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Author Topic: Are cruises bad for the environment?  (Read 2127 times)

Offline thedoc

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Are cruises bad for the environment?
« on: 12/07/2014 00:30:01 »
Jon asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Went on my first cruise to Alaska last week. If I kept my house hot in winter and cold in summer, left all lights blazing and drove my normal amount of miles (up hill) it would take our family about 60-80 years to burn through one days worth of fuel used by this mid size ship.
Converted tons of fuel to gallons and BTU's/ gal then used BTU's as the common unit of measurement for this calculation.
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/07/2014 00:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Are cruises bad for the environment?
« Reply #1 on: 12/07/2014 17:20:14 »
Ok, but there were probably 2000 to 5000 people aboard, so really it's only 6 times the energy consumption of a greedy American...

I think the major environmental impact of cruises is not the energy usage, but pollution of the seas that they are in (some are better than others, but some cruise ships essentially leave a wake of oil-slick, garbage and refuse behind them)
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are cruises bad for the environment?
« Reply #2 on: 13/07/2014 08:19:25 »
I'm not sure I'd get so excited about spending hours on the high seas going in circles.  However, say the cruise ship stops at 10 ports of call, it may actually take a lot less energy to transport people to those locations by cruise ship than it would take to fly there by jet, or taking a small personal sized boats.  Of course, one often flies to the port to begin the cruise, and flies back home at the end.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Are cruises bad for the environment?
« Reply #3 on: 13/07/2014 09:21:56 »
Every living thing damages its environment. It's part of the definition of life.

If you consider that the fish and plankton were in some sort of desirable equilibrium before the cruise ship passed by, they certainly weren't afterwards. And if you ate the fish, the equilibrium couldn't recover.

If you are only concerned about oil consumption, ask yourself what else could you possibly do with the oil? You can either burn it to do something "useful" or leave it in the ground. So the moral question is whether it would have been better burned to power a hospital for sick children. But then you would have saved a few thousand mouths that need feeding for the next 70 years, and some of them would grow up to be politicians or other undesirables. And it would be your fault for not taking a cruise in the Arctic.

When it comes down to environmental issues, there are advantages to a religious upbringing. You don't need to worry about your guilt: if you are Catholic, you know you are guilty of everything, and if you are Jewish, everyone else thinks you are.   
 

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Re: Are cruises bad for the environment?
« Reply #3 on: 13/07/2014 09:21:56 »

 

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