Skip to main content

I was over looking longingly at an electric three wheeler kit when this artical popped up in the side bar. Sulphur Pollution of 15 Massive Container Ships Equal to That of 730 Million Cars  

Coral reefs are the fish nurseries of the planet, and they are in trouble due to ocean acidification among other things.   I had read that ocean acidification was due to the increase in CO2 levels, but it seems that CO2 may not be the primary actor in the acidification of the sea lanes, carbonic acid H2CO3 is a weak acid and H2SO4 is a strong one, and it seems that the Super Container Ships are dosing the ocean with SO4 as they go.

There are no air pollution regulations in International Waters, so the super ships have been set up to burn the left over fraction from the refining process, asphalt so thick that when it is a room temperature it can be walked upon.

The ships have massive diesel engines, burning tons of fuel an hour (that would be happier with a fuel with less sulphur content and can be fitted with filters to remove the micro-particulates, but they just let them spew.)  

The particulates from shipping sources are estimated to cause 60,000 additional deaths in the US per year from exacerbation of asthma and heart disease.

The EPA is supposed to have regulated shipping sourced pollution in a band around the US starting in 2010. Does not look like the EPA ever was able to publish those regulations. When I look them up, a cursory search does not turn anything from 2010 or 2011 up.

If not for the people, think of the coral the marine animals and the fish that depend on them. Ocean acidification another hidden cost of the China Trade.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (164+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover, Bob B, Dem Beans, Dirtandiron, WheninRome, jguzman17, shaharazade, jayden, citizendane, BlackSheep1, buckstop, NoMoreLies, Renee, GDbot, eeff, Roadbed Guy, Lefty Coaster, Wino, SingerInTheChoir, phonegery, BarackStarObama, Alan Arizona, Cassandra Waites, Dobber, RJP9999, Wee Mama, pickandshovel, jabney, offred, G2geek, 207wickedgood, Tyto Alba, muddy boots, doingbusinessas, Carlo, erratic, disrael, bnasley, WisePiper, ctsteve, ChemBob, tofumagoo, OLinda, dear occupant, deben, sawgrass727, sockpuppet, Hawksana, concernedamerican, bstotts, ozsea1, rmx2630, mookins, Blue State 68, priceman, blue armadillo, NBBooks, bill warnick, Josiah Bartlett, YellerDog, yet another liberal, marina, also mom of 5, pat bunny, daveygodigaditch, BusyinCA, elwior, mooshter, Nulwee, KenBee, Shockwave, Militarytracy, ogre, OrdinaryIowan, Angie in WA State, freesia, ichibon, cosette, Ignacio Magaloni, YucatanMan, antiapollon, Eddie C, Orinoco, splashy, Funkygal, dRefractor, kaliope, peachcreek, 3rdOption, BeerNotWar, susakinovember, JimWilson, elziax, ivote2004, WoodlandsPerson, Egalitare, banjolele, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, semiot, jcrit, behan, blue in NC, Leftcandid, renaissance grrrl, Bill in MD, mofembot, DiegoUK, marleycat, WI Deadhead, shishani, bsmechanic, mickT, Habitat Vic, zerelda, J M F, tle, BlogDog, psnyder, emmasnacker, mollyd, beverlywoods, Jim P, Chi, esquimaux, Gowrie Gal, flowerfarmer, Jersey Joe, cai, cotterperson, Deadicated Marxist, crystalboy, bfbenn, No one gets out alive, wade norris, zbob, elengul, figbash, SherwoodB, roses, Betty Pinson, pixxer, Tinfoil Hat, CA Nana, rb608, jadt65, deha, cynndara, Mogolori, bleeding blue, Just Bob, Prospect Park, hester, Pescadero Bill, Bob Love, peptabysmal, Trotskyrepublican, Sapere aude, davidincleveland, BYw, Kurt Sperry, retLT, AaronInSanDiego, thomask, IreGyre

    To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

    by Bluehawk on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 03:45:18 PM PST

  •  That is a horrifying number. (8+ / 0-)

    We really can't wait for governments to act.  It's not just our own government that is bought and paid for by the corporations who are doing this to our planet.  Naming them and avoiding their products as much as possible is one tool we have.  

    I also recognize that a huge amount of that traffic is carrying the oil/gas we use to power our cars with. As someone who drives... I know I need to make changes but I also think we need to be asking the question of why so much of our domestic oil is shipped overseas and other countries are shipping their oil here.  

    Thanks for posting.

