52 Interesting Quotes of Rose George

” Usually, there is no equivalent of air traffic control at sea. Some busy areas operate ‘traffic separation schemes,’ but mostly, ships are treated like cars on roads where there are rules and codes of behavior, and successful, accident-free outcomes depend on everyone respecting them. As on roads, this doesn’t always work. “
” Most modern Indians don’t stick to their caste jobs any more. There is more inter-caste marriage, more fluidity, more freedom than ever before. But the outcastes are usually still outcastes, because they are still the ones who tan India’s animals, burn its dead, and remove its excrement. “
” Who cares about the men who steered your breakfast cereal through winter storms? How ironic that the more ships have grown in size and consequence, the less space they take up in our imagination. “
” Diarrhea, 90 percent of which is caused by food and water contaminated by excrement, kills a child every fifteen seconds. That’s more than AIDS, malaria, or measles, combined. Human feces are an impressive weapon of mass destruction. “
” The first thing I did when I decided that I was going to dive into the world of poop was look at who was doing stuff in that world. The first I came across was the World Toilet Organization. So one of the first things I did was to go to their annual show in Moscow. “
” Shipping is the greenest method of transport. In terms of carbon emissions per ton per mile, it emits about a thousandth of aviation and about a tenth of trucking. But it’s not benign, because there’s so much of it. So shipping emissions are about three to four percent, almost the same as aviation’s. “
” There are more than one hundred thousand ships at sea carrying all the solids, liquids and gases that we need to live. “
” Because sanitation has so many effects across all aspects of development – it affects education, it affects health, it affects maternal mortality and infant mortality, it affects labor – it’s all these things, so it becomes a political football. Nobody has full responsibility. “
” In some of the great cities of Europe – Paris, Vienna, Prague, and Brussels – tourists bored with life above ground can descend below. All these cities have sewer museums and tours, and all expose their underbelly willingly to the curious. But not London, arguably the home of the most splendid sewer network in Europe. “
” The days of languorous shore leave are long gone. Overnight stays are unheard of and sailor towns a distant memory. In better ports, seafarers head for a seamen’s mission. “
” We are using the same water that the dinosaurs drank, and this same water has to make ice creams in Pasadena and the morning frost in Paris. “
” Light doesn’t penetrate beneath the surface of the water, so ocean creatures like whales and dolphins and even 800 species of fish communicate by sound. And a North Atlantic right whale can transmit across hundreds of miles. “
” Rules governing defecation, hygiene, and pollution exist in every culture at every period in history. It may in fact be the foundation of civilization: What is toilet training if not the first attempt to turn a child into an acceptable member of society? “
” I find Suez astonishing for the first hour. It is a ditch in a desert, but a stunning one. The sensation of being hemmed in by huge ships, moving at a stately pace through a man-made waterway, is extraordinary. “
” Some countries have more water than others – some can afford to use clean water to flush their poop away, and some can’t. “
” You’ve probably been asked to care about things like HIV/AIDS or T.B. or measles, but diarrhea kills more children than all those three things put together. It’s a very potent weapon of mass destruction. “
” We are wasting our water mostly by putting waste into it. One cubic meter of wastewater can pollute ten cubic meters of water. Discharging wastewater into oceans turns freshwater into the less useful salty stuff, and desalination is expensive. “
” There is a scene in Richard Attenborough’s biopic where Gandhi argues with his wife because she refuses to clean their latrine. She says it is the work of untouchables; he tells her there is no such thing. Gandhi’s tactics of encouraging brotherly love across caste boundaries and urging Indians to clean their own latrines had failed miserably. “
” The average human being spends three years of life going to the toilet, though the average human being with no physical toilet to go to probably does his or her best to spend less. It is a human behavior that is as revealing as any other about human nature, but only if it can be released from the social straitjacket of nicety. “
” Half of the hospital beds in sub-Saharan Africa are filled with people suffering from what are generally known as water-related diseases. “
” Everything in a modern container port is enormous, overwhelming, crushing. “
” The Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), which controls the living environment on shuttles and on the International Space Station, doesn’t have the luxury of disposal: discharging trash into space has long been judged a bad idea. “
” Sewage works that serve big cities run into trouble when the cities grow up around them. “
” ‘MaerskKendal’ is a rarity with its British flag, the ‘LONDON’ home port painted on its bow, its two British chief officers, and its portrait of the queen in the mess room, apparently common courtesy on British ships, but a little alarming to me. “
” Ninety percent of what we wear, we eat, we consume is carried by ships… Container ships carry a vast amount of stuff. “
