posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 09:31 PM
Picked up a book for 40 cents at our local library's 'throw out' sale.
Original cost, according to the note inside, was $32.00.
Book is in perfect condition ... the record in the fly-leaf shows it was never borrowed. All nicely covered in plastic. 40 cents ! Wondered where
our Council Rates were disappearing to.
Well, will the information contained in this book surprise and alarm you as significantly as it did me ?
Source: 'Polluting for Pleasure' by Andre Mele
... Seemingly innocuous recreational boats, particularly outboards, are polluting as much as all the cars and trucks in America; and the
marine industry has been holding its breath, hoping that nobody notices
... Pleasure boats have been spilling oil into the environment on a magnitude that is staggering.
In addition to being 80 times more polluting than automobile engines, the more than 8 million two-cycle outboard engines put more oil into American
waters than 15 Exxon Valdez oil spills .. annually !
' Polluting for Pleasure' by Andre Mele
ISBN 0-393-03510-7 can be purchased online at Amazon, etc.
And from 'Floating SUVs'
The Union of Concerned Scientists, however, has spoken up, pointing out that an hour of waterskiing can generate more smog than driving a
car from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Florida. For some large yachts, the group says, 10 hours of cruising uses up more gas than a year's worth
of driving. It is these kinds of calculations that led maritime expert Andre Mele, in his book "Polluting for Pleasure," to ask of pleasure boating:
"Is there any form of transportation more profligate?"
His answer: "Only a fighter jet." ... cont.
It's estimated (probably conservatively) that there are in the vicinity of 12 million marine power-craft in the US alone. A decade-old fact-sheet
cites marine engines as being amongst the leading sources of hydrocarbon (HC) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions (smog, asthma, lung conditions, etc.)
Just as alarming are the quantity of petroleum products leaked by recreational craft during operation and fueling ... said to be equal to 15 Exxon
Valdez oil spills in US waterway every year. But because these individual spills are not deemed significant or even noticeable, the public remains
largely unaware of the magnitude of this ecological crisis.
"Boats are designed to spill," says Eric Olsson, an oil spill prevention education specialist at the Washington Sea Grant Program
in Seattle. "That's their flow gauge--[people fueling boats] literally look over the side and fill it until it shoots out. It's become part of the
operation of filling your boat." And unlike gas stations on land, most gas dock fuel nozzles do not have automatic shutoff valves. As a result,
Olsson says, marine gas docks are an ongoing source of petroleum in the water column, petroleum that can persist in an ecosystem.
Gasoline, sometimes mixed with oil, also spills out of boats--especially those with two-stroke engines--during operation. Other petroleum-based
products, including kerosene, diesel fuel, and antifreeze, can spill from boats in dry dock or while in the water. In boatyards that aren't
surrounded with protective gutters--and very few areas require such devices--rain can carry these spilled products to the water.
Petrochemicals can settle in the shallow areas of waterways where the first links in the food chain--fish eggs, larvae, algae, zooplankton, and
crustaceans--are found. According to research published in the October 1997 issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, extremely low levels of
HCs can produce catastrophic effects in fish, including chromosomal damage, growth reduction, and increased mortality rates.
According to the California Air Resources Board fact sheet, a typical personal watercraft with a two-stroke engine generates more
smog-producing emissions in seven hours of operation than a 1998 passenger car driven 100,000 miles.
Don't know about you, but I had no idea of the extent and magnitude of this ecological lunacy. None. Did you ?
And this may be WHY we didn't know:
There are about 17 million boats in the United States. Recreational boating is a dominant element of the coastal economy. The NMMA estimates
that retail sales of all boating products hit $29.25 million in 2002, up 30% from 1997 ($19.34 billion). There are about 30,000 businesses in the
marine industry, employing about 500,000 workers. Marine consumers pay almost $400 million in boating-related taxes and fees annually. Each year
marinas alone generate about $2 million in federal gas taxes.
** If this reaches only one person, who in turn relates it to another, then it will in a very small way put into the public domain the information
contained in a book (Polluting for Pleasure by Andre Mele) that sat pristine and unread in our local library and was finally tossed out for the paltry
sum of 40 cents.