Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dirty Fuel, Dirty Ships, Dirty Air

Recently have been reading about how dirty our system of seaborne transportation is. There's a lot of numbers out there, but many are confusing. From an article from the Guardian which I consider reputable:

- 1.12bn tonnes of CO₂, or nearly 4.5% of all global emissions of the main greenhouse gas!!!

Dude. We know CO2 is bad. What's bad is that there are some VERY easy things we can do to cut these numbers, as well as pollution. From the New York Times, shipping company Maersk cut their fuel usage by 30% (and most CO2 emissions come from fuel usage) JUST BY CUTTING the speed of their ships in half! This article also observes that we could cut Fuel/CO2 emissions by American cars by 20% going 10mph slower from 55 to 65. I say do it, and stop building roads. It's definitely an indirect way to encourage more efficient public transportation. Imagine if we could confine heavy transport to certain times of day in big cities easy traffic, and big truck's fuel usage.

The International Maritime Organization, is a UN body responsible for creating rules and regulations for international waters including policies for pollution reduction.They have passed rules which will require the sulphur content of fuels used by ships in certain areas to be reduced. Alas this doesn't apply in other areas. I'd love to see cleaner fuel everywhere, as well as a reduction in speed by cargo/tanker vessels. There's a lot we can do here without a ton of technology! Technology is cool too. A company has devised a massive sail for cargo ships, and all ships can use solar power for electric motors with zero emissions!

1 comment:

ginny said...

You mean 65 to 55, right?