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Environmental impact of cruising and tourism

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From my years working in the environmental regulatory business I can say with confidence that for many companies the cost of pollution fines is line-itemed under "cost of doing business." Depressing but true.

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2 hours ago, slidergirl said:

An ammonia leak at a refrigeration facility is not a laughing matter.  Having worked at several bobsled/skeleton/luge tracks around the world, there is a briefing of all track workers/volunteers on what to do/where to go in the case of a leak of the refrigeration system.  It is deadly pretty darn fast.   Trying to compare that UBC leak with ship pollution doesn't quite scale to me.   

 

 

I'm not an expert. I think that there is a difference between ammonia diluted in water, and concentrated gaseous ammonia under pressure. FYI, household cleaners use ammonia...

 

https://www.hunker.com/13409929/how-does-an-ammonia-refrigeration-system-work

 

https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-ammonia-and-bleach/

 

Wouldn't it be poetic justice if the judge had forced HAL (or any cruise line breaking American and international law) to fund oceanic research to find out how serious are the consequences?

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, HappyInVan said:

 

I'm not an expert. I think that there is a difference between ammonia diluted in water, and concentrated gaseous ammonia under pressure. FYI, household cleaners use ammonia...

 

https://www.hunker.com/13409929/how-does-an-ammonia-refrigeration-system-work

 

https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-ammonia-and-bleach/

 

Wouldn't it be poetic justice if the judge had forced HAL (or any cruise line breaking American and international law) to fund oceanic research to find out how serious are the consequences?

 

 

 

 

First off, the ammonia in household cleansers is ammonium hydroxide, not anydrous ammonia.  And it is typically at 5-10% solution.  The anhydrous ammonia used in refrigeration systems boils at -28*F, so while it may remain in solution for a while, and some may combine to form ammonium hydroxide, the ammonia will pretty much boil off at atmospheric pressure and common ambient temperatures.  As it is boiling, it tends to form dense clouds, which while lighter than air tend to form and stay along the ground.  The 8 hour long term exposure limit to ammonia is 25ppm.  This ice rink likely lost its entire ammonia charge (as this is the typical failure of an ammonia system), which would be around 3000 lbs of ammonia, which would produce a 25ppm atmosphere for 74,000,000 (that's 74 million) cubic meters of atmosphere.

 

It would be far better to put the fine to remediating the present effects, and working on methods to minimize the introduction of pollutants in the first place.  Better to fix a problem before it starts than to say "gee we studied this, and this is serious, now let's fix it".

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On 6/26/2019 at 1:35 PM, chengkp75 said:

First off, the ammonia in household cleansers is ammonium hydroxide, not anydrous ammonia.  And it is typically at 5-10% solution.  The anhydrous ammonia used in refrigeration systems boils at -28*F' 

 

It would be far better to put the fine to remediating the present effects, and working on methods to minimize the introduction of pollutants in the first place.  Better to fix a problem before it starts than to say "gee we studied this, and this is serious, now let's fix it".

 

Thanks for the technical info. But, it still doesn't explain HAL's indifference to the American justice system. As you mentioned, their sentence is too lenient.

 

I certainly agree that they should fix the problem before it 'gets started'. How to get their attention? Any ideas?

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Thanks for the technical info. But, it still doesn't explain HAL's indifference to the American justice system. As you mentioned, their sentence is too lenient.

 

I certainly agree that they should fix the problem before it 'gets started'. How to get their attention? Any ideas?

 

Yes, I believe that the present probation and compliance framework, where there are benchmarks to be met or fines will be imposed, on a daily basis, will lead to a change in corporate culture, and with it a turn around of corporate attitude towards environmental compliance.  I've seen it happen to two companies I've worked for, including a cruise line, and one of those companies' environmental compliance plan is used by the DOJ as the gold standard that all shipping companies who reach plea deals with the DOJ must implement.  I see elements of it in Carnival's compliance since the Princess fine, and this was noted in the court appointed monitor's report, but they did not follow through with the plan, which is why they were back in court, and why the potential daily fines have been implemented.

 

As far as ocean pollution in general, this is a global problem, and one that needs to be addressed globally and by all the governments of all the nations of the world, because it is a far more vast problem than pollution by ships.

