Only a Little Surprised

Quote of the Day

A new study commissioned by the European Federation for Transport and Environment revealed that toxic emissions of sulfur oxides from 63 cruise ships belonging to Carnival Corporation were 43% higher than all the combustion engine vehicles in Europe. This stunning statistic comes as EU leaders have decided to ban small combustion engines for cars by 2035. But what about ‘green’ cruise ships? Only crickets…

“The most polluting cruise ship operator was MSC Cruises, whose vessels emitted nearly as much sulphur as all the 291 million cars in Europe. When looking at parent companies, as in our original 2019 report, the Carnival Corporation comes on top with the 63 ships under its control emitting 43% more sulfur oxides than all of Europe’s cars in 2022,” the study said.

Tyler Durden
July 6, 2023
Carnival Cruise Ship Emits More Toxic Fumes Than All Of Europe’s Cars, Study Finds

Although Barb and I have never been on a Carnival ship we have talked to several people about the various cruise lines. Carnival cruises has a reputation like the Yugo GV has in the world of luxury cars. Yeah, they are laughed at and made fun of. There is a reason the contempt:

If a cruise ship is in distress or the passengers are suing it is a safe bet to say it was a Carnival ship.

Carnival ships emit more pollution than all combustion engine vehicles in Europe combined? I’m only a little surprised.


12 thoughts on “Only a Little Surprised

  1. Just another data point showing that there is no free lunch. For every unit of world GDP there is a unit of energy along with its unintended consequences. To reduce unintended consequences implies a much lower standard of living or the elimination of a lot of people. Guess what will be chosen.

    • Could we start with 80% of the managerial state? That wouldn’t reduce our carbon footprint by much.
      But at least we could enjoy the warming in peace?
      In my book, that alone makes it worth the 1.5C rise in temp over the next 100 years.

  2. Well, that’s actually good news! When you burn hydrocarbons, sulfur is just part of the mix. Sulfurous oxides are the result. But that’s only part of the story. One also get H2O, and when one couples the two as hot gasses sulfur oxide is reduced to sulfuric acid. H2SO4 I believe. Which produces extremely painful burns that do not heal quickly.
    Anyone on cruise ships getting acid burns? Of all the complaints that doesn’t seem to be one of them. So, what the report is saying is that all the cars in Europe aren’t harming anything either. (Although that doesn’t seem to be the emotion their looking to hype.) It’s nice to know that their studies have given us conclusive proof. Enviro-mentalism is just a power play for control by a bunch of sick people.
    And in the amounts produced and distributed sulfurous acids acts as a fertilizer. Just like the nitrogen oxides produced at the same time.
    The real problem is that their lies are so easily disproved. But they still feel comfortable in telling them. And even acting on them.

    • They feel comfortable repeating and acting on their lies because they have not been called to account. People in general are too comfortable to engage en masse but the irony is that when the discomfort reaches the action demanded point, our Enviro-mental brothers will have the control they want to quash any effective action. They are up against a time table and they know it. Hence the repetition and the never ending urgency of the howls.

    • SO2 is the anhydride of H2SO3 (sulfurous acid) which is a weak acid. The anhydride of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) would be SO3, which can be made from SO2 but not simply by combustion.
      What’s going on here is that a lot of fuels have had the sulphur compounds from the raw material removed during refining, for example US standard “ultra low sulphur diesel fuel” that has been required for a while now. Ships don’t have that requirement yet and use “bunker oil” which seems to be somewhat of a “bottom of the barrel” product from refining, including substantial sulphur content. So the facts from that original article are not too surprising. Whether any of this amounts to an amount of pollution that actually matters in reality is a different question.
      Real or not, I read recently that there is a policy change being put in place to require low sulphur fuel for ships. I don’t remember if China would be exempt from that. If past history is any indication they would be, which makes sense since communists don’t mind polluting their world, never have.