  •  Seems insane to (9+ / 0-)

    continue with the 'new global economy' when global warming/climate change looms large. Another example of the disconnect of free trade/free market from the reality people and the planet have to live with and on. Isolationism in a different sense, the one that the Masters of the Universe say we can't have, is not the real isolation. This is like the GDP is totally isolated from the reality the disaster capitalists are pursuing. They call this inevitable and act like it's rational it's not it's delusional.  Even the profit they make and their measurements of growth are insane given the destruction and misery both environmental and to human life.        

    •  It actually makes sense. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cynndara, hmi

      The reason is, ironically enough, fuel effieicency. Measured in pound-gallons (the amount of fuel needed to transport a pound of goods for a mile), transport by ship is much more efficient than transport by truck or train (assuming the train isn't electrified).

      I don't have the numbers with me (can look them up), but supposedly it takes less fuel to ship goods from Shanghai to NYC than to truck the lot from Flyover Country to NYC.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 03:07:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And obviously (0+ / 0-)

        part of that equation is the less expensive crap these ships are using as fuel, and the lack of regulation on the "high seas", i.e, the global Commons.  We NEED a world government -- and it's obvious why Certain People will make certain that large segments of all populations are permanently opposed to this.

    •  Yes, it is a bad idea (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, cynndara, Kurt Sperry

      The shysters on Wall Street have been trying to pimp the wonders of the "New Global Economy" for some time now.  But anyone who has taken the time to examine the issue thoroughly knows the world is not ready for the concept.

      The idea of shipping US raw materials around the world to have them processed and returned stateside for consumption is ridiculous at best, unsustainable.

      "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 09:41:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Weak vs strong acid makes no difference (6+ / 0-)

    in the ocean because it is a highly buffered system. Please correct your diary.

    The sulfur pollution is a major problem in port cities because of the severe health effects on residents. It kills people.

    As nasty as it is, sulfur pollution has one positive effect. The sulfur aerosols over the ocean have a cooling effect.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 04:31:22 PM PST

    •  Sulfur Aerosols have a cooling effect? (0+ / 0-)

      Sulfur Areosols have a cooling effect if they get ejected into the atmosphere by volcanoes.

      I don't think this lower sourced and less explosively ejected material gets there.
      What percentage of this sulfur gets aerosolized to the level that it would help form cirrus clouds?
      It is a guestion that could be answered NOAA, but I don't know the answer.

      To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

      by Bluehawk on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 05:03:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure what I should correct. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, Betty Pinson

      A portion of the calcareous  "buffer" in the ocean system is shells and coral that critters wear. Acid is acid.

      CO2 did not cause acid rain that killed non-buffered lakes in the eastern united states and Europe. SO2 did.

      If there is something that I should correct, please be more specific.

      To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

      by Bluehawk on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 05:08:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ocean acidification is mainly by CO2 (6+ / 0-)

        All acids that stay in the ocean contribute to ocean acidification. Winds blow aerosols around and currents and mixing  move water around, so the sea lanes don't differ from the ocean around them. The strength of the acid is not an issue in ocean acidification.

        Fresh water which has very little buffering capacity responds very differently to sulfur pollution than the well buffered ocean.

        You need to clean up the following statement, IMO.

        I had read that ocean acidification was due to the increase in CO2 levels, but it seems that CO2 may not be the primary actor in the acidification of the sea lanes, carbonic acid H2CO3 is a weak acid and H2SO4 is a strong one, and it seems that the Super Container Ships are dosing the ocean with SO4 as they go.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:30:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It should be fairly straightforward (0+ / 0-)

          to calculate the relative contributions of CO2 and H2SO4 to ocean acidification . . .   (maybe I'll do that later if I get around to it)

          •  Projections get tricky (4+ / 0-)

            because the uptake of CO2 by the oceans is not constant. About 1/3 of the CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuels has ended up dissolved in the oceans to date.

            There's a partition coefficient called the Revelle factor, that is changing so that a lower fraction of CO2 is being taken up by the oceans over time.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 07:53:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sulfate contributes a few percent (5+ / 0-)

            Abstract of PNAS research report.

            Fossil fuel combustion and agriculture result in atmospheric deposition of 0.8 Tmol/yr reactive sulfur and 2.7 Tmol/yr nitrogen to the coastal and open ocean near major source regions in North America, Europe, and South and East Asia. Atmospheric inputs of dissociation products of strong acids (HNO3 and H2SO4) and bases (NH3) alter surface seawater alkalinity, pH, and inorganic carbon storage. We quantify the biogeochemical impacts by using atmosphere and ocean models. The direct acid/base flux to the ocean is predominately acidic (reducing total alkalinity) in the temperate Northern Hemisphere and alkaline in the tropics because of ammonia inputs. However, because most of the excess ammonia is nitrified to nitrate (NO3) in the upper ocean, the effective net atmospheric input is acidic almost everywhere. The decrease in surface alkalinity drives a net air–sea efflux of CO2, reducing surface dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC); the alkalinity and DIC changes mostly offset each other, and the decline in surface pH is small. Additional impacts arise from nitrogen fertilization, leading to elevated primary production and biological DIC drawdown that reverses in some places the sign of the surface pH and air–sea CO2 flux perturbations.

