They see magnificent luxury. I see giant carbon footprints. In this picture you see six luxury yachts. You don’t see their tanks of fuel totaling approximately 200,000 gallons of diesel (estimate provided by deckhands on two of the yachts). Nor do you see the handful who pay the big bucks for the big boat rides.
A burned gallon of diesel puts approximately 22 pounds of carbon dioxide in the air, which sticks around a long, long time. So one fill-up all around: 4,400,000 pounds of CO2, or 88,000 pounds per guest per tank even if these boats really had all of the 50 guests they can house. The average earthling adds 2,800 pounds carbon into the air – in a year.
CO2 planet-wide is increasing 3 percent annually, warming the atmosphere and thawing the ice at an increasing rate. Just because we can do this, does it make it OK?
(Related: The Boston Globe ran an August 4, 2013 front page article on Boston’s Rising Tide.)