Ninety Percent of Everything - Anyone read?

Just curious if anyone has read this book and what you thought. Just heard an interview with the author on NPR and to me it seems like she makes a lot of assumptions based on a 6-month trip on a Maersk ship.

Eye-opening and compelling, the overlooked world of freight shipping, revealed as the foundation of our civilization

On ship-tracking websites, the waters are black with dots. Each dot is a ship; each ship is laden with boxes; each box is laden with goods. In postindustrial economies, we no longer produce but buy. We buy, so we must ship. Without shipping there would be no clothes, food, paper, or fuel. Without all those dots, the world would not work.

Freight shipping has been no less revolutionary than the printing press or the Internet, yet it is all but invisible. Away from public scrutiny, shipping revels in suspect practices, dubious operators, and a shady system of “flags of convenience.” Infesting our waters, poisoning our air, and a prime culprit of acoustic pollution, shipping is environmentally indefensible. And then there are the pirates.

Rose George, acclaimed chronicler of what we would rather ignore, sails from Rotterdam to Suez to Singapore on ships the length of football fields and the height of Niagara Falls; she patrols the Indian Ocean with an anti-piracy task force; she joins seafaring chaplains, and investigates the harm that ships inflict on endangered whales.

Sharply informative and entertaining, Ninety Percent of Everything reveals the workings and perils of an unseen world that holds the key to our economy, our environment, and our very civilization.

http://www.amazon.com/Ninety-Percent-Everything-Shipping-Invisible/dp/0805092633/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377814939&sr=1-1&keywords=90+percent+of+everything

Just finished listening to the same story and felt is was pretty thin in content but I did note the statement the author made that seafaring was the 2nd most dangerous profession in the world after fishing. I’d like to know where she got that one from? I say BS on that claim! Does she honestly want me to believe that seafaring is more dangerous than mining? Seriously?

Otherwise, I get the impression that the tone of the book would be pretty heavily slanted to how seafarers suffer so many deprivations yet we here know that for their cultures, seafarers from Eastern Europe, South Asia or the Far East are actually very highly paid and can make enough to leave the sea while in their 30’s or 40’s and life on modern merchant ships is comfortable and although she denied it, getting better connected to the world when at sea.

I’d also like to know why the people who write these books always end up being Brits?

I agree. And she was on a Maersk ship too. I can’t really speak to the exact working conditions but it’s not some rinky dink company.

I’m about halfway through it. The author has spent a lot of time other places as well besides the Maersk ship she was on. She spent time with the EU-NAVFOR and went out on one of the pirate hunters, and she spent time with a chaplain at a port who runs the seamans center there and talks about his experiences. Not a bad book so far - she’s not basing her story solely on her trip on the Kendal.

“Acoustic Pollution”? Geez.

[QUOTE=cmakin;118911]“Acoustic Pollution”? Geez.[/QUOTE]

They have a delusion that sonar kills whales or some bullshit. It’s just political, feel-good, I’m helping animals crap. If they want to help animals, they should go volunteer at PETA where they euthanize healthy animals and throw them in other people’s dumpsters. </sarcasm> They should actually volunteer at their local animal shelters, not some political circle jerk.

[QUOTE=c.captain;118874]I’d also like to know why the people who write these books always end up being Brits?[/QUOTE]
For the same reason they are so instrumental in developing all the cockamamied ISO ISM bullshit and increasing the paperwork level… It ensures their jobs, since they have outsourced even the officers jobs to the colonial flags of convenience. It must be nice to have a ‘self made’ job classification that actually produces nothing, and creates more jobs for other armchair quarterbacks. Way to go IMO.

Let’s have a ‘job box talk’ on this one. And do a Risk assessment to boot. See who runs it up the flagpole and salutes.

It’s nice to know that all the IMO and class society crap has made the shipping world SO much safer. (Think Shittino and Costa) or the excellent Rina example of BRM stewardship and watch keeping.

I loathe how the world merchant marine turned into a “global” industry as much as any other American mariner but there is nothing here this woman says which stands any test at all and is absolute, utter bilge! Environmentally indefensible MY ASS!

Away from public scrutiny, shipping revels in suspect practices, dubious operators, and a shady system of “flags of convenience.” Infesting our waters, poisoning our air, and a prime culprit of acoustic pollution, shipping is environmentally indefensible. And then there are the pirates.

such a BITCH!

After reading this thread I am determined to not buy this book, because I cannot afford to lower my IQ any lower than it currently is.

Sounds like crap to me from the little clip I just read. Environmentally indefensible, my fuzzy American ass. Try shipping all those goods by air, rail or truck and compare the “greenhouse” gasses produced. Ships as long as a football field and as high as Niagara Falls??? I’d pay money to see such a misshapen, unstable hunk o’steel.

[QUOTE=seadog6608;118977]Sounds like crap to me from the little clip I just read. Environmentally indefensible, my fuzzy American ass. Try shipping all those goods by air, rail or truck and compare the “greenhouse” gasses produced.[/QUOTE]

I read the first three chapters while I was in the airport bookstore last week and felt no desire to read any further. Maybe it’s because she’s British and I don’t understand her humor but I got the feeling she doesn’t think highly of us sailors. Looking at the titles of here last two books confirmed my suspicion… she only writes about topics she considers “dirty”:

The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George
Hunting for Refuge in the Modern World by Rose George

Save your money… a similar book by a gCaptain contributor will be hitting the bookshelves soon and, while I’ve yet to read it, I’m certain it will be better than this.

