For decades Wim Kruiswijk has lived on the Dutch coast walking the beach before people arrive and after they have left. His treasure: messages in bottles. Over the years he has collected thousands, and turned beach combing into meaninful friendships. He’s also become extremely knowledgeable about why people write messages and bottles, as well as what else is happenning to the environment along the coast. Today on the podcast, in assocation with the For Keeps podcast, we pay a visit to Wim Kruiswijk to learn about his incredible experiences with messages in bottles.
While global shipping is a massive and lucrative business that benefits people in so many ways, there is another side to it. Once the massive vessels need to be retired, they have to be broken down and their valueable materials recycled. Doing this using well equipped workers and proper facilities comes at a cost, and for decades, companies have been getting around that cost by sending their ships to parts of the world like India and Bangladesh where neither equipment nor proper facilities are required. Where no one is looking, and where toxic materials can be dumped and handled with minimal complaints. My guests on today’s program from the Brussels based NGO ShipBreaking Platform are among the most well informed and dedicated observers of this practice, advocated to stop harmful practices and push companies to act responsibily. A major challenge in an industry few people follow or feel able to influence, listen in and hear what is going on out there.
Back in 2007, following my trip to New Orleans, I did a podcast with my friend Damian who works down there, on the topic of emission from the shipping industry.? In case you missed that one, here’s the link.
The basic concern that led me to do that podcast was that much of the climate change talk at the time was focused on emissions from automobiles, energy producing facilities, and to some extent, air transport.? Yet so much of the world’s trade and transport is done via the sea and those massive container ships pulling into the world’s ports, day and night.? So my question for Damian was of course — What about the carbon that boats produce? Shouldn’t we be concerned?
I haven’t listened back to that podcast in about a year, but his words I still remember,
The typical mainstream discussion about global warming contains mostly conversations about political deals, automobile usage, and where they’re putting a new wind farm. Yet one area that rarely gets written about is that of the shipping industry, where most of the world’s goods are transported.…