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RED FLAG POLITICS - The IMO appears to be struggling to justify their inaction on acid oceans, rising sea levels and ocean plastic, raising the question as to whether or not they are being lobbied by stakeholders to sit on their hands and allow the situation to continue to harm the planet. We need to keep the world moving on clean energy for a sustainable future.
Kitack Lim got voted in for a second term. Is that good or bad?
In our view progress has been slow. The leadership that one might have expected from such an important position, has been poor, particularly as to clarification as to fuels and guidance as to zero emission vessels. The administration appears to be ineffective from this maritime agency, but they are not alone. The UK's MCA is also struggling.
Correspondence from August 2019 remains unanswered, despite a 10 strong senior management committee. Why then did Mr Lim get a second chance? We have been forced to write twice on the subject of scrappage and mitigation payments, as suggestions to accelerate the move to cleaner technology.
We will chase and report on progress, or lack of it. If there is no improvement in response times, we will make it our business to look into the workings of the IMO, where our objective is to ensure the oceans and seas becomes a healthier place as soon as possible.
Public organizations like the IMO are answerable to the electorate and other organizations and stakeholders within any member state. Once they become aloof, then there is something wrong internally. We have a right then to seek to repair and improve their operations and administration.
POLITICS & REWARDS
Incredible though it may seem, poor performance is rewarded in politics - all over the world. Or rather, those who tow the line, despite change being needed rather urgently.
In the case of the IMO, lobbyists with vested interests in polluting ships appear to have the policy makers eating out of their hands. The IMO has been caught with their trousers down for the past 10 years or so, allowing disgusting levels of exhaust pollution.
It was/is the same with auto makers. They had the solution to car pollution over 20 years ago, but the manufacturer's lobbied for more internal combustion engines, to allow them to reap more profits from their existing factories and pump up the planet's temperature all the while. Shame on them!
There was nothing wrong with ICEs while only a few people had them, but once Henry Ford invented the production line, it was for sure that every family in the developed world would own at least one set of wheels, and most ships are powered by them. The swept volume of such engines, multiplied by the distance traveled adds up to cubic kilometers of noxious gas pouring into the atmosphere every second, adding to the CO2 bubble that envelops us.
The Global Ocean Commission conducted enough studies on the state of the ocean to make your hair stand up between 2013 - 2016. The World Economic Forum did the same on marine plastic, publishing in January 2016, warning of more plastic than fish by 2050.
ZERO CARBON OPTIONS
Electric motors emit no noxious gasses. Wind turbine generators and solar panels provide pollution free renewable energy in great abundance. More renewables would eradicate the need to drill fresh oil wells and mine coal. Coal and oil are carbon locks that we should not be burning to release more greenhouse gasses. They should stay in the ground. Unlike cars, ships can be solar and wind powered. Cars can only be solar assisted (except the Darwin to Adelaide racers where they had to raise the speed limit in Australia to cope with fast solar vehicles).
RED FLAG STRATEGY - In Britain in 1865, the locomotive and stagecoach companies lobbied politicians to introduce laws to prevent horseless carriages from competing with their businesses. One absurd requirement was that a man had to walk 60 yards ahead of a car carrying a red flag.
Left to their own devices, ship owners would quite happily carry on using dirty bunker fuels forever. They love the oily black substance because it allows them to make huge profits. You would have thought that responsible operators, faced with global warming, would have been investing their ill gotten gains in clean tech, leading the charge to climate cooling.
But no, it is much easier to keep moaning about costs and confusion as to how to change, where the IMO have been attending meeting after meeting for years on end, achieving nothing. The ship owners realized their tactics were working and kept playing the same tune.
Hey, why not go back to coal? Lets spend another year having meetings about it. And then, let's talk about oil. We could talk about that for another year or two.
Under no circumstances should we talk about electric propulsion and renewable energy. Let's keep that off the agenda. We don't want to confuse the poor ship owners. They have such a tough time choosing between Rolls Royce and Bentley motor cars. Don't you think? Maybe, we should put that on the agenda, since Ferrari and Lamborghini don't seem to be getting a look in. Why is that?
We could start with solar and wind powered ferries and work up to cruise liners and cargo vessels. This should have been on the agenda 15 years ago. But only now they want more studies.
Container ships might also get a look in. But hey, let's first think about at least making it look like you have your act together. You might gain a bit more time by converting the gas guzzlers and fitting exhaust scrubbers.
You might swap fuels to LNG and build terminals for that, and then maybe try and develop a wonder fuel that burns so clean, we'll never need to change a ship out. Who knows what might happen if you keep your fingers crossed. Why bother to change when a miracle might just land on our laps. We're all for that. Just cross your fingers and play for time. Time we do not have.
So, don't mention clean electric propulsion systems and rigid sails. Yes, they may work, and yes they might be built tomorrow, but by all means let's continue to indulge in bigger pistons and cleaning smoke stacks for a while longer.
LOVE AFFAIR WITH IC ENGINES
You seem to love the smell of internal combustion engines - and bath in oil. It seems such a shame that you should scrap those reciprocating marvels, when the planet can suffer a few more degrees of warming to allow everyone to carry on as before revving up the smokers. Mmmmm. Don't worry about the extinctions. Close your eyes and count the $dollars. Bribe your shareholders and tell a few more lies, according to Extinction Rebellion.
