What If We Never Started Hunting Whales?

What If We Never Started Hunting Whales?

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Back in 1846, whaling was one of the most
booming industries in the whole world. It was the fifth largest sector in the United
States economy, raking in a cool $10 million. But somewhere along the way, the
whale supply started to run low, and some people began to realize that
the entire thing might be a bad idea. This is WHAT IF, and here’s what would
happen if we never started hunting whales. If the whale hunt never happened, there’d
be less carbon in our atmosphere, and our planet would be a lot healthier. If we restored whale
populations to pre-hunt levels, we could remove about 160,000 tons of
carbon from our atmosphere every year. But how can one species be so
important to the entire planet? Looking back, it’s clear why whale hunting
was such an enticing business opportunity. Whale meat could be used to feed the masses, their oil could lubricate
machinery and light up a room, their intestines could produce perfume, and their cartilage was perfect for holding
together products like corsets and umbrellas. With all the money wrapped
up in the industry, you can see why there
would be such a backlash when it was essentially banned in 1986. Some politicians even argued that
hunting whales was good for humans because without whales
around to eat fish and krill, there’d be more for us. But as we got rid of the whales,
the fish and krill started to die too. You see, whales are apex predators, which
means that they’re the top of their food chain. When you begin to remove
the head of a food chain, it creates something called a trophic cascade, basically a trickle-down effect that
can disrupt an entire ecosystem. Whales don’t just eat fish and krill; they also play a big part in
allowing those populations to thrive. For one thing, their poop
releases essential nutrients like iron and nitrogen
into the surface waters, which fertilizes plant plankton,
which, in turn, feeds fish and krill. Whenever whales swim from the depths
of the ocean back up to the surface, they knock plankton up to the sunny surface
waters, allowing it more time to reproduce. The more plankton there are in our
waters, the better things are for everyone. Not only do plankton feed
lots of marine populations, they also absorb carbon
dioxide from our atmosphere, taking it down to the bottom of the ocean
for thousands of years when they die. But the carbon reduction doesn’t stop there; whales also contribute directly to
cleaning up the atmosphere. They store large amounts of carbon, and
carry it down to the sea floor when they die; otherwise, this carbon would
be released into the environment and contribute to global warming. With all that in mind, it’s clear how vital
these elegant creatures are to the planet, and how much good
they could’ve been doing if we hadn’t been slashing their
populations for decades. Nowadays, whale hunting is banned
everywhere except for a handful of countries. Experts say that despite these efforts,
the populations of most species of whale won’t even reach half of their
pre-whaling numbers by the year 2100. Maybe one day we’ll be able to make
up for all we lost with the whale hunt, but that’s a topic for another WHAT IF.

38 comments

  1. What if we fertilize plankton using sahara dessert.. Sand instead of iron fertilization…. Like amazon havin the nutrients came from sahara….

  2. What if we never started hunting whales? We would still live in the 20th century probably 🤷🏻‍♂️ I get it that we need to pay attention what we're doing with our planet but on the other side we need the Resources. Of course we could all just go back and live in caves without electrical light but I'd rather let the earth "die" in a few million years than do that. I save energy wherever I can, but when it's too hot I use the AC. Hunting whales might not be a good thing but at that time it had many benefits and no real disadvantage

  3. 160,000 tons of Co2 a year is not much? One single person flying in an passenger airliner from europe to the US and back produces 0,6 tons of Co2, one single big cruise ship produces every single day it's traveling 480,000tons of CO2, yes you've heard right, the amount of CO2 that 84,000 cars would produce (and these ships produce also So2 and many other terrible stuff (same amount than 1,2 million cars btw)) .

    Currently we're producing around 40 Gigatons (billion tons) per year. And that's CO2 alone, not mentioning another thousand things that we pump out into the air that also have an impact, not mentioning the forests we cut down more and more and many other things we do that change the climate.

    So sry even if they would really save that much CO2 per year, hell even per day, whales would not get our planet in a "way better shape". Saying that is just ridiculous nonsene, their impact is utterly dwarved by what we humans do. This entire video seems to be very shallow and lacks any research. When you want to speculate, get the basic facts right that you're building your entire hypothetical scenario on.

  4. Humans are more destructive because of eating habits, No other animal is as greedy nd hungry for flesh than human ,if people started vegetarism ,other animals can live peacefully .

  5. Did you just steal 90% of the script from Sustainable Human that was published 4 years ago?

    By the way the comment section is getting racist as heck

  6. Whales did not evolve for tens of millions of years from terrestrial mammals to sea dwellers only to be hunted down by some species who only showed up 2.8 million years ago.

  7. The only animal hunting required for a healthy earth is "HUNTING DOWN THE HUMAN SAPINES"
    You agree or not but its damm true

  8. We destroy our planet for our own need we didn't think what could happen if every animal or creature in this planet will disappeared that's right the school should focus on how to protect our nature and animal.

  9. It's only India where nature was and still is the first priority. West has ruined everything for the sake of money and because of that everyone is suffering. Everything would have been so nice even now if everyone in the world followed our ancient ways of living. We were made to eat vegetables fruits, not meat or animals products. Nature had everything but the rise of christians and muslims gave us strong headed plus delusional people as they had no love for the nature or other beings they wanted to destroy everything for their own comfort because they were the biggest fools and now crying over the nature. Kill yourself its all your fault!
    Only thing that can save this world is hindutva that shows how to live without harming the nature and the ecosystem. This isnt any political comment but the truth. If you still dont agree, then its going to be worse than this. What the west discovers was already known a long time back here but we only used those things that wont hurt nature.

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