Community: Seismic Testing in the Arctic, by Parvati Devi
The Arctic needs your help!
As I mentioned in the Letter from the Editor, when I recently learned that the Canadian government has given clearance for oil companies to bomb the seabed of the Arctic Ocean to test for oil deposits, I felt profoundly shaken in the depth of my being. Having traveled to the North Pole to raise awareness of the quickly melting polar ice caps in the fall of 2010, I feel deeply connected to the ocean there, its inhabitants and the people who live in the Arctic. In response to the news, I could sense the Great Blue Whale totem animal, that drew me on that polar journey and that guided the powerful healing that followed, echoing through me with a resounding NO! I knew immediately that the sonic effect of these blasts would kill the magnificent whales and sea creatures.
Before the oceans were permeated with ship traffic noise, the sounds emitted by whales were heard as far as four thousand miles away. On a particularly quiet day, tones would only have become inaudible after thirteen thousand miles – more than the diameter of the Earth.
We cannot even begin to understand the subtlety of such communication – nor the harm we do on a day-to-day basis through travel, shipping, ocean exploitations, the boom of jet planes, the emission of wireless signals… and now it is ok to bomb the ocean bed? We are talking about sounds reaching 258 dB – a decibel level almost double what you would experience standing under a jet as it took off – reverberating through the ocean. What living being could sustain such sonic blasts – let alone beings that communicate via sonar?
As my friends and I combed through articles and groups about the issue, we found disturbing behavior on the part of the oil companies and the National Energy Board, the regulating body that according to its own website should be responsible for “enforc[ing] the orders, rules and regulations that are in place to protect Canadians, their communities and their environment.” Key affidavits about the potential harm of these blasts were being struck. The Board made the exceptional application to revisit its own ruling to allow the testing to go through. Local communities and Greenpeace have organized since 2010 to say NO to the testing, have brought legal challenges and raised the concern even at the United Nations. But none of this has stopped the National Energy Board or oil companies from proceeding.
Allowing seismic testing and offshore drilling in the Arctic shows a tremendous lack of insight into, and subsequent respect for, our ecosystem and our essential interconnection with nature. It also shows profound lack of foresight. What we do today creates our tomorrow. May we make choices now that always consider the good of all. This is the true bottom line.
Greed is a virus that kills – not only animals, but us as a human race – because we are all connected. Any activity that harms nature harms us and is anti-life as a whole and as such is not an option. If we as a society feel the need to harm nature and the animals to access oil, it is a sign that it is time to seek alternate energy sources to fuel our economy.
The government of Canada has a handful of marine protected areas in the Arctic, but they are hopelessly tiny in the face of the vast areas being kept open to exploitation by big oil companies.
In the next article, I will share more about the goals of parvati.org in light of this concerning news. Meanwhile, it you have not yet signed these petitions, please do so:
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine and an internationally recognized Canadian musician, yogi and new thought leader. As a chart-topping touring musician, Parvati spearheads the Post New Age musical genre with her independent success hit single “Yoga in the Nightclub”. She founded YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a powerful yoga method that combines energy work and yoga poses. Her critically acclaimed self-help debut book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie – A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker” is currently in its third edition.