ME  Vol.11 No.12 , December 2020
Society in Front of 2 Enemies: COVID-19 & Climate Collapse/Their Impact on Shipping Industry
Abstract: This paper analyzed the impacts of Covid-19 in 2020 on: a) Global economy, b) Greek economy, c) Greek society and d) Shipping Industry. The impacts were grouped in negative and positive. Analyzed is also the impact of Climatic Change or rather Collapse by writing-down in a table the major hurricanes etc. since 1780 and the cyclone “Janus”, which hit “Greece”. We revised the principle of Sustained Development, and formed a model entering Environment in production function. We proposed the establishment of the “Sustainable City”. A “digital citizen” emerged in our theory, and we showed his/her future needs in small robots, re-skilling and others. The coming global war will be over “data” prophesized. The firm decision of EU, to protect EU’s environment by pouring millions of € by issues of green bonds and other measures, presented.

1. Introduction

Humanity is facing 3 strong enemies during peace. The 2 are the COVID-19 and the Climate collapse-CC. The third is not an enemy, but its possession will cause a global war, i.e. the “data”. Those killed by1 the above two enemies approached by 20th November 2020 the 2 million! While COVID-19 is a newcomer, and in its second stronger wave in Nov. 2020, the unfolding of CC is almost 50 years old. The “Club of Rome”, (founded in 19682), rung the bell in 1972, for the risk coming from polluting the global environment!

Is really our climate an enemy”3? A regular information about climate’s condition is provided by IPCC (“International panel on climate change”)4, among many others. The CC process is as follows: when the oil, and other fossil fuels, burned5, release gases to atmosphere, mainly CO2, causing the “greenhouse effect6”. This keeps planet’s temperature inside atmosphere, warming - planet - up. The ice in the Poles melts, and uprises sea surface, so that less land to be available to Governments; but also more sea (Antarctic). The warming-up of the planet, helps fires, aided by the dry material laid-up in the woods, from the frequent hot summers with burning heats. Fires destroy remaining trees, which retained soil. More heavy and frequent rains cause the floods.

Humanity is a victim of its prior decisions, we believe, as it became a “life-sentence prisoner” of 2 main sources of energy: oil and coal (Figure 1).

As shown, oil is on top, with about a 32% share. Coal had about a 28% share (2011) with an increased consumption since 2002 and almost unchanged since 1986 (29%). More important is that coal’s share in 2011 was higher since 1969 (not shown)! Natural gas had a share of about 24% (2011) against 20% in 1986. Renewables are hardly shown (light red). Moreover, total energy consumption increased by 64% in 25 years, indicating the global hunger for energy7… Coal was still, (in June 20208), the single largest source of power generation with 36%!

In addition, the global CO2 emissions rose from 29,745 tons to 34,169 (2009 - 2019), or ~15%. While OECD countries and EU reduced CO2 emissions, from 12,508 tons to 12,012 (share in total: 35%), and from 3830 to 3330, non-OECD countries increased their emissions from 17,238 tons to 22,157 (2009-2019;

Figure 1. World energy consumption, 1986-2011 (million tons of equivalent oil).

about 29%) (65% in total). The following countries increased their emissions: China (about 28%), India (+55%) and Russia (+6%), while USA reduced them (6%).

Moreover, diesel is mainly used to produce electricity, and boil the water of millions of central heatings9 worldwide10. This means that electricity must be produced by non-fossil fuels. Governments have to oblige immediately new houses and buildings to use gas.

Have we to move to smarter cities, chosen from the “Smart City Index” (IMD11)? Athens got the… 99th position with Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich in the first 3 positions (2019; internet).

Our contribution, we believe, is in the matter of sustainable development where we made new assumptions, like the one introducing12 environment’s damage into production and profit functions; also, we added… sea as a factor of production in certain industries. Important is also that we assumed that resources are replaceable regardless if they are renewable, scarce, in extinction etc. or not. Society solves problems through “new” resources (like gas for oil; schist etc.).

1.1. Aim and Organization of Paper

This work aimed at showing: 1) The detrimental effects of the climate collapse-CC. 2) The adjustments required to sustain development and 3) the impacts (positive-negative) of COVID-19 on: global economy, Greek one, Greek society and Shipping industry. We formed a microeconomic model focusing exclusively on production function with… environment as a factor. Moreover, we analyzed the profile of what we named “digital-citizen”…

The paper is organized in 5 parts, after literature review. Part I, deals with the question: “what humanity has to sustain”? Part II, deals with COVID-19’s indirect (positive) impacts on global economy/Greece. Part III, deals with COVID-19’s indirect (negative) impacts on global economy/Greece. Part IV, deals with the climatic collapse in Globe, in EU and the relevant policies, and in Greece. Part V, deals with the… “digital citizen”. Finally, we conclude.

1.2. Literature Review

Economists were aware of “sustainability”, (defined below), since Malthus R. (in 1798), as he first worried about Britain’s ability to feed an ever-increasing population with given land (Goulielmos, 2020). In 1865, Jevons W S (1835-1882) also questioned: “how Britain can sustain an increased energy consumption with a given supply of coal?”

Modern economists ignored sustainability. This is justified, as Economics, (1776), became a science by solving only 2 problems: “how unlimited needs can best be satisfied by limited means”; and “how limited resources can be best allocated among unlimited uses”. In brief “what is” and not “what should be13”…! We believe that the 2 above mentioned economics—positive and normative—had to be one!

