November 24, 2009

16 ships are worse polluters than all the world's cars

Press TV - November 25, 2009 01:08:40 GMT

An award-winning science writer says just 16 of the world's largest ships can produce as much lung-clogging sulfur pollution as all the world's cars.

Fred Pearce, environmental consultant to New Scientist and author of Confessions of an Eco Sinner, has revealed that super-ships pump out killer chemicals linked to thousands of deaths because of the filthy fuel they use.

Super-vessels use as much power as small power stations because they have colossal engines that are as big as a small ship, Pearce wrote in a report published in the Mail Online on November 21.

He also noted that super-ships can burn the cheapest, filthiest, high-sulfur fuel that is in fact residues left behind in refineries after lighter liquids are taken and pointed out that there are laws prohibiting the use of such fuel on land.

Thanks to the International Maritime Organization rules, the largest ships can each emit as much as 5,000 tons of sulfur in a year -- the same as 50 million typical cars, each emitting an average of 100 grams of sulfur a year, he added.

The number of cars driving around the planet is estimated at about 800 million, and this means that only 16 super-ships can emit as much sulfur as the world fleet of cars, he stated.

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