Edited by chengkp75

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14 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

As far as ocean pollution in general, this is a global problem, and one that needs to be addressed globally and by all the governments of all the nations of the world, because it is a far more vast problem than pollution by ships.

 

Confident? You have 45 years as an insider.

 

It's amazing that HAL should violate their parole repeatedly even knowing that the court had appointed a monitor. Says a lot about their culture and leadership. See the photo below of a sign in the crow's nest before the trial.

 

I don't know how much incentive they have to change with a Republican government and lenient punishment. Only time will tell.

 

So much for the myth of 'self-regulation'. IMO, all first world governments should randomly inspect the records of ships using their ports. This will level the playing field for companies with integrity.

 

 

Rotterdam ship crow nest_DSC6035.jpg

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2 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Confident? You have 45 years as an insider.

 

It's amazing that HAL should violate their parole repeatedly even knowing that the court had appointed a monitor. Says a lot about their culture and leadership. See the photo below of a sign in the crow's nest before the trial.

 

I don't know how much incentive they have to change with a Republican government and lenient punishment. Only time will tell.

 

So much for the myth of 'self-regulation'. IMO, all first world governments should randomly inspect the records of ships using their ports. This will level the playing field for companies with integrity.

 

 

Rotterdam ship crow nest_DSC6035.jpg

Again, the punishment may be lenient front loaded, but it can get severe if Carnival does not amend their ways.  $10 million/day, open ended, can get hard to cover on the bottom line.

 

Most "first world" governments do randomly inspect foreign flag vessels, it is called "port state control", and this is how the USCG found the Princess violation in the first place.  Every nation has the right to inspect any vessel in their ports, whether some choose not to is their decision.

 

Without adding politics to this discussion, the administration has nothing to do with whether Carnival is incentivized to change their ways, since this ruling has been made by a federal court, and is now regulated by that court, not the DOJ.

 

I agree with you regarding Carnival's corporate culture, and have said so repeatedly in threads discussing this case.  The judges agree (both the one who heard the case, and the one who will take over in September), and spoke directly to the Carnival board and senior management in the courtroom, and told them in no uncertain terms who was to blame.

 

"Confident? You have 45 years as an insider."  Not sure how this is meant.  I will state for the record that in my 45 years, I have never violated an environmental regulation (nor any other one for that matter), and have not worked on a ship that has either.

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21 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Again, the punishment may be lenient front loaded, but it can get severe if Carnival does not amend their ways.  $10 million/day, open ended, can get hard to cover on the bottom line.

 

Most "first world" governments do randomly inspect foreign flag vessels, it is called "port state control", and this is how the USCG found the Princess violation in the first place.  Every nation has the right to inspect any vessel in their ports, whether some choose not to is their decision.

 

Without adding politics to this discussion, the administration has nothing to do with whether Carnival is incentivized to change their ways, since this ruling has been made by a federal court, and is now regulated by that court, not the DOJ.

 

 

Usually, the problem is enforcement, not the punishment. HAL's culture reflected the lack of fear of being caught.

 

What are the chances that this government will beef up the frequency of inspections? Every nation should beef up their inspection regime if they are serious about a healthier environment. And, customers should cheer if they truly respect the environment.

 

I'm willing to pay more if the cruise lines dispose of waste in an ethical manner.

 

The offending ships dumped waste because their tanks were full, and they had no provision (or unwilling to pay) to transfer the waste legally at the last port. Once the companies are willing to pay, rubbish will be sorted and waste facilities will be available.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Usually, the problem is enforcement, not the punishment. HAL's culture reflected the lack of fear of being caught.

 

What are the chances that this government will beef up the frequency of inspections? Every nation should beef up their inspection regime if they are serious about a healthier environment. And, customers should cheer if they truly respect the environment.

 

I'm willing to pay more if the cruise lines dispose of waste in an ethical manner.

 

The offending ships dumped waste because their tanks were full, and they had no provision (or unwilling to pay) to transfer the waste legally at the last port. Once the companies are willing to pay, rubbish will be sorted and waste facilities will be available.

 

 

Ideally the shareholder thread and this thread would be in agreement. Shareholders speaking up could have an affect on the changes needed. In the long run, court fines and negative reputation will continue to adversely affect share value and dividends.

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2 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Usually, the problem is enforcement, not the punishment. HAL's culture reflected the lack of fear of being caught.

