I have to imagine that all of that dwarfs carnival by a wide, wide margin.
But with flags of convenience, this is actually a semi-tough battle to fight, as they'll just reregister the ships somewhere else.
The low sulphur regulations coming into force in 2020 should help quite a bit in that these ships will have to burn cleaner fuel at the very least.
I actually think companies like Maersk are producing far less pollution than cruise ships because cruise ships are running engines mostly to produce electricity. Only a small portion of what they burn is for propulsion. Imagine the electricity it takes to run an entire city, it would be in the megawatts. For example, Carnival's mega-ships have the capacity for around 6,400 people. The ship is producing electricity for all those people, pools, waterslides, electric go-cart tracks, dance clubs, ~30 restaurants, hospital clinics, and the list goes on. Anything a city would have, the cruise ship has too.
The other big problem with cruise ships is that they produce just as much pollution while standing in port as they do on the ocean (because again they need to run engines to generate a city's worth of power). Some places like Alaska have recently passed laws that require cruise ships to modify their ships to plug into the city's power grid and not to run engines in port. This law is going into effect in 2020 I believe (only for Alaska). But most cruise ships have already complied and are capable of this. I have heard rumors that Italy is considering passing a similar law. The other benefit of this, aside from the environmental effects of it, is that money is now generated for the local city in the form of utility billing to the cruise ships. This stimulates local economies, which traditionally have been hurt by cruise ships more than benefiting from them.
Shipping companies really only run engines for propulsion. They have small crews and accommodations that aren't much different from a large fishing vessel. They can likely generate most their power from their propulsion engines, without the need to run auxiliary generators 24/7.
I am not saying that shipping companies are "clean", but I think they are dwarfed by the pollution created from cruise ships. So it makes sense to target the heavy hitters first.
Plus for an environmental group, it is easier to target a bad guy being an optional service like a cruise. Something people can easily choose not to partake in. It is a lot harder to boycott Maersk. Since almost everything sitting on your desk right now likely sat on a Maersk ship at one point in its existence.
I'm a bit skeptical of this. Looking at the numbers for the Symphony of the Seas ship (current largest), the peak power requirements from all propulsion (3 x 20,000KW + 4 x 5,500KW = 82MW) is comparable to the peak power output of the ship (4 x 14,400KW + 2 x 19,200KW = 96MW.)
Of course I doubt the ship rarely, if ever, goes pedal to the metal with all thrusters at once, and I cannot say what it's typical energy generation looks like. So I don't have enough information to say you're wrong, but the numbers I do have make me skeptical.
I'm sure cruise passengers are more wasteful than the average person at home or in an office, but the tremendous amount of power needed to drive a huge lump through the ocean at any reasonable pace dwarfs the pumps in the infinity pool and the blaring music and all the rest. And that's going to have to come from somewhere.
The others were the German Otto Hahn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Hahn_(ship)), Japanese Mutsu (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutsu_(nuclear_ship), and the Russian Sevmorput (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevmorput). There is also a fleet of six Soviet/Russian icebreakers, still in service, the lone regime in which nonmilitary nuclear marine propulsion has proved viable.
Why is this? Does Carnival have many more ships, or less efficient ships, or run their ships more often?
- cruise ships are marketed as luxury, and also have much higher profit margins than the shipping industry, so the argument that they can afford to switch to cleaner technologies is easier to make.
- cruise ships also typically dock much closer to cities than other ships. You probably won't see a large oil tanker sailing up a Norwegian fjord or through Venice's Giudecca Canal.
Does everything have to be a conspiracy? Do you really think the small team at EcoHustler, who I had not heard of until this article, has a "political" agenda against Carnival? Is their analysis irrelevant because it didn't do a comparison against every other shipping company? Are we not allowed to point out that "this company is bad" without also stating, "but so are all these other companies?"
>Wonder what happened if they ran the stats on Maersk who has the largest fleet of 700 ships in the world.
