Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive was empty on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. The company intends to build a dock and transform the property into a community asset and is seeking community input. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Norwegian Cruise Line’s property on Egan Drive was empty on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. The company intends to build a dock and transform the property into a community asset and is seeking community input. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Opinion: Let’s not fall for corporate greenwash

“Both NCLH’s and Keystone’s plans smack of irony and hypocrisy.”

Norwegian Cruise Line Holding Corporation held another public meeting last week to rehash their plans for a huge dock to enable each of their ships to conveniently discharge 4,000 passengers and crew onto Egan Drive. But the good news is that NCLH is “going green.” Their Vice President of Construction, Alicia Cuervo, sprightly informed us of her plans to use “green” building techniques, “cool new technology” she enthused.

Evidently, Cuervo has forgotten that cruise ships themselves are some of the worst polluters in the world. Carnival Corporation has been convicted of numerous felonies for dumping in U.S. waters. Recall the 26,000 gallons of gray water discharged into Glacier Bay National Park in September 2018?

“We’re not Carnival! We don’t throw mattresses into your landfill!” Cuervo might exclaim. Nevertheless, even a “responsible” cruise ship can belch as much air pollution as 700 trucks. And those “sophisticated” air scrubbers these foreign-flagged ships use to “clean” their emissions simply take pollutants out of their smokestacks and put them into our oceans.

Cuervo’s bubbly “good news” is akin to the Keystone Pipeline’s tech company recently touting that they intend to use only renewable energy to operate the pipeline. And what will the 2,000-mile pipeline carry? The crudest of the crude: a sludgy, gooey coal tar that is converted into fuel at a tremendous environmental cost.

Both NCLH’s and Keystone’s plans smack of irony and hypocrisy. Let’s not be so naive as to fall for their corporate greenwash.

George C. Schrader,

Douglas

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