      • Ya, but still only a problem because Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates want to play Dr. Evil.
        And absolutely nothing to do with saving the environment.
        Spot on about China. But don’t look now at how long Fluor-Daniels has been f-ing around at Hanford nuke site.
        Ya, governments never mind polluting. Just like guns, they want to be the only ones playing.

      • Bunker oil is the step below asphalt in petroleum distillates. That is, it’s too thick for axle grease, but unusable for roofing and roads because it melts on a hot day.

        So it’s the second cheapest fuel available, behind coal. Coal is labor-intensive even when there are machines to move it – some always falls where the machine can’t reach, and men with shovels have to clean up. Bunker oil is kept in tanks with heating coils, so it can be melted and pumped from railcar to storage tank to the ship’s bunkers to the boilers. This reduces the manpower required by a ship, who cost not only their wages and benefits, but food and living space. So the bunker oil is usually the cheapest fuel overall for ships.

        But it hasn’t been and probably cannot be purified as much as the lighter fractions like diesel fuel and gasoline. Nor is it generally practical to add exhaust scrubbers to a ship as effective as the ones now required (in advanced nations) on coal or oil-burning power plants on land. So a ship burning it is going to emit considerably more particulate and sulfur-oxides pollution per BTU or KWh than almost anything else.

        For the envirowacko’s main obsession, “greenhouse gases”, ships don’t rate much attention, because their energy requirements are a tiny fraction of the energy consumed by electric plants and cars. But in actual pollution that accumulates in lungs, corrodes steel buildings, and makes cities grungy, they may make so much more per KWh as to overshadow the larger uses.

  3. Hence why my wife and I cruise on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.

  4. The bureaucrat’s instinct is only to take away, never to add.

    They could have eliminated far more of the emissions they’re worried about by encouraging the development of small, modular nuclear reactions that could be leased to cruise ship operators, and frankly to cargo ships, too.

    Why leased? So they aren’t permanently installed, and they can be operated by a crew of specialists from the leasing company rather than trusting to the integrity of the penny-pinching cruise ship operators. As needed, the ship can be put under a crane in the port, the old reactor module pulled out and a new one put in. The point of small modular reactors is to make them by the thousands with economies of scale in a factory, and then they’re small enough to be transported to where they are needed. They don’t need to operate for decades because they can be taken back to the factory to be refurnished.

    Large ships need enough power to balance the drag forces at their cruise speed. That cruise speed is determined by a lot of factors, but one of them is the price of fuel. The cheapest, nastiest gunk the engine can burn will be what the engine burns, because they need a lot of the stuff. Work out a way for the propulsion cost per ton per nautical mile to be below the fuel and maintenance costs of the bunker fuel burning engine, and you’ll know the price point you need for leasing the small modular nuclear reactors.

    That’s how to make the world better by adding rather than subtracting like a socialist: make something better and cheaper and the old way will fade away on its own. But it has to truly be cheaper, and not because of permanent government subsidies.

    It occurs to me to mention something I heard recently: There is no such thing as a political solution. All politicians can do is propose a different set of trade-offs. Unfortunately, our “betters” and “experts” have severe deficits in their abilities to accurately judge both promised benefits and totality of estimated costs.

    • Your observation about our “betters” and “experts” is absolutely correct. I personally know someone in the Congressional Budget Office and you would not believe how much most of Congress and their staffers HATE the CBO because they are really pretty good at what they do and their projections, though often ignored, are quite accurate.

  5. Diesel fuel and gasoline are made to be low to very low sulfur so vehicle emissions are going to be minimal. How about comparing cruise ship emissions to volcanos?

    Mauna Loa was dumping 180,000 tonnes per DAY into the atmosphere back in December 2022.. For comparison, on 6/15/23 the Financial Times reported “A total of 509 tonnes of sulphur oxides were emitted by the 218 cruise vessels in operation across Europe last year, up from 465 tonnes of emissions linked to the industry in 2019, the last year”

    Can you see the scam yet? Make a scary comparison but don’t bother to include any units to allow a true measure of the hazard or risks.

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