Do you genuinely wonder that? I'll tell you, with zero research: Maersk is also really bad. What does that add to the discussion?
My issue is that I'd like to see the comparison to Maersk, not sure how 700+ ships compares to Carnival Corps !00+ cruise ships https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival_Corporation_%26_plc. Article just points out how bad Carnival Corp is without painting a broader picture. You can certainly point out that a company is bad but how bad is it?
Does anyone have the numbers for other parts of the world?
It would exclude Navy, Coastguard, fishing, pleasure vessels and I would assume cruise ships.
Sea transportion between ports is limited in the USA due to a law preventing non-US ships transporting between US ports.
What's disingenuous is acting as if that statement matters at all when talking about large pollution sources. You're saying the ends justifies the means. I don't think most people would agree. Maybe we should let out all of the bank robbers who were robbing to get money in order to eat and survive, vs those who did it to buy nice cars and enrich themselves or something.
The ends do justify the means. You don't think shipping food is more important than shipping cheap plastic toys from China? What an odd view.
>Maybe we should let out all of the bank robbers who were robbing to get money in order to eat and survive
I guess it might be news to you, but personal circumstances definitely are taken into account during sentencing in any nation state worth its salt.
Of course it does. People have choice when it comes to picking leisure activities.
Do you have choice when it comes to how stuff you buy is transported to you?
What you seem to be advocating for is an almost complete cessation in consuming stuff, which is impossible to do without a big hit to one's standard of living.
Compared to all this, choosing a leisure activity that is fun, relaxing, and doesn't devastate the environment should be pretty fucking easy.
To use steel as an example, America still produces a HUGE amount of steel. But most is now specialty alloys (which requires more precision, control and ingredient purity) rather than bulk mild steel.
You can definitely choose how stuff is transported to you. One example is to purchase more locally sourced / produced goods.
That's not fair. There's a lot more people on cruises than just baby boomers.
Whether they're enjoyed by baby boomers or baby zoomers, the environmental impact of leisure cruises should plainly be compared to comparable leisure activities. If we compare flying to a tropical beach instead of taking a cruise ship to that same beach, how do the emissions stack up? My impression is that commercial airliners are substantially more efficient on a per passenger basis.
"Domestic, short distance, less than 463 km (250 nmi): 257 g/km CO2 or 259 g/km (14.7 oz/mile) CO2e, Domestic, long distance, greater than 463 km (250 nmi): 177 g/km CO2 or 178 g/km (10.1 oz/mile) CO2e, Long distance flights: 113 g/km CO2 or 114 g/km (6.5 oz/mile) CO2e"
"Climate Care, carbon offsetting company
"“According to our calculations, a cruiseliner such as Queen Mary 2 emits 0.43kg of CO2 per passenger mile, compared with 0.257kg for a long-haul flight (even allowing for the further damage of emissions being produced in the upper atmosphere).”"
"The Queen Mary 2, for example, gets about 20.5 miles per gallon per passenger when traveling at its full speed (though at lower speeds it is considerably more efficient, getting around 45 passenger miles per gallon per passenger). An Airbus A380, in comparison, gets 74 miles per gallon per passenger; the Boeing 737 Max8 gets 110 miles per gallon per passenger."
"All that adds up to 0.40 kilograms of carbon being emitted per passenger per kilometer on your typical cruise ship, according to a 2008 study.
"The latest numbers from the EPA have it that air travel costs you (carboniferously speaking) between 0.17 and 0.25 kg of carbon per passenger mile. By my calculations, that is between 0.11 and 0.16 kg per passenger-kilometer, if we want to align this factoid with the cruise-ship stat above."
The bottom line? The people who report these numbers seem to have a problem between miles and kilometers. I'm guessing about a factor of 2 in favor of flying.
The big freighters run on something pretty close to crude oil, it's basically unrefined. Are they really passing regulations requiring them to run on refined processed fuel? That will increase the cost of shipping dramatically. Not sure if the engines can even run on normal diesel.