 

What are the chances that this government will beef up the frequency of inspections? Every nation should beef up their inspection regime if they are serious about a healthier environment. And, customers should cheer if they truly respect the environment.

 

I'm willing to pay more if the cruise lines dispose of waste in an ethical manner.

 

The offending ships dumped waste because their tanks were full, and they had no provision (or unwilling to pay) to transfer the waste legally at the last port. Once the companies are willing to pay, rubbish will be sorted and waste facilities will be available.

 

 

Over the last 20 years, the USCG has stepped up it's port state control inspections, regardless of the administration.  The USCG takes this as one of its primary missions.

 

Your last statement is moderately simplistic, in that the violations involved far more than just sewage or oily water, but I agree that it is all a cost/reward calculation, and I feel that the courts have tried and failed with the "stick" approach to Carnival, so now they will try the "carrot" (be a better world citizen, and you won't pay daily fines).  Other cruise lines, like NCL, were on DOJ probation back in the early 2000's, and have turned their culture around completely, and their prices are not that different from Carnival.

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23 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Your last statement is moderately simplistic, in that the violations involved far more than just sewage or oily water, but I agree that it is all a cost/reward calculation, and I feel that the courts have tried and failed with the "stick" approach to Carnival, so now they will try the "carrot" (be a better world citizen, and you won't pay daily fines).  Other cruise lines, like NCL, were on DOJ probation back in the early 2000's, and have turned their culture around completely, and their prices are not that different from Carnival.

 

Excuse me, a $10m/day fine is not a carrot. Definitely looks like a stick. BTW, it's a fine for not meeting a deadline for a new compliance plan. Enforcement comes from a requirement for more monitors; there is not enough inspections.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2019/06/04/carnival-cruise-lines-pleads-guilty-continued-pollution-fined-20-m/1337198001/

 

 

 

BTW, do you have any statistics for 'increased' CG inspections. Seems to me that the CG is getting results from surprise inspections, and focus on problem companies.

 

https://skift.com/2014/03/26/u-s-cruise-ships-get-surprise-visit-from-coast-guard-inspection-team/

 

That's how Carnaval was caught, despite using clean-up crews before scheduled inspections.

 

 

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2 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Excuse me, a $10m/day fine is not a carrot. Definitely looks like a stick. BTW, it's a fine for not meeting a deadline for a new compliance plan. Enforcement comes from a requirement for more monitors; there is not enough inspections.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2019/06/04/carnival-cruise-lines-pleads-guilty-continued-pollution-fined-20-m/1337198001/

 

 

 

BTW, do you have any statistics for 'increased' CG inspections. Seems to me that the CG is getting results from surprise inspections, and focus on problem companies.

 

https://skift.com/2014/03/26/u-s-cruise-ships-get-surprise-visit-from-coast-guard-inspection-team/

 

That's how Carnaval was caught, despite using clean-up crews before scheduled inspections.

 

 

The carrot is that if you do what you're supposed to, then there is no daily fine.

 

First off, you do realize that cruise ship "port state control" inspections amount to less than 5% of the ships that call at the US, and every one of those ships is eligible for a PSC inspection.  If you go here:

 

https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Prevention-Policy-CG-5P/Inspections-Compliance-CG-5PC-/Commercial-Vessel-Compliance/Foreign-Offshore-Compliance-Division/PortStateControl/

 

you can find the annual reports of USCG PSC inspections.  A quick check shows that in 2000, 11,767 inspections were made, and in 2018, 17,898 inspections were made.  The 2018 numbers were for 10,418 individual vessels, so you can see that cruise ships make up a very small part of this process.  All PSC inspections are "surprise" inspections, even the "twice yearly cruise ship inspections" that everyone expects, but don't know about until the inspectors show up on the pier.  The original Princess violation, that led to this probation period, was only found when an officer on the ship notified the authorities, not by a USCG surprise inspection.  The violations since the probation agreement two years ago, were found not by the USCG, but by the "third party auditors" assigned by the court, who inspected 76 out of Carnival's 109 ships in one year.  These are the violations that were caught despite "preventative" teams from the internal auditor department coming prior to the third party auditor.

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I just want to say again that I love this thread. I'm moving across the state in two days, so I'm too swamped to really participate. But reading the level of discussion here is very heartening!