Moreover, economists believed in “diminishing returns to scale” (Agriculture), a theory due to Adam Smith! This “law” unfortunately over-shadowed the other two: “constant & increasing returns to scale” (Arthur, 1994), especially the last one. Economists believed that if resources are scarce, then their products will also be scarce (Pearce, 1992). Later (in 1940s) economists attempted to show how to grow GDP. Economic growth theories were strongly challenged by environmentalists (in 1972) warning that growth is limited!

Humans follow patterns, as Keyes wrote in 1936: when income increases, less is spent, proportionally, and more is saved (Goulielmos, 2018). Also, when income drops (or disappears) less is spent and saved. But less is also invested14, as the liberated factors of production from consumption, are fewer than those required to achieve a higher GDPt + 1. This is the capitalistic problem, marked out by Keynes, i.e. the deficiency of effective (money) demand. Hoarding brings death to Capitalism15!

Meadows et al. (1972) argued that the growth16 (of global economy) is limited (TLTG)…! They used a “computer simulation model” of world economy related to natural environment, assuming limits in: agricultural land and production (per land unit); the amount of extractable (non-renewable) resources, and the ability of environment to assimilate waste17. They concluded: world economy will reach its growth limit by 2072, but it was not a forecasting model!

Meadows et al., 20 years latter (1992), confirmed that global economy was beyond its growth limits (BTL)! This caused less controversy, as was considered a case of learning something from it, especially economists… Their 1972 limits to growth remained valid, requiring additional strength. Important is, however, that pollution came-out as a main concern…for the 1st time.

Common M (1995) pointed-out that 2 of the greatest problems, which humanity faced were poverty, and the threats against natural environment. Important is that Common held responsible… economic activity! Unfortunately, the threats at the time of Common, proved to be attacks now (2020). The “Brundtland report” of WCED18 (1987) alarmed politicians, for the 1st time, defining: “sustainable development”-SD (analyzed below).

IMO preoccupied19 to reduce pollution to air from ships’ emissions (Goulielmos-Giziakis-Christodoulou, 2014b, July). Shipping also had to establish a global levy scheme, as a solution (Goulielmos-Giziakis-Christodoulou, 2014a, Feb.). Shipping discusses about a mechanical method to retain sulfur from maritime fuel (the scrubber20). Christodoulou (2018) focused on the potential use of 2 new environmental indices: CSI (Clean Shipping Index) and ESI (Environmental Ship Index) for the improvement of the performance of Maritime Transport. IMO ( adopted a GHG strategy in 2018, which set ambitious indeed targets such as to halve GHG emissions from ships by 2050/since 2008 and carbon intensity by 40% by 2030/since 2008…

Xiao et al. (2020) argued that the effort of carbon reduction is decreasing along the intensity of “fairness21 concern”-FC. Moreover, the optimal retail price, under a “revenue-sharing contract”-RSC, first decreases and then rises depending on FC intensity-FCI. On this last depends also the profit of a supply chain. If FCI is low, the RSC provides increased profit. If FCI is high, a centralized contract is more profitable. Finally, given the retailer’s FC and the manufacturer’s overconfidence22 attitude, the RSC provides increased profit for the first, given that FCI is high. Authors applied a mathematical and diagrammatic analysis to indicate the optimal contract selection problem given FC and manufacturer’s overconfidence. FC acts negatively on carbon emissions, and the optimal carbon emission effort is high under a BC contract. The RSC is the optimal choice for a fairness-neutral manufacturer etc.

Summarizing, TLTG assumed that a global disaster will come from a global “lack of resources”23, following the classics. BTL assumed that the disaster will come rather from pollution. TLTG took into account “family planning”, but it could not take into account China’s allowance for a 2nd child (2015).

2. Part I: What Humanity Has to Sustain?

2.1. The Sustainable City

Our opinion is to establish everywhere “sustainable cities”-SC. A SC is one having as an undiscussable pre-condition for those living and working in there, the elimination of the above mentioned 2—at least24—enemies. This city, smart or not, will be at least humane… A SC has to establish, we believe, a center(s) to issue sustainability certificates for existing/new products, services25, and even planned actions, in an obligatory way, following the steps of a “patent-approval office”. An action is sustainable-SA, if its management, avoids the loss of life, human injury and damaging environment!

2.2. Sustainable Development-SD

SD required all economies to “satisfy, not only the needs, but also the… aspirations of existing generation, without compromising the needs and aspirations of future generations” (WCED: “Brundtland Report”, 1987; rephrased). SD, we believe, is an effort of a generational justice, establishing rights on existing “development means-DM”: i.e. a moral claim on them, for the sake of next generations. SD holds responsible those living today (which is unfair)! DMs are means of production left over from previous generations. SD’s novel element is to care, in a specific way, for all humans coming after present generation. SD theory established a “generation-depositary”, acting on behalf of next generations, we reckon!

It is fair, we believe, the present generation to care about only the next one, and the next one for the next one, and so on. When economists talk about DM, they mean products of manufacturing and craft industry. We understand that DM26 delivered to present generation by the previous one, must be used with precaution, and wisdom, and in a such manner so that to be delivered intact, or even in a higher quantity, to next generation… This is apparently in the area of utopia, if humans are greedy and selfish! Epicureans (c. 300 BC) said: “Let us eat and drink… tomorrow we die”! A number of persons believe this even today. SD presupposes that DM are exhaustible, depending on use… SD thus is a warning. From the discussion so far, we understand that the bases of SD are sentimental, moral and depend on the love one feels for one’s children.

Environmentalists observed that when a resource is used repeatedly in a high degree (over-exploited), and a product is over-produced, they reach extinction. Certain fish-types are best examples. However, 4 so far industrial revolutions did not prove that the depletion is true, though we saw some kinds of fish27, animals, birds, plants etc. to disappear, or to become rare (in the state of extinction, as we say). Also, we saw beaches to lose their original color, after the invasions of millions of tourists (massive tourism). We saw also animals to die from lack of water etc. and people to immigrate. Managing environment is obviously required!

