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Old 05-03-2008, 19:25   #16
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As a plant physiologist, I frequently measure the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. They have gone up significantly over the last 30 years. There is plenty of evidence suggesting that if we keep on going the way we are that we will cause extra entrapment of the sun energy and continue to heat up the planet, with interesting side effects such as probably more cyclones and thunderstorms and loss of water storage from retreating snow and ice in the mountains. In my field it has been noted a reduction in the protein levels of grasses with extra CO2 in the atmosphere.Therefore I think it is important for us to reduce our carbon footprint and develop technologies that allow the developing world not to increase theirs.
It is interesting that the oil deposits were laid down in a period of high CO2 in the atmosphere, probably because the oceans and seas became putrid and the biological activity at the surface wasn't able to be eaten once it sank into the oxygen starved waters below;
Not withstanding, I am still wanting to cruise again. Fibreglass over foam core, though it produces some CO2 in production and it uses petrochemicals, the petrochemicals aren't burned. I figure that the CO2 produced in the manufacturing is less than from the electricity I use in my electric storage hot water system. By installing a solar hotwater system in my house, externally insulating the walls, increasing internal thermal mass, retrofitting double glazing, improving the curtains, and drastically reducing standby usage by turning off at the wall, I can easily reduce my consumption to about 15% of previous usage.
I can then , with a reasonably clear conscience, rent out the house and go sailing on an energy efficient boat (my design of choice is a Harryproa), doing marine algal research or maybe a bit of contract lecturing at a coastal University to keep me from getting bored.

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Old 05-03-2008, 19:56   #17
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Thanks for bringing up this issue.

As cruisers, defining living green is much more than just our carbon footprint. A few years ago, I lived aboard a sailboat and sailed the coast of Mexico developing a terrible addiction to the lifestyle associated with cruising. I'm now looking for a boat I can call my own, so that I too can travel long distances with the least amount of impact. But I am a bit conflicted by the environmental impact of cruising.

At first glance, sailing appears much more environmentally friendly especially compared with driving a comparably sized motor home or living in a small house. Hey, we can even use biodiesel – sailing from restaurant to restaurant. But, just because we are not using massive amounts of fossil fuels and stockpiling consumer products in land based homes, we need to remember that cruising can have a tremendous impact on the environment.

The major issue is the destruction of natural coastal areas to develop marinas. Natural lagoons, estuaries and surf spots have all been destroyed so that we might find shelter from wind and waves. I'm the first to admit that sleeping in a marina can be a lot more comfortable then those rolly, bumpy, windy nights at anchor. And walking to the showers and bathroom is at times much more civilized than the bucket method for either. As comfortable as they may be, I have yet to see a clean marina. How many of us have spilled something extremely toxic overboard and assumed that it was just a little bit and my little mess won't matter? Or even worse, how many folks have considered painting their bottoms with toxic anti-fouling chemicals because they are sick of those monthly scrapings? Of course, we won't do this in our own backyards, we wait until we can do it in another country with less stringent environmental regulations and where it's actually available in stores. But even without the major pollutants, marina waters are expected to be filled with bacteria and excessive nutrients just from our day to day living, no matter what that Clean Marina sticker on the wall says. And, I can't expect that living on the hook would eliminate my impact on the environment altogether either.

OK, just a quick rant. It would be great to hear from folks who are actively trying to reduce their impacts and maybe even go the extra step to clean-up, not because they are forced to, but because they want to.

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Old 06-03-2008, 10:13   #18
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The making of the boat, and the hardware may not be as GREEN as we wish it to be. While crusing you can be as GREEN as you want, or wish to. Take advantage of things such as solar, and wind generators when you can. Which is most of the time. There is no getting away with a perfect green world anymore. That stopped when man made his first footprint.......................
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Old 06-03-2008, 13:42   #19
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Is cruising green?
Not if you are using ablative bottom paint...
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Old 06-03-2008, 14:42   #20
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I agree with Alan's post. The only real problem is you did not tell those of us who are monetarly challenged how to get in on the scam.

Who said "carbon based live forms captain"?
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Old 06-03-2008, 20:08   #21
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The only way to be carbon neutral would not to be born in the first place. So travel and respect the environment without it becoming some sort of obsession. Like everything else, its all about moderation.


Life begins where land ends.
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