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On 6/29/2019 at 9:02 AM, Rosmerta said:

Ideally the shareholder thread and this thread would be in agreement. Shareholders speaking up could have an affect on the changes needed. In the long run, court fines and negative reputation will continue to adversely affect share value and dividends.

 

Sorry. I'm trying to get to the root of the problem with the help of cheng (45 year insider).

 

The problem is systemic. The cruise industry is trying to cut costs and boost profits by cutting corners. Using the freebie of dumping waste (treated/sorted and not) in the oceans. Who would notice???

 

Shareholder indignation wouldn't work if doing things right means raising costs and trimming profits.

 

Therefore, the correct framework must come at a macro level. Fortunately, the technical people at the International Maritime Organization etc has been slowly raising standards. Making it easier for ethical companies to do the right thing. By forcing unethical companies to do the right thing.

 

http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/GHG/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/law-of-the-sea

 

 

https://www.epa.gov/beach-tech/laws-protect-our-oceans

 

 

The problem is that ship tonnage is rising faster than improvements in standards. For example, ships create GHG emissions. The ambition is to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2050. Assuming that global tonnage rises by 100% in 30 years. It means that individuals ships must reduce emission by 75%.

 

Ships use heavy dirty diesel for fuel. It's cheap. "A ship lets out around 50 times more sulfur than a lorry per metric tonne of cargo carried."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_shipping#Atmospheric_pollution

 

Reducing atmospheric pollution will be expensive. Can only be done by a decree that all companies must comply with. Once again, politicians will be problematic.

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2 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Sorry. I'm trying to get to the root of the problem with the help of cheng (45 year insider).

 

The problem is systemic. The cruise industry is trying to cut costs and boost profits by cutting corners. Using the freebie of dumping waste (treated/sorted and not) in the oceans. Who would notice???

 

Shareholder indignation wouldn't work if doing things right means raising costs and trimming profits.

 

Therefore, the correct framework must come at a macro level. Fortunately, the technical people at the International Maritime Organization etc has been slowly raising standards. Making it easier for ethical companies to do the right thing. By forcing unethical companies to do the right thing.

 

http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/GHG/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/law-of-the-sea

 

 

https://www.epa.gov/beach-tech/laws-protect-our-oceans

 

 

The problem is that ship tonnage is rising faster than improvements in standards. For example, ships create GHG emissions. The ambition is to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2050. Assuming that global tonnage rises by 100% in 30 years. It means that individuals ships must reduce emission by 75%.

 

Ships use heavy dirty diesel for fuel. It's cheap. "A ship lets out around 50 times more sulfur than a lorry per metric tonne of cargo carried."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_shipping#Atmospheric_pollution

 

Reducing atmospheric pollution will be expensive. Can only be done by a decree that all companies must comply with. Once again, politicians will be problematic.

Actually, its not "diesel" fuel, but "residual" fuel oil.  And, if you've done this much research on it, you should have found that the IMO is making a drastic change in fuel sulfur content in 2020, lowering the maximum from 3.5% to 0.5%, which will have great economic impact not only on the maritime industry, but the oil refining industry, and consumer prices as well, but it is something that likely needs to happen.

 

While ships do produce green house gases, tonnage is increasing for two reasons:  90% of the world's commerce travels by sea, and marine transportation is the most fuel efficient means of transporting goods, better than truck, rail, or air.

 

While I applaud the IMO's program to reduce GHG emissions, I see this as overly ambitious, given today's technology, and the world economy.

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I am truly puzzled by the  incidenst.  We have been cruising (extensively) for about 45 years and truly love the industry.  While we accept that every industry has its issues what has happened at CCL leaves me somewhat surprised!  If one believes the "propaganda" put forward by cruise lines, the industry has taken major steps to avoid violations.  Cruise ships have Environmental Officers who are supposed to have broad authority to investigate and prevent major violations.  Yet, what has happened on CCL vessels (more then a few times) appear to be serious violations that had to involve multiple crew members and should have been known by one or more officers.  These do not appear to be accidents but rather willful violations that involved multiple crew members and officers.  And yet it happened and apparently has continued to happen!  

