Before you book your next cruise, think about what kind of impact you might be making on the environment, depending on which cruise line you choose. Given by the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, 2011’s “Dinosaur of the Year” award goes to the cruise-ship industry. Singled out were cruise lines AIDA and TUI, based in Germany.
NABU President Olaf Tschimpke states that cruise ships emit particle pollution equivalent to 5 million cars driving the same distance as a cruise ship travels. Tschimpke also states that none of the money spent on the many conveniences available on cruise ships goes into reducing the pollution emission rates. According to NABU, “The 15 largest cruise ships emit as much sulfur dioxide pollution annually as all 760 million cars in the world.”
AIDA states that it uses fuel oil with sulfur content lower than 0.1 percent, which is below required international standards. AIDA President Michael Thamm states the company has made significant environmentally sound changes, including new vessels from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which are supposed to be environmentally groundbreaking.
Also taken into account by NABU are the effects of particle pollution in the environments of natural beauty and species diversity in areas where cruise ships stop. Increasing heat absorption from sunlight, which contributes to the melting of glacial ice, are black oil or diesel particles falling on the white ice at the North and South Poles. Tschimpke refers to cruise ships as “soot catapults.”
The Dinosaur of the Year award, given to individuals and companies who, according to NABU, have a negative impact on the environment, started in 1993. For more information on NABU, visit its website here.