t believe it.”

It’s up to each of us to lend a helping hand by consuming less and switching to a plant-based diet. We need world leaders who will implement a zero-combustion global economy in the forthcoming decade. Vote!





Dr. Reese Halter

Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.

Dr Reese Halter’s latest book is
Love! Nature

Tweet @RelentlessReese


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