            On a global scale, the alterations in surface water chemistry from anthropogenic nitrogen and sulfur deposition are a few percent of the acidification and DIC increases due to the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2.

            However, the impacts are more substantial in coastal waters, where the ecosystem responses to ocean acidification could have the most severe implications for mankind.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 08:12:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Note: that's a max number assuming nitrogen (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, davidincleveland

              compounds are removed from the oceans over time by biogenic and abiogenic denitrification.

              look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

              by FishOutofWater on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 08:17:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  It seems a bit strange that (0+ / 0-)

              anthropogenic activity would only acidify the ocean.

              So the idea that ammonia could be used to counter acidification is a good idea to bring up.  In fact, I know somebody who calculated that enough could be produced and dumped into the oceans to increase the ocean's pH sufficiently to suck all of the anthropogenic CO2 out of the atmosphere (eventually, it would probably take a few decades) for about $100 billion per year.  

              In other words, remarkably cheaply.

              But still, since human kind is making all kinds of acidic stuff, it stands to reason (based on the immutable laws of chemistry) that highly basic stuff must be being made as well, someplace, somehow.

              And as this incident illustrated, that's totally the situation.  So why isn't this stuff being barged out a sufficient distance and dumped into the ocean?   Sure, it's probably not a panacea but it might at least offset the sulfur-based acids discussed in this diary . . .

  •  large ships burn the worst fractions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, 207wickedgood, Roadbed Guy

    they should burn uranium instead.  Though I guess that would just free up that oil to be cracked and sold as gasoline for cars anyway.

    Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

    by eigenlambda on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 04:33:06 PM PST

    •  I would say "Great" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, davidincleveland

      except that, with the number of medium to large ships floating around, given that a few get wrecked every year... hey, if we had workable net-positive-output fusion power, that would be a great source for ships. Sadly, the only methods that are really convenient involve harnessing things like wind, sunlight and more-or-less liquid petrochemicals.

      IIRC there's been some work on using kite-mounted generators to power ship systems while the kite pulls on the ship, reducing the load on the engines and thereby cutting fuel expenditure (and CO2 output).

      "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

      by Shaviv on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 12:19:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nuclear powered subs are colliding all (0+ / 0-)

      the time - the oceans seem to deal with that . . ..

      And by all the time, I mean every few years, but still, it seems like a manageable problem.

      •  Numbers game. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        Relatively FEW nuclear submarines, even though all the big navies have them.  Compared to shipping and shipping accidents, a drop in the bucket.  You only hear about the BIG shipping accidents.  Overall, the industry doesn't have a very good safety record, and given that, again, the Global Commons is largely unregulated, that's not surprising: safety is NOT a prime consideration in most freighter companies, and human error rates would fry your brain.  Exon Valdez was a TYPICAL example: alcohol abuse + incompetence + command is an old standby in merchant marines everywhere (except of course for your high-priced luxury passenger lines, where it would impact the lifestyles of the near-wealthy).

        Trust me on this, I was raised by a Coast Guard officer and read his journals regularly ;).

  •  Don't tell Republicans. (8+ / 0-)

    What do you know?   Regulations work.

    New clean fuel regulations in California and voluntary slowdowns by shipping companies substantially reduce air pollution caused by near-shore ships, according to a new NOAA-led study published online in Environmental Science & Technology.
  •  I am so depressed. Humans don't want to change (6+ / 0-)

    behavior in major ways especially if one is asking them to deny themselves. Geesh look at China, has 1.5 billion and they still fight to get around  limits on children. So you think if it is available that they are going to deny themselves a apir of shoes, a cheap quilt, an ipad, another doll or play truck...?

    It is not governments changing... it is humans who have no incentive to do so and most don't want to know. OK now I am going to have drink.

    Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 04:48:33 PM PST

    •  boophus - do you believe that (0+ / 0-)

      governments have the right to limit the number of children parents may have?