 

When we have chatted with Senior Officers (on multiple lines) they will often mention that protecting the environment is always a priority.  We do believe them because those who love the sea tend to be environmentalists.  No sailor wants to see polluted waters, smell polluted air, etc.  Many mariners generally go into the business because they love the sea :).  Marine departments on cruise ships operate in a similar manner as a military operation.  Officers follow orders of their superiors (or else their careers will be in jeopardy) and officers supervise the activities of lower levels of crew.  We are supposed to believe that a few officers are going off on their own and helping (or ignoring) major violations of law?  We must believe that most violations are known by some if not most of the Senior Marine Officers on a vessel.  The reality is that the buck stops at the Captain and Chief Engineer.  If CCL is serious about correcting violations there should be some heads on the chopping block and they should be among the most senior Officers on the ships where the violations occur.  And if these violations were known by the Corporate Officers...those folks should be tossed out the door!

 

Hank

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2 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I am truly puzzled by the  incidenst.  We have been cruising (extensively) for about 45 years and truly love the industry.  While we accept that every industry has its issues what has happened at CCL leaves me somewhat surprised!  If one believes the "propaganda" put forward by cruise lines, the industry has taken major steps to avoid violations.  Cruise ships have Environmental Officers who are supposed to have broad authority to investigate and prevent major violations.  Yet, what has happened on CCL vessels (more then a few times) appear to be serious violations that had to involve multiple crew members and should have been known by one or more officers.  These do not appear to be accidents but rather willful violations that involved multiple crew members and officers.  And yet it happened and apparently has continued to happen!  

 

When we have chatted with Senior Officers (on multiple lines) they will often mention that protecting the environment is always a priority.  We do believe them because those who love the sea tend to be environmentalists.  No sailor wants to see polluted waters, smell polluted air, etc.  Many mariners generally go into the business because they love the sea :).  Marine departments on cruise ships operate in a similar manner as a military operation.  Officers follow orders of their superiors (or else their careers will be in jeopardy) and officers supervise the activities of lower levels of crew.  We are supposed to believe that a few officers are going off on their own and helping (or ignoring) major violations of law?  We must believe that most violations are known by some if not most of the Senior Marine Officers on a vessel.  The reality is that the buck stops at the Captain and Chief Engineer.  If CCL is serious about correcting violations there should be some heads on the chopping block and they should be among the most senior Officers on the ships where the violations occur.  And if these violations were known by the Corporate Officers...those folks should be tossed out the door!

 

Hank

Well said, Hank, but it is obvious to me, as well as the two federal judges, the Court Appointed Monitor, and the third party auditor teams that this goes way, way higher than the shipboard officers, and in fact, the buck does not stop with the Chief and the Captain.  These decisions regarding training, and corporate culture start at the very top of Carnival's leadership, and that leadership has failed miserably.  Those same Captains and Chiefs have to worry about their own careers, just as junior officers and crew do, if they don't follow orders from corporate.  The most damning comments from the CAM's report is that the Corporate Compliance Manager was given the responsibility for enacting an environmental compliance plan, but was not given any authority to do so.  This kind of decision comes from the top floor, corner office.

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13 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Well said, Hank, but it is obvious to me, as well as the two federal judges, the Court Appointed Monitor, and the third party auditor teams that this goes way, way higher than the shipboard officers, and in fact, the buck does not stop with the Chief and the Captain.  These decisions regarding training, and corporate culture start at the very top of Carnival's leadership, and that leadership has failed miserably.  Those same Captains and Chiefs have to worry about their own careers, just as junior officers and crew do, if they don't follow orders from corporate.  The most damning comments from the CAM's report is that the Corporate Compliance Manager was given the responsibility for enacting an environmental compliance plan, but was not given any authority to do so.  This kind of decision comes from the top floor, corner office.

