April 13, 2007

Say No to Cruises!

Brian Beutler notes that the National Review is going on a little cruise with wealthy donors to raise money, and wonders why no liberal political journals (apart from The Nation) do the same. Well, not to be super-sanctimonious or anything, but I don't think any progressive organization should ever go on cruise ship vacations to raise money. Those boats tend to dump millions of gallons of waste water into the ocean, usually aren't regulated very well, and are often staffed by Third World workers earning rock-bottom wages and vulnerable to exploitation.

Maybe The Nation has found itself some nice eco-friendly cruise line, but I doubt it. From the website, it looks like they're using Holland America. Here's one account of how HA treats its workers. (Short answer: not well.) In 2004, the line paid a large fine for dumping 20,000 gallons of raw sewage into a harbor in Alaska. In 1998, the line had forked over another $2 million after it got caught illegally dumping waste. Sadly, giving passengers the option of buying a few carbon offsets doesn't make it all okay.

Okay, that was super-sanctimonious. Sorry! I'll try to write some more reasonable posts soon enough. But seriously, surely there are cleaner ways to do fund-raising...

Update: I see Salon and Ms. Magazine also go on cruises with Holland America. What fun!
-- Brad Plumer 2:04 PM || ||