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 05:05:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the impulse to have 8 children when they (9+ / 0-)

        1.5 billion is unreasonable. I don't think the government can stop them if they are determined and the punishment for doing so is abhorent.  Perhaps if they had choice to have 5 to 10 children they wouldn't. But I think that we would have a world with over 3 or 4 billion Chinese. When I speak of China, it is of the desperate effort to stave off horror when faced with human drives. I think we are going to lose and will have a die back. BUT I will not quit trying to try to convince  people to live beyond thier drives and impulses in a self disciplined manner.  

        The least and perhaps the most we should do is to remove the child deduction on taxes... But that is unlikely to happen since families with 3 or more need to keep more money to feed the children who are now here. Too many are making efforts to ensure is far more then zero population by denying birth control and choice.  

        It is a sad and miserable choice . So I really think many are embracing the future that unrestrained child birth will bring us to. That too is an instinct to produce as many as possible carrying your  (tiny difference) genes so more can survive the struggle.  To me it is more sane to preserve our species genes but to each thier life is the only one worth preserving so I despair that we will ever escape the consequences of our animal nature. Maybe we shouldn't

        Fear is the Mind Killer

        by boophus on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 06:06:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those who favor more children ... (0+ / 0-)

          favor more die back and more Darwin.

          The one-child policy in China was the single most compassionate act by any government in human history. Yes, it's coercive and harsh. Also compassionate. Compassion is rarely a thornless rose.

          ... unless your perspective is to identify with the distant survivors of the coming die back, to whom it will be no more present than the ancient Black Plague is in our own feelings. They might truly be glad for the Darwinian advantage of the winnowing.

          •  Good grief! (0+ / 0-)

            If that was compassion, please give me cruelty! In any case, please spare us these smug proverbs about compassion and roses, announced from the comfort of your study. I imagine next you'll tell us about the virtues of a benevolent dictatorship.

      •  yes. (7+ / 0-)

        Use every possible financial incentive including exponential taxes and rationing of already-scarce resources.

        Use every cultural incentive including the advertising and media that already do so well at causing people to increase their consumption levels.

        The longer we wait, the fewer the options that are available, and the uglier are the options that remain.

        There is no escaping this.

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:10:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  G2 - you answered yes, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          your comment discusses various sticks and carrots, not a legal prohibition like the Chinese have (had?). It would seem inconceivable that any legal restriction would be Constitutional in the US and that anyone proposing a limit would not be a political outcast. You could certainly use tax policy and other carrots and sticks to encourage a low birth rate. We have an almost unbelievable percentage of children being born out of wedlock and you would think that we could encourage people to at least wait to have children until they are married. That alone would dramatically drop the US birth rate.  

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 08:22:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I should have said, "start by using every..." (6+ / 0-)

            In the end I do believe that a hard legal limit would pass muster, because there is no enumerated right to reproduce.  Nowhere in our founding documents is there a right to reproduce.    

            But beyond that, there is no "natural right" to violate the laws of nature.  

            For example physics: You don't have a right to defy gravity and float off the ground like a soap bubble.  You don't have a right to occupy the same spacetime coordinates as another material object.  

            For example chemistry: You don't have a right to have water remain liquid above 100 degrees Celsius in open atmosphere.  You don't have a right to make helium atoms bond with oxygen atoms.  

            For example biology:  You don't have a right to take a lethal dose of poison and continue living.  You don't have a right to breathe a gas mixture with no oxygen and continue living.

            Anyone who tried to suggest that it would be unconstitutional to pass a law against occupying the same spacetime coordinates as another material object, would be considered insane.  But beyond that, there's no need for such a law because the mere act of attempting to occupy the same spacetime coordinates as another material object runs into an immediate hard limit: the deed cannot be done in the first place!

            Ecology is more "forgiving" in that the limits are not quite so obvious.  But none the less they exist, and we are presently at an ecological impact level of 1.2 which means it would take 1.2 Earths to provide for us in a sustainable manner.  The inevitable outcome of exceeding ecological limits is a population crash or dieoff.

            What's tragic about dieoff isn't only that billions of humans die miserable deaths.  What's tragic about dieoff is also that entire societies collapse, wiping out decades and centuries of progress as they go, and foreclosing the futures of subsequent generations who are entirely innocent.  

            We would be fools to believe it can't happen to us.  

            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 09:16:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  G2 - hopefully this is a snark (0+ / 0-)

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 09:36:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no more so than the law of gravity. (5+ / 0-)

                Really now: Do you claim a legal right to violate the laws of physics?  Do you believe you can jump off a high place and not get injured because you're a good person?

