Monday, October 13, 2008
Good News for Whales,
I receive a regular email called "My Green Click" and this was Sunday's topic which I am delighted to share. The Return of the Humpback Whale Against all odds, the humpback whale is thriving again by: Dale Y, The Green Guy Never let it be said our forefathers and mothers were not green. They had no choice, since chemical equivalents were still very far on the horizon. Instead, they got all of their nourishment and manufacturing goods from animals. As the industrial revolution in the mid 1800s came into its own, there was a huge need for oil. The petroleum industry was barely in its infancy, leaving nature to supply the oil needed for the machinery of its day. Whale oil was the best product known at the time. Even to this day, whale oil is the best light lubricating oil on the planet, and it wasn't until the mid-thirties Singer Sewing machines began to recommend petroleum-based oil for their machines because whale oil was becoming too expensive. The need for high quality oil increased the slaughter of whales, and although whale populations were able to maintain themselves through the middle of the 19th century, the numbers were plummeting by the beginning of the 20th. Humpback whales and Right whales especially suffered during this time. Humpbacks are more coastal by nature, so they were easier to find and harvest. Right whales were so full of blubber that when harpooned, they floated in death, making them easy to take. Along with Humpback and Sperm whales (whose spermaceti oil found in their heads was the fixture in all perfumes of the day) these were the three most cherished and severely hunted of all the great whales. It wasn't until 1966 that whaling was suspended for the great whales. By then, the populations were so thin it was thought that they would never recover. There weren't significant populations left of Humpbacks or Right whales, and scientists believed they were seeing the last of their kind. During the summer of 2008, both Humpback and Right whales' statuses improved. Humpbacks were upgraded to no longer being a high risk of extinction, and Right whales were no longer vulnerable. Both of these species, and including the Sperm whale, have made remarkable recoveries. Given up for dead by '66, they were given a chance to live and breed unmolested, and the results are paying dividends today. This success story is directly related to people. We love these big gentle giants and entire tourist industries have grown around whale watching, which is a far better and more profitable way to make money than whale hunting. Without the threat of pursuit and death, the whales are free to roam the oceans at will, exactly as they have been doing for countless millennia, and now for sure, what they will be doing for the millennia to come. As I have told you, tomorrow we will be at the polling station all day, 8:30 a.m. til at least 9:30 p.m. A very long day. That means I may not manage to write a blog. So bear with me please. I have a book which was given to me a few years ago called The Ultimate Hot and Spicy Cookbook, its actually an English book and has some great recipes in it. I thought I would share one with you. Spicy Cabbage An excellent vegetable accompaniment, this is a very versatile spicy dish that can also be served as a warm side salad. Its so quick to make that it can be a handy last minute addition to any meal. Serves 4. 4 Tbs butter 1/2 tsp white cumin seeds 3-8 dried red chillies, to taste 1 small onion, sliced 2 1/2 Cups cabbage, shredded 2 carrots, grated 1/2 tsp salt 2 Tbs lemon juice. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the white cumin seeds and dried chillies for about 30 seconds. Add the sliced onion and frly for about two minutes. Add the cabbage and carrots and stir-fry for a further five minutes until the cabbage is solf. Finally stir in the salt and lemon juice and serve. Have a great day.