There is a less accurate knowledge—as always used to be, but improving—about the real existing quantity of DMs, like: oil, gas, other minerals, etc., below earth’s surface28, under sea’s bottom29, and … even on near-by planets30! Moreover, a new science developed, since 1982, following “Law of Sea” (UNCLOS II): “Marine Economics” dealing with… sea economy31. Worth noting is that sea economies cover 2/3 of the Globe! Thus, the depletion-danger went further away, since 1982, but pollution arrived stronger, and it meant to stay…!

2.3. Humanitarian Concerns in a SC

Normative economics had to care about people, if their income is zero, we believe. Surplus products, excess food, products and medicines near expiry, defective items, excess clothing etc., why not be given free to persons in-need in the “(open) markets”? After writing the above, we read (01/11/2020) that a Greek “bank” established in 2015 under the name of “humanitarian bank”, and did exactly the above, by providing shelter to 270 citizens and food to 1m, among other things.

Science invents new materials32, fuels, and technologies, and has speeded-up production… People increased its dependence33: on alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc. More products (paints, products, etc.) are produced ecologically, but their prices are high to be able to replace the non-ecological ones. Emphasis here is required to be put by all societies.

Summarizing, societies, we believe, need to establish from now on, a number of “sustainable cities”, focusing exclusively on “sustainable citizen”. We do not foresee a possible lack of DM. The obvious enemy, which economies have to win, is CC. CC is the “situation where climate kills its citizens, from time to time, due to weather’s revenge”.

3. Part II: COVID-19’s Indirect (Positive) Impacts on Global Economy/Greece (Table 1)

The measures taken for COVID-19 in a global scale was, in fact, an experiment, which provided valuable data. We know now the effect on environment of: restricted outdoor activities; lockdowns; less driving; limited visits; less use of air transport, limited tourism, fewer: marriages, parties, group entertainment, cruises, baptisms… and social gatherings. We know now what we should retain, in a very careful way, from the painful COVID-19 period… if it ends.

COVID-19 obliged societies to proceed immediately to more … computerization, digitalization, so that citizens to do things only from a distance! In Greece, 50 interviewed CEOs agreed, in March, 2020, that COVID-19 speeded-up Governmental digitalization (ΒΗΜΑ magazine).

Table 1. Benefits derived, indirectly, by COVID-19 (2020-2021).

Turing A. (1912-1954)—an English mathematician etc.—is the father of computers. He was in charge of the multi-scientific team to un-crypt (1936) the German cryptographic machine “Enigma”! Important is that the machine time required, for revealing German code, which was changing every morning, was… 20 years. More important is that in 2017 the “Imperial War Museum” using: artificial intelligence, modern computers and programmers, broke “Enigma” code in 13 minutes… If time is money, computers brought-in so much! But this is not written down…

Greece established a Ministry of Digital Governance, and passed41 a law, (a code), (end-Sept. 2020), concerning country’s transition to digitalization and 5G. Greece tries to copy Estonia in state electronics as many say… The target is to provide 5G to over 50% of Greek population by 2021; in line with the “Greek Organization of Telecommunications”-OTE, (using Eriksson’s technology)… and with EU legislation.

The higher speed of transmission needs, however, safe data! 5G is 10 times faster than 4G (RAN compared with Core & open RAN). Globally, 5 companies pursue 5G: Huawei, ZTE, Samsung, Eriksson & Nokia. EU suggests to member-countries, for 5G, to prefer EU providers, but not excluding China…

4. Part III: COVID-19’s Indirect (Negative) Impacts on Global Economy/Greece (Table 2)

COVID-19’s Impact on Sea Transport

Shipping industry worth of about $500b (the 9 top global fleets only) (end-April 2020)42, established an entire sector, mainly private, organized to transport oil and oil products over 120 years now. We mean tankers and oil-product carriers. Subsequently, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas; 1964) and LNG (liquefied natural gas; 1959; and mainly in 1970s) carriers (Stopford, 2009: p. 484) emerged.

Table 2. The harmful effects of COVID-19, 2020-21.

Source: as in previous table.

International sea transport was seeking a “green” fuel. Recently, there are… 16 fuels already in the market, including ammonia, hydrogen, bioethanol etc., and 10 relevant technical systems45. Shipping also considers… building electric ships and ships producing zero-emissions! It immediately built ice-breakers and ships ice-strengthened to serve Antarctic.

Ship crews suffered from COVID-19, given that 25 persons, on average, work together at close distances, (using masks only in ports), and are obliged to reach ports in quarantine for loading/unloading, repairs or repatriations! Many crews locked-out of their family for 7 months or so.

Worth noting is the case of cruising ships! Recent the “Main Shift 6” CS, in Sept. 2020, cruising in Cretan waters, manned by 766, of which 12 found positive to virus in the 1st test, but not in the 2nd… Crew looked after 922 passengers. The famous “Queen Mary” in California and “Queen Elizabeth 2” in Dubai (since 2018) are sea hotels with 228 rooms and 13 restaurants… Inspections from classes etc. will be done from a distance, aided by drones.

5. Part IV: The Climate Collapse in Globe, EU and Greece

5.1. Global Cyclones

Threats to people we had from climate, appearing mainly in the form of faster coming tropical cyclones (hurricanes; storms etc.) (Graph 1) and of fires and floods all over the world, and par excellence in USA.