I hear you and you certainly have the real life experience that we neophytes lack.  What you and I have in common is that we have a lot of respect (some might call it love) of the industry...you from the point of view of a very experienced mariner and me as a very experienced passenger who simply loves being at sea :).  I think we both have the same goals of supporting the industry and perhaps convincing some folks that it needs some improvements.  The truth is that most of we passengers have no clue (and perhaps could care less) about what goes on below decks as long as the ship runs well, gets us to our ports on time, keeps us comfy, feeds us well, and gives us good service.  I am far from an environmental "wacko" but both DW and I share a love for the sea.  The thought of a CCL ship (or any other ship) willfully adding pollution to the sea is almost beyond my comprehension.  We know (on a personal basis) enough marine Officers to understand that these guys and gals all share a love of the sea.  If Arnold Donald had any inkling of what was going on he should be "sanctioned" in a very definitive way including watching the door slam behind him and perhaps having some impact on his Golden Parachute.  If Mr. Donald was not aware of what was happening, then he should be cracking the whip...in a concise manner and as publicly as possible (given our legal environment).  Simply imposing a fine on a huge corporation does nothing but screw the investors/stockholders while having little impact on the "suits" other then costing them some money if the stock happens to dip.  I would be willing to bet the farm that the current decline the CCL stock price has caused more ruckus in the executive suites then a relatively small fine. 

 

As to those Officers on the vessels, I am terribly disappointed although not naïve.  I suspect that more then one Environmental Officer is terribly frustrated by the policies from above.  As to the Captains and Chiefs.....I wonder if things would be different if International Law held them legally accountable.  While we all know that the "suits" at HQ really call the shots, the tradition of the Law of the Sea is that the Captain (and to some degree the Chief) are responsible to what happens on the vessel.

 

Hank

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9 hours ago, Hlitner said:

 

As to those Officers on the vessels, I am terribly disappointed although not naïve.  I suspect that more then one Environmental Officer is terribly frustrated by the policies from above.  As to the Captains and Chiefs.....I wonder if things would be different if International Law held them legally accountable.  While we all know that the "suits" at HQ really call the shots, the tradition of the Law of the Sea is that the Captain (and to some degree the Chief) are responsible to what happens on the vessel.

 

Hank

I'll cut your first para, just to save space.  If you read the reports of the last courtroom visit, when the Carnival board and senior management were present, finally, they were informed in no uncertain terms where the judge who will be overseeing this case from September believes the blame lies, and where future actions may be taken, in addition to the possible $10 million/day fines.  Several executives of companies under DOJ probation plea agreements have been forced to plead guilty to felony charges, and had to wear ankle monitors.  This could still happen to Carnival if they continue to stonewall.

 

As for the Captain and Chief being legally accountable for what happens on the ship, that is the case, and in many cases of maritime pollution, it is these officers who, along with corporate management are fined or jailed, even if they were not physically responsible for the action, or had any knowledge that it happened.  This still does not remove the Captain or Chief from the dilemma of doing what's right and losing their family's income, or following the "wink and nod" directives from corporate and hoping not to get caught.  It is a quite well known management technique in the maritime industry, when a Captain or Chief requests something that will cost the company a lot of money to do things right, for that officer to be told, "Sure, we understand you had a problem with your oil/water separator and couldn't treat oily bilge water, and we'll have the slops barge arranged in your next home port call.  Oh, by the way, the new Chief Engineer will be arriving there as well."

 

As I've said before, I've worked for two companies who had been found in environmental violations and placed on DOJ probation, one of which was NCL, and who turned their corporate culture around 180* because of it.  One company adopted the slogan that "there is no budget on environmental equipment", meaning that whatever is needed to keep within compliance will be bought, without regard to cost.  This company's environmental compliance plan is now used by the DOJ as the standard framework for all DOJ mandated compliance plans, and I see portions of it have been implemented by Carnival in the reports of the Court Appointed Monitor, but Carnival failed to implement the further step of changing their corporate culture and embracing that environmental compliance is a cost that should not be controlled.

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Lots of good info here. I find it hard to believe & understand that ships are knowingly dumping stuff overboard when they know it's against the law. And here I believed all that talk about looking after the environment. It sounds like the wrong people are getting fired for trying to do the right thing. Only time will tell if the corporate mind set changes. Maybe if enough people send emails to head office and complain about their culture of don't care, then they'll get the message.  

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1 hour ago, ski ww said:

Lots of good info here. I find it hard to believe & understand that ships are knowingly dumping stuff overboard when they know it's against the law. And here I believed all that talk about looking after the environment. It sounds like the wrong people are getting fired for trying to do the right thing. Only time will tell if the corporate mind set changes. Maybe if enough people send emails to head office and complain about their culture of don't care, then they'll get the message.  

