International whaling officials begin meeting today in Granada to debate easing a ban on commercial whaling, with the recent whale kill by the Makah Indian tribe in Washington state likely to stir things up. A ban instituted in 1986 has helped whale populations recover, but most species still remain endangered. Japan, Norway, and a few Caribbean countries plan to argue for lifting the ban, while Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, and the U.S. want the ban to remain in place. The pro-whaling countries are not expected to get the two-thirds majority needed to remove the ban. The U.S. delegation yesterday said that climate change is the greatest future threat to whales, noting that it could affect whales’ food supplies and melt polar ice caps, allowing more ships to move through whales’ habitat.