Care about the climate? Skip the cruise
With climate change increasingly out of control, it's imperative to reevaluate our choices and their climate impacts. A sector that demands immediate attention is the cruise ship industry. The world's biggest-ever cruise ship will set sail next year. Tickets are already sold out for Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas which looks like something from the Lorax. But beneath the industry's carefree and Thneedville-like surface, lies an ecological and climate nightmare. Cruise ships are seriously harming the planet due to their excessive emissions and wanton destruction of marine ecosystems. If we truly care about the Earth and halting dangerous climate change, it's time to rethink holiday plans and opt for ethical and sustainable choices.
Cruise ships are notorious for their staggering CO2 and sulphur emissions. A large cruise ship can easily emit more CO2 in one day than 83,000 cars. Passengers on Antarctic cruises can produce as much CO2 emissions on a seven day voyage as the average European emits during an entire year. The 63 cruise ships owned by Carnival Cruises emit more sulfur than all of Europe's cars combined.
The environmental toll extends beyond our climate. Cruise ships regularly dump rubbish and sewerage into the sea. They directly harm marine ecosystems and biodiversity. In 2017, Carnival-owned Princess cruise line was fined a record-breaking $40 million after pleading guilty to deliberately dumping contaminated waste into the ocean and covering it up.
Greenwashing by the cruise ship industry is on the rise. So it's important to see beyond its glossy advertisements and motherhood statements about the environment. While trying to present itself as environmentally friendly, the industry is making no substantive changes. CO2 emissions from cruise ships are on the rise.
It's high time to take a stand. Skipping your cruise may seem like a small step. But prioritising sustainable travel sends a message that environmental consciousness matters. Individual actions can also have ripple effects, inspiring others to reevaluate their choices.
In the face of growing climate chaos and tactics of delay and diversion by governments and industry, our own individual choices matter more than ever. Avoiding climate collapse requires conscious decisions from everyone to lower emissions. Boycotting the cruise ship industry is a way of taking real action.
Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas looks like a floating Thneedville from the Lorax.