This morning I received a message from a crew member friend linking to an image which had been posted on the PTZtv Facebook page. A follower of the site posted a screengrab of the PTZtv video in the comments section on PTZtv’s Facebook page. It shows the Enchantment of the Seas billowing smoke before 9:00 a.m. in port in St. Marteen, while next to another Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Vision of the Seas, and Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess.
The comment stated; “Wow! Dark smoke out of Enchantment of the Seas this morning. Photo credit PTZtv Portstmaartenwebcam.com.”
Receiving photos and videos of cruise ships polluting the air and water is not particularly unusual. I have received many images each year from concerned members of the public over the years, such as photos showing cruise ships emitting thick spoke at Caribbean ports of call like this image in Nassau and this image in Grand Cayman as well as videos of crew members throwing garbage bags of trash into the sea.
The last photo I posted like this was the Grand Celebration, which was sent to me anonymously, belching smoke over the port of Palm Beach.
PTZtv has posted videos in the past from it its streaming webcam of cruise ship belching smoke like this:
The video in the article above initially shows a Royal Caribbean cruise ship (Navigator of the Seas) in the foreground, but the pollution is actually coming from the funnel of a Carnival cruise ship (Carnival Victory) which was docked behind the Royal Caribbean ship.
The responses on social media to these type of photos and videos are predictable. Some suggest the smoke is somehow normal emissions coming from the engines which were just blowing soot loose, or perhaps the boilers needed maintenance or adjustment.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean tout what they call either “advanced air quality systems” or “advanced emission purification systems” (a/k/a “scrubbers”). Many critics describe scrubbers as “cheat devices” which turn air pollution into water pollution by scrubbing the sulfer dioxide and non-combustible particles from the smokestacks and discharging the toxic sludge into the water. Two weeks ago I wrote about a study published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) which concludes that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) should prohibit the use of these systems.
One of the goals of the newly formed Global Cruise Activist Network is to educate the public regarding air and water pollution caused by the cruise industry. The world-wide network asks cruise fans and the cruise lines to “Rethink before you restart. Rethink before you re-infect. Rethink before you rebook. Rethink before you reinvest. Rethink before you re-pollute.”
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