As shown, tropical cyclones are of 8 types (at least). “Cyclone” means the weather phenomenon where the winds blow in a κύκλος (cycle), where cyclone runs round a hole: the “eye”. People in USA experienced hurricane Catrina46 in 2005! Almost ½ a million deaths caused by the 24 major “climatic attacks” from 1780 to 2020 (Appendix 1). Notable is that till 1932, there were only 21 cyclones, but many more thereafter! Moreover, billions of dollars cost thousands of collapsed houses and damaged private cars, apart from the destruction of infrastructure! We counted almost $500 billion damages due only to 10 Atlantic Ocean hurricanes (source: internet).

5.2. Cyclone “Janus”: The Case of GREECE (Sept. 2020)

Greece resembles more… Egypt than its past self, obtaining deserts, lacking water at times, and planting rows of tropical trees. Date-palms e.g. are more suitable since some time in Greece, and planted in Athens since 2004, (on the occasion of Olympic Games), replacing poplar- and plane-trees.

Graph 1. Kinds of tropical cyclones. Source: author and Internet.

Greece, in Sept. 2020, hit, for the 1st time, by the cyclone “Janus”, with 4 - 5 dead. This caused rivers to jump over their bounds, forced by more than regular rain-water and violent winds. Janus brought over tons of mud, and hundreds of stones, burying entire cars… Fast winds dislocated and carried-away all removable objects, panels, cut-down electric poles etc., got-out trees, took-away fences, destroyed cultivations, eliminated animals, etc., smashed-down bridges, shallowed roads, and took - roofs - away.

“Stealing” from rivers part of their land, so that to build houses there, a time comes for rivers, using their increased, by heavy rain, waters, to claim their land back, not at all gently! Greek residents in the cities and villages deprived for days of electric power, water and cell phones, or phones, at the time they were most needed! Electricity poles, due to thunderbolts, burnt-out, or dropped-down by trees falling on them…

5.3. Cyclones’ Impact Globally

Over 200 years of tropical cyclones brought-in 1.9 million dead47 … In addition, tropical cyclones in sea created large waves, heavy rains, floods and high winds, disrupting international sea transport and occasionally creating shipwrecks.

As shown in appendix 1, 24 + 3 main hurricanes and storms are recorded since 1780. Deaths due to them exceeded 453,000. Their damages cost $345 billion… Since 1995 the annual number of cyclones in Atlantic Ocean is estimated as 87 ± 10 (internet sources). But the intensity, speed and duration of hurricanes increased since 1995 (US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s national hurricane center, 2019)… due to climatic change…

>Two million acres of woods destroyed in California - again - in 2020… Five hundred billion dollars p.a. (65% from private sector) are estimated to be needed to reverse USA’s present course towards zero pollution by 205048.

Humanity had a chance, at the turn of the previous century, when engines constructed based on oil, while there were other alternatives (Arthur, 1994)! Surely this was rather early! Now is, however, rather late!

5.4. EU Policy to Stop CC

Commendable is the recent decision of the President of EU Commission, Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen, to protect EU environment. Consequently, German car manufacturers have to stop, at once, producing traditional car engines! We believe49 that EU is firmly determined to upgrade EU environmental protection policy, and speed it-up this time.

She, in an action under the proverb, we reckon, “better late than never”, announced50, in her speech in European Parliament, the issue of ?50 billion of “Green Bonds” to finance an EU “green growth”. Creating also a hope for reducing gases to the atmosphere of Europe. Can one stone kill two birds? Growth and CC? Our world obviously built on a wrong assumption: abundant, cheap and friendly to environment, fuel: i.e. oil. But oil since 1973 is no more abundant or cheap51 or friendly …The new EU plan aims at achieving an increased %, i.e. 55% reduction of pollution, (against previous 40%), up to 2030 (in EU), comparatively with the 1990 levels.

The EU climatic policy caused the immediate reaction of “European Union of Car Manufacturers” (ACEA), and especially that of… German car manufactures, who also called to stop immediately producing traditional car engines, and to reduce releases of CO2 by ½ by 2021! A clear “push” is towards electric cars etc., where, however, USA car manufacturers52 seem to be more competitive… USA car manufacturers plan to spend $300b to prepare electric cars between 2025 and 2030.

The Green EU policy can be summarized in Table 3.

We all know that CC is accomplished eventually at an increasing momentum as time elapses, but a global unanimous front is still lacking, despite Kyoto and Paris summits! Who was more sensitive in avoiding climatic destruction worldwide (Table 4), judging by the funds devoted?

As shown, the funds devoted for sustainable investments, since 2012, increased by 2.3 times, reaching $31 trillion in 2018. EU is a pioneer with a 46% share, followed by USA (39%).

The 27 EU ministries of environment agreed in 23rd/10/20 in Luxembourg for the complete and final elimination of CO2 emissions (except Bulgaria). This on top of the “R&RF-Recovery & Resilience Facility”, devoting funds from an EU budget for 2021-2027 of ?,074tr. EU means business on environment. In the case of shipping, EU was determined to “push” IMO53 so that international shipping to enter into the “EU emissions trading system”—EU-ETS. The final aim of EU is to reduce immediately CO2 emissions from large ships.

5.5. Our Model of an Optimal Treatment of the Environment

Ten top firms in USA achieved54 (in 2018) a revenue of $182b, of which $71b was the value of emitted greenhouse gases (Scan 1)! So, if above firms were obliged to cut down emissions, they would have to abandon 39% of their revenue… In fact, state subsidized those firms, as it spent $67b for the health of above companies’ employees!

Scan 1. Can Profits and Pollution “produce” together? Source: Reuters; modified.

