With hardly any regulation and few technological advancements, oceangoing ships are contributing more pollution than the automotive community. That's according to a study titled "Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ocean-going Ships: Impacts, Mitigation Options and Opportunities for Managing Growth." (full report can be found at theicct.org
) Basically, it says that all the world's cars, trucks and buses don't release as much sulfur dioxide, which is the cause of acid rain, as the big maritime industry. The automotive community has reduced its contributions dramatically in past couple decades but ships go relatively unregulated. Experts say dirty emissions from ships alone could surpass all land-based sources, including factories and refineries. Experts also say lowering emissions on ships will be less expensive than requiring cars to improve even more. At least the California ports are trying. California regulators have required low-sulfur fuel in ships as they approach the state, but that ruling is being challenged in court.
[Source: Erik Nelson/MediaNews Group via The Daily Democrat]