True
The Wilderness Society

A dolphin spotter has spotted a problem.

Andrew Neighbour is a born and bred Kangaroo Islander. He relies on a clean ocean for his livelihood as a charter boat operator. He operates those boats as a dolphin spotter — a job its name exactly suggests. (Way to make good life choices, Andrew.)

He's one of just around 4,000 residents on this island off the coast of South Australia. I'd never heard of Kangaroo Island. After learning about the abundant wildlife and sealife, I'd jump at the chance to leave my home in San Francisco and visit the beaches and sea cliffs where Andrew grew up working on boats.


Andrew knows how tides work. And where a likely oil spill would go.

Having grown up on Kangaroo Island and the sea around it, Andrew can easily forecast what would happen in an oil spill. He says:

"Any oil, if it comes this way which it will with tidal movement, it's going to get us north and south. You're not going to get away from it. If a spill happens, it'll be devastating."

The island, surrounded by an oil spill that should be left in the ground.

Another Deepwater Horizon? No thanks.

The picture Andrew paints of the drilling risk reminds me of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Five years on, we're still learning about the repercussions of the largest accidental marine oil spill ever.

The problem is BP's relentless search for oil.

Right now, BP is looking for spots to drill for oil in the pristine wilderness of the Great Australian Bight. (A bight, by the way, is a big open-mouthed bay. Kangaroo Island is nestled in the curved coast of South Australia.)

There it is, Kangaroo Island. Population 4,417. Four thousand people, that is. I didn't count the kangaroos. Image via OpenStreetMap.

We should definitely leave this oil in the ground (the ground under the sea).

The Wilderness Society has this to say:

"The future of Kangaroo Island, and many other coastal communities, is in danger as BP prepares to start exploratory drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight. This is a risky process at the best of times, with 80-90% of all oil spills happening during this phase. But in the remote, wild waters off South Australia it is even more complicated."

And these “wild waters" are very alive. Kangaroo Island, though remote to many, isn't some blank canvas dead zone.

"The Bight is home to an amazing array of marine life, including many threatened and endangered species: great white sharks, humpback, blue and southern right whales, southern bluefin tuna, Australian sea lions, white-bellied sea eagle and albatross. These waters are an important marine nursery for the Australian sea lion colonies to raise pups and southern right whales to nurture their calves."

Folks, there is a *baby whale nursery* here.

That whales are choosing to give birth near Kangaroo Island is a big deal because they are Southern Right Whales.

"Hunted almost to extinction in the 1800s but now protected in Australia, the population is still recovering. Over 200 were observed along this stretch of coastline in 2014, mostly mothers and calves."

Andrew is excited in the video that the whale numbers are increasing. Out on his boat, I bet he's witnessed that increase personally over the years.

Do whales pick their birthing spots by jumping on them? I kinda hope so. I imagine the momma whale leaping free of the water, splashing down and thinking "MINE." All GIFs via The Wilderness Society.

Help Andrew be a good guardian of his island.

Help Andrew and the other few thousand people on Kangaroo Island keep our beloved ocean alive.

Stop another Deepwater Horizon from happening. Here's a great resource for learning more and a place to donate.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less
Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less

"Veteran" mom and "new" mom parent differently.

When a couple has their first child, they start out with the greatest of intentions and expectations. The child will only eat organic food. They will never watch TV or have screen time and will always stay clean.

But soon, reality sets in and if they have more kids, they'll probably be raised with a lot less attention. As a result, first-born kids turn out a bit differently than their younger siblings.

"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

Keep Reading Show less