Well, it appears they are. What will happen then to the high density waste oil from the refining process that is currently used for freighters? Without them burning it or existing as a market, the oil will still exist as a byproduct of refining. Will it just be dumped somewhere?
> researchers expect that on-board ship scrubbers, devices that clear harmful pollutants from exhaust gas, will be the primary compliance path for ships, which could continue to burn higher-sulfur fuels
This is probably the only option. Or switching to reactors.
It's okay to dump 100's of times the amount of pollution into the environment compared to domestic manufacturing as long as it 1) happens in Asia, Afria, or South America, and 2) improves corporate margins.
But nothing regulates what they do in international waters.
"A ship that has burned X dirty fuel shall be charged $Y Euros per liter burned. If a ship is found to have created fraudulent logs, it shall be charged $Y*10, or seized. There is a reward for reporting such fraud leading to seizure equal to 10% of the forfeiture."
Or something like that. As long as the penalty is financially meaningful compared to the income of the ship's engineer, you would quickly start to have trouble getting away with using such fuel.
The problem would be that if one country enacted a ban, all the ships registered there would just switch to some other country without the ban (or that usually skipped that inspection), and the original country would lose out on a bunch of much-needed cash.
It might be more effective to tax the dirty fuel at the source, so that it becomes uneconomical to the ship operators to use the dirty fuel in the first place.
What you need to do is put the foot down and prevent flags of convenience (or more specifically, those that fail to meet environmental standards) from docking at your ports at all. Which I'm not sure is permissible under maritime laws.
(or maybe there is some dodge like preventing the ship from "carrying hazmat" which you define as bunker fuel, or ban ships from having soot in their stacks that has sulfur deposits, or so on...)
Its a hard battle to "force" any of these cruise lines or shipping for that matter, to change. It would have to be a EU law, etc etc, but thats 5+ (probably 10+) years to get passed.
Your ship may be registered to a tiny little island that won't enforce any regulation, but there's a limited number of markets to underwrite the insurance you need, and you'll want to dock at major sea ports.
Cruiseships have been ignored for a long time because tourism=money.
As originally conceived the Paris MOU was about labour standards. European ports didn't like the fact that "Flags of Convenience" (legally, "Open Register" countries, where you can register a ship without any relationship to that country) were allowing ships in their register to have crew that weren't meeting European labour standards. Long working hours, poor pay, no healthcare and so on.
But by coincidence, as the meeting to sign the MOU was starting a terrible accident happened. Suddenly the headlines were about this nasty shipping accident, and you've got a bunch of people in Paris negotiating a new international agreement, so... today the Paris MOU is very interested in safety, with worker rights being a subsidiary consideration (after all if you're at the end of your fourth 16 hour shift this week you're probably not terribly safe if you're even still awake) but it also created this idea of Port State Control now seen in similar institutions around the world.
The US already de facto exercises Port State Control, and has laws which effectively bar foreign ships from doing a lot of stuff in US territory anyway - it could make a pollution regulation today if it cared, which obviously at least the Trump administration does not. But PSC wasn't really a thing anywhere else before the Paris MOU.
20,000 TEU's (or apx 10,000 "large" containers as hauled by a truck or train car). At apx 15 tons per container, that's 150,000 tons of cargo. So cargo ships use apx 30kg of fuel per ton of cargo (or $16.50 per ton of cargo).
So how much fuel used is to move 1kg of cargo across the Pacific ocean (12,000 km) by ship? It works out to be about 30cc (1 fluid ounces or 2 tablespoons) or $0.0165 (or €0.015) of fuel to transport 1 kg of cargo across the pacific. An iphone (box and all) weighs just 200g, so it would cost 1/3rd of a penny of fuel to move across the pacific by ship (about a teaspoon).
That seems pretty damn efficient to me. I suspect that many people don't realize just how freaking massive modern cargo ships are. To put it into perspective, they are often bigger than the largest modern aircraft carriers and multiple times larger than WW2 era aircraft carriers/battleships.
