Oh, the irony.

The ongoing battle between Long Beach Island and the effort to establish a wind energy farm off the coast is gripping because the stakes are so high and the dramatic arc so human. What if the actions we take to save the environment destroy it instead? Oh, the irony!

I had to make an emergency trip to the Causeway Bridge yesterday to search for a potentially drowning Peregrine. Unfortunately, my visit was ill-timed for speed as I ran straight into a massive rally against the proposed wind farm. A vast crowd was marching over the bridge, waving signs, flags, and placards, mostly in defense of the sea. Images of whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals were everywhere. It was an uplifting sight on my woeful wildlife errand.

But then I saw this:

Oh, the irony.

Dolphin and whale-shaped balloons in support of marine mammals? Oh, the irony!

It was a depressing thought that someone could be engaged enough in the science of ocean conservation and marine mammal protection to take a confident stand against energy policy but still somehow miss the simple, elementary truth that balloons blow.

As this rally demonstrated, the science of green energy projects and their net effect on our future are still hotly debated amongst governments, scientists, and the public. But I don’t know of any expert, scientist, or even average Joe out there arguing that balloons are good, or even neutral, for the ocean and the things that live there. On the contrary, they are not only proven to be harmful and deadly but also completely unnecessary and easy to eliminate.

This image will haunt me for a long time, but that’s probably good because it reminds me of two critical things.

First, when I want to impact the world’s future, the best place to start is with myself, my understanding, my choices, and my behavior. Imagine saving all the dolphins from a wind farm, only to choke or starve them with balloons? Even in our grandest efforts, we must still pay attention to the smallest details to achieve our goals, especially if those goals include improving the world. We might not be able to stop a massive project like a wind farm, but we can surely eliminate balloons from our lives.

And second, there is still a long way to go in getting the message out about how harmful balloons are to the marine environment. Thanks to good local folks like Ben Wurst & Teresa Hagen, who have been such strong, passionate educators, I checked this worry off my list long ago.

But it looks like all of that excellent education and outreach paradoxically led me to a more deeply entrenched blindness, complacency, and false comfort that everyone knew this already. Oh, the irony!

Choose flowers instead.


  1. We enjoy reading your blog! Your distinctive perspective and real voice are game-changers in the world. Keep sharing, because your ideas make a difference. Thank you for being who you are!

    Thanks – TheDogGod

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Irony indeed…
    I am trying to research and educate myself of the wind farm thing. The Sierra Club supports it and they say Audubon does as well. I can’t help but be skeptical…
    Baloons on the other hand, should be banned outright. I would join a rally and march across a bridge to outlaw balloons. Better yet a rally to pick up balloons from a beach, any beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have been following a group on 7 Mile Island whom I’d guess know about balloons, but are mostly concerned about ocean turbines blocking their view.


  4. We adore reading your blog! Your distinctive perspective and real voice are game-changers in the world. Keep creating, because your thoughts matter. Thank you for being who you are!

    Thanks – TheDogGod


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