Subj: [earthchanges] Re: Urgent message from James Taylor, Pierce Brosnan And Jean-Michel Cousteau
Date: 7/30/01 11:10:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time

 A Message From James Taylor,
 Pierce Brosnan &
 Jean-Michel Cousteau
 By Environmental News Network

         The message below, an open letter from James Taylor, Pierce
Brosnan and Jean-Michel Cousteau, was sent to you by Doug France from the
Natural Resources Defense Council's website (
         Dear Friend,
         The three of us have never teamed up like this before. But we all
share something in common: a deep love of the ocean and marine mammals.
That's why we're very disturbed by a U.S. military program that, if
approved, will soon be bombarding millions of whales and dolphins around
the world with intense noise.
         You may have read about the U.S. Navy's "Low-Frequency Active"
(LFA) sonar program. The military has been testing this new, high-powered
system in secret for years. Now, the Navy wants to deploy it across 80
percent of our planet's oceans. LFA sonar is designed to detect enemy
submarines by flooding vast expanses of the oceans with sound. Leaving
aside the military wisdom of this sonar -- which is still in dispute -- the
environmental dangers are becoming increasingly clear.
         Here's the problem: LFA noise is billions of times more intense
than that known to disturb whale migration and communication. Whales and
dolphins depend on their sensitive hearing for survival. To put it simply,
a deaf whale is a dead whale. Deafening noise from the LFA system will
interfere with the vital biological activities of marine mammals.
Scientists fear that long-term exposure to LFA could push entire
populations over the brink into extinction.
         Inevitably, there will also be marine mammals unlucky enough to
swim too close to LFA loudspeakers. Imagine an acoustic wave so powerful
that, even at substantial distances, it can destroy your hearing, cause
your lungs or ears to hemorrhage, or even kill you.
         We've already seen a glimpse of the resulting carnage. Last year,
whales from four different species stranded themselves and died on beaches
across the northern Bahamas during a Navy military exercise. All but one of
the dead animals examined by researchers had suffered hemorrhaging around
the inner ear -- the telltale sign of acoustic trauma. The U.S. Navy's own
report concluded that it is "highly likely" that the stranding was caused
by the use of mid-frequency active sonar. But despite this tragic event,
the Navy now wants to deploy LFA, the most extensive active sonar system
ever devised.
         We know that different frequencies will affect different marine
mammals and that the lower the frequency, the farther it penetrates the
ocean. We believe it is unconscionable to expose marine mammals around the
world to more high intensity sonar. If you agree, then please join us in
taking immediate action; it will take you only a few seconds.
         Just go to
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Ocean Futures Society
(OFS) have set up this web page to make it easy for you to send electronic
messages of protest to your U.S. senators and representative. Congress is
now deciding the Navy's funding for next year -- tell them to "Turn Off LFA
Sonar" by cutting off its funding.
         And please forward this message to your family, friends and
colleagues. NRDC used web activism to help generate a million messages of
protest to Mitsubishi and, just last year, stopped the company from
destroying the last unspoiled birthing ground of the Pacific gray whale.
         Congress cannot ignore millions of us. Together, we can keep
whales and dolphins safe from high-powered sonar.
         Thank you for your time and your concern.
         Sincerely yours,
         James Taylor
         Pierce Brosnan
         Jean-Michel Cousteau