                So, do you believe you can map an infinite plane onto a Euclidean solid?  That, at root, is the core of the premise of unlimited growth, whether in terms of population or economics.  It originates from our caveman days when the Earth appeared to be a flat unlimited expanse waiting for us to go forth and fruitfully multiply.  

                Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.  The claim that humans can continue indefinitely to multiply like mice and consume like locusts, is, in view of the finitude of the surface of Euclidean solids (such as spheres, such as Earth), an extraordinary claim.  The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate otherwise.

                In the end, I don't have to convince you of anything: Ma Nature will take care of that.  

                "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 09:53:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  G2 that's a bigger issue (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek, marleycat, FishOutofWater

                  My more narrow question was could democratic governments, and particularly the US, restrict the number of children parents could have? I don't think there is any Constitutional basis for such a restriction and any US politician who even whispered it would be out of office at the next election.

                  I do believe that environmental factors impact family size. In the days of hunters and gatherers families had only one (occasionally two) infants or toddlers at any one time because the parents had to carry them. Will environmental factors eventually curtail population growth, sure I believe that. However, the most advanced societies will have to deal with it last, because they will have the technology and resources to tamper the pace of change and its impact.

                  I have spent time in China and meet with Chinese people frequently. Their view of the single child restriction is interesting. They believe it is indefensible as a human rights issue, but also saved tens of millions from starvation. A very difficult balancing.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 10:48:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  a difficult balance indeed. (3+ / 0-)

                    It's like safe sex in the age of incurable life-threatening STDs.  

                    If given the choice, nobody "wants to" use condoms, but in the end, people use them because the alternative is worse.

                    Sex and reproduction are core human instincts.  But instinct is the most primitive force that operates upon our consciousness, and there are times when one must make the choice to operate by reason instead.  This is one of those times: as with using the condoms to avoid spreading the diseases; using all forms of birth control to prevent a dieoff that will be numbered in the billions.  

                    The reason that politicians can't get away with "even whispering" is that the majority of the electorate are sufficiently in the thrall of their instincts, that they will act upon those instincts with all the predictability of Newtonian billiard-balls.  This is true not only about reproduction but also about such mundane matters as gasoline taxes and the 55 mile per hour speed limit and other forms of energy conservation: matters that run into other instincts and emotional desires that are causing our downfall.  President Carter tried his hardest, and his epic speech on that topic has gone down in history as the "malaise speech."

                    None the less, politicians or not, the fact is inescapable: nowhere do any of our founding documents specify or even inferentially give grounds for, a "right to reproduce."  And in the face of compelling interests, even the right to bodily integrity can give way, as it does when the state insists upon vaccinations for school children.  From a vaccination to an injectable contraceptive is not even a matter of degree, it's the same thing: the right of government to protect the public health even at the expense of injecting a medicinal compound into every person.  

                    Since I've already said enough outrageous things for one night, I'm going to say one more:

                    The challenges we face today are Darwinian, in the sense that they require our species to evolve (adapt) or perish.  Those who can operate according to reason, are the leading edge of the part of humanity that will adapt and largely continue.  Those who remain in the thrall of primitive instincts, will eventually die off or become inconsequential, just as surely as Homo Neanderthalensis died off to be replaced by Homo Sapiens.  

                    For shorthand, we can refer to these as "homo instinctualis" (instinct-driven human), and "homo noeticus" (reasoning human, appropriated from the usage for "God-knowing human" translated to "nature-knowing human").  These two subspecies are with us right now, and the change from one to the other will occur over the next few centuries (in other words, in a metaphoric microsecond of geological time, as with climate change).  

                    So again, even if the majority don't come along, it won't matter, because nature will take care of it for us.

                    The longer we wait, the fewer the options that remain, and the uglier are those options.  This is inescapable.  

                    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                    by G2geek on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 11:29:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  One simple change (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kyril, G2geek, marleycat, davidincleveland

                      would be to educate all women through college. Apparently the more education a woman has, the longer she delays having children and the fewer she has.

                      Another idea would be to pay women two or three times as much for comparable work as men. Want to have kids? Then you take a major hit to your lifestyle, since mom will be out of work for a while.

                      Government would not be restricting childbearing, just setting up conditions where families would make that decision on their own.

                      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

                      by Orinoco on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 12:10:58 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  agreed, plus or minus gender discrimination. (5+ / 0-)

                        It would be difficult to set up programs in the US that provide any specific economic or placement advantages to young women because those would be seen as discriminatory.

                        However, in high birth rate countries, when females have legal and educational equality with males, the birth rate drops by approximately half.  The key thing is education past the sixth grade.  

