The New York Times reports yesterday that shipping companies are cutting the speed of their vessels: “Slow Trip Across Sea Aids Profit and Environment”
Technically a cargo ship going at 12 knots doesn’t “aid” the environment- it just destroys it slightly less quickly. Nevertheless in spite of the hype, slower speeds are important. Particularly if you are unlucky enough to be in the way. Whether you are a pilot whale in the North Atlantic or a 12 year old boy walking to school.
The only problem is- if cargo ships are going half the speed, it obviously takes twice as long if you choose to ride on one to get across the ocean. Slow is the point- I suppose- of taking a boat rather than a plane. However, at $110/ night as a passenger aboard, that’s one costly crossing. That leaves (blech) cruise ships. Let’s have real heavens-to-betsy-gosh-darn travel choice! Regular transatlantic airship service. Or at least some nice sailing ships.
Apparently the US and UK postal services didn’t get the slow memo though. Last year, the USPS eliminated the choice to send overseas mail by surface, requiring air freight. And Royal Mail is trading in their cute little red cargo bikes for diesel vans. More carbon emissions. More danger on the roads. (This culture is going) Top Gear in the wrong direction.
Oh well I’m glad that some industry is making more profit by going slow- they can afford to cough up their part of the $2.2 trillion in damage every year that they are inflicting on our planet’s environment. She ain’t gonna keep givin it up forever you know.