- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteraturePublishers of the "Opposing Viewpoints" series, of which this book is a part, have a classic and overlooked purpose: to encourage, or hone, students' critical thinking about environmental issues. In our "media intensive world," the book asserts, the problem for young people is not information but discernment. Which issues are really critical? Experts abound on the problems facing the seas; how do we decide which expert is the more credible? From the dedication to the first amendment, to the statement on the back cover ("Those who do not know their opponent's arguments do not completely understand their own."), the book lives up to its goal very well indeed. Consider the complexity of the issues in the four main chapters: how endangered are the world's oceans and coastlines? What ocean management and conservation practices should be pursued? What strategies would best sustain sustainable fishing? What impact do human activities have on marine mammals? Within each chapter are six articles (edited to make them more comprehensible to young adult readers) on three specific subjects. For instance, in the marine mammals chapter, three topics are the ban on commercial whaling, antisubmarine Sonar and its affect on marine mammals, and whether or not keeping them captive in theme parks is cruel. The articles on whaling are entitled, "The Ban on Commercial Whaling Protects Endangered Whales, " by Greenpeace, contrasted by "The Ban on Commercial Whaling is Unnecessary and Unfair," by William Aaron and William Burke, professors of law and marine affairs at the University of Washington, and by Milton Freeman, professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta. At the beginning of each article is aparagraph summarizing the authors' arguments, plus at least three questions for the reader to keep in mind. Each chapter has a preface and periodical bibliography; the book itself has an extensive general index and bibliography, information for further discussion as well as a list of organizations to contact. This is an important book and an important series, with expert authors such as Carl Safina and Richard Barber. I cannot recommend this more enthusiastically for academically gifted middle school science classes, high school general or marine science classes, or debate teams for high schools or colleges. 2004, Greenhaven Press, Ages 14 up.