If you write a maritime or any other type of blog and are not participating in Blog Action Day 2009 Climate Change, please consider linking to this post. Thanks.
Regular Sea-Fever visitors know that I am particularly passionate about two things: the sea and photography. You’ve probably already seen this amazing TED Talk by photographer James Balog of his time-lapse imagery of the fragile nature of some of the earth’s most extraordinary glaciers. If you haven’t, please take the 15 minutes or so to watch it.
These types of things become more relevant when you localize them. I wrote a bit of a tongue in cheek post last month about what rising sea levels would mean to our family’s 170 year old home which is only two shots of chain away from the current high water mark (if the sea level rises just 1 meter, we’re screwed!). Again I suggest readers might want to go here to check out what it means to them.
If you write a maritime or any other type of blog and are not participating in Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty, please consider linking to this post. Thanks.
Today is Blog Action Day 2008. This year’s theme is Poverty and in the maritime world you don’t have to think to hard about where poverty resides.
Southern Asia is notorious for it’s shipbreaking industry where governments allow unscrupulous businessmen to purchase dying ships which are then scrapped by teams of poorly trained and equipped workers for a few dollars a day. The conditions, as Bob Simon reports in the following 60 Minutes segment, are about as close to hell on earth as you can get.
The Ship Breakers
Several professional photographers have tackled this subject with increibly powerful images including Edward Burntysky Shipyards, Building and Breaking, Brendan Corr’s End of the Line, and Sebastiao Selgado’s coffee table masterpiece Workers. However, there are also some powerful images posted on Flickr.com that convey the incredibly hazardous conditions which threaten these workers.
September 1, 2008 report from NDTtv.com:
YouTube – Hazards of the Ship Wrecking Trade
Shipbreaking by the International Metalworkers Federation:
YouTube – Shipbreaking
Amazing photo essay Shipbreak: A Biology of Steel by Claudio Cambon
Shipbreaking in Bangladesh website
Greenpeace’s Bangladesh Shipbreaking website
ILO’s Is There A Decent Way To Break Ships by Paul Bailey
Unfortunately this human and environmental crisis is not going to be solved anytime soon and at least not until first world governments step and take responsibility for the full life (and death) of ships that carry their nation’s goods.