                        We can do this via foreign policy: carrots and sticks brought to bear on countries where educational inequality is endemic.

                        And even paying women the same amounts as men for comparable work will do the trick as far as encouraging women to put career first until they get a little older.

                        The economic circumstances in high birth rate countries tend to be shitty all around.  Improving the conditions for women, and reducing the birth rate, will immediately produce economic improvements for the individuals involved, which will set an example for others to follow, and over time generally elevate the conditions of the entire society.

                        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                        by G2geek on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 02:45:49 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  One basic problem (0+ / 0-)

                      with this theory: Biology. Regardless of the social advantages rendered by your Homo noeticus, failure to reproduce means that the genes engendering this behavior -- or enabling or making POSSIBLE this behavior -- don't get passed to the next generation.  Meaning that wisdom is ultimately sterile.  Terrible idea, isn't it?  But apparently fact.

                •  Malthus knew better. (0+ / 0-)

                  Little rule I live by: "Never trust a dude in a tunic."

                  by SpamNunn on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 07:47:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  ? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                What's snarky about G2Geek's comment?  Try reading Collapse, by Jared Diamond.

                To back up a few links on this chain, I think G2Geek should have answered a different question:

                do you believe that governments have the right power to limit the number of children parents may have?

                To which the answer could very well be yes, but not in today's U.S., where Meaning of Life's every-sperm-is-sacred mantra is fervently espoused by a sizable, and loud, minority.  However, the government does have the power to terminate social services of all kinds to children, including additional welfare money for additional children.  Whether that would actually reduce the birth rate is questionable, though.

                I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

                by tle on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 08:01:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for taking the time to tell. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, davidincleveland

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 04:54:40 PM PST

  •  I see these ships all the time (10+ / 0-)

    One that was the dirtiest I'd ever seen, I called the Puget Sound Air Pollution Authority about it

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 05:28:08 PM PST

  •  Here in the Puget Sound region the container (16+ / 0-)

    ships are required to turn off the "smoke stacks" and run with a seemingly "clean" burn. Once they get outside the Strait of Juan de Fuca and back into the Pacific they turn their motors back to full bore, open up the flues and spew thick, black clouds of smoke back into the air. All of us here feel good about ourselves because we don't see what those ships really look like when they're running.  I once saw a container ship come into the Strait and they apparently hadn't switched over to the "illusion" mode yet (drunk captain perhaps?) and what a heinous site that was. Then, like magic, the smoke stacks went "clean" and the sky looked "clear" again and all was well in the land of milk and honey. If they came in here blowing all that black smoke I think we'd think differently about them.

    Which is EXACTLY why they do it.

    Every election either the democrats lose or the republicans lose. But in every election there is always the same winner. And he drives a Mercedes.

    by Methinks They Lie on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:15:58 PM PST

  •  Here's a link to the regs (7+ / 0-)

    I am OK at EPA searches....
    US and International Standards for Marine Mobile Air Pollution Sources
    You can follow the links to the CFR for full-text of the rules and phase in.

    I used to think it was leisure and education that radicalized people. Now I realize it's anger too. - Themselves' First Diary

    by Arsenic on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:17:38 PM PST

  •  Waiting for the EPA to act? (6+ / 0-)

    This White House can't even fulfill its promise to install solar water heating panels on itself.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 08:25:29 PM PST

    •  Comments like this one really make me shake my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      head in befuddlement.

      I used to think that Kossacks were better informed than others, but this lack of knowledge that you display about the major environmental accomplishments of the Obama Administration is just sad....

      Obama Administration Completes Environmental "Trifecta"
      Posted by Brad Sugarman on December 22, 2011

      Brad Sugarman

      On December 21, 2011, the Obama Administration made its third announcement this year aimed at establishing itself as the steward for cleaner air.  In July, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (known as the Clean Air Transport Rule when it was proposed).  This rule seeks to limit interstate dispersion of sulfur dioxide by requiring power plants to cut their emissions of sulfur dioxide emissions by 73% and nitrogen oxides by 54% from 2005 levels.  Taft has written more on this rule here.  In November, USEPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), jointly proposed standards that will require passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium duty passenger vehicles (including SUVs) to emit less carbon dioxide (CO2), 163 grams per mile by 2025, which is equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon.  These are commonly referred to as CAFE standards.  Taft has written more on these standards here.