Table 3. EU policy to prevent EU climatic collapse.

Source: EU Commission policy “Europe’s next generation”, 2020.

Table 4. Amounts spent for Green sustainable investments worldwide, 2012 and 2018.

Now, Profits = PQ – C {9}. Profits are the residual between revenue (quantity produced, and sold, times the unit (fixed) price P (in pure competition) and total cost C. Inserting in {9}, equations {1} and {3}, and setting partial derivatives to zero, with respect to the five inputs, we can get also for this for the environment: P * MPe - P5 = 0 {10} for profit maximization or cost minimization: P5 = P*MPe {11}. Equation {11} means that environment can be polluted up to the point where the value of its marginal product equals its price (= the unit value of GHG emissions). If a Government wishes to eliminate GHG pollution, then it has to place a tax equal to P5. This amount can be devoted subsequently to support state health system and environmental improvement.

6. Part V: The Digital Citizen-DC

Technology made the DC powerful and self-sufficient! Mobile phone-MP is now the instrument for all banking transactions. We all saw the “love affair” developed between DC and MP! MP became a “quasi-ticket” for all mass means of transport (plus a “mass transit transaction model”)! Bio-data etc., stored in MPs, will make mobile transactions secure, and simpler, and preferred (77% of those asked in Greece responded positively). MP will soon show a passport, identity card, birth certificate and driving license etc. All documents will be stored-in and shown-up in a MP, authentically…

Academia is called to play an important role now: to provide re-skilling to people so that to avoid a replacement by a younger person (cheaper, computer-literate). Professionals in computers argued that their knowledge became obsolete more than 5 times in their life…! Society and academia have to focus also to, the between classes of ages, antagonism. By this we mean the cases, where 1 younger and cheaper employee can replace one expensive at his 40s!

More people move now into advanced ages (67+), requiring: home robots, medicines, more houses for the aged, physiotherapists, and services only from a distance to avoid… walking/driving. There is, obviously, no need for more nurseries and primary schools… Personal contacts will be rare, including that of Professors with their students. Interviews, conferences, dates and marriages etc. will be arranged only through social media.

Life will become more home-centered for a number of reasons, one being COVID-19, for the present 1 - 2 years, and another the danger to be killed (Paris 200 dead so far) or robbed, while in: streets, stadiums, subway/Metro, buses, coffee/restaurants, theaters etc. Always someone will attempt to steal one’s credit card and wallet. Credit cards will soon become invisible and readable only by laser

The DC is: ego-centric. Social distancing will be maintained… as COVID-19 trained us. Voting from distance will be generalized. The DC will be equipped with a high technology, powerful, new smart phone/mobile computer. Schools will be closed-up, as an improved distance learning—resembling/simulating interactive actual classes and much better than today, will be more convenient. Libraries will become book-museums, as whatever one needs will be in the internet58.

The DC, but also the present, is a tele-worker. The term “tele-” will accompany everything; tele-pay, tele-buy, tele-love, tele-teaching, tele-phoning etc.! 80% of firms adopted tele-working (25/10/2020), from 1% before covid-19, in Greece. The DC looks constantly on a screen (of his/her smart phone, tablet or computer), neither left or right, and everybody else is out of sight… One positive service smart phones and tablets will offer is to photo criminal happenings, disasters or car accidents59

Digitalization (coupled with AI) will be a more general trend, where intelligent machines will take-over, perhaps all, human jobs! Naturally, it will be beneficial if machines will cut-down human time spent in bureaucratic, boring, unproductive and time-consuming jobs…!

Citizens will demand devices for communication like smarter-smaller pocket-sized mobile phones/tablets. In addition: other social media, internets, advanced TV services (e.g. Netflix); improved home cinemas, biometrical watches etc. Also, people will ask for faster cars, better mass transportation and decent health services, especially for the aged. DC will look forwards for: 1) Voice recognition. 2) A small robot to carry-out most or all of the office-jobs. 3) A robot—a “home diagnostic unit”—of all usual analyses60. 4) Personal information in 24 hours a day. Calls from 112 (emergency phone of state services for citizen’s protection); warnings from fire brigades; real time info about: floods, winds, earthquakes; list of broken-off roads and bridges with maps. 5) Provision of independent water and electricity at times when the permanent providers fail. 6) Advise to stay home or abandon it. 7) Available hospitals and phones. 8) Available ambulances and time of arrival. 9) A robot—home laboratory—measuring radiation, air pollution, water pollution, noise levels, etc. This may also manage cleverly home’s electricity and gas consumption. Also, filtering incoming air, reduce humidity, and indicating where home’s heating is lost. 10) A robot to tell owner about the state of his/her car, making the proper electronic tests. 11) A robot to act as a personal secretary in cooperation with number 2. Robots to save one’s time, so that to have time to love more those one loves…

7. Conclusion

Humanity retarded to admit that its real enemy was not the gradual depletion of DM, which never came, or will come, in our opinion, but the extreme bad weathers! COVID-19 proved dangerous also, but only if it is here to stay! Hurricanes are with us since 1780 at least, killing more than 453,000 (Appendix 1). COVID-19 brought certain… beneficial repercussions, but also a number of negative impacts, which we presented.

Humanity has to retain and increase COVID-19’s benefits, we believe, when and if virus goes away. Humanity was lucky in its unluckiness, as COVID-19 provided a global experiment of the effects that the use of less transport (private; air; buses etc.), the reduced consumption of energy, tele-working, tele-educating and tele-buying have brought in. It is remarkable that COVID-19 showed how a serious pollution can be eliminated!

Many by now realized in my country (households and shop keepers), that they have to buy a boat…and build a room in a high place. Moreover, house and shop windows and doors have now to be water resistant or, even better, water proof!