Well, yeah it has to. The amount of freight vessels dwarfs cruise lines by multiple orders of magnitude. However, freight performs a useful, nay, critical service.
Each cruise ship takes thousands of people all year round, who otherwise would go on holiday somewhere else (probably somewhere far away given the cost of a cruise). You need to do a total comparison of the pollution emitted by the cruise-style holidays vs going on long-haul holidays elsewhere and sum that up to see whether Carnival are really causing 10x more environmental problems than European cars.
I suspect they are but would rather see more valid comparisons that are harder to refute as the headline.
and yet, they are normalized per year. the number are outrageous even normalized per city https://altreconomia.it/app/uploads/2019/06/Schermata-2019-0...
and the situation only gets worse because when out in international water they use a worse fuel for their engines.
Also, it's 10x the SOx, not 10x the CO2. Here's the source publication, which also analyzes NOx and PM, with a bit of CO2 data mixed in:
(As you might guess, the source article is not unbiased...)
So, in short, try not to be swayed too much by what one researcher says, as filtered through the attention grabbing filter of a lay newspaper.
The article you posted talked about SO2 in the stratosphere - where cloud formation occurs. Cruise ships typically operate at sea level.
But, sulphur oxide is not the name of any chemical in particular, and obviously the gases have different properties. Sulfur monoxide, for example, is not stable and decomposes into various other gases
"Polluting", meaning adding non-existing gas to the air, to combat pollution seems completely off to me. In so many cases, people talk about how a simple action can solve problems and yet so many times, people underestimate the complexity of the situation.
Tax laws have to be a great example of this, where changes leave loopholes and people are smart enough to get around them. I'm sure people won't like that comparison, but it almost seems like the atmosphere is more complex than tax laws, and simple solutions wouldn't work there either.
I don't know where these stories come from, or how much the media is taking studies and framing them in their own way, but I can't see how spraying sulfur dioxide to artificially cool the planet is in any way a good idea.
Long story short: down low, its bad. up high, it can reflect energy. Also: politics are complicated.
Installing scrubbers and cleaner fuel or moving into LNG are options. They add only little to the price of the ship.
Wait, how do ships eliminate their CO2 emissions?
> "A ship, burning 1 litre of bunker oil produces about as much CO2 as a car burning 1 litre of gasoline"
If burning bunker oil produces CO2, as I would expect it does, then obviously all of the CO2 is not coming from cars.
I understand making 'broadly true but strictly speaking flat wrong' generalized statements, but to do that in the same breath as criticizing somebody for making "garbage claims" seems... I don't know, worthy of note I guess.
The opportunity is to design a jet to spray salt water off the back of cargo ships to optimize marine cloud formation/brightening around the world. This is one of the most palatable geoengineering solutions out there.
In terms of SO2 and NO2 pollutants, cars burn very clean fuel, very efficiently, with a catalytic converter to scrub their exhaust. Ships run on shitty bunker oil, which is just one step above combustible sludge on the purity scale... And aren't equipped with catalytic converters.
The thing is, even if you legislate that ships can't run on bunker oil in your territorial waters, they'll just run on it while at sea, and switch to a legislated fuel when they dock.
That way, you both (1) reduce the environmental impact, and (2) encourage development of newer, cleaner technologies.
You could add higher port fees, but how is that encouraging better technology? If anything it will just encourage ships/cruise lines to dock nearby and ship goods/people over land/air.
Taxes are fine if a business cannot float between countries. In this case the business can literally float between countries, and they'll avoid the taxes.
No, you just need to drop the idea of free trade. Big economies (in particular, the US and EU) are big enough to enforce their standards globally. Serving EU customers? Comply with GDPR. Want to do business in USD? Comply with US banking regulations. Same could be done for shipping (and, I wish, tax avoidance & other environmental standards).
Coincidentally the same company...
In the real world, you'll probably have a lot of cover up of this sort of thing, as the companies would find it cheaper just to not report they dumped pollution into the environment than to report it and have to pay for it. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/04/business/carnival-cruise-...
