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kangforpres

Environmental impact of cruising and tourism

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Thanks everyone for you great replies! Hurrah for thoughtful, civil discourse on social media. Maybe CC can be a model for the rest of social media🙄

 

I too have no children, (Double Income Lifestyle choice has given us wonderful travel options) we leave a very small carbon footprint at home, live in just a 900 square foot condo with my cruising and life partner.  We live in the same city we work in, she even walks to work some days. I just wish cruise ships where more fuel efficient, or ecologically friendly. I know HAL use to get good marks for environment stewardship but now under the Carnival Corporate Umbrella it seems like profit margin runs rough-shot over any other metric.

 

As for carbon offsets I've been skeptical of them, but I guess if you buy them from a reputable source and you can actually track how the money is offsetting carbon emission it is worthy.

 

 

-Paul

 

 

Edited by kangforpres

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On 6/12/2019 at 3:40 PM, Hlitner said:

We assume the OP will be taking trains to Hawaii, Asia and Europe along with "AOC."  🙂  But in all seriousness, the cruise industry would have us all believe that they do a great job at minimizing the negative environmental impact of the cruise industry.  On the other hand, the recent Florida court case with Carnival Corp (who was fined $20 million for dumping) shows us that some folks in the cruise industry are, at best, two faced.  

 

Since the OP obviously has a real personal concern about the environment they could help by no longer flying, cruising or driving.

 

Hank

  Hank - Why would I or anyone else have to "stop cruising, flying or driving" just because we care about the environment and what kind of Earth we are leaving for future generations. Are you going to stop "cruising, flying or driving too? Or can you just lecture snarky on how others should live. I will bet you dollars to donuts pal my carbon footprint is a lot smaller than yours.

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It's cap--and-trade that's the real scam. Carbon offsets, if verifiable and verified, are a real thing. The debate is: would those beneficial actions have taken place in any case, so the offsets doesn't represent additional benefits. But we do what we can, and I try not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

 

Thanks for raising such an important topic on this board. I think it's one that we cruisers need to take seriously.

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On 6/12/2019 at 4:34 PM, RocketMan275 said:

I couldn't care less about my carbon footprint.

 

I too am just not thinking about it when I'm on vacation or planning one, but I guess it's okay if others do. There was a big todo some years back about all the exhaust the ships put out while in dock by people who obviously have never lived near an airport.  Years ago when I lived in Atlanta I remember you couldn't even see the airport from downtown because of all the jet haze/exhaust.  But the media looks the other way out here in Boeing country.

Edited by atexsix

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19 hours ago, IslandThyme said:

Kangforpres - I too find the article very sobering, all the more so because my professional background is in air pollution control and climate change.

 

I have a New Zealand cruise coming up, and on the Air New Zealand website, right before you commit to payment, your carbon footprint is calculated and you are given the option to purchase carbon offsets. In my case, Seattle to Sydney via Auckland equals 3.2 tons of CO2, and the cost of offsets was $55, which I gladly paid. I wish the cruise lines would put up such a voluntary option at booking, because I'd pay that too.

Good for you. I would not pay, I think this carbon offsets is a "feel good " thing which doesn't do anything. You're still producing carbon!

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2 hours ago, ski ww said:

Good for you. I would not pay, I think this carbon offsets is a "feel good " thing which doesn't do anything. You're still producing carbon!

Carbon offsets have more to do with virtue signalling.

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

Carbon offsets have more to do with virtue signalling.

 

Is this a thing now?  Is it going to go down in the annals of CC along with “mass market cruise line”?  (I swear to God I want to poke my eyes out every time I read that.). To be honest, when I see someone putting down others without knowing anything about them I think there must be a compensation issue going on.

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Not only a compensation issue, but in this case a "lack of understanding science" issue. Not to mention that calling others' efforts, in any domain, "virtue signalling" is a way to say "I'm not willing to do anything myself, so I'll jut demean those who are."

 

But it's a very interesting discussion, since we're such a widely diverse group, but united by one common bond, a love of travelling on the water. 

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6 minutes ago, IslandThyme said:

Not only a compensation issue, but in this case a "lack of understanding science" issue. Not to mention that calling others' efforts, in any domain, "virtue signalling" is a way to say "I'm not willing to do anything myself, so I'll jut demean those who are."

 

But it's a very interesting discussion, since we're such a widely diverse group, but united by one common bond, a love of travelling on the water. 

l have been following the 'science' since the early 70s.  I find it less than convincing.  I would be more inclined to take the 'science' seriously if those pushing the 'science' took it seriously.  Show me a plan that actually prevents global warming.  How do you propose reducing carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels without reducing the standard of living to pre-industrial levels?   Changing light bulbs and buying offsets are like spitting in the ocean. Solar and wind won't do it either.   How do we convince the undeveloped countries to be satisfied with their standards of living unless we're willing to reduce ours to their levels?  Are we willing to institute a global government with sufficient power to implement the plan? 

