Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Environment and Yachting

Bill's Log

There was a time when I thought sailors could make a real contribution to saving the planet. By setting examples of conservation and minimalism I thought these ‘ideals’ would have an influential effect upon others. I reasoned that unless new attitudes could be fostered there could be no progress, but now I realise the naivety and insignificance of such an example.

Here are my reasons:

Firstly the message of global warming and its consequential adverse affects has to be understood by the majority, particularly those who are in positions of power, whether by democratic elections, the ownership of global monopolies, manufacturing empires or the control of financial markets. Of such moguls there’s the notable Bill Gates, who is so rich he could buy some countries, but most tycoons remain oblivious to the urgent need for action.

Secondly, I doubt they will ever understand the consequences of destroying natural resources and polluting the atmosphere with carbon based gunk, so they will never be persuaded to take the appropriate action to save the world – hence themselves, their families and generations to come.

Mistakenly it seemed so obvious to me that kings and queens, presidents and rulers, industrial magnates, mafia barons, lottery winners and all those with wealth who find the need to flaunt their riches by owning prestigious motor yachts for luxury cruising in the Mediterranean, Caribbean or the Maldives, would acknowledge the error of their ways and repent of their sins, then all would be well! They would have a global convention where they would harmoniously agree to make one enormous mountain of their yachts and set them ablaze, while not realising how much carbon based pollutant would be discharged into the atmosphere, but at least, it would be a start of sorts.

Unfortunately, whatever we sailors do to conserve the world’s resources and to sustain a pollution free environment, our efforts will have in insignificant effect, because of man’s overriding greed and his ingrained disregard for the very world that provides him with food to eat, water to drink, air to breath and pleasant places to enjoy.

Nevertheless for those of us with an inner conviction to do what is right for our children’s children we can be satisfied by choosing smaller boats, second-hand boats, and vessels which cause the least pollution. If we are absolutely intent on doing our very best for ecological harmony we will give up boating altogether!

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