A new guide to marine efficiency technologies is out. It's called "The Guide". Is it "The Answer"?
By Ryan Skinner (email)
Most publishers give reviewers a free copy of the book. A few days ago a PR rep from Blue Communications sent me a press release (here it is: Download Fathom 'The Guide' Press Release Jan (1)) about a new book. Yes, a press release about a book. Presumably, I would have to buy it (at around $400), if I want to review it. It's OK. I don't.
But I'll help them spread the word about it. We know full well that shipping companies are writhing and contorting themselves to figure out how best to figure out the efficiency beast. A publisher called Fathom (get it?) has now created a guide to shipping efficiency technologies, snappily called The Guide. They give a review of 60+ technologies that improve efficiency, and add information about the companies that offer them.
Thus, my question: Can you pay your way out of ignorance? God