Almost everything you consume, from your weekly supermarket trip to the presents you order online, arrives by cargo ship. Shipping is the engine of the world economy, transporting eleven billion tonnes of goods each year. Despite the clear environmental crisis, shipping emissions have doubled since 1990 to more than one billion tonnes of CO2 – more than aviation, more than all of Germany, or even France, Britain, and Italy combined. As the shipping industry is forecast to grow threefold by 2050, full decarbonisation is urgent to limit catastrophic climate change. To understand whether there are any realistic alternatives to the polluting status quo of the container shipping industry, in 2020, Christiaan De Beukelaer spent 150 days as part of a sailing crew aboard the Avontuur, a century-old two-masted schooner fitted for cargo. This book recounts both this personal odyssey and the journey the shipping industry is embarking on to cut its carbon emissions. It shows that the Avontuur’s mission remains as crucial as ever: the shipping industry needs to cut its use of fossil fuels as soon as possible. Otherwise, we will face excessive global warming and the dire outcomes that will bring. The book explores our path to an uncertain future. It argues that shipping symbolises the kind of economy we’ve built: a gargantuan global machine that delivers the goods at an enormous environmental cost. Merely eliminating carbon emissions or improving efficiency won’t solve the underlying issue. If we can’t make shipping truly sustainable, we can’t solve the climate crisis.
Opening with the commercial ties between England and Spain, this chapter underlines the Habsburgs’ awareness of England’s strategic importance in securing the maritime link between Spain and the Low Countries. This triangular trade was key to containing France and maintaining hegemony. Mary was seriously discussed on at least three occasions as a potential Habsburg bride. In this context, xenophobia and foreign usurpation were repeatedly invoked in the face of a likely female accession. Ultimately Mary’s rise to power was built on her riches and crucial support within the Privy Council as well as personal popularity. Witness confusion at her coronation reflected the uncertainties produced by her unprecedented status as England’s first regnant queen.
arrival and integrated the Europeans in them (Bertrand, 2011 ). The Atlantic Ocean never forgot the triangular trade behind the Middle Passage. Yet, beyond all the sufferings, the sea nonetheless created one of the most potent counternarratives to the Western thalassodicy , that of the black Atlantic: that ‘fractal structure of transcultural, international formation’, which ‘transcend[s] both the
voyage. Why bother crossing the Atlantic under sail for coffee and chocolate as other people risk their lives to reach Europe? Did it make any sense to spend so much time, effort, and money on transporting a tiny amount of luxury cargo across the ocean? Did the symbolic act of sailing cargo justify the effort? We were to cross the Atlantic and bring the same goods as the colonial triangular trade had brought to Europe: coffee, chocolate, and fermented and distilled sugar cane. Had nothing changed since the Atlantic had
. 23 In the 1790s the ex-slaver turned clergyman John Newton glumly likened Britain to her Old Testament counterpart both in her divinely conferred advantages and in her flagrant disregard for the obligations this entailed, embodied most glaringly, Newton thought, in the triangular trade. 24 Abolition (1807) and emancipation (1833) would thus provide Victorian sermonisers with a satisfying narrative of national redemption. Typology and prophetic fulfilment were part of an apologetic edifice
Ireland in the seventeenth century helped fund future imperial expansion and established a model of using public funds, raised through taxation, for the benefit of private interests. In particular, he sets out the ways in which Irish resources – comprising the population, produce, and land – were central to British imperial expansion and its involvement in the ‘triangular trade’. This is followed by a chapter by Madeline Woker that charts how, from the start of the twentieth century, the French Empire devolved
elements that stood for the shifting spaces between the fixed places that they connected.’ He adds that ‘Accordingly they need to be thought of as cultural and political units rather than abstract embodiments of the triangular trade.’104 Recently the importance of going beyond the general and the faceless has been recognised in memorialisation of slavery in Britain. Thus in Lancaster, the fourth largest British slave port, the slavery memorial includes a list of Lancaster slave ships, the number of slaves they transported and the name of their captains, thereby bringing
, then back to the shore stations where cod by the thousand were headed, eviscerated, salted and dried. 20 By the 1680s a distinctive triangular trade, originating in Devon, was well-established. The fishing fleet would leave the South West’s ports in the spring, calling at Waterford or Dungarvan to pick up salted provisions. (Time was not wasted trying to grow or gather food in Newfoundland; the long summer days were better spent fishing.) As cheap labour as well as salt pork was available on the quaysides, the Devon
European colonies in America where white sugar, along with cotton and tobacco, was central to the early triangular trade. 22 L. Jensen ‘Postcolonial Denmark: Beyond the Rot of Colonialism?’, Postcolonial Studies , 18:4 (2015), pp. 440–52, 448. DOI:10.1080/13688790.2015.1191989. 23 See C. Lundström
Britain’s emancipation of slavery in its colonies, and indeed, as will be argued, American slave-produced cotton enabled the growth of the British cotton industry on a hugely expanded scale. However, although still controversial, Williams had forcefully argued that the triangular trade of purchasing African slaves with British manufactures, processing and manufacturing the raw materials from British-owned plantations, and supplying the plantations with machinery and British goods, was critical to both industrialisation and the economic growth of a new form of capitalist