If you saw "Inside Out - South-east" on the Beeb last night you will have seen the piece about pollution from ships, that obviously affects ports such as Dover more that other areas. I was surprised to learn just how large a polluter shipping is and in particular it is such a major emitter of Sulphur.
This ferry is smoking, but nothing like the thick smoke that they often throw out as they leave the port. Some new research in Denmark shows that pollution from ships kills a significant number of people each year. I believe they said around 1000 people p.a. in Denmark, which if extrapolated to the UK would be much higher. We worry about car emissions, quite rightly, but one giant container ship can emit almost the same amount of cancer and asthma causing pollutants as 50 million cars.
One of the main problems seems to be that up until recently shipping has be allowed to use low grade, bunker fuel, that is cheaper but contains high levels of sulphur and other carcinogen producing chemicals. Although governments are now pressuring the shipping industry to clean up0 their act, the industry has such a powerful lobby they are slow to act, where it might impinge on their profits. The international rules that will require ships to burn "clean" fuel don't come into force until 2015. Research in the USA says that shipping pollution kills 60,00 world wide, and costs the US economy 500 million dollars a year. Here in Dover we can be reassured because the DDC spokesman on Transport said "we are monitoring the situation". That will do a lot I am sure!
I had to have another look at the Wryneck this afternoon, eager to get some more (better) pictures, with my older camera (20D), as my 40D is once again on its way back to Canon.
There was no one else around and we got quite close to each other. A couple of times it disappeared into the grass and appeared almost on my feet.