To The Daily Sun,
From the "Hard to Believe" file: Edward Humes was interviewed on NPR today. He discussed in detail his book, "Door to Door," which covers the wide variety of transportation which delivers goods from one place to another worldwide.
The transportation adds many things not beneficial to our environment. It seems that we pay dearly for having many items transported, then shipped to our homes or stores. Let's use the example of UPS. It ships 15 million packages a day by ground or air or ship. Another company used by millions is Amazon, the mega-company which also ships millions of packages daily. The advantage of course is that we are able to receive our orders overnight, next day, or within a few days of placing the order.
But there is a huge drawback in the cost to planet Earth. Yes, we pay a certain amount for that item we ordered, but there is a tremendous amount of money spent on producing them. Companies then ship these products from one location to another to add "parts." These locations can be from hundreds to thousands of miles away from where these items were originally produced. By the time it reaches us some of these products have "logged" the miles equivalent to a trip around the world.
The negative consequences are many. Shipping adds to traffic congestion on our highways. Burning untold amounts of fuels that pollute our atmosphere. We might say that this is the cost of doing business, but it isn't necessarily a good thing for planet Earth.
Humes's book illustrates the shipping of goods around the world from one country to another. These goods are placed in sealed containers and placed on mega cargo ships. These ships can be as high as a 15-story building. Cargo ships burn one ton of fuel a day. This is not a misprint. It's a ton of the dirtiest fuel produced — the most polluting fuel in the entire world. One hundred and sixty mega ships traveling around the world in any one day burn more of this dirty fuel in one day than all of the cars in the world travel in any one day. These ships continue to burn fuel as they idle near ports while waiting to unload their cargo.
The deep dark secret is that this fuel consumption is done "off the books." This means that these cargo ships who are burning this filthy fuel "doesn't figure into the carbon footprint of the fuels we burn."
Bottom line: any facts and figures published concerning the pollution the earth we all live on are extremely understated. That is a true nightmare.
- Category: Letters
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