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kangforpres

Environmental impact of cruising and tourism

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I found this NYT article very sobering, even if you have a Signature Beverage Package. The most efficient cruise ships produce 3 to 4 times the amount of carbon per passenger mile then an airliner. Remember if a train is a viable option take it. It the least carbon emitting way to travel.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/travel/traveling-climate-change.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

-Paul

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2 hours ago, kangforpres said:

I found this NYT article very sobering, even if you have a Signature Beverage Package. The most efficient cruise ships produce 3 to 4 times the amount of carbon per passenger mile then an airliner. Remember if a train is a viable option take it. It the least carbon emitting way to travel.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/travel/traveling-climate-change.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

-Paul

I find cruising ten times more enjoyable per mile than flying. As soon as trains travel on the water.... And I'm not the only one, that's why there are more than a hundred cruise ships being (or planned to be) built. [ here's a cruise critic  article on some of them:  

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=167 ]

New Cruise Ships on Order - Cruise Critic.webloc

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2 hours ago, tampatramp said:

I find cruising ten times more enjoyable per mile than flying. As soon as trains travel on the water.... And I'm not the only one, that's why there are more than a hundred cruise ships being (or planned to be) built. [ here's a cruise critic  article on some of them:  

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=167 ]

New Cruise Ships on Order - Cruise Critic.webloc 101 B · 0 downloads

We assume the OP will be taking trains to Hawaii, Asia and Europe along with "AOC."  🙂  But in all seriousness, the cruise industry would have us all believe that they do a great job at minimizing the negative environmental impact of the cruise industry.  On the other hand, the recent Florida court case with Carnival Corp (who was fined $20 million for dumping) shows us that some folks in the cruise industry are, at best, two faced.  

 

Since the OP obviously has a real personal concern about the environment they could help by no longer flying, cruising or driving.

 

Hank

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I believe the most efficient "the least carbon emitting way to travel" has been shown to be the bicycle.

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I have to say that all this hoo-ha about carbon footprint and all considers the value of your time to be zero, since I never see anything about increased travel time that these beneficial means of transport will result in. Passenger railroads (at least in the U.S. for long-distance travel) are an anachronism, and, in some cases, use more fuel per passenger-mile than aircraft.

For me, faster is better to get from one place to another, save for those trips that allow one to smell the daisies, which is what cruises are for.

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Posted (edited)

 Maybe just buy a horse, or better yet walk.

 

if you want to go by sea, sail.

Edited by GUT2407

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16 minutes ago, GUT2407 said:

 Maybe just buy a horse, or better yet walk.

 

if you want to go by sea, sail.

 

If you swim, you'll give back to the environment.

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9 hours ago, kangforpres said:

I found this NYT article very sobering, even if you have a Signature Beverage Package. The most efficient cruise ships produce 3 to 4 times the amount of carbon per passenger mile then an airliner. Remember if a train is a viable option take it. It the least carbon emitting way to travel.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/travel/traveling-climate-change.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

-Paul

I spend the 2000s home-bound because of greenhouse gas climate change. In 2010, I realized that it wasn't going to work. That we wouldn't be able to hold the global temperature rise to 2 degrees (the tipping point).

 

So, I've been travelling a lot since then. It's not my problem. I have no children, and I'll be out of here in another 10-20 years. It's your problem if you have children, or if you're around in 2050.

 

The most recent analysis suggest that we will be at the 2 degree tipping point by 2050. Then, the desperate struggle will be to hold the rise to 5 degrees. Lots of fun.

 

FYI, this is a report 4-years ago of the revised estimates...

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/09/global-warming-set-to-speed-up-to-rates-not-seen-for-1000-years

 

Good luck.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, GUT2407 said:

 Maybe just buy a horse, or better yet walk.

 

if you want to go by sea, sail.

 

Horses “release” methane.

Edited by KirkNC

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While I buy the point of the article, I am suspicious of the numbers, it appears to be a classic NYT slant.

 

i can sleep at night even though we cruise, we drive an all electric car.

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We all have to live & work. Everything we use, eat, wear, mined, is manufactured someplace else and transported by ship, plane, train. People who think we can stop all this live in a dream world. Think of all the people in China & India who want to live the life that we do, who's going to tell them they have to reduce their carbon foot print?   

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3 hours ago, KirkNC said:

While I buy the point of the article, I am suspicious of the numbers, it appears to be a classic NYT slant.

 

i can sleep at night even though we cruise, we drive an all electric car.

Hi, Kirk, Jeff here, the rest of the roll call from the Maasdam last summer. I drive a hybrid, so I guess I can sleep, get up, and then go back to sleep.

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I will agree with the CLIA spokesperson, in that an airliner does not carry tons of food, restaurants, bars, and amusements along with the passenger mile.  And while cruising is a voluntary, leisure activity that could be replaced, it would be replaced by not only the airline's carbon footprint, but that of the hotel, restaurant and amusement park you alternatively vacation at.

 

Also, cruising amounts to about 5% of the world's ocean going tonnage, and while the power per ton used on a cruise ship is far greater than cargo ships, this is still a very small percentage of ocean transportation carbon footprint.  And, remember, that 90% of the world's commerce travels by sea.  Sea transportation of goods is vastly superior in fuel efficiency than any other form of transportation (even if you could get trains across the Atlantic).

