Thursday, 17 February 2011

A Ban on Bunkers Below Sixty Deg South Will Be Another Nail in Coffin of the Whaling Fleet

Bunker Oil that of the type used by the Nisshin Maru is set to become banned below 60 degrees South. (Antarctica) Thus leaving the Japanese three options: Convert the Nisshan Maru to burn light fuel oil, (diesel) find a new vessel, or stop at home. Which will it be I wonder, given the economic climate, and of course the disproportionate damage done to Japan's reputation and standing in the civilised world, by this single minority activity.

From the International Maritime Organisation.

1 August 2011: Entry into force of March 2010 amendments to MARPOL

New MARPOL regulation, to protect the Antarctic from pollution by heavy grade oils, in MARPOL Annex I (Regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil) on Special requirements for the use or carriage of oils in the Antarctic area, a new chapter 9 with a new regulation 43, which would prohibit the carriage, in bulk as cargo, or carriage and use as fuel, of: crude oils having a density, at 15°C, higher than 900 kg/m3; oils, other than crude oils, having a density, at 15°C, higher than 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity, at 50°C, higher than 180 mm2/s; or bitumen, tar and their emulsions. An exception is envisaged for vessels engaged in securing the safety of ships or in a search-and-rescue operation. source


What are Bunkers/Bunker Fuel?

Bunker fuel is a type of liquid fuel which is fractionally distilled from crude oil. Bunker fuel is also known as fuel oil, and a number of different classifications around the world are used to describe fuel oil; these classifications break bunker fuel into different categories based on its chemical composition, intended purpose, and boiling temperature. In comparison with other petroleum products, bunker fuel is extremely crude and highly polluting.

Small molecules like those in propane gas, naptha, gasoline for cars, and jet fuel have relatively low boiling points, and they are removed at the start of the fractional distillation process. Heavier petroleum products like diesel and lubricating oil precipitate out more slowly, and bunker oil is literally the bottom of the barrel; the only thing more dense than bunker fuel is the residue which is mixed with tar for paving roads and sealing roofs. more

Did you know by the way, if the Pentagon were a country it would be the world's thirty sixth largest consumer of oil. more

I had another one like like that slotted away somewhere. If Texas were also a country it would be the eight largest polluter of the planet. I can't be arsed checking it out tonight though.

I stand corrected, it has moved up one in the rankings, now sitting in a very unenviable seventh place.

Texas is world's seventh biggest polluter

A love affair with vast, gas-guzzling 4x4 vehicles and contempt for environmental activism has helped Texas become the world's seventh biggest polluter.

The challenge facing the green lobby in America is illustrated by the latest figures for the Lone Star state from the US Energy Information Administration.

In 2003, Texas pumped 670 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - more than countries including Britain and more than that of California and Pennsylvania, the second and third-ranking US states - put together.

As other states such as California and New York introduce measures to address global warming, there is little evidence of fiercely independent-minded Texas following suit.

The "big is better" philosophy is deeply entrenched in many of Texas's 23.5 million citizens and its pollution figures have only prompted scattered calls for reform within the state.

Rick Perry, its governor, has expressed doubt as to whether global warming is a man-made problem and his Republican colleagues have refused to make carbon emission reduction a priority.

As other states attempt to limit car use, Mr Perry is trying to push through a $200 billion scheme to build a new trans-Texas highway that will be a quarter of a mile wide in places.

Mr Perry's administration is unapologetic about Texan carbon emissions, pointing out that it is America's main energy producer and has a heavy concentration of oil refineries and chemical plants.

"Texas political leaders read "environmental protection as government activism" and want no part of it," said Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

The politicians' views are shared widely. Texans polled last spring listed the Iraq war and immigration as America's most pressing issues, with fewer than 4 per cent including the environment.

Nationally, slightly less than half of Americans polled by the Pew Research Centre last year rated global warming as a "very serious" problem. Of those, 55 per cent said it required immediate government action.

Some observers see the influence of the state's most powerful industry - energy - in Texas's collective two fingers towards global warming.

However, 28 per cent of the state's carbon emissions are due to transportation, and critics blame the fascination among ordinary Texans with macho vehicles. One in four of the state's 20 million cars is a pickup truck.

Debbie Howden, an estate agent in Austin, said her family of six has two pickup trucks and three 4x4s, but described her high petrol bills as a "necessary evil". She said: "I would definitely put size and safety over the emissions thing." Telegraph
Unlike my America blog, I don't do tags on here, but if I did, I think I would tag this story: The Planet is Fucked

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