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Do you feel guilty cruising on environmental grounds?


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A post in another forum got me thinking about all the pollution associated with cruising.  Here are some links for background:

 

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-wednesday-edition-1.4277147/a-cruise-ship-s-emissions-are-the-same-as-1-million-cars-report-1.4277180

https://www.ft.com/content/8bceef94-86cd-11e9-a028-86cea8523dc2

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/04/26/cruise-ship-pollution-is-causing-serious-health-and-environmental-problems/#2015b04f37db

 

What do you all think?   Should the cruise lines do more to prevent pollution?  It seems they should but this is going to be difficult in the near term given all the COVID financial losses.

 

It does look like the lines are starting to think about this in their future ships and are starting to procure liquified natural gas ships as substitutes for dirty fuel oil.  

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/why-more-lng-powered-cruise-ships-are-being-built/

https://carnivalsustainability.com/pioneering-lng

 

Would you be willing to pay more to cruise on a "green" ship?  How about a return to smaller sailing ships for cruising?  Are you willing to boycott cruising until a "green" solution exists.

 

Personally I am OK traveling on both cruise ships and airliners, but I would like to see the technology advance and lower emissions associated with travel over time as long as it is not cost prohibitive to the "middle class."

 

BTW - everyone should realize that batteries and solar panels will never work in a cruise ship application unless you vision of a cruise is restricted to puttering around the harbor for an hour or so.  Also, I think buying a carbon offset is more of an accounting gimmick than really doing something about emissions.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

but I would like to see the technology advance and lower emissions associated with travel over time as long as it is not cost prohibitive to the "middle class."

But that is already happening...   A Boeing 707 from 50 years ago uses as much fuel as TWO 777's do to fly the same transatlantic route.   And those planes carry three TIMES the number of passengers (each) as the 707 did.  

 

And have you ever seen movies of the old ocean liners?   Huge polluters, using huge amounts of fuel to carry 500/1000 passengers.  (And thats not touching on their policies of dumping EVERYTHING overboard.)  

 

And if you want a real eye opener, read Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine.   Not a week goes by that there is not an article on technology advances and the work being done on hydrogen fuels, or fully electric aircraft.   

 

Oh, it's happening, and at a rapid pace.   Just not fast ENOUGH for the "green" crowd. 

Edited by FredT
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Nopenot concerned.  How about all the people who are buying RVs since they aren't cruising?  Two people travelling in one RV surely must use more fuel than the portion of two of the people on a ship.

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14 minutes ago, shipgeeks said:

Nopenot concerned.  How about all the people who are buying RVs since they aren't cruising?  Two people travelling in one RV surely must use more fuel than the portion of two of the people on a ship.

And all those big trucks that seem to be the number 1 selling vehicle right now.

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1 hour ago, shipgeeks said:

Nopenot concerned.  How about all the people who are buying RVs since they aren't cruising?  Two people travelling in one RV surely must use more fuel than the portion of two of the people on a ship.

 

It's actually pretty close from what I can see under certain assumptions.  Both are about 1 ton of CO2 for a week long trip using a 7 day cruise as the average and a 1000 km RV vacation for 2 passengers assuming a luxury car/van.  

 

Here are the references in case you are interested.

https://www.tourismdashboard.org/explore-the-data/cruise-ship/

https://co2.myclimate.org/en/portfolios?calculation_id=3705082

 

1 hour ago, Ashland said:

And all those big trucks that seem to be the number 1 selling vehicle right now.

 

Don't talk too loudly!  You do realize your Governor signed an executive order outlawing gasoline vehicles in 2035?  Depending on what happens, he may accelerate this ban earlier.

 

1 hour ago, FredT said:

...

And if you want a real eye opener, read Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine.   Not a week goes by that there is not an article on technology advances and the work being done on hydrogen fuels, or fully electric aircraft.   

 

Oh, it's happening, and at a rapid pace.   Just not fast ENOUGH for the "green" crowd. 

