Posted December 10th, 2016, 11:51 AM
When I was a kid I was told there would be no more forests left in 2000. While that was utter BS, obviously, what pollution goes up will come down. There are probably ways to make ships more environmently friendly. Using electricity from the port instead of using generators so the AC can run using solar energy at least sounds good. Still, I cannot see what environmental group would advocate scrubbers.
This would be good, if the power were supplied by solar, but most of the world's power plants are still fossil fueled (about 2/3rds)
What does it matter to the gazzilion tonnes of water in the sea if you add 1kg of nitrogen or sulfur directly, or add it after diluting it first with a few tonnes of water from the very same sea? That sounds like a "Princess" solution.
Scrubbers still feel like "tadah, no more pollution in the air!" The same amount of sulfur and other stuff will end up in the same ocean (I'm not even sure if that's a bad thing), but this time a bit more because the scrubbers also need energy.
As far as dilution, to the "gazzilion" gallons of the sea, it doesn't make any difference. To the sea life at the point of discharge it makes a great deal of difference, and affecting the sea life in one spot in the ocean will have a cascade effect on sea life throughout the oceans. This is why ships are allowed to discharge oil in bilge water at concentrations below 15ppm, because perfect oil water separation is not always possible, and would be financially difficult, and at the 15ppm level, it is understood that the effects of the oil are minimal.
Environmentalists know that the ocean and the atmosphere have different mechanisms for coping with pollutants, and when something like sulfur would be in different forms (sulfur oxides in air, sulfuric acid in water) in the different media, their basic nature of polluting (what effect does it create?) and its concentration in those different forms can mean that the same quantity of pollutant (sulfur atom) affects the environment differently.
If the IMO had not felt that open loop scrubbers that met their standards for pollutant discharge would be safe for the ocean environment, they would have required all to be closed loop.