Whales vs. warriors. That’s how one judge views the current debate over the Navy’s testing of high-powered sonar, which some scientists say has caused massive whale strandings and panicked behavior. The Navy argues that the tests are critical, and that high-frequency sonar is the best way to detect quiet enemy submarines.
The National Resources Defense Council sued the Navy to stop its latest round of testing, set to take place off the Southern California coast, and a federal appeals court sided with the Navy, granting a temporary go-ahead. One judge wrote that it’s a question of the safety of our whales vs. that of our warriors, but another noted that there’s no reason the Navy couldn’t take certain precautions during its testing to avoid hurting marine life. The fight isn’t over—another hearing is scheduled for November 5.—Gregory Mone