Everybody, we reckon, has to become familiar with “weather forces”, recognize them, and do whatever is in one’s power to avoid them! We all know that climate no more remained as we knew it certain decades ago. We all have experienced the ever-increasing number of summer days at round 40 degrees C and over for several weeks.

We have now to forget the world we knew, and seriously we have to build it afresh, i.e. to rebuild it absolutely friendly to its citizens! A sustainable city? Cities (=smart) as well houses (=clever) have to become green… All houses have to acquire independent (autonomous) energy from Sun, from winds or from a “home nuclear harmless water unit” … we learned about a few years back.

Humans did 4 economic revolutions, which mainly concerned with faster quantity of production, under the threat of Malthus. Though humans is not proper to live in order only to eat, the poverty we see is not due to lack of means, but is due to lack of care for our neighbor.

Important conclusion was that companies profited by polluting the environment! So, they have to pass it to State till is zero. Our contribution, as mentioned, was to insert environment into production function, where it belongs, so that production can become eventually clean, and to produce zero GHG emissions.

A final conclusion is that we succeeded to transform climate from a friend to an enemy! This has to be reversed as soon as possible. Societies should not roll-over their responsibilities by considering weather accidents as natural… They are human-made. We showed the enemies of our society for which we have to fight. We showed also the future citizen—the digital one—somebody mobile phone addictive and isolated one from the rest. Do we want this type of personality? Technology is a curse and a blessing and we have to be careful. This paper traced-out the steps our society is taking and I am terrified if it takes the wrong direction. I am rather old to see it, but precaution is better than cure. Reject the trend for one to be in autarky from everybody else… from a distance.

Appendix 1

We recorded-down the main tropical cyclones etc. (TableA1).

Table A1. A historical account of tropical cyclones, storms etc., 1780-2020.

Source: data from Wikipedia, downloaded 21/09/2020 for “tropical cyclones”, except for the 3 last ones.


11.5 m from COVID-19 (end 2020); ~1/2 m from main hurricanes & storms (Appendix 1).

2A “common concern about the future of humanity” ( Dieren (editor) (1995)).

3Sun’s ultraviolets rays cause skin cancer due to man-made holes in ozone layer… used to protect earth from sun’s radiation. The holes are caused by all kinds of lead aerosols. Australia was hit in the past during summers.

4Established in 1988 by UN

5Pollution occurs in: air, water, soil and sound (noise). It makes environment fatally-dirty for humans, plants, animals & other organisms. Meat, plastic containers, dirty-fish, eggs, yoghurt, cheese, breathing polluted air, drinking unclean water & radiation may cause cancer. We know that from Chernobyl (1986) & Fukushima (2011). The first killed from 4,000 to 60,000 depending on estimation. Fukushima accident killed (earthquake plus tsunami): 18,500. Pregnant women led to abortion due to Chernobyl, including Greeks. A… positive impact of Chernobyl was that certain Governments (e.g. Germany) looked for, other, than nuclear, sources of energy (e.g. Sun). The top 3 nuclear-energy-consuming countries in 2011 were: USA ~31%; France ~17%; Russian Fed. 6.5% (=54.5%) (source: BP statistical review, 2012). Of course, the use of nuclear energy for medical purposes has to continue.

6A warming-up of the air surrounding earth due to the heat trapped.

7All strong nations flirt with … nuclear weapons (Russia; Iran; N Korea; China etc.)!

8BP’s CEO suggested using available methods & technologies: renewable energies, electrification, hydrogen, carbon (captured & stored), bioenergy. We thank BP for providing us freely and promptly its statistics on line.

9GFC—global financial crisis (2008-2013)—proved a friend of the environment with “austerity programs” cutting down diesel consumption by 2.5 m blocs of flats and houses (Greece).

10Interesting is the history of fuels: gas (since 2002) challenged oil (dominant since 1940s when the famous “Diesel” engine invented); oil challenged coal (2002); steam (in 1910s) won the battle with wind (dominant since 1869)!

11IMD compiles an index using 13,000 questionnaires over 109, called smart, cities, on a number of issues like health, safety, mobility, governance etc., brought-round by technology… (internet).

12Reviewing the 23 seminal papers in Pezzey & Toman (2002)’s volume we saw that environment is no where in the production functions mentioned. Indeed, we turned the attention from Consumption, utility and welfare maximization, technical progress, capital and labor and so on, to Production, influenced by the interview made with the Greek Professor at Harvard Business School.

13The separation of economics in positive & normative did wrong to economics. The “old-style” welfare economics was due to Pigou (1877-1959) (in “Economics of Welfare” in 1920). Pareto (1848-1923) introduced (1906) the “Pareto Optimum”, proving that utility is not countable. The great supporter of positive economics was Friedman M (1912-2006) (1953: “the methodology of positive economics”, in essays in positive economics, University of Chicago Press). The modern economist of normative economics, and Harvard University professor, is Sen A. K. (1933) (1970: “Collective choice & social welfare”, USA, Holden-Day). Interesting is Forbes in: “The remarkable rise of ESG”, 11/07/2019 (ESG = Environment = Social = Governance).

14Classics assumed that those saved = those invested. Thus, it is not possible: St − 1 ≠ It {1} & Yt = St − 1 + Ct ≠ Ct + It {2}, where Yt = income; St − 1 = last year saving; Ct = consumption and It = investment. The rate of interest equalizes It with St − 1. Here there is no demand deficiency, causing unemployment. In Keynes investors ± savers; they invest, if expect to earn something (net) above real rate of interest, for the whole life of investment! If It < St−1 {3}, then Yt < Yt−1 {4}. In Greece, in 2017, saving had a low share of 11% of GDP against 30% in Slovenia, Hungary and Czech Rep.

