World’s Top 15 Ships Pollutes More than All of the World’s Cars Combined?
Government is gung-ho about wanting us to use electric cars but it’s totally silent on the environmental impact of shipping reports The Sun.
Shipping containers created a uniformity that has gone hand in hand with globalisation, they tend to come in a 20ft or 40ft length with a width of 8ft and a height of 8.5ft.
If anybody wanted to end globalisation all they’d have to do is get rid of all the shipping containers, thankfully an impossible feat. Like many great ideas, they came from the business world.
American trucker Malcolm McLean came up with the idea and converted some ships so they could carry containers.
In 1956, most cargo was loaded and unloaded by hand by stevedores.
Hand-loading a ship cost $5.86 a ton at that time. Using containers, it cost only 16 cents a ton to load a ship, a 36-fold saving. Not only that, the amount that a dock worker could load was also increased 30-fold.
The unions hated the idea as it posed a threat to their monopoly on controlling a port’s ability to load and unload ships, thereby their ‘toll road’ between land and vessel was largely removed.
Shift in logistics
That said, logistics was on its way toward a revolutionary change which is still shaping the world around us in amazing ways.
Nowadays about 90 per cent of all cargo in the world goes by ship, something we don’t always appreciate.
The cargo capacity of a container ship is measured in ‘TEUs’ or ‘twenty foot equivalent units’.
The six largest in the world are all owned by the Orient Overseas Container Line, the two largest each have capacity for more than 21,000 TEUs.
It’s mind boggling to see such massive works of engineering, I recall seeing a super-tanker in South America and being almost unable to accept that it was real because it was just so massive.
To give you an idea of their scale, here’s a statistic I still marvel at: Just one mega-container ship gives off as many emissions as 50,000,000 cars. That’s right, one ship equals 50 million cars.
The world’s 15 largest ships put out more pollutants (nitrogen and sulphur oxide) than ALL of the world’s cars added up.
So when you are getting an NCT and you see your car tested for minute amounts of pollutant remember that super-ships use a heavy, dirty fuel and are virtually unregulated for pollution.
Something that makes me laugh is how our government wants electric cars (which still pollute because their batteries are filthy to dispose of, use rare earth metals and still need energy generated somewhere to charge them) but is totally silent on the environmental impact of shipping.
I’m all for affordable consumer goods and I like the fact that this country has ports where these things are brought in, but why do we have such double standards?
This is yet another example of where we are all wide-eyed conscientious environmentalists on one hand and simultaneously ignorant Neanderthals on the other.
It’s hard to come down on only one side of this.
Every person who tells me how ‘green’ they are still likes to take foreign holidays, they still buy goods carried on heavily-polluting container ships and buy fruit that has to be flown here.
The reason so many arguments are never black and white is because of this type of interlinking of cause and effect.
Why do we care about the output of cars when there is worse at sea than on our roads?
I wrote before about the silly way we tax cars.
Don’t even get me started on the taxation of ships which are all registered in places where it’s designed to avoid taxation, while at the same time being the most polluting vehicles in the world.
Walk’s a fit tip for the record
LAST week I broke a record of mine I have been working on for quite a while.
I did two dips with 50kg attached to me.
That’s over half my body weight so it was a big day for me.
What wasn’t so great was the lack of progress being made on the scales.
I haven’t been sticking to the diet as rigidly as I should and this is a problem that always starts to kick in about two months into a diet (for me).
Sliding discipline means slower results, or worse yet, none at all, so I’m going to have to make up some lost ground.
To do this I’ll be whipping out my secret weapon — walking.
It’s really effective, doesn’t give you a wild appetite and it works.
In fact, the entire health and weight loss industry would lose billions if everybody woke up to the benefits of walking in the morning.