ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Peter Heller: The Whale Warriors

December 18th, 2007 by Dave · 1 Comment

I just listened to an interview with Peter Heller, author of a new book called The Whale Warriors. In it, he details his adventures with Paul Watson, a “pirate” who has dedicated his life to stopping illegal whaling.

I haven’t yet read the book (waiting for a used paperback) but the story is great: Watson co-founded Greenpeace but left because he found them too passive. He has an all-black ship fitted with a giant blade (the can opener) and hunts whaling vessels.

In the interview, Heller also focuses some of his attention on Japan. They lead the world in illegal whaling, and the don’t even use most of the meat. Most of it is sitting in freezers, too high in mercury to be consumed. Incredibly, some of this mercury-laden whale meat is being used in school lunch programs. And, apparently, this story is completely absent in the Japanese press.

The interview is great because it covers an interesting story, talks about an issue, and suggests individual action. Especially for teachers working in Japan, this could be a great topic for class projects.

update: Japan halts humpback whale hunt, but they’re still expected to kill 935 minke whales and 50 endangered fin whales for “scientific research.”

Tags: blog · books · ESL activity · global issues activities · listening · reading · the environment

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Peter Heller // Dec 20, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Nice feedback. The book is a really fun read, too, which will be great for students. Full of colorful characters and nailbiting action. A lot of people who start it stay up all night. Hope you enjoy it.

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