15Except for thieves.

16Harrod and Domar (in 1940s) produced a growth model, beyond theories of “distribution of income” (Ricardo in 1817), “wealth” (Joan Robinson in 1971) and “short run business cycles” (Keynes in 1936). The model assumed: a capital/output ratio Vt; a rate of interest; Savings St; Labor (increasing at N) and technical progress changing at L. Equality between St/Vt (warranted growth) (*) and Nt + Lt (natural one) provides the “golden age growth”: everybody is employed. If dYt/dt {5} equals St/Vt {6}, where Ye is (expected) income, economy is balanced. Technical progress is assumed to boost employment, but this is dubious…We saw labor-saving technologies, and new ones, to cut-down employment… (*) This is the rate of growth of Yt, if St planned = It planned constantly.

17Ignoring recycling.

18“World Commission on Environment & Development”. “Our common future” (Pezzey & Toman (2002)).

19Since 2005 IMO & MARPOL convention restricted emissions from ships to specific limits. The marine oxides & dioxides are: Sulfur (SOx), Carbon (CO2) and Nitrogen (NOx). The EU MP Mrs. Deli K. argued that 940 m tons of CO2 are emitted p.a. from ships or 2.5% of global figure (October, 2020).

20A system to remove SO2; they are open and closed. Water is used to wash—SO2 gases—away.

21Fairness is defined as total profit average.

22This entails a belief that the knowledge of the decision-maker is more valuable than reality. i.e. as possessing a producing power and a dominant position vis-à-vis downstream retailers.

23Ricardo D (1772-1823) also assumed it. But there are now the: digital agriculture or exactfarming (*), using drones. A. Smith too failed to vision the 1st industrial revolution in 1760 (& 1755-1790). (*) ExactFarming means the effective management of agricultural business, taking timely decisions by reducing risks. CC is going to take away 16% of agricultural production in EU by 2025!

24We wanted to investigate also immigration and terrorism, but lack of space prevented us.

25In a fire accident on “Scandinavian Star” F/B, 1990, put by a “disturbed” passenger, the fire-resistant doors between cabins closed automatically, as they should; but when doors were on fire, their material released poisonous gases, which killed the passengers! Were the doors approved for sustainability?

26Ancient Greeks said: “take measures, if you want to do a perfect job”.

27Fishers know that parent-fishes have to be allowed to bear little fishes before captured. Small fishes have to grow before captured too. EU legislation with surveillances made this clear.

28New sources of oil & gas discovered worldwide after 1974 & 1979 oil crises (e.g. North Sea; Alaska etc.). Schist also appeared! E.g. clean electric power can be produced by sea waves (“World Council for Energy”, 2020, Athens). Greece e.g. can produce 208 MWh p.a. from sea depths of 100m & 2 km from coast. More mature are the “wind parks” & “wind turbines”. 175 wind turbines inside sea can provide electricity in 1/2m houses (case: Kent area, UK).

29North-Sea-oil made Norway a rich country, and saved English pound. Greece and Cyprus search for oil and gas in Aegean Sea. This made Turkey jealous, and aggressive, especially for Cretan deposits, estimated by Turks as enough to supply Turkey for about 570 years...

30Moon can provide… water (NASA 2020).

31“Marine Affairs”. Sea’s economy deals with the exploitation etc. of sea resources beyond one’s territorial waters and within its AOZ and continental shelf.

32E.g. nylon!

33The number of existing gyms, suspended by Covid-19, rose before 2019; also, the number of doctors dealing with nutrition; dieticians; manufacturers of food supplements and vitamins, etc. People prefer less calories-food, more vitamins & less or no sugar. Human versatility is remarkable: we have now in-house dining or fine dining (Greece Oct. 2020) by delivery-services for wealthy customers up to 6 persons …!

34Produced by OPEC+ (source: Norwegian class.). “OPEC+” obtained 10 additional members (total 23); OPEC (1960) had 5 main original members-Governments: S Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait & Venezuela. OPEC+ produces ½ of global oil production of about 70m barrels p/d (at $40 per barrel). Russia became a member too.

35In Feb. 2020 held the 1st position in S&P500 with ~$1.43tr capitalization.

36In Germany about 137,000 electric cars exist in 2020 against about 2000 in 2006, & 1 m by 2022… By 2030 28% of all cars will be electric in Germany, 29% in Europe and USA, & 38% in China. Germany subsidizes electric cars by ?000.

37“Akuo Energy Greece” spends ?b for renewable sources of energy in 5 years using: photovoltaic panels, similar aesthetic tiles/roofs on land & in sea; wind parks; 1 GW at ?4/MW; energy storage (source: Conference by “Hellenic assoc. for energy economics”, Oct. 2020, Athens).

38In operation in Greece (01/11/20). EU is estimated to save ?b p.a. by opening electricity market to all suppliers & from outside EU borders. The model will establish electricity markets from which a nation can buy electricity in 3 different occasions (intraday etc.) as well forward.

39Cloud brought… a “rain” of 14 investments in Greece of ?.8b. Microsoft spends ?b. Certain others (?86 m) focus on producing energy from Sun. The benefit in Greece from digital state will be ?0b. A 2nd data center G-cloud needs about ?4 m. The number of logins were about 59 m for Jan.-Sept. 2020 in Greece (15/10/2020).

40Chinese reported that “Huawei” provides network services to more than 3b persons over 170 countries (“Dialogue for digital co-operation between China and EU”, Sept. 2020)!

