The images from the summer of 2010 were undoubtedly gruesome: the carcass of a young sperm whale, decayed and partially eaten by sharks, sighted at sea south of the Deepwater Horizon oil well.
It was the first confirmed sighting of a dead whale since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April that year – a time of huge public interest in the fate of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other threatened animals – and yet US government officials supressed the first reports of the discovery and blocked all images until now.
The photographs, along with a cache of emails obtained by the campaign group Greenpeace under freedom of information provisions and made available to the Guardian, offer a rare glimpse into how many whales came into close contact with the gushing BP well during the oil spill.
They also show Obama administration officials tightly controlling information about whales and other wildlife caught up in the disaster.
Humans are living on a planet with finite resources. We must conserve and manage the natural world wisely if we want to survive. A multitude of human activities are destroying the environment as you read. What needs to be done is obvious. Greed, ignorance, and waste are threatening our very existence. Pollution, coupled with over fishing and soil erosion are just a few things that threaten life on this planet.