Whale carnage and the Navy

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

It’s looking increasingly likely that a new US Navy sonar system is to blame for the record number of injured and dead whales washing up on beaches this year. (We hate to say we told you so, but the MoJo Wire published a story about this more than a year ago.)

The ASSOCIATED PRESS has now picked up the story, reporting that, according to the federal government’s own expert, the large number of beached whales in the Bahamas recently is linked to the use of the Navy’s extremely powerful anti-sub system. The system’s high-powered sound waves can cause ear hemmorhages in marine mammals, causing whales — who depend on their own sense of hearing to navigate — to veer off course during migration, or even die from their injuries.

The Navy is reportedly hiring a panel of experts to examine the issue as a “priority need.” Then again, that’s the same thing they said back when experts first voiced concern about the system’s potential for carnage.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend