the intensity of decibels that is currently allowed. The Navy uses different methods to calculate decibel intensity that environmental scientists argue are inaccurate and could allow them to transmit decibels over the “safe” frequency (Williams). As uncovered by Nature, the military is aware of the harm they cause the environment. However, because of the distancing which has occurred between technocratic human societies and nature, and the blind will to dominate without regard for external costs, the Navy is asking for an “exemption from environmental laws …[due to] the need for national security” (Williams). If approved, military actions will be even more detrimental to the environment, especially if the Navy’s further request to NMFS (the National Marine Fisheries Service) for “permission to kill from 5 to 10% of whale populations in a given area, a large amount by any standards” is also granted (Williams). Both these requests, and prior actions by the military, illustrate how little the environment has come to mean to some segments of humanity.
Given the tendency of some cultures to believe that the only lives of value are human lives, the fact that the military is now asking for environmental regulating groups, and environmental law enforcement, to only “restrict questions of compliance [to laws and regulations] to actual tissue damaging events” is not surprising (Williams). Acquiescing would allege that the only way animals can be affected and harmed is by visible surface wounds, and that their discomfort or other alterations in behavior are of no consequence. This request, if granted, would allow the military to act as if animals are mere physical objects, and only consider the number of marine mammals harmed by their actions to be those they have physically hit with submarines, or injured during ship explosive testing.
The journal of the University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program