That said, I might enjoy reading c.captain’s review of the chapters I missed :wink:

[QUOTE=c.captain;118874]
I’d also like to know why the people who write these books always end up being Brits?[/QUOTE]

A better question is why big media outlets like NPR and the NYTimes fawning over (Note 1) like this while really good books by American authors (e.g. The Shipping Man) only get reviewed in the trade pubs.

Note 1) Judgment deleted with apologies until I have read the full book. -JAK

Well Rose might not think too highly about mariners but she thinks less of gCaptain forum readers! Here’s her comments on Twitter:

[B][I]Comments on @gCaptain forum about my book accuse me of being a Brit, negative, a tree-hugger, a bitch. Not one commenter has read it.

@MarineCafeBlog @gCaptain I don’t mind critics. I mind abuse, especially ill-informed. Thank you though.

@KirkMMaxey thank you. I’ve never had “Brit” used as an insult before. Interesting, I suppose.[/I][/B]

https://twitter.com/rosegeorge3

Also here is her last TED talk:

//youtu.be/ZmSF9gVz9pg

      • Updated - - -

And what happened to c.captain’s post calling her a BIT$%? Did the gCaptain overlords delete it?

Well, this is one way to guarantee that I won’t be reading this ****'s book. Even if she is a Brit…Brit’s know everything there is to know about being a mariner…just ask them!

[QUOTE=domer;119286]And what happened to c.captain’s post calling her a BIT$%? Did the gCaptain overlords delete it?[/QUOTE]

YES! Enlightened free thought and clarion words of truth have been muzzled by “the king” yet again! HELP! HELP!..I’m being repressed! Come see the censorship inherent in the system!

//youtu.be/JvKIWjnEPNY

I could use another word to describe our fair lady here which starts with a “C” but believe it is best that I don’t. It might prove bad for my health!

signed, Dennis (on used toilet paper smuggled out of the Gulag by my faithful confederates at risk of their being summarily executed upon capture if stopped by the Jackbooted thugs who watch all of us, all the time, everywhere)

btw Rose, since I didn’t read it and never will, do you mention in your book the tendencies of Filipino seamen to insert things into the scrotums to please their “special ladies” in port? What are your personal feelings as a woman on the practice? Am I correct to assume you are a woman or are you just another “shemale”? …hmmm?

.

[QUOTE=domer;119286]Well Rose might not think too highly about mariners but she thinks less of gCaptain forum readers! Here’s her comments on Twitter:

[B][I]Comments on @gCaptain forum about my book accuse me of being a Brit, negative, a tree-hugger, a bitch. Not one commenter has read it.

@MarineCafeBlog @gCaptain I don’t mind critics. I mind abuse, especially ill-informed. Thank you though.[/I][/B][/QUOTE]

Here is my official response to her tweet:

[B][I]@rosegeorge3 What reaction did u expect from ship captains when you decided to introduce your reader to our profession via a rape scene?
[/I][/B]

(BTW: You can read the full introduction of her book, including the rape scene, by clicking on the book image over on its amazon page)

[QUOTE=domer;119286]And what happened to c.captain’s post calling her a BIT$%? Did the gCaptain overlords delete it?[/QUOTE]

Yes because she is right, the book speaks for itself and we don’t need to resort to name calling to make the point that her book misrepresents our way of life.

[QUOTE=john;119293]Here is my official response to her tweet:

[B][I]@rosegeorge3 What reaction did u expect from ship captains when you decided to introduce your reader to our profession via a rape scene?
[/I][/B]

(BTW: You can read the full introduction of her book, including the rape scene, by clicking on the book image over on its amazon page)[/QUOTE]

I just read amazon preview and John’s right, the book’s introduction does make us ship drivers look rather inept and careless.

[QUOTE=john;119293]Yes because she is right, the book speaks for itself and we don’t need to resort to name calling to make the point that her book misrepresents our way of life.[/QUOTE]

Yes, but we still need a degree of latitude to be able to calls em as we sees em. Take that away and you end up with a daily ration of Politically Correct cold glutinous thoroughly unpalatable gruel here. Not for me…being the consummate carnivore, I like to sink my fangs into juicy red meat!

another slice of Nutriloaf anyone?

CURSES! Squashed like a bug under a jackboot yet again!

Oh well, I should know better but it was great while it lasted…

as they say

Laissez les bon temps rouler

Either her memory isn’t that good, or she’s really embellishing. First she writes that “her name - Maersk Kendal - (is) written large on her side.” Looking at some pictures of the Maersk Kendal, it says “Maersk Line” large on her side (approx 15 ft lettering from what I can tell). It says “Maersk Kendal” on the bow in about 5 ft lettering.

She also says she is “looking up almost two hundred feet - higher than the Niagara Falls - to the top of Kendal”. From what I can tell comparing the height from the waterline to the top of the stack using shipping containers, it’s about 130 ft - a bit shorter than her description of “almost two hundred feet”. And I imagine she was standing on the dock when looking up, which was probably at least 10 ft above the waterline.

As a professional author, her punctuation skills could use some work (and her editor’s for missing the mistakes). At least I believe punctuation is pretty consistent between British and American English. I know that the grammar can be pretty different, so I won’t criticize her on that. Though now that I think about it… she used feet in her description rather than meters. She’s not very accurate or consistent. Thank goodness she isn’t working on a ship, or she would most likely set the engine room on fire, pump oil over the side, or crash into a beach.

To avoid being 100% critical; at least she wrote a book. That’s more than the zero books I’ve written. My greatest accomplishment as a professional mariner is that I’ve been responsible for a $300 million dollar ship and a $2 billion dollar nuclear submarine (not to mention all the people aboard each). That’s in USD for all you British people reading this.