MORAL COMPASS - People don’t generally wake up one morning and decide, “I want to be enslaved by something difficult to manage and seemingly impossible to escape, because that sounds like fun.”
No, the road to depravity is a long one. It’s one traveled with many deliberate steps - steps that become easier and easier to take. Call it a moral compromise, an addiction, a weakness, or a sin - the destination in which they find themselves in poverty is one found by slowly compromising moral values while dancing with the devil.
The fact is that ship operators have been building bigger and bigger behemoths, to carry more and more containers, using heavy diesel oil as the fuel - all the while knowing that we were in a climate emergency. But also knowing that as they built their luxury cruise liners, they would use them to blackmail the IMO into extending the use of dirty fuels, using an economic argument that would not have existed if the ship owners and operators had looked for alternatives in good time. Clearly, they were given the wrong signals.
There’s a certain allure found in doing things we know that we shouldn’t do. We try to self-medicate as we binge on food; we seek stress relief with alcohol or cigarettes; we spiral downward in an addiction to drugs or pornography, always in search of the ever-elusive higher high; we allow frustration to morph into anger and eventually into bitterness and rage; we let one little exaggeration of the truth snowball into an unwieldy maze of lies; we become depressed and complacent as we stop engaging in life and pursuing healthy relationships or activities. We know full well the peril that comes with certain choices, yet once we dip our toes into that water, it becomes easier and easier to stay.
And that is how global warming has reached epidemic proportions. We are hooked on fossil fuels and promises of economic growth. All lies spun by corrupt politicians seeking election and businesses raking in the cash, when they should have known better.
And even though we can clearly see from the onset just how disastrous the destination will be, once we take certain actions, it becomes seemingly easier to pursue a little more and a little more and a little more… The downhill trip to despair is much more effortlessly travelled than the difficult climb back up to higher ground. It’s better to avoid a pushy door-to-door salesman by refusing to open the door in the first place than it is trying to get him to leave once you’ve invited him in.
Never open the door to a lesser evil. Unfortunately, we did that on several fronts at first not realising that the evil was evil: coal and oil; two drugs that are hard to kick. Coming off petrol and diesel engines is like going cold turkey, inhaling their carcinogens lead to cancer while the electorate is charmed by political porn stars like Putin and Trump.
TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY & TIME WASTING
We don't want the IMO staff to be out of a job, and think about all those lovely free lunches .... Yes, you need more meetings before committing to anything. Meetings to decide what meetings to have. Meetings to talk about the meetings, and meetings to distil what might have been talked about at these meetings - just in case anything meaningful came out of those meetings apart from an upset stomach. Oh yes, and studies. You must have more studies, so that you can have more meetings to look at those studies. Then you can have meetings to try and understand what the studies might mean.
There is so much to talk about, you might never stop talking. If it was a simple matter like just saying no more emissions and no more dumping waste, then you'd not need your plush offices and travel expense accounts. Heaven forbid, nothing to prevaricate on.
Lastly, once you've had all those meetings, you might convene a series of meetings to try and decide if there is anything that can be done to halt global warming from all those nasty greenhouse gases that have built up while you have been having your meetings. Mind you, we know you can't promise anything. Not without having meetings with the ship owners, just to make sure that anything you might be thinking of proposing does not upset anyone. Talking of which, you might have a meeting or two to try and come up with some ideas about that, or, you might be out of a job. Cos, you have spent rather a long time on this ...... and really, you should be doing something .... or at least having another series of meetings to talk about doing something. What do you think? Anyone for another meeting?
The fact that our humble contributions have been ignored, gives us cause for concern. We have had replies from many other branches of the United Nations. The European Union is proactive, and even the G20 (most of them) have bothered to respond to issues raised as to ocean cleaning.
Can we please have some action from the IMO? Is a reply too much to ask?
SEXY OR WHAT? - If these pictures turn you on, rehabilitation is going to be a long hard road. What amazes us is that anyone thought this kind of high was morally acceptable. We bit into the apple and ate to the core, without noticing how energy depraved we had become as we worshiped the $dollars that our snake charming political porn stars had promised as the path of righteousness. Salvation will be impossible with corruption in politics.
LINKS & REFERENCE
BLOCKERS TO ADVANCEMENT - Four of the G20, those with high incomes and expectations built on continuous growth and exploitation based on fossil fuels, could be behind the brake that smacks of the Locomotive Act of 1865. Can we expect that clean ships with zero carbon signatures will be forced to have a chap swim ahead of solar and wind powered vessels, carrying a red flag?
IMO's Management (Left to right) - Mr. Sung-Jin Kim, Head, Internal Oversight and Ethics Office; Mr. Hiroyuki Yamada, Director, Marine Environment Division; Mr. Lawrence Barchue, Assistant Secretary-General/Director, Department for Member State Audit and Implementation Support; Mrs. Linda Ryan, Director, Administrative Division; Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization; Ms. Heike Deggim, Director, Maritime Safety Division; Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Chief of Staff; Ms. Ariane Gireud, Acting Director, Conference Division; Mr. Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division and Mr. Juvenal Shiundu, Acting Director, Technical Cooperation Division. What is wrong with this picture? The blue flag should be red.
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