 

FWIW, I did read one plan that purported to keep global warming in check.  It was published in, IIRC, the Guardian.  The plan required everyone to move into high rise, energy efficient, apartments.  Single family homes were outlawed as too energy in-efficient.  Only those working on farms would be allowed to remain in the country side.  Meat would be a rarity.    No privately owned transportation (other than bicycles.)  Flights into and out of England would be limited to less than 20 per day.  A vacation by air would be a once in a life time event.  No cruise ships either. 

 

I am not demeaning anyone.  If anything, I'm demeaning the concept that saving the world from global warming would be as easy as 'buying offsets'.  That only enriches those selling those things.

 

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Unfortunately I believe you are right, to stop or revert climate change would take drastic action that very few would be willing to take.  One thing working in our favor is that we are actually entering a cyclical climate cooling period if not for mans activities.  This was actually presented on a lecture on our Zaandam Antarctica cruise.

 

One thing cruising has done for me is provide visual evidence that the world is warming.  Trips to the Arctic, Alaska, Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef have convinced me. 

Edited by KirkNC

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6 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

l have been following the 'science' since the early 70s.  I find it less than convincing.  I would be more inclined to take the 'science' seriously if those pushing the 'science' took it seriously.  Show me a plan that actually prevents global warming.  How do you propose reducing carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels without reducing the standard of living to pre-industrial levels?   Changing light bulbs and buying offsets are like spitting in the ocean. Solar and wind won't do it either.   How do we convince the undeveloped countries to be satisfied with their standards of living unless we're willing to reduce ours to their levels?  Are we willing to institute a global government with sufficient power to implement the plan? 

 

FWIW, I did read one plan that purported to keep global warming in check.  It was published in, IIRC, the Guardian.  The plan required everyone to move into high rise, energy efficient, apartments.  Single family homes were outlawed as too energy in-efficient.  Only those working on farms would be allowed to remain in the country side.  Meat would be a rarity.    No privately owned transportation (other than bicycles.)  Flights into and out of England would be limited to less than 20 per day.  A vacation by air would be a once in a life time event.  No cruise ships either. 

 

I am not demeaning anyone.  If anything, I'm demeaning the concept that saving the world from global warming would be as easy as 'buying offsets'.  That only enriches those selling those things.

 

I am sitting on my hands. 

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6 hours ago, KirkNC said:

Unfortunately I believe you are right, to stop or revert climate change would take drastic action that very few would be willing to take.  One thing working in our favor is that we are actually entering a cyclical climate cooling period if not for mans activities.  This was actually presented on a lecture on our Zaandam Antarctica cruise.

 

One thing cruising has done for me is provide visual evidence that the world is warming.  Trips to the Arctic, Alaska, Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef have convinced me. 

Perhaps this is then end of cyclic warming period and the beginning of a cooling period.   But, the real question is can we do anything about it?  If it's a natural cycle, then all we can do is hang on and do our best to mitigate the effects.  

 

I'm very skeptical of the global warming industrial complex.  But, then, I'm old enough to remember reading how carbon dioxide was going to cause a new ice age.  It just seems that all the solutions result in higher taxes, lower standards of living, and more government.  And, none of these 'solutions' would solve the problem, if there is one.  

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My view is that global warming is in DIRECT correlation with population.   More people, more warming.  (Simplistic I know, but you get my point)   We (the "developed" countries) have achieved zero population growth.....  Now it's up to the rest of the world to do likewise.  Otherwise, more people, more cars, more homes, more pollution...   When I see the "ecology first" people tackle THAT, I will take notice and step up to be counted.    

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

This thread seems to be getting very political.

Yours is he first mention of politics in this thread.  Other than that, not one word of politics has been uttered.  It's only political if one believes criticism is politically motivated.

Edited by RocketMan275

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

This thread seems to be getting very political.

 

Political?  Where.....

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4 hours ago, ontheweb said:

This thread seems to be getting very political.

Vote for Pedro!

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I would say that it's political only in the sense that science has become politicized. I think that what we're really talking about here is the ways in which we let science influence our personal choices, in every arena from lifestyle choices to vaccinations to a response to climate change. 

 

Some people reject the findings of scientists out of hand, Others view them with skepticism. Others acknowledge them but choose to dissociate their own lives and behavior from any relationship to them. And others do what they perceive they can, in light of the science and their own resources.

 

Those of us who have cruised in the Arctic and Antarctic have seen the face of a changing climate, and are thus in a better position than most to corroborate what scientists have been telling us for many years. As others have expressed above, there's an incalculable value to experiencing far-flung corners of the world firsthand.

 

Some cruisers take boxes of crayons to orphanages along the way, although they know that these gestures will not cure the poverty those kids live in. Many of us give large tips to drivers and guides in developing countries, hoping their families will eat better for a few days. Some of us will pay for carbon offsets whenever we have the opportunity, just as I voluntarily pay more for electricity that comes from renewable resources. You do what you can, and hopefully seeing the world expands our notions about what we can and should be doing.

 

And in all my years on Cruise Critic, I think this is the most important, and most interesting, thread I have ever read here.

