To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I thought our president was a moral man until I read in an AP story in The Eagle July 19 stating that he approves of oil exploration, in this case off our Atlantic coast, using a sonic "cannon" producing sound waves "100 times louder than a jet engine." Water is much more efficient than air at transmitting sound, so this process could be audible to sea creatures on the other side of the ocean while those in proximity would have their eardrums, and lives, cruelly and painfully ruptured. Finned creatures, it bears noting, are unable to cover their ears. No person with an ounce of common decency should tolerate, let alone promote, the use of these devices.

I voted for Mr. Obama twice. I have been impressed with his ability to outmaneuver and out-adult the GOP, but his weak environmental performance, exemplified until now by his embrace of fracked hydrocarbons, has always been a negative. The Navy has been slapped down on the issue of high-intensity sonar, but somehow we forgive the military when it is being reprehensible. Now our president sees fit to torture, maim, cripple and eventually kill untold numbers of creatures that ply their innocent and ancient courses off our shores, for oil we do not need and should not want, the extraction of which would benefit the filthy-rich and employ common folk who’s labors would be better applied elsewhere.

Ours is a shallow society and deep oceans pay the price.


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An unfortunate local horse in need of a manicure might make the front page but the savage deafening of untold numbers of sound-dependent creatures sailing a perilous course in our wake get a snapshot in section D. We spend decades wading through every form of free-speech against a few reclaimed miles for a local bike path and all the good it will do, but hundreds of miles of high-pressure fracked-gas pipe will blast through our right-of-way without our knowing the captains of dirty energy ever actually deigned to hear us.

We plan the gutting of a river after it has finally begun to heal from the wounds we inflicted, using many millions that could do wonders spent on other more worthy local environmental projects. Now we hear that the whales, turtles, dolphins, and other sea life that survived Ahab only to endure the constant hazard of being our neighbors, are to be further thinned ahead of the spillage and fouling that may seal the fate of our dying oceans.

Many in the oil industry have sold their souls many times over and at great profit. How much did Mr. Obama’s soul cost and who signed the check? Unless that process is exposed and reversed Mr. Obama’s legacy to me will always be stained by this act of cruelty.

MICHAEL AGEE

North Adams