A Sad Story
We’ll begin on a sad note:
With the journey of the world’s loneliest whale, marching to the beat of its own drum.
Whales are a very social species, they talk with each other, hunt in teams, and live in pods with complex social hierarchies. They sing songs that travel across the ocean, so although they may be on their own, they always know someone else is out there. Whales are very much like us.
But there’s a whale who some believe can’t communicate with anyone else. A whale who is all alone in the great wide open ocean, always calling out but never hearing any response.
Nobody has actually seen this whale, but some have heard its now famous call. The Lonely Whale sings at a frequency of 52 HZ. So why is this so bad? Because other Blue and Fin Whales sing at a much lower frequency between 15-25 Hz.
What made the Lonely Whale become so different then? Well, today mankind pollutes the ocean in a new kind of way. The ocean is a much different place than on land, a place where sound can travel faster and farther, and animals have grown to depend on their ability to make noise. The problem is that we ourselves are a very noisy species. We pollute the oceans with our sounds: boat engines, seismic blasts, and drilling machineries. This makes life for some ocean animals tougher. And it appears that our Lonely Whale may have raised the frequency of its song as a result.
Scientists debate whether or not this actually means that other whales cannot hear our Lonely Whale. And who knows, maybe it has somehow managed to find a mate, as they say there’s always more fish in the sea.
But regardless of the science, the important thing is that this whale’s story resonated when people heard it. They felt bad for this lonely, wandering sea creature. They felt empathy.
An Ocean Champion Answers The Call
Today we live in a world of constant digital connection and engagement. Yet we are gradually losing our connection to the REAL world surrounding us.
Our dependence on technology, and the anti-social social network that we live in takes us ever farther away from physical connection with both people and nature. A connection that makes us who we are as a species co-existing on Planet Earth.
We live in an illusion of connectivity, and in a way can relate to the feelings of this singular whale and the degrading, lonely world he is living in.
This is what inspired a group of individuals to answer the whale’s call.
A collective of motivated people from different backgrounds came together to show us the beauty of the ocean, and the incredible life that exists there. They want us to empathize with the animals who live in these far-off places because we are animals who depend on the ocean too.
We rely on the sea for the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the weather that we have on Earth. Without an ocean, there would be no US.
But it seems we’ve forgotten this. We overfish the waters we depend on, taking more now and leaving less for our children. And we are changing the fundamental ways that the oceans function with our greenhouse gas emissions and our plastics.
Photo: TerraMar citizen Rocco Costa with a fish that had a plastic straw stuck in its mouth.
Our disconnect with the physical world today has led us to believe that our actions have no direct impact on our own lives. But we are so wrong.
An End to Plastic Straws
Where did they start? Well, they started with a problem that we are all responsible for, but can very easily take part in changing.
Our oceans are drowning in plastics, mostly because we live in a world where convenience is the norm, and single-use disposable plastics make life just a little bit easier.
In the United States alone, people use 500 millions plastic straws every single day. And the majority of those will some way or another find their way into our world’s oceans, where they either break down into smaller and smaller micro-plastics, or become ingested by life in the ocean.
It’s a horrific fact that if we can’t change our habits, then by the year 2050 there will be more plastic than fish!
The Lonely Whale Foundation has decided to challenge the world to make a change. Challenging each and every one of YOU to take a simple pledge to #STOPSUCKING
The idea is that together we can make a real, quantifiable difference for the health of our oceans. We can improve the world for both ourselves, and for the lonely whale that’s out there searching for a better life, beginning with the elimination of plastic straws (and all other single-use plastics) from our lives.
The end of this story is up to you. The ball is in your court. Take the pledge to stop using plastic straws in your everyday life, and convince the people and businesses around you to join.
The first step is connecting with the natural world we’re all a part of, and understand how we affect it. The next is making a change, one that we can all take part in.
Stay tuned for our How I Sea interview series with members of the Lonely Whale Foundation team. We’ll be diving into a variety of topics including how art, entertainment, and technology can be used to help educate the world about ocean conservation and inspire action. And how a team like Lonely Whale Foundation was able to bring their unique talents together through a common mission.
Featured image: Aqqa Rosing-Asvid/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)