      Now, just in time for Christmas, USEPA promulgated “National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Source: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers.” Since that is a mouthful this rule is commonly referred as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.  These standards require a number of sources, but most significantly all coal-fired power plants, to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollutants (arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium, and cyanide) by 90% within the next five years.  EPA estimates that the new safeguards will prevent as many as 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks a year. EPA also believes that the standards will help America’s children grow up healthier by preventing 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and about 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year.  The rule will be published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2011, and a prepublication version is available here.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 10:45:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the 'cheap' fuel (13+ / 0-)

    that we are so used to not paying for is killing us in so many ways, just another example of how we fail to deal with real costs.

    But isn't amazing that you can buy an aluminum cookie sheet at WalMart that's made in China for just 99 cents!

    Republicans totally abandoned conservatism in the 1980s ..

    by shpilk on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 08:58:55 PM PST

  •  "Artical" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farmerchuck, Bill in MD


    Blind Faith in Empty Language is Not Patriotism

    by ColdFusion04 on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 10:52:49 PM PST

  •  Sings (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is how my old buddies in Singapore are handling it.  Yes, ships can reduce emissions if they're properly incentivized to do so.

  •  This shows free trade cheerleading neoliberals (7+ / 0-)

    like Spouting Thomas (Friedman) are phony environmentalists.

    "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”. - George Carlin

    by Funkygal on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 12:20:27 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the appalling info. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Somehow we've got to put a stop to this.

  •  All this time I assumed that rising costs... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    ...of Carbon would make it more cost effective to manufacture "closer to the customer." And I harbored eco-fantasies of the return of wind power to ship at least some goods on the high seas.

    Very narrow accounting of costs - specifically the assumption that International waters are a "free" waste disposal ground - are going to retard any viable "greening" of international shipping. But the Global Financial Elites are happy for the forseeable future reporting quarters, so that makes it "all good."

    Occupy Wall Street AND K Street!!!!

    by Egalitare on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 04:33:57 AM PST

    •  This diary nicely explains why there is little (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, FishOutofWater

      or no benefit to manufacturing locally - it costs next to nothing to move goods across the ocean.

      •  There's tremendous benefit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to manufacturing locally.

        Less dependence on supply of foreign energy

        Less dependence on unstable, hostile foreign governments for essential goods

        Less loss of economic independence, stronger firewalls against criminal manipulation of financial markets

        More incentive to develop clean alternative energy

        More US jobs

        Stronger, deeper US economy

        "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

        by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 09:57:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You would think, wouldn't you? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Unfortunately that is all outweighed by the individual choices of tens of millions of people each day who prefer to save 3 cents buying something crappy at Walmart compared to something of higher quality that's locally made . . .

          •  Most consumers don't have a choice (0+ / 0-)

            That's why we need our federal government to put their thumb on the scale to balance fair trade and allow consumer's buying power to do the rest.

            "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

            by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 10:59:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  It depends (0+ / 0-)
      ...of Carbon would make it more cost effective to manufacture "closer to the customer." And I harbored eco-fantasies of the return of wind power to ship at least some goods on the high seas.

      Processed goods are generally lighter and less bulky than raw materials so from a carbon perspective, I think it might make more sense to refine and use the raw materials near there source.  E.g. if you're using iron and rare earth materials extracted in country X, it may make more sense to do the processing and manufacturing in country X and ship the resulting products to the US rather than shipping large amounts of raw materials to the US.

      It all depends on the relative carbon costs of transporting materials, how they get transported, production facilities, and power supplies.  It's really not a straightforward answer one way or another.

  •  Bluehawk, I can't recommend this enough. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This takes me back exactly fourteen years ago to the date. I was on a little island off of the coast of Singapore. It's actually situated in Indonesia. Expats who want to get out of uptight Singapore and hang loose for a few days take long weekends on this island.
    I sat in on a conversation/argument between a Danish container vessel captain and a professor from Argentina, both based in Singapore. The Argentinian reiterated again, and again, that a container ship is nothing more than a giant sized one or two stroke lawn mower engine that produces huge quantities of bad emissions. The Danish captain felt personally insulted, and kept coming back for more. I sided with the Argentinian, but I didn't know enough of the specifics to get too into the nitty gritty. It's good that people are at least talking about this.

  •  Thanks for bringing this to our attention. (0+ / 0-)

    I had no idea that there was yet another big way in which we are making our planet uninhabitable. Mon frickin' Dieu, what a short-sighted species we are!

    Just because it's made up doesn't mean it isn't true.—Plan 10 from Outer Space

    by mofembot on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:31:39 AM PST

  •  Emissions are mostly SO2, not SO3 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Which means you get sulfurous acid, not sulfuric acid.  Much weaker.

  •  Stop (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, Betty Pinson

    buying from China.

    Tried to buy American this year for Christmas and did very well.

