It’s not climate change: Our DISPOSABLE society of plastic trash is killing the natural world, as over 70 gray whales have died on West Coast beaches

The trouble with a dogmatic belief in global warming is that it tends to color the believer’s view of every situation involving the environment. When hurricanes strike, it must be global warming; when there’s a flood somewhere, it must be global warming; when a species becomes extinct, it must be global warming. And somehow that has become the narrative that explains every single crisis facing the environment.

This obsession with global warming diverts our collective focus from the fact that the Earth is under tremendous strain from multiple different directions, none of which have anything to do with so-called climate change.

The truth is, our planet is drowning in plastic and other pollution, our oceans are overfished, our food is contaminated with pesticides and other toxic chemicals, and the global population is growing at a pace that cannot be matched by the Earth’s supply of natural resources.

Environmental crises are happening around us, all the time, for the most part ignored or simply lumped in with everything else that gets blamed on global warming.

One example of this is the recent unexplained death of more than 70 gray whales along the west coast of America – a disaster so alarming that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has labeled these strandings an Unusual Mortality Event (UME). This will allow the government to dedicate additional resources to finding out exactly why so many whales are dying. (Related: Massive whales mysteriously wash ashore on New Zealand beaches.)

What’s killing the whales?

At one time it seemed certain that whales would become extinct. Back in 1946, after years of whaling, only 2,000 gray whales were left in nature.


The Marine Mammal Center explains:

In the late 1800s, the gray whale breeding grounds were discovered, and whalers killed a large percentage of the population. The drop in population made it no longer profitable to hunt gray whales; they were left alone and their numbers recovered. However, the early 1900s brought the invention of factory ships, which processed whales aboard the vessels. This new technology allowed intensive hunting on the grays once again, and their population again dangerously dropped to probably fewer than 2,000 individuals. Protection finally came in 1946 through an international agreement to stop hunting them.

Whale populations recovered and everything seemed fine until 1999/2000, when another UME was declared after the whale population dropped all the way down to 16,000 and nobody could figure out why.

Now something is once again killing gray whales, and scientists are at a loss to explain it. There are clues as to what could be going on, however, and while some scientists have (as usual) blamed global warming, others point to other causes.

Back in 2015, there was another spate of whale deaths and scientists commented on some of the likely causes.

The Guardian reported at the time:

Oceans attorney for the environmental law organization Earthjustice Andrea Treece says the most common causes of whale deaths in recent years are the result of ships and the mammals being tangled in fishing gear and nets.

While numbers are limited due to scientists’ unwillingness to give definitive causes of death, collisions with ships are a serious threat to some species. Of the North Atlantic right whale, the International Whaling Commission says: “It is thought that mortality due to ship strikes may make the difference between extinction and survival for this species.” [Emphasis added]

And ships are not the only threat to the giants of the sea. Scientists warn that commercial fishing lines also pose a serious threat. Multiple sightings have been reported of whales entangled in fishing lines, with many dying as a result. And experts have also expressed grave concerns about the effects of the military’s increased use of sonar along the Pacific coast on whale populations. Likewise, recent whale deaths in the UK were found to be caused by the ingestion of plastics and trash from the oceans.

Clearly, global warming – if you choose to believe in it – is just the tip of the iceberg. Mankind is facing serious problems, most of them of our own making. And we ignore these environmental dangers at our peril.

Learn more about the real issues facing our planet at

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