Home' Work Boat World : February 2010 Contents © BAIRD PUBLICATIONS LTD 2010
Baird Publications Ltd, Hong Kong
Printed by: Print Dynamics (S) Pte Ltd,
135 Sturt Street
Southbank, Melbourne 3006
PH: +61 3 9645 0411
FX: +61 3 9645 0475
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief: Neil Baird
Administration Director: Rose Baird
Editor: Steven Kelleher BA Hons
Assistant Editors: Janice Chernli Teo BA
Pre-Press: Peter Hands
ADELAIDE: Jon Wallis; AUCKLAND: Peter
Morgan; BANGKOK: Kanakporn Sapraset;
Sathita U-Samran; BEIJING: Jia Yong Zhi;
BRISBANE: Bill Beecham, Dick Lee; DALIAN: Tina
Haishen; COLOMBO: S Mahendran;
FREMANTLE: Mike Brown; GUANGZHOU: Julia
Wang; HANOI: Ngo Khac Le; HOBART: Guy
Anderson; MANILA: Roger Tritton; MILAN:
Stefano Fermi; SAINT PETERSBURG: Yuri
Seleznev; SEATTLE: Mark Clevenger; SHANGHAI:
Graham Thompson; SOFIA: Krasimir Krastanov;
SIBU: Eddie Puah; SYDNEY: Terry Gorman;
TOKYO: Ikuya Ohtagaki, VANCOUVER:
Campbell Baird; VLADIVOSTOK: Vladimir
Fridyev; WUHAN: Yu Zhixiao.
Daphne Cham Ming Sheung LLB, PostGrad Dip Mgt.
135 Sturt Street, Southbank,
Melbourne 3006, Australia.
PH: +61 3 9645 0411
FX: +61 3 9645 0475
Asia / Australasia/ Middle East /
Western north America
Ajit Singh BE MBA
Europe / Africa / Eastern north America /
Shireen Chai BSc
Liu Xiaosu (Sue) LLB, MIB
Subscriptions: [By airmail only.]
For one year (12 issues); E95, US$150, £95
(*Includes 10% GST for Australian subscribers)
Global Circulation Management Pte Ltd,
The expensive and inconclusive world environment conference held recently by
the United Nations in Copenhagen was a "fizzer".
The fact that it so dismally failed to inspire any progress does not mean that the
world's environment problems will just go away. Indeed, they are certain to worsen.
Like many people, I am a global warming skeptic. I am not, however, in any way
skeptical about climate change. I see and feel it around me almost constantly.
I am certain, not just because of climate change, but also for a whole lot of other
reasons, that we do need to take immediate action to reduce, if not eliminate the
damage we are doing to our environment!
Emissions, marine rubbish, unnecessary fuel consumption, wake wash, noise, ballast
water, nasty chemicals in paints and oil spills are all environmentally destructive problems
for which the maritime industries have sometimes been and can be responsible.
There is no denying that vessel owners and operators have contributed to the fouling
of our own nests and those of all our fellow homo sapiens. Indeed, we all know of
others in the maritime industry who continue to foul our global marine "nest".
I hasten to add, though, that the vast majority of people in the maritime industries
are environmentally conscious. They do the right thing and are mostly successful in
leaving a nearly invisible environmental "footprint".
It is a well proven fact that almost all marine pollution is land sourced. Most authorities
agree that around 90 to 95 per cent of the air and water pollution you see at sea comes from
the land. Smog, rubbish and oil almost invariably flows off the land somewhere.
This doesn't mean, however, that the world's maritime industries cannot do better.
There are many, many ways in which they can do so.
My feeling is that the Copenhagen Climate Conference failed because its
all-encompassing global approach was too ambitious. It was also, very largely, attended
and dominated by the wrong kinds of people. Too many useless, hand-wringing
bureaucrats and hypocritical, self-indulgent NGO fat cats. They were mostly too remote
from the reality of the situation.
I believe that individual industries and individual sovereign nations could do a much
better job of improving the environment. We don't need the complexity and expense
of artificial devices such as Emmission Trading Schemes. The only beneficiaries of these
will be more greedy "fat cats" such as investment bankers.
Rather, I believe that enlightened self-interest should be allowed to prevail. We all
know that we can only benefit from a cleaner, greener planet with sustainable resources.
The best place to start achieving that, in my view is, so to speak, in our own back yards.
Apart from a few notable exceptions, the maritime industries are fairly well behaved
in an environmental sense. I emphasise, again, that they could do better. Self-interest is
already dictating that we can do better and, in most sectors, we are.
Improved engines, propulsion systems, hull designs and coatings, among other things
can and are reducing both fuel usage and emissions. More precise route planning and
slower steaming can and are making significant savings. The same is starting to happen
with alternative fuels. Even solar and wind power are raising their pretty heads again.
More careful and appropriate handling of sewage, slops and other wastes is
increasingly being practiced. Coatings are infinitely cleaner than previously. Oil and
chemical spills are ever less frequent and infinitely less so than land sourced ones.
Wake wash and other activities that harm coasts and river banks are ever more
rigorously controlled. Noise pollution is insignificant.
So, in our own best interests and for the benefit of the rest of the planet, the maritime
industries have improved their practices dramatically and they continue to do so.
That, of course, puts the worlds' maritime industries in an excellent position to
promote themselves as the most environmentally sensitive and capable of all.
There is no argument that shipping is incomparably less environmentally damaging
than any other means of moving goods or people around the globe. Fishing, also, if it is
sensibly managed, is a very environmentally sound way to provide the world with
protein despite the hideous lies of some of the environmental NGOs.
Yes, the world's maritime industries have a very positive environmental story to tell
and sell. They should do so. They should lead by example (and promotion). Perhaps that
might inspire a more realistic and workable Global Climate Conference the next time.
failure is not the finish
EDITORIAL FEBRUARY 2010
Links Archive January 2010 March 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page