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3 hours ago, IslandThyme said:

I would say that it's political only in the sense that science has become politicized. I think that what we're really talking about here is the ways in which we let science influence our personal choices, in every arena from lifestyle choices to vaccinations to a response to climate change. 

 

Some people reject the findings of scientists out of hand, Others view them with skepticism. Others acknowledge them but choose to dissociate their own lives and behavior from any relationship to them. And others do what they perceive they can, in light of the science and their own resources.

 

Those of us who have cruised in the Arctic and Antarctic have seen the face of a changing climate, and are thus in a better position than most to corroborate what scientists have been telling us for many years. As others have expressed above, there's an incalculable value to experiencing far-flung corners of the world firsthand.

 

I certainly agree that there are those who try to use science to advance their political objectives.  

But, speaking of science.  The scientific method is the basis of science.  This method advances an hypothesis, A happens because of B.  Predictions are made from the hypothesis.  Data is gathered and it is compared to the predictions.  A central tenet of the scientific method is that the hypothesis must be 'falsifiable', ie proven wrong.  The hypothesis that man is causing global climate change isn't something that can be proven wrong. 

 

When the argument changed from global warming to climate change, the argument lost it's connection to the scientific method.  Any change in the climate, ie, it gets hotter, it gets colder, it gets wetter, it gets drier, all can be taken as evidence of climate change.  But, if you try to argue that because of man/carbon, it's getting hotter, you can disprove that, it is falsifiable.  But, if the argument is that man/carbon is causing it to get both hotter and colder, that argument cannot be falsifiable, therefore it cannot be proved or disproved by the scientific method.  It maybe many things but it cannot be 'scientific'.

 

A second thing is money.  Money for 'science' tends to follow what is popular.  In the eighties, it was AIDS.  It was much easier to get grants if you could show a relationship between your research and AIDS. Now, the popular subject is climate change.  A large number of 'scientists' owe their finances to research into global climate change.  Does this affect their 'science'?  We cannot take the position that oil/coal money is suspect without also be suspicious of the other money flowing into this research.  A scientist who doesn't produce the 'right' answers will have difficulty in obtaining future grants.  

 

Should we try to be better custodians?  Of course.  But we should also be aware that most of these efforts are purely symbolic with little lasting effect.   I'm sure we all have seen projections similar to this:  if we spend $X trillions, we can reduce the global temperature by 0.2 degrees cel. in 2080.  Surely, one should question if this is the wisest use of $X Trillions.  

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Our grandchildren will be the ones deciding if spending that money on clean energy and less wasteful practices was worth the money and effort. We won’t be here to see the effects. That said, scapegoating cruising is unfair in the scheme of things.  Airplanes, cars and ships are cleaner than before and improving all the time.

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It's not clear to me that the notion of falsifiability applies well when the outcome is instability, which is what climate models predict. And have been predicting for some time, so validating the predictive power of models generated in the past is an important step towards validation of the hypotheses. I'm not up on current stats, but as I recall, for some time now scientists have been saying that effects predicted by past models, used by the IPCC, are arriving sooner and with more intensity than previously predicted.

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1 hour ago, IslandThyme said:

It's not clear to me that the notion of falsifiability applies well when the outcome is instability, which is what climate models predict. And have been predicting for some time, so validating the predictive power of models generated in the past is an important step towards validation of the hypotheses. I'm not up on current stats, but as I recall, for some time now scientists have been saying that effects predicted by past models, used by the IPCC, are arriving sooner and with more intensity than previously predicted.

Entirely agree.  Just read an article that demonstrates, with photo's, that the Arctic ice and Antarctic ice are melting much faster than expected.   We have been warned repeatedly, but until such events begin to affect us personally, nothing will be done.  Sigh . . .

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51 minutes ago, Dunelm said:

Entirely agree.  Just read an article that demonstrates, with photo's, that the Arctic ice and Antarctic ice are melting much faster than expected.   We have been warned repeatedly, but until such events begin to affect us personally, nothing will be done.  Sigh . . .

It's our grandchildren who will feel the effects and they know it, which is why so many are starting to demand that we do something about it.

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5 hours ago, Dunelm said:

Entirely agree.  Just read an article that demonstrates, with photo's, that the Arctic ice and Antarctic ice are melting much faster than expected.   We have been warned repeatedly, but until such events begin to affect us personally, nothing will be done.  Sigh . . .

 

With the same certainty that Ned Stark had that “winter is coming” (GOT reference) I can say warming is coming.  

Edited by KirkNC

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Everyone can do what they feel they can/must to to help the environment, even ignore or deny the issue exists.   

I can't totally avoid putting pollution out there, but I do what I can.  I take the bus instead of my own car to/from work when the bus schedule changes to allow me to do so and I take it into town instead of driving.  I use my own straw.  I take my own bags shopping.  I am part of my energy company's Blue Sky program, where I pay for shares of renewable energy equal to what I use at home.  

When I travel, I try to do as little as I can to leave a small footprint...

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