 

I am very familiar with AW&ST having worked developing avionics systems as my second job out of college.  I must confess that I am somewhat suspicious of hydrogen for the foreseeable future until better storage solutions can be found.  As you may know, hydrogen is the least energy dense chemical out their and storing it quite problematic.  Storing enough hydrogen to be practical for aviation either requires liquification or extreme compression.  Both of these are energy intensive tasks Ii.e., costs money)  and have some safety issues to work out as well.

 

I can see aviation fuels being being derived someday via additional chemical steps from hydrogen.  Green ammonia is touted as something that might be a solution at least for shipping.  Here is a link if you want to know more:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/marine-sector-looks-to-ammonia-to-decarbonize-shipping

 

As we are learning in California, we can be green but it simply costs more money and the poor are the ones who feel it the most.  This isn't to say we shouldn't advance as practical. 

 

Edited by SelectSys
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1 hour ago, shipgeeks said:

Nopenot concerned.  How about all the people who are buying RVs since they aren't cruising?  Two people travelling in one RV surely must use more fuel than the portion of two of the people on a ship.

 

From what I've read your assumption is likely wrong.   Cruise ships are said to be tremendous polluters compared to folks in vehicles.   

 

Anyway, I agree with the OP that I would like to see the current advancements continue in a sane manner.    

 

 

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I am happy to cruise and travel. Besides enjoyment it provides employment for ship builders, their unions, service industry workers, engineers, farmers who provide the food, vineyards, glass makers, potters and more.  And then there is the goodwill and universal brotherhood that is fostered by people meeting each other face to face.     If we quit doing everything that “causes” pollution and waste products there is nothing.   
 

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12 minutes ago, getting older slowly said:

Since i don't fly to cruising..... concern about cruise ships......  simply  No

 

Don

 

Just out of curiosity do you fly at all?  Most Australians that I know tend to be big time flyers due to geography.

 

If you do fly and are so inclined, Qantas offers the ability to purchase carbon offsets for your trip and earn points!

https://www.qantas.com/au/en/frequent-flyer/partners/fly-carbon-neutral.html#what-you-need-to-know

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3 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

 

Just out of curiosity do you fly at all?  Most Australians that I know tend to be big time flyers due to geography.

 

Fair enough question... one the better half  hates flying to the point where she want......   to me it is the least enjoyable way of getting some where.....

 

We might think differently if flew business or 1st class  ( but don't have that much free monies )

Also we have both flown in our earlier years, so we know what flying is about...

 

And we are now both retired... and are happy to see our own country at a leisurely pace,  road. train or ship...

 

Cheers Don 

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7 minutes ago, sfaaa said:

Single issue environmental radicals don't impress me and never will.  

 

Who do you think is an environmental radical?  Gretta Thunberg, Al Gore?  Just curious.

 

I don't think you'll find too many environmental radicals on Cruise Critic as it wouldn't comport too well with what is a fairly GHG intensive activity.   That said, history is full of advancements where one fuel replaces another and this replacement tends result in cheaper and cleaner solutions.

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4 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

 

Who do you think is an environmental radical?  Gretta Thunberg, Al Gore?  Just curious.

 

I don't think you'll find too many environmental radicals on Cruise Critic as it wouldn't comport too well with what is a fairly GHG intensive activity.   That said, history is full of advancements where one fuel replaces another and this replacement tends result in cheaper and cleaner solutions.

Certainly Thunberg and Gore are both environmental activists - Thunberg probably qualifies as radical while Gore is more hypocritical - given his private plane travel, massive homes, etc.

 

I am inclined to think that more damage is done by excessive, unnecessary private car travel (vs. public transport and more scheduling to combine trips). Fuel rationing is a thought - using more than x gallons per week should be heavily taxed.  But, the occasional cruise probably is not as harmful on a per capita basis.

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Guilty when I cruise due to environmental concerns?  Absolutely not.  The cruise lines are trying to do what they can do--what they are required to do--to meet the environmental requirements in the regions in which they sail.  Do failures occur at times?  Yes, and I regret knowing that.  If "punishments" need to be applied, that is appropriate for the proper legal authorities to do.

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No

I live in California, one of the most over regulated states, more they regulate the less I believe it is necessary.  Regulations are for everyone else but the elites.   