While I find that all of what Carnival has been found guilty of to be reprehensible, let me say that in many instances, the violations did not involve any dumping or discharge of anything overboard.  Many were record keeping violations (either falsifying records (only two or three of those) or failing to record something, or not recording it correctly), or failure to follow procedures (like not putting a security tag or lock back in place after using a piece of environmental equipment), or simply not having sufficient spare parts onboard to keep environmental equipment fully operational at all times.

 

As I've said, when it comes to a decision between your income and your conscience, until you have been placed in that situation, you don't know how you would react, let alone the ship's officers.

 

As for complaining to corporate, unless millions of passengers did this, it won't make a single bit of difference, and only if those same millions of passengers took their money elsewhere, would corporate take any notice.  I believe the court's current strategy of leading Carnival down the path with "negative incentives" ("meet these benchmarks in compliance, or face significant fines") will eventually turn around corporate's mind set.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

While ships do produce green house gases, tonnage is increasing for two reasons:  90% of the world's commerce travels by sea, and marine transportation is the most fuel efficient means of transporting goods, better than truck, rail, or air.

 

While I applaud the IMO's program to reduce GHG emissions, I see this as overly ambitious, given today's technology, and the world economy.

 

Sorry! I'm not a technical person. I like to cut through the BS, and fix problems.

 

Shipping may be the cheapest form of transport because it's just an iron container. Floating on the ocean, pushed along SLOWLY by big engines. No need to build and maintain roads and tracks. Right?

 

Anyway, there's no reason why shipping has to be the dirtiest? No wonder there's a backlash against cruise ships. Do profits matter more than lives?

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/21/the-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-and-its-supersized-pollution-problem

 

This has been a most interesting discussion. Thanks to cheng and other insiders for shining a light on the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by HappyInVan

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1 hour ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Sorry! I'm not a technical person. I like to cut through the BS, and fix problems.

 

Shipping may be the cheapest form of transport because it's just an iron container. Floating on the ocean, pushed along SLOWLY by big engines. No need to build and maintain roads and tracks. Right?

 

Anyway, there's no reason why shipping has to be the dirtiest? No wonder there's a backlash against cruise ships. Do profits matter more than lives?

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/21/the-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-and-its-supersized-pollution-problem

 

This has been a most interesting discussion. Thanks to cheng and other insiders for shining a light on the industry.

 

First off, I didn't say shipping by sea was the cheapest way (though it is), I said it was the most fuel efficient, meaning you move more cargo "ton-miles" per gallon of fuel than any other form of transportation.  That has nothing to do with maintaining infrastructure.  

 

As for the "dirtiest", are you talking GHG, or pollutants?  Because they are more fuel efficient, they generate less GHG than other forms of transportation per ton-mile.  As for pollutants, I find it very interesting every time this Guardian article is trotted out, that despite the wording in the article, while in the North Sea ECA (which is a line extending north from Ushant in France, and a line east to west north of the Faroe islands), all ships must be burning low sulfur diesel fuel (or using scrubbers), and while the UK is still in the EU (as it was at the time of the Guardian article), while in any EU port, the ship must burn low sulfur diesel or use a scrubber.  This fuel has a sulfur content of 0.1%.

 

Now, as to why ships burn residual fuel oil.  Yes, it is cheaper than diesel fuel, but do you know why?  Because at 75% of the world's refineries, they can only take about 70% of each barrel of crude oil and change it into refined products (lube oils, jet fuel, kerosene, gasoline, diesel).  The remaining 30%, which the refinery can no longer do anything with, is sold as marine residual fuel.  So, if the ships did not burn this fuel, what would be done with it, and what would the loss of revenue for 30% of all crude, and the cost of disposing of this product have on the price of refined products like gasoline?  Now, some refineries are what are known as "3rd generation", and can refine 95% of each barrel of crude to refined product (the remainder is solid coke, used in steel production), but these refineries could not meet total world demand for refined products, and you would have to burn more fuel transporting the residual fuel from the refineries that produce it  to the refineries that could handle it.  Studies into the global economic and environmental impact of the IMO's reduction in marine fuel sulfur content from 3.5% to 0.5% next year, show that there will be a rise in demand for refined product (diesel) driving global prices higher for all refined products, affecting the world's economy, and that the price of residual fuel oil with 3.5% sulfur will drop.  This price drop will entice power plants in developing nations to switch back to this high sulfur fuel, and it will still get burned putting the sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere anyway, in a far less controlled manner.

