RANGER AGAINST WAR: Cruise Control <

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cruise Control

"[the image] is the reflection of a profound reality;
it masks and denatures a profound reality;

it masks the absence of a profound reality;

it has no relation to any reality whatsoever; it is its own pure simulacrum."

Simulacra and Simulation
, Jean Baudrillard

This is Ranger's nod to Earth Day.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel ran a piece on the increasing amounts of muck the cruise ship industry is dumping into our waters (''What Lies Beneath.'') This is but one of the myriad ways we foul mother earth.

These cruise ships are exactly like the Iraq war. They are the appearance of reality, rather than reality. Simulacrum encounters. Both are surface, shallow, and stink upon close examination.

Over the past two decades, Port Canaveral has transformed itself ''into the world's second-busiest cruise port. . . But what's good for the economy could be harming the environment, activists warn.''

'"More ships certainly means more pollution," said Terri Shore, spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth, a national organization pushing for stricter regulations on the cruise industry. "There are very few enforceable standards on cruise-ship dumping and air pollution.

''Seven cruise ships now call Port Canaveral home, and several others include it in their seasonal and special-occasion itineraries.

''Environmentalists say a typical cruise ship on a one-week voyage generates more than 50 tons of garbage; 210,000 gallons of sewage; 1 million gallons of "gray water" from sinks, showers and galleys; and 35,000 gallons of oil-contaminated water. Much of the waste -- some treated and some not -- is dumped directly into the ocean, Shore said.

''Ballast water, which is seawater pumped into the hulls of ships to keep them stable, also has created concerns. The water typically is taken in at one port and dumped at a destination port, possibly introducing invasive species into the area.

''In 2001, Royal Caribbean admitted it had installed special piping to bypass pollution-control devices and was ordered to pay $33.5 million to settle dumping complaints that occurred between 1994 and 1998.

''In 2002, Carnival Corp. was fined $18 million and placed on probation for falsifying records to cover up pollution by six ships. That same year, Norwegian Cruise Lines paid a $1 million fine for falsifying records involving the discharge of oily and other hazardous waste into the ocean.

''And in April 2003, several cruise lines agreed to pay $75,000 to research ways of handling ballast water after environmental groups sued, saying it was being discharged illegally into shoreline waters.

The article goes on to explain that the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has a self-imposed rule for dumping sewage past the 12-mile mark from shore. However, ''Florida's gambling ships typically follow the minimum state standard, dumping hundreds of gallons of human waste daily three miles from shore.''

Isn't garbage the same wherever it is dumped, and won't it float whither it will? What do we think--only the Indians or Chinese will have to bathe and swim in this swill? The prevailing winds don't always favor the fair U.S.A.

On an ironic note, This article was carried by Yahoo news, amidst pages of advertising for cruise lines.


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