41Providers of radio-frequencies from 700 MHz, 2 GHz, 3.400 - 3.800 MHz and 26 GHz, costing ~?67 m, are needed.

42Source: Vessels Values.

43GFC led people to hoard, given capital controls. The amount hoarded was equal to the difference between people’ money in bank deposits before capital controls and after. For Greece this was ?0billion out of ?0b.

44The GDP in Eurozone will be reduced from 0.5% for Lithuania to 11% for Spain. Greece will have a −8% - 9% as Eurozone. Italy −8.5%; France −10%; Germany near −6%. Source: ECB, 01/11/2020. The November, 2020, lockdowns are expected to increase these negative growth rates of the GDP.

45A competition among fuel manufacturers! Some argue that more than 500 LNG carriers use LNG as fuel, out of ~27,700 ships globally. Given the 2020 “global Sulphur Cap” and the “CO2 emissions-cutting-off”.

46Bush administration spend $105 billion for repairs & reconstructions; “Katrina” smashed-down 30 oil-platforms; closed-out 9 refineries! Followed by hurricanes Sally, Laura etc. Scientists counted 1616 tropical cyclones & 926 hurricanes so far… (internet).

47Wikipedia, down/ed 21/09/2020.

48Weekly journal “Kathimerini”, 20/09/2020, p. 23.

49EC submitted a law proposal, voted by a great majority, revising the EU system of monitoring, counting-down & verifying CO2 emissions from international maritime transport. EC is pressing shipowners towards IMO’s requirements for ships of 5000 GT and over. EC said that there is no clear landscape for knowing for sure how much shipping pollutes air with CO2 emissions! It is true that shipping industry argues that shipping pollutes less vis-à-vis e.g. air industry, & dislikes measures increasing its operating cost.

50EU Commission, Plan for Clean Growth (2020)”, with a view to mobilize funds for a “Recovery Fund” issuing Green bonds of ?50b.

51Time when oil became 5 - 6 times dearer for the first time.

52Electric; saving almost 7 kgs of CO2.

53The International maritime organization-IMO (1982) (IMCO till 1958) is an UN organization with ~150 nations-members to decide on important matters of international sea transport. Greek shipowners maintain a high esteem for IMO.

54Harvard Business School research run by Prof. Seraphim G, 18/10/2020, in weekly newspaper “Kathimerini”.

55Matters of consumption (utility, welfare, maximization etc.) are ignored, because consumers will be supplied with clean products, if production is clean.

56Meaning the increase in the total quantity of GHG emissions by producing 1 additional unit of product.

57A fee, starting from $15 per metric ton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, legislated in USA in 2019 by the “Energy innovation and carbon dividend act” (EICDA).

58A district attorney in Greece prosecuted people spreading fake news in social media for COVID-19.

59Till replaced by Wi-Fi in mobile phones…

60At the time of writing this we learned that a home test for COVID-19 is a reality.

Cite this paper: Goulielmos, A. (2020) Society in Front of 2 Enemies: COVID-19 & Climate Collapse/Their Impact on Shipping Industry. Modern Economy, 11, 2006-2026. doi: 10.4236/me.2020.1112134.

[1]   Arthur, W. B. (1994). Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

[2]   Christodoulou, A. (2018). Maritime Environmental Performance Indices: Useful Tools for Evaluating Transport Supplier Environmental Performance? WIT Transactions on The Built Environment, 187, 187-198.

[3]   Common, M. (1995). Sustainability and Policy: Limits to Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[4]   Dieren, W. V. (1995). Taking Nature into Account: A Report to the Club of Rome, towards a Sustainable National Income. New York: Copernicus.

[5]   Goulielmos, A. M. (2018). Psychological Economics: The Case-Studies of Eurozone, Global Economic Crisis and Greece. Modern Economy, 9, 1792-1820.

[6]   Goulielmos, A. M. (2020). From the Dynamics of Population to the Application of Digital Revolution to Management of Shipping Companies. Modern Economy, 11, 1155-1175.

[7]   Goulielmos, A. M., Giziakis, C. V., & Christodoulou, A. (2014a). The Extent of Awareness and Effectiveness of IMO’s Air Pollution Measures: The Case of Greek Shipping. Environmental Pollution & Protection Scientific Journal, 3, 46-58.

[8]   Goulielmos, A. M., Giziakis, C. V., & Christodoulou, A. (2014b). Comparison of the “Global Levy Scheme” with the “Emissions Trading Scheme” to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Shipping Emissions. Environmental Pollution & Protection Scientific Journal, 3, 91-108.

[9]   Meadows, D. H., Meadows, D. L., & Randers, J. (1992). Beyond the Limits: Global Collapse or a Sustainable Future. London: Earthscan.

[10]   Meadows, D. H., Meadows, D. L., Randers, J., & Behrens, W. W. (1972). The Limits to Growth. New York: Universe Books.

[11]   Pearce, D. W. (1992). Macmillan Dictionary or Modern Economics (4th ed.). London: Macmillan Education.

[12]   Pezzey, J. C. V., & Toman, M. A. (2002). The Economics of Sustainability. Farnham: Ashgate Dartmouth.

[13]   Stopford, M. (2009). Maritime Economics (3rd ed.). Oxon: Routledge.

[14]   US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center (2019).

[15]   World Commission on Environment and Development WCED (1987). Our Common Future. The Brundtland Report, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[16]   Xiao, Q., Chen, L., Xie, M., & Wang, C. (2020). Optimal Contract Design in Sustainable Supply Chain: Interactive Impacts of Fairness Concern and Overconfidence. Journal of the Operational Research Society.