The problem we're facing is that there's no clear consensus on what that cost is.
Say that it gets 5x or 10x more expensive, there would still be flights, just far less common. And maybe then something like biokerosene becomes cost effective, driving down costs more.
Nobody wants a world where we're paying $50 to ship a package, $1000 for a short flight, or their grocery bill to double since transportation is most of the cost.
People would scream, but the point is that WE'RE ALREADY PAYING $1-$3 a gallon for our CO2. It's just that it's not the driver that's paying, it's people in areas vulnerable to climate change and future generations.
I mean losing Florida outright would cost $1 trillion annually so you got me there. As long as we keep half of Florida we're probably good though.
Let that sink in. $3/gallon is about the same as losing the entirety of Ohio. There's a reason we fight wars over this stuff. I desperately want to be better to our environment but these kinds of 'simple solutions' can't possibly work in isolation. Reducing consumption sounds nice until you remember all the people whose lives depend on that consumption to live.
That $500 billion would be spent on something (consumer rebate, carbon sequestration, debt repayment, something). And government spending has second order effects too, estimated at about 1.75x for direct consumer rebates, less for anything else. So it's possible that the carbon tax would have a net positive on the economy.
Even if it isn't a net positive by itself, the net effect will be a LOT less than $500B.
So yes. Please shift the misery.
First, most carbon taxes I have seen proposed are revenue neutral, and give the money back to those with lower incomes or provide lower carbon options to people like transit.
Though vehicle access and use has climbed in recent years in places like Southern California, it's not as though a carbon tax is an unavoidable expense, people always have other options.
A doubling of the cost of living is just so far outside of the plausible realm as to be ridiculous. A $3/gallon gas tax is way higher than any carbon tax I've seen proposed, but even if the economy didn't adapt to it and optimize a ton, that's not enough for a doubling of the cost of living.
The key is that we must change behavior, and change our carbon use. It's not enough to say "if we do this bad it will hurt this small group of people," we must say that and show how to mitigate that harm or show that it's greater harm than our current course of action. The status quo is not justified as a default option.
> We just need to take the externalities [...] and tax [...] accordingly.
Not everything can be made to "play-nice" with free-markets.
Obviously you could make the same argument about the environment ("you're killing nature without its consent") but as long as we (the human civilisation) cannot live in a zero-impact manner, it shouldn't be nobody else's choice on how I polute the environment (i.e. as long as you drive a car, I can fly in a private jet, provided that environmental costs are accounted for proportionally)
I'm not saying we shouldn't consider and focus on better efficiency and other technology in the aviation sector, but there are lower hanging fruits. It would be much more viable in the short term to fractionally decrease, say, a fraction of industrial emissions equivalent to all of aviation emissions. Or improve carbon sequestration technology.
The main stat on this article is dumb because cars don't really emit sulphur oxide, so obviously something that emits some will be a huge multiplier.
EDIT: This is almost certainly wrong, as other comments have pointed out to me. Not deleting it for posterity's sake.
Cruise ships are almost certainly
cleaner than commercial air travel
as a whole.
> However, in the cases of high-altitude airliners which frequently fly near or in the stratosphere, non-CO2 altitude-sensitive effects may increase the total impact on anthropogenic (human-made) climate change significantly.
In terms of CO2: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/739287/Flying-three-times...
Cruise ships, as it happens, are horrible on both measures.
In short, that spending a few hours on a thin metal aerodynamic cigar is more energy effective than a week spent on a bulky floating city doesn’t surprise me.
Boeing 747-400: 91 passenger-miles per gallon
Of course passenger aircraft are tightly packed and cruise ships have large cabins, swimming pools, etc.
Both numbers from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_efficiency_in_transport
This is a seriously and intentionally misleading headline. Not to diminish the problem, which absolutely should be addressed, but the headline is journalistic malpractice.
If the measurement is CO2, or other pollutants, it's almost certainly less bad comparatively (though in no way clean).