    Ask for Made in America, and when they don't have it say you aren't interested in anything else.

    An easier way is to look online for names of products made in America and then target buying them.

  •  Get back to us when they start building (0+ / 0-)

    nuclear cargo ships for private enterprises.    Until then, unless they start making trucks that can drive on water, transcontinental commerce will have to go by container ships.

    At least a lot of containers go intermodal, directly to rail, once they get here.

    Little rule I live by: "Never trust a dude in a tunic."

    by SpamNunn on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 07:44:51 AM PST

  •  does make me want kids (0+ / 0-)

    this planet is toast, and most just don't care.  why would i bring another into this?

    knuckle-dragging Neanderthals

    by Deadicated Marxist on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 08:52:23 AM PST

  •  I Read Something Similar Recently (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, davidincleveland

    Can't recall if it was Scientific American or National Geographic.

    One "holy shit" fact sticks with me: if those big cargo ships that ply the waters were a country, that country would be the world's seventh largest polluter.

  •  You really should update this diary, because.... (5+ / 0-)

    ... the new shipping emissions regulations that go into effect nationally are addressing exactly this issue that you are writing about.

    One could actually argue that this is one of the biggest(and most unheralded) accomplishments of the Obama Administration.

    The study found that both sulfur dioxide and particulate matter declined dramatically after the ship powered down with the cleaner fuel. Sulfur dioxide went down from 49 grams of emissions per kilogram of fuel to 4.3 grams.

    “This study gives us a sense of what to expect in the future, for the people of California, the nation and even the globe,” said Daniel Lack, a chemist with NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. “It’s important to know that the imposed regulations have the expected impacts. The regulators want to know, the shipping companies want to know and so do the people.”

    The regulations that reduced the emissions from the Maersk ship are only in force off the coast of California now, but a similar, broader regulatory regimen will be in place in less than a year. In August of 2012, ships sailing into the waters surrounding North America will be subject to stronger controls than those in force globally for sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

    That so few progressives actually know about this major accomplishment is a huge failure of the both the mainstream and independent media in the U.S.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 10:34:50 AM PST

fly, Renee, paradox, Angie in WA State, jps, Mogolori, Chi, hester, ogre, deben, AaronInSanDiego, native, mickT, mimi, wytcld, karlpk, Shockwave, Pescadero Bill, cotterperson, OLinda, eeff, WI Deadhead, RFK Lives, concernedamerican, fugwb, BlackSheep1, Wee Mama, susakinovember, Agathena, KMc, PBnJ, roses, ivote2004, Ignacio Magaloni, ctsteve, splashy, Cedwyn, Eddie C, behan, psnyder, sockpuppet, figbash, pat bunny, Hawksana, yet another liberal, annetteboardman, Timbuk3, BlogDog, zerelda, lonespark, jcrit, xyz, Josiah Bartlett, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Jersey Joe, Tirge Caps, vcmvo2, G2geek, marina, Tinfoil Hat, NoMoreLies, tle, SherwoodB, disrael, OpherGopher, offred, Flint, kitchen sink think tank, YucatanMan, Dobber, fixxit, bleeding blue, LNK, Dem Beans, Kayakbiker, antiapollon, kaliope, WisePiper, turdraker, Alan Arizona, Reality Bites Back, SciFiGuy, mooshter, KenBee, Lefty Coaster, jguzman17, erratic, onionjim, SingerInTheChoir, CA Nana, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, BB10, shaharazade, bstotts, Nulwee, BeerNotWar, krwheaton, ladypockt, samfish, Sapere aude, out of left field, Habitat Vic, Deadicated Marxist, Wino, some other george, bnasley, crystalboy, spearfish, cynndara, also mom of 5, elwior, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, pickandshovel, bluesheep, mofembot, Karl Rover, priceman, WearyIdealist, watercarrier4diogenes, 207wickedgood, Bule Betawi, J M F, Dirtandiron, bsmechanic, Don Enrique, Methinks They Lie, petral, elziax, IreGyre, Leftcandid, Just Bob, Broke And Unemployed, one love, Aramis Wyler, RJP9999, pixxer, DiegoUK, cai, Funkygal, Betty Pinson, elengul, ericlewis0, freesia, trumpeter, boophus, marleycat, thomask, Muskegon Critic, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, beka, Bill in MD, Tyto Alba, jadt65, No one gets out alive, deltadoc, Trotskyrepublican, swedepi, citizendane, peachcreek, Forward is D not R, BusyinCA, Kinak, James Wells, Kurt Sperry, Prospect Park, Fleece Johnson

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site