+
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.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less
Canva

Small actions lead to big movements.

Acts of kindness—we know they’re important not only for others, but for ourselves. They can contribute to a more positive community and help us feel more connected, happier even. But in our incessantly busy and hectic lives, performing good deeds can feel like an unattainable goal. Or perhaps we equate generosity with monetary contribution, which can feel like an impossible task depending on a person’s financial situation.

Perhaps surprisingly, the main reason people don’t offer more acts of kindness is the fear of being misunderstood. That is, at least, according to The Kindness Test—an online questionnaire about being nice to others that more than 60,000 people from 144 countries completed. It does make sense—having your good intentions be viewed as an awkward source of discomfort is not exactly fun for either party.

However, the results of The Kindness Test also indicated those fears were perhaps unfounded. The most common words people used were "happy," "grateful," "loved," "relieved" and "pleased" to describe their feelings after receiving kindness. Less than 1% of people said they felt embarrassed, according to the BBC.


Keep ReadingShow less

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less