Indeed now with coffee at hand we can read the latest SS-PG Press Release, I think so anyway. Today quotes a Dr. Andrew Pershing from the University of Maine who got a bit carried away with his writing, we all do at times, and describes whales as the "forests of the ocean". Really NAUTICAL LOG kids you not, - I think that I shall never see a whale as lovely as a tree - with apologies to a famous poet but it was just too tempting!!
Now you will perhaps forgive me as I was born 100 metres from the sea, have spent my 73 years closely connected to it and I have great trouble following this. But please let us read on and quote the good scientist, "Whales like any animal or plant are made out of a lot of carbon". There you go turned out to be quite easy to understand after all. He goes on to point out that originally whale were a source of lamp oil which when burned released the carbon directly into the air. Pointing out further that "In their initial calculations the scientists calculated that 100 years of whaling had released an amount of carbon equivalent to burning 130,000 sq.kms of temperate forests or driving 128,000 Humvee's continuously for 100 years" - note in passing he did not select Toyota's.
All this science study stuff is laudable except for one small problem those guys at the University of East Anglia in England whose e-mails became public makes one just a little suspicious now of these 'scientific' studies.
Dr. Pershing (seems like a nice guy) stressed that this is a tiny amount when compared to the billions of tonnes produced by human activity every year. He said the whales undertook an important role in storing and transporting carbon in the marine ecosystem. Leaving groups of whales to grow could sequester the greenhouse gas in amounts that are comparable to some of the reforestation schemes that earn and sell carbon credits. He suggested that a similar system of carbon credits could be applied to whales in order to protect and rebuild their stocks. Pretty neat idea actually.
Now for the ultimate 'greenhouse gas' because this is the point that SS-PG jumped in and stated they should receive carbon credits for every whale they prevented from being killed this year and over the past five years. In fairness you have got to hand it to those nautical thugs, be it selling ramming 'T' shirts or whale credits they are right there with money making schemes, and full of - greenhouse gas.