Unless one is a complete right-wing nutter who thinks global warming is a Democrat lie and that Putin is cleansing Ukraine of dangerous LGBTQ+ perverts, transvestites and Nazis, it has come to our attention in recent years, months and days that the world is getting dangerously hot.
It is good to be reminded of this on a daily basis and my local petrol station is doing its bit by sticking signs on the pumps saying: “The use of fuel that is mainly produced using fossil fuels contributes to climate change. Economise.”
This doesn’t make me feel good as I put 60 euros worth of petrol in the car, but I am already economising because a year ago the same amount of fuel would have cost only 35 euros.
I am also outraged because the use of private cars is only one cause of carbon dioxide emissions in Europe. A badge of dishonour goes to cruise ships, those floating cubicles of misery and false hope.
Some of the accusations against cruise ships have proven to be exaggerated. It is not true that the world’s seventeen largest ships emit more sulphur than the global car fleet, according to an academic analysis of the figures by the University of Delft.
However, the maritime fleet as a whole emits more sulphur dioxide than the global car fleet, the same study found.
Whichever way you crunch the numbers, cruise ships constitute a climate change menace.
Locally, there have been two recorded instances in recent weeks when cruise ships have been expelled from harbour (Nice) or fined for exceeding permitted pollution limits (Marseille).
PHOTO supplied by reader
In Monaco, cruise ships are docking in Port Hercule but are keeping their turbines running in order to power on-board services, such as lighting. Although the port facilities have been upgraded to allow large ships to connect to shore-based power, for technical reasons this is not always happening.
My understanding is that cruise ships are tolerated in Monaco because of the sizeable port fees they pay and also because their passengers help keep open a small number of not very good restaurants on the Rock.
As a reader pointed out last week, there is a great irony in the Monaco Yacht Club holding the supergreen Energy Boat Challenge on one side of the port while a cruise liner is pumping poisonous fumes into the atmosphere on the other.