Somehow, I don't think the court injunctions are going to stop Greenpeace or any other group from interfering with the transfer of this ship, and the hell of it is that their concerns are not without some merit. All of this points to the problems of disposing of old ships, particularly warships. They're filling up the backwater anchorages much faster then anyone can figure out what to do with them.
I begin to wonder if the scrap value of these ships exceeds the pain of disposal. Perhaps the best thing to do is simply tow them out into the Atlantic and allow them to rest at the bottom of the sea. I believe asbestos is inert once it is settled and wet.
>>Well, the fact that you have to go to a third world country to get the scrapping done is telling us something about the economics.<<
Frankly, the economics stink to high heaven if you want to scrap a vessel in any one of the so-called First World nations, and it's the presence of the toxic materials that does it. Asbestos, lead based paints, PCB's, fuel, hydraulic fluid you name it. On an old ship, it's there and if a ship breaker buys one of these vessels, becomes legally and financially responsible for the proper removal and disposal of all of that. Anyone who thinks that this can't break the bank need only pay attention to what happened to the outfit that tried to scrap the former USS Coral Sea.
They went bankrupt on the deal.
The on going saga of the Oriskany that Wayne points to exemplifies the fact that just taking the hulk out to sea and sinking it isn't quite the panacea that we might wish. There's still the matter of cleaning up the vessel and then satisfying the authorities that it's "Environmentally Friendly."
When they did a major repair on the Battleship Alabama a few years ago, they found that there was still oil in tanks that they were unaware of that had been there since the Alabama was brought to Mobile in the 1960's.
I'm all for the environment, but some things are a bit much.
While researching, I came across a straight-faced Australian study on the environmental implications of burying people at sea. After some comments on the merits of biodegradable shrouds, it goes on to point out the potential harm caused by remnants of chemotherapy drugs left in cancer victims and the remains of pacemakers.
We are actually paying for this junk! Pity Senator Proxmire is dead!
Indeed. He'd have quite a time with all the stuff that taxpayers money is wasted on these days. The asbestos used for lagging and insulation on ships is not, in and of itself, particularly dangerous. Hell, it's a naturally occuring mineral which is found in the environment. It's not made by DuPont.
The problems come when the stuff is carelessly handled so that fine particles get into the air.
Probably a wise move in light of the sheer hostility of public opinion on this, but it still leaves one wondering just what they're ultimately going to do with the ship. The legal wrangling could go on for years and there's always the possibility that the ship is going to sink where she's tied up if she's not looked after properly.