You Cruise, You Lose

| June 27, 2003

Taking a cruise is a great way to improve your shuffleboard game, explore nook-and-cranny port towns, and gain 10 pounds while indulging in all-you-can-eat buffets. It?s also a great way to dump 10 gallons of concentrated sewage into the planet?s watery abyss every day of your vacation. That figure comes from Ross Klein?s new book, Cruise Ship Blues: The Underside of the Cruise Industry, reviewed recently by Hal Clifford on the environmental webzine Grist. In the book, Klein depicts a cruise industry that doesn?t care about the environment and knowingly dumps sewage, dry cleaning chemicals, kitchen waste, batteries, paint, and solvents into the sea. The cruise industry has been fined $33.5 million for polluting in recent years, but not all cruise ship pollution constitutes an offense. ?Many types of discharge from cruise ships are exempt from key regulations under the U.S. Clean Water Act,? reports Klein. But the reporting may have some holes in it. Clifford writes. ?Nowhere in the book, for instance, does [Klein] confront anyone from the cruise industry with his charges. Nor, for that matter, does he give the industry?s critics room to speak.? Most of the evidence supporting Klein?s claims comes from the 30 cruises he has taken, and from published articles and documents. But if you?re more interested in getting all riled up about the negative aspects of the cruise industry than you are about award-winning reporting, Cruise Ship Blues is the book for you.
?Nick Garafola

Go there>>You Cruise, You Lose: A review of ?Cruise Ship Blues?

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