 

Now, am I saying that marine air emission standards should not be improved?  No.  What I am saying is that the entire world, but particularly the developed nations will take a major hit to the pocketbook to do so, and folks should be prepared to accept that.

 

As to the backlash against cruise ships, again, this is a very small portion of world shipping, but the most visible, so I feel it is unjust to single out cruise ships as being the "bad guys" in this scenario.

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

While I find that all of what Carnival has been found guilty of to be reprehensible, let me say that in many instances, the violations did not involve any dumping or discharge of anything overboard.  Many were record keeping violations (either falsifying records (only two or three of those) or failing to record something, or not recording it correctly), or failure to follow procedures (like not putting a security tag or lock back in place after using a piece of environmental equipment), or simply not having sufficient spare parts onboard to keep environmental equipment fully operational at all times.

 

As I've said, when it comes to a decision between your income and your conscience, until you have been placed in that situation, you don't know how you would react, let alone the ship's officers.

 

As for complaining to corporate, unless millions of passengers did this, it won't make a single bit of difference, and only if those same millions of passengers took their money elsewhere, would corporate take any notice.  I believe the court's current strategy of leading Carnival down the path with "negative incentives" ("meet these benchmarks in compliance, or face significant fines") will eventually turn around corporate's mind set.

Excellent point that has not been mentioned previously about who knows what decision they would make when it comes to their income and their conscience.

 

Also you are right about it would take a significant amount of complaining and mostly by people not buying the product to make a difference.

 

And as for will the "negative incentives" work to bring about real change, we can only hope so. 

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19 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

First off, I didn't say shipping by sea was the cheapest way (though it is), I said it was the most fuel efficient, meaning you move more cargo "ton-miles" per gallon of fuel than any other form of transportation.  That has nothing to do with maintaining infrastructure.  

 

As for the "dirtiest", are you talking GHG, or pollutants?  Because they are more fuel efficient, they generate less GHG than other forms of transportation per ton-mile.  As for pollutants, I find it very interesting every time this Guardian article is trotted out, that despite the wording in the article, while in the North Sea ECA (which is a line extending north from Ushant in France, and a line east to west north of the Faroe islands), all ships must be burning low sulfur diesel fuel (or using scrubbers), and while the UK is still in the EU (as it was at the time of the Guardian article), while in any EU port, the ship must burn low sulfur diesel or use a scrubber.  This fuel has a sulfur content of 0.1%.

 

…… 

 

As to the backlash against cruise ships, again, this is a very small portion of world shipping, but the most visible, so I feel it is unjust to single out cruise ships as being the "bad guys" in this scenario.

 

Cargo ships are much more efficient per ton/mile than freight trains. But, freight trains often run in an almost straight line, rather than circumvent the coast. For example, trains run through the American heartland north to south, while ships must manoeuvre around Florida and along the Atlantic coast.

 

Yes, you can sail a boat up the Mississippi, but you are very much limited by the draft beyond St Louis. And, limited in size south of St Louis.

 

Fun fact. China has embarked on the Belt and Road initiative (aka New Silk Road). Building road and rail infrastructure linking China to Russia, Europe and the Middle East. More efficient to travel in a straight line than to sail around SE Asia and through the Suez.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_and_Road_Initiative

 

Hope that this reduces the growth in shipping. Moreover, trains and automobiles can be electrified relatively easy.

 

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/03/can-trains-drive-clean-energy/519441/

 

https://www.railway-technology.com/features/feature-top-ten-fastest-trains-in-the-world/

 

How many coastal passenger ships service Europe? Most people travel by bus or rail where there is a land alternative. Why is that?

 

Yes, ships are the most efficient way to ship cargo across oceans and on a direct route. But, this doesn't mean that its okay to burn the dirtiest fuel in open waters. Did the industry think that no one would notice?

 

Yes, there is a backlash against cruise ships when there are accidents like the one in Venice. Yes, there is a backlash against the city-size megaships.

 

Yes, as the Guardian article mentioned...

 

“Southampton, which has Britain’s second largest container port and is Europe’s busiest cruise terminal, is one of nine UK cities cited by the World Health Organisation as breaching air quality guidelines even though it has little manufacturing.”

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/21/the-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-and-its-supersized-pollution-problem

 

 

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