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9 hours ago, SelectSys said:

It does look like the lines are starting to think about this in their future ships and are starting to procure liquified natural gas ships as substitutes for dirty fuel oil.  

This is not really an environmental initiative by the cruise lines.  The IMO has instituted a world wide limit on sulfur in fuel oils that reduced the sulfur content by 85% at the start of this year, and since most refineries around the world are not capable of delivering residual fuels with the lower sulfur content, residual fuel prices will rise (except that the worldwide slowdown in shipping from the pandemic will slow that rise).  Add to this that HFO is not a "product" of refining crude, it is the "waste" that is left over after all other products are produced (gas, diesel, etc).  If ships do not burn this, and most refineries around the world have about 30% of each barrel of crude left over as HFO, what will these refineries do with it, and how will covering for that 30% loss affect gasoline prices?  Couple this to the fact that the US has an abundance of natural gas, and a majority of cruises are out of the US, and you have a "cheap" fuel (LNG) that happens to meet the requirements of the North American ECA.  Elsewhere in the world, the cost benefits of LNG are not that pronounced (nearly none in Asia), so LNG will not be the fuel of choice for any ship in those areas.  So, this is a financial consideration more than an environmental consideration.

 

And, LNG is not the panacea that environmentalists think.  There is a thing called "methane slip" which is the amount of raw methane released from the well, through its transportation, to incomplete combustion in the engine.  And, while methane slip is not as quantitatively large as other GHG like CO2, it has 85 times the GHG effect over a 10 year span, and 42 times the effect over a 100 year span.  So, while LNG has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks, just like everything else in this world.

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9 hours ago, SelectSys said:

Don't talk too loudly!  You do realize your Governor signed an executive order outlawing gasoline vehicles in 2035?  Depending on what happens, he may accelerate this ban earlier.

 

That's preparing for the future. Already there are a number of car manufacturers that have commited to ending production of petrol cars, while most companies have increased production of electrics and hybrids. Infarstructure will have to be created for this future otherwise you will be left behind. Creating this kind of deadline gives companies who create this kind of infrastructure the confidence to place their money into these areas.

 

As for travel I would love to see travel go greener but for that to happen realistically the world has to go greener. The fact is the cruise line industry is intermingled with other industries that they can't control. Cruise lines even if they want can only do so much and in the end there has to be a societal frame work that values environmental concerns and prioritises environmental solutions. Individuals only have so much power before you hit a wall where there is nothing more you can do. It's like when I go to the shop I bring my reusable bags but I can't stop the shop from packing everything in plastic🙄. You need the cooporation of all industries to truely make travel green and not just be a tokenistic gesture.

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9 hours ago, SelectSys said:

 

Who do you think is an environmental radical?  Gretta Thunberg, Al Gore?  Just curious.

 

 

Greta Thunberg is defenitely radical. I like that she is consistent but it's not always the best for the environment. For example she couldn't fly to America so a boatride was arranged instead. What I have heared is that the crew who took her there flew back to Europe and if that is correct I assume that another crew flew to America to take the boat back!

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Why would I feel guilty about helping to provide the financial support the industry uses to develop and implement cleaner, more efficient ships?

 

As to high profile "environmentalists", they say they are doing good, but most of them are just doing well.

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I don't feel guilty at all. I do what I can to reduce waste, recycle, etc. People think they are so smart because they read what comes from a cruise ship. How many gatherings or vacations of 2,000 - 6,000 people are "environmentally friendly?" If those people are flying, driving, eating, etc somewhere else, are we really that better off? The reality is we in nature are not environmentally friendly. I'd like to see us continue to make practices better, but more often than not, it is nothing more than virtue signaling or cost savings.

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Improvements and reduction in environmental impacts always happen. I have fun with the people that have that nice new "electric" car and at how environmentally friendly it is. That argument lasts until they have no clue how to answer where the lithium came from to make the battery and where there toxic battery is dumped every 5-6 years. 

 

I do believe there will better designs for cruise ships and new methods to make them more clean. They are not going to be a complete fix, but better than it was. We won't be free of a polluting method of travel for decades in not centuries. There is no real clean power. It all comes at an environment cost.

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