October 30, 2010
Report from Taiji: October 30
Chaba was a huge disappointment.
Typhoon Chaba quickly eroded to a tropical storm and changed course away from the Wakayama coast. The seas were indeed rough, but the dolphin and whale killing boats survived unscathed. Nevertheless, the dolphin boats stayed in the harbor and it was a good day in Taiji.
Could Taiji be the next Chang Mai?
Chang Mai is a district and a city in the northwest corner of Thailand bordering Laos and Burma. This area is known as the golden triangle made infamous by the opium (heroin) cultivation and distribution during the 1960's and 70's. There was very little poppy cultivation in Thailand until the late 1940's then poppy cultivation increased in the 50's and 60's. By the early 1970's, it was one of the largest opium (heroin) cultivation and distribution centers in the world. In the 1970's, the U.S. government, the Thai government, and the U.N. launched a campaign in the area to try and curtail the drug trade. Money was sent in to help the local farmers to switch to another cash crop or find another way to make a living. The farmers insisted the hilly soil would not support agriculture and the poppies were the only way they could make a living. Finally the obstinate farmers were overridden. The latest reports from the US state department show that Thailand is virtually opium free. Today Chang Mai, with the days of the drug trade long behind it, is one of the favorite destinations for travelers in Thailand; known for its fantastic street food shops, shopping at the famous night bazaar, hundreds of ancient temples, and its majestic countryside. Today the citizens of Chang Mai experience an economic stability that's never existed before. Taiji’s natural beauty and tourist potential rival or even exceed that of Chang Mai.
Welcome new Cove Guardians.
Rosie and Dinielle from Cape Town, South Africa and Neil aka Big Gunns from Florida (United States) joined us today. Welcome!
Elora and I will be staying in Taiji until December 9. Our visas expire on December 10. A Sea Shepherd representative will replace me and so we will have a continued presence through the end of the season. Donations are still needed to fund this campaign. We encourage Cove Guardians to stand with Sea Shepherd. Being a Cove Guardian is direct action you can do and in doing, you will make a difference and change your life.
You can help. Spread the word, send donations to the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian campaign, join in the Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day on November 5, avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji, make good consumer choices regarding whether or not to purchase Japanese products, and ensure that you do everything you can to keep the pressure on the Japanese authorities. It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the evil and shameful deeds of a handful of men and women in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will get back to you, but please be patient. I cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time.
For the Oceans,
Click here to learn more about the 5 November 2010 Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day.
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