” In the early 19th century, they tried selling soap as healthy. No one bought it. They tried selling it as sexy, and everyone bought it. “
” What they have done in Japan, which I find so inspirational, is they’ve brought the toilet out from behind the locked door. They’ve made it conversational. People go out and upgrade their toilet. They talk about it. They’ve sanitized it. “
” Buy your fair-trade coffee beans by all means, but don’t assume fair-trade principles govern the conditions of the men who fetch it to you. You would be mistaken. “
” Shipping is so cheap that it makes more financial sense for Scottish cod to be sent 10,000 miles to China to be filleted, then sent back to Scottish shops and restaurants, than to pay Scottish filleters. “
” Ninety percent of what we wear, we eat, we consume is carried by ships… Container ships carry a vast amount of stuff. “
” I find Maersk fascinating. It is the Coca-Cola of freight with none of the fame. Its parent company, A. P. Moller-Maersk, is Denmark’s largest company, its sales equal to 20 percent of Denmark’s GDP; its ships use more oil than the entire nation. “
” In practice, the ocean is the world’s wildest place because of both its fearsome natural danger and how easy it is out there to slip from the boundaries of law and civilization that seem so firm ashore. “
” There are few industries as defiantly opaque as shipping. Even offshore bankers have not developed a system as intricately elusive as the flag of convenience, under which ships can fly the flag of a state that has nothing to do with its owner, cargo, crew, or route. “
” We see the sea as this place of leisure and this place, you know, a blue patch on the map to fly over because we all go by plane these days, mostly. And we don’t really see it as a place of industry anymore. “
” It’s difficult on a ship to get away from your job because that accommodation house, which is where seafarers live, is their workplace, it’s where they live, it’s where they relax, it’s everything, and it’s just hard to get away. And seafarers often refer to their job as being in prison with a salary. “
” I think about what’s going down my sink. So I won’t pour oil down my sink. I won’t – if I’m cleaning a pan, I’ll wipe it and bin because I’ve seen – I’ve been down sewers. “
” The more ships have grown in size and consequence, the more their place in our imagination has shrunk. “
” Of all the peoples of the world, the Chinese are probably the most at home with their excrement. They know its value. For 4,000 years they have used raw human feces to fertilize fields. “
” China’s use of ‘night soil,’ as the Chinese rightly call a manure that is collected after dark, is probably the reason that its soils are still healthy after four millennia of intensive agriculture, while other great civilizations – the Maya, for one – floundered when their soils turned to dust. “
” In the Communist era, excrement took on political importance, because Party policy decided excrement was essential for the Great Agricultural Leap Forward. “
” Along with all the other stunning statistics China can provide, it can also claim to be the world leader in making energy from human excrement. Biogas, as this energy is known, can be produced from the fermentation of any organic material, from wood to vegetables to human excreta. “
” Felixstowe, the United Kingdom’s largest port, stops work only for Christmas Day and for crane-toppling Force 9 gales. “
” Since the 1920s, when some U.S. cruise ships decided to fly a Panamanian flag to avoid Prohibition regulations, ships have commonly flown the flag of countries foreign to their owners. The benefits are obvious: lower taxes, laxer labor and safety laws. “
” ‘MaerskKendal’ is a rarity with its British flag, the ‘LONDON’ home port painted on its bow, its two British chief officers, and its portrait of the queen in the mess room, apparently common courtesy on British ships, but a little alarming to me. “
” Ships are obliged to take on harbor or river pilots – who provide specialized local navigation – when they approach a port, but in the canal, a Suez crew is also obligatory. The crew members are there in case the ship needs to be moored during the canal transit, but this rarely happens. “
” Seafarers are used to being exploited. At sea, the captain moans at chandlers who supply ships with green bananas that will never ripen; at fruit that goes moldy obscenely fast; at sub-standard meat. “
” Seafaring can be lucrative – the elite, such as gas-tanker captains, can earn $100,000 for six months’ work – but the isolation is a heavy price to pay. “
” I feel special. Most women will have only one menopause, and they will hate it. I will have two, and when the second one comes, I will know what is coming. I am having my extra menopause as a cure. I have endometriosis. “
” All that is known for sure is that endometriosis is endemic and that it cannot be cured. Management is the best hope. This makes for treatments that are, if I am being polite, based on trial and error. If I am feeling less generous, they are shots in the dark. “
” Endometriosis is notoriously difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are perverse. A woman with mild endometriosis can be in an agony for days every month (or every day for every month); women with the severe kind can have hardly any pain at all, like me. “
” Research into endometriosis is as scanty as funding. “
” In 2000, twice as much water was used throughout the world as in 1960. By 2050, half of the planet’s projected 8.9 billion people will live in countries that are chronically short of water. “