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I will agree with the CLIA spokesperson, in that an airliner does not carry tons of food, restaurants, bars, and amusements along with the passenger mile.  And while cruising is a voluntary, leisure activity that could be replaced, it would be replaced by not only the airline's carbon footprint, but that of the hotel, restaurant and amusement park you alternatively vacation at.

 

Also, cruising amounts to about 5% of the world's ocean going tonnage, and while the power per ton used on a cruise ship is far greater than cargo ships, this is still a very small percentage of ocean transportation carbon footprint.  And, remember, that 90% of the world's commerce travels by sea.  Sea transportation of goods is vastly superior in fuel efficiency than any other form of transportation (even if you could get trains across the Atlantic).

Its a choice you make?

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10 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

I spend the 2000s home-bound because of greenhouse gas climate change. In 2010, I realized that it wasn't going to work. That we wouldn't be able to hold the global temperature rise to 2 degrees (the tipping point).

 

So, I've been travelling a lot since then. It's not my problem. I have no children, and I'll be out of here in another 10-20 years. It's your problem if you have children, or if you're around in 2050.

 

 

 

I could have written that.  It's the story of our lives. We've done everything imaginable to reduce our usage of fossil fuels; taken measures most people wouldn't consider.

We basically said screw it and booked a cruise.  

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Kangforpres - I too find the article very sobering, all the more so because my professional background is in air pollution control and climate change.

 

I have a New Zealand cruise coming up, and on the Air New Zealand website, right before you commit to payment, your carbon footprint is calculated and you are given the option to purchase carbon offsets. In my case, Seattle to Sydney via Auckland equals 3.2 tons of CO2, and the cost of offsets was $55, which I gladly paid. I wish the cruise lines would put up such a voluntary option at booking, because I'd pay that too.

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2 hours ago, IslandThyme said:

Kangforpres - I too find the article very sobering, all the more so because my professional background is in air pollution control and climate change.

 

I have a New Zealand cruise coming up, and on the Air New Zealand website, right before you commit to payment, your carbon footprint is calculated and you are given the option to purchase carbon offsets. In my case, Seattle to Sydney via Auckland equals 3.2 tons of CO2, and the cost of offsets was $55, which I gladly paid. I wish the cruise lines would put up such a voluntary option at booking, because I'd pay that too.

 

That sounds great.  You can still feel good about yourself. Like having your cake and eating it too.   An analogy would be the rich people during the American Civil war could avoid being drafted by hiring someone else to serve in their place.

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Possibly what you say is meant to be snarky, it's often hard to tell in writing. But I will choose to take your comment in the best possible light. When carbon offsets are properly managed, you can in fact achieve carbon neutrality, on a small scale. The fact that the offsets I bought from Air NZ will go into forestry projects not only makes me feel better about myself, it is good for the environment.

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I have complicated feelings about this.  I am concerned about the effects cruising has on the environment yet I continue to cruise.  I have the following rationalization:

 

The ship will sail whether I am on board or not and the extra 300 pounds (me, my stuff, my food, etc) add will not add a lot to the fuel consumption and the by-products of burning it.  What I do try to do is minimize the carbon products I directly put into the environment, rarely using anything but shared transportation to get to the airport/train station and to the ship, and seldom putting a vehicle in service just to get to the cruise.  I wish it was possible to do the same in my daily life.

 

I  do see some changes coming, some tradeoffs that will require decisions way above my capabilities,   When ships slow down people complain about reduced port times "to save a few dollars" but there's more involved than money.  I would not be at all surprised to see this trend continue.  If cabins get smaller, that may be a necessary consequence of a changing world.

 

A touchy question--I know that newer ships are more efficient than previous generations.  I wonder what the environmental tradeoff is between running an older less efficient ship and the steel used and disposal needs of scrapping it and replacing it with a newer and more efficient one.

 

Decisions and tradeoffs.

 

Roy

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There are lots of ways to save the planet.  To my mind, the cultural value of cruising outweighs the environmental impact.  People who might otherwise not even have a passport are out there being exposed to all kinds of different people and cultures around the world.  Thinking globally, this is a very good thing.

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We do not have children either, but we remain concerned about what we all (including ourselves) are doing to our environment.  If everyone did small things to help, our planet would begin to be in a better condition.  For instance, refuse plastic bags, cups and straws; minimize driving (unless there are work demands); buy cars that use less gas and produce less carbon emissions; and realize that through millennia there has been climate change; however, there were not billions of people needing to be fed.  I admit that we are not perfect environmentalists, but we admire the scientists who are working to help our planet, and if we all helped in little ways, our environment would not be so toxic.  No, we do not have children but remain concerned for the future of others.

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There is a lot of non-calculable goodwill that comes from ordinary people traveling and meeting people from different cultures.  

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And after me.... the deluge? Well since I can not save the world single handed, I go on cruising- and quite honestly - i don´t have the slightest of bad feelings about it!

Of course we die hard cruisers would be sailing with a better consience if the cruise lines would use at least better fliters before they blow their stuff out of their smoke stakes.

 

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