Submitted by Anthony Davis
Venice is visited by 10 cruise ships per day. There is no law which stipulates the use of ultra-low-sulphur diesel in the Mediterranean…More and more Germans love cruising the high seas. However, when it comes to environmental protection many passengers and shipping agencies still turn a blind eye. Great expectations are now expected of the ‘Aida Prima’…Cruise because of the healthy air. The bracing breeze is supposed to be healthy. Cruise ship passengers enjoy the fresh breeze in the Norwegian fjords as well as the snow-white Arctic. Don’t forget the ports which are being visited by more and more ‘dream ships’…In Warnemuende near Rostock, New York, Hamburg or Venice the words ‘bracing breeze’ are a double-edge sword: on wind-still days brown clouds of haze hang over the inner city. In winter there are brown snow flakes among the others, and the residents are afraid of asthma and lung cancer…The Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), the German Environmental Protection Agency, and Friends of the Earth (USA) found two years ago that the particulates near cruise ship terminals were 60 times higher than the average in the respective city…Heavy oil is mostly used when they are on the high seas. This contains up to 4.5% sulphur. The Federal Environment Ministry calls burning this oil, which costs half as much as desulphurized marine diesel, ‘burning garbage on the high seas…Such ships which pollute the environment are not allowed in the Baltic Sea nor the North Sea. Since January 2015 only ship fuels which have 0.1% of sulphur may be used there. As an alternative, desulphurization units on board may be used…A cruise ship without a filter or desulphurization unit can, according to NABU, emit about 450 kilograms of exhaust particulates, 5250 kilograms of NO2 and 7500 kilograms of sulphur dioxide daily. The shipping agencies are allowed to send these ships which pollute the environment to the Mediterranean or to the Caribbean…During the high season about 10 large cruise ships visit Venice per day. After a short burn out near the pedestrian precinct they leave with smoking chimneys. The air near the Lido can then be worse than being near a brown coal power station – Translated from German magazine Süddeutsche Zeitung (Southern Germany News) SZ.de
Do the ministers of Health, Tourism, and the Environment know what type of ships are cruising to Barbados?
Are the shipping agencies using those types of ships which are not allowed into the Baltic or North Sea?
I find it very despicable that the said countries which build these ships that pollute the environment with the toxins that are being spewed out of their chimneys, are the ones which say not in our backyard.
This is typical of First World countries that want us to take care of the environment, but themselves don’t give two figs what happens in their quest for sea, sand and sun for their citizens.
The worst of these pollutants are the exhaust particulates which go directly to the lungs, because they are so fine and, like coal dust, cause lung cancer.
In the news release of the WHO dated 12 May, 2016, under the headline “Air pollution levels rising in many of the world’s poorest cities”, it states: “According to the latest urban air quality database, 98% of cities in low- and middle income countries with more than 100 000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines. However, in high-income countries, that percentage decreases to 56%.
“As air quality declines, the risk of stroke,heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma increases for the people who live in them.
“Air pollution is a major cause of disease and death.”
Dr. Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant-Director General, Family, Women, and Children’s Health: “When dirty air blankets our cities the most vulnerable urban populations – the youngest, oldest, and poorest – are the most impacted.”
“Ambient air pollution, made of high concentrations of small and fine particulate matter, is the greatest environmental risk to health – causing more than 3 million premature deaths world wide every year.”
“Most sources of urban outdoor air pollution are well beyond the control of individuals and demand action by cities, as well as national and international policymakers to promote cleaner transport, more efficient energy production and waste management.”
Seeing that ships which spew these particulates into the air are allowed to cruise the Caribbean, shouldn’t the countries in which such ships are registered be held accountable for the pollution of the specific countries to which these ships cruise and thereby contaminate the air making the relative populations susceptible to the above diseases and disorders?
The same laws which pertain to ships cruising the North and Baltic seas should also obtain for those cruising everywhere else!
Do you, the shipping companies, realize that some of your compatriots who stay at hotels in the Caribbean will be inhaling the same toxins as the indigenous people?
Or are they immune to such toxins?
Are the lives of those who live in the Caribbean – among them many Europeans and Britons – worth less than those living in Germany or elsewhere in Europe, or the UK?
When the Europeans and Britons who arrive by cruise ships stand at the railings before/after the burn out won’t they inhale more of the polluted air than the indigenous people?
Why are Third and Fourth World countries still being treated like during the days of slavery?
Some years further down the road you will be advising your citizens to desist from visiting the Caribbean, because of its pollution, not remembering that you were one of its predominant polluters with your ships which you gave permission to cruise here knowing full well that they would pollute our environment.
Can someone from the EU Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, or the British High Commission in Barbados, explain this anomaly of cruise ships that are not allowed to travel to the North Sea nor the Baltic Sea, because of EU environmental protection laws, but are allowed to cruise in the Caribbean Sea although the EU knows that they spew various toxins – and especially particulate matter – into the air and therefore pollute our environment?