Environmentalists have argued for years against non-essential air travel because of the atmospheric effects of aeroplanes but now a major German environmental group, Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) has published a report slamming cruise ships. According to NABU, which awarded two German cruise ship companies its Dinosaur of the Year Award, a cruise ships emits particulate matter equivalent to 5 million cars driving the same distance. In fact, according to NABU data which GallonDaily has not verified, the 15 largest cruise ships emit as much particulate air pollution as all 760 million automobiles in the world.
Two of the biggest problems are that most cruise ships are fueled with some of the dirtiest fuel oils in the world and that the huge engines of cruise ships generally have little or no pollution control included in their exhaust systems.
Just as much of the airline industry in developed countries has responded to critics by selling carbon offsets, so GallonDaily expects that the cruise ship industry will soon develop tools to reduce, or appear to reduce, its air pollution impacts. It’s not rocket science!
Green good wishes for 2012 to all our readers.
More information on the NABU study is available in German at http://www.nabu.de/aktionenundprojekte/dinodesjahres/