Monday, May 20, 2013

Big Miracle: Whaling Controversy, Environment

This is a nice movie, based on a true story, which revolves around the whaling issue. I recommend it. This scene is great to talk about that specific topic and environmental discussions.

 I. Read this information about whaling.

Whaling is the hunting of whales primarily for meat and oil. As technology increased and demand for the resources remained, catches far exceeded the sustainable limit for whale stocks.While the moratorium has been successful in averting the extinction of whale species due to over hunting, contemporary whaling is subject to intense debate. Pro-whaling countries, notably Japan, wish to lift the ban on stocks that they claim have recovered sufficiently to sustain limited hunting. Anti-whaling countries and environmental groups say whale species remain vulnerable and that whaling is immoral, unsustainable, and should remain banned permanently. The whaling controversy is the international environmental and ethical debate over whale hunting. The debate has focused on issues of sustainability and conservation as well as ownership and national sovereignty. Also raised in debates is the question of cetacean intelligence and the level of suffering which the animals undergo when caught and killed.

II. Talk to a partner:

1. What's your opinion about whale hunting? Should it be allowed or prohibited? Why?

2. Would you change your mind if you knew that entire communities would starve to death if whale hunting were prohibited?

3. Would you change your mind if you knew that the amount of suffering is enormous?

4. Would you change your mind if the species of the whale was endangered? What if it was not?

5. What is your solution for this controversy?

III. Watch the movie segment and answer these questions:

1. What is being discussed during the meeting?

2. What is the environmentalist's point of view?

3. What is the local community's point of view?

4. What was the final decision?

5. Do you agree with the decision? What might the consequences of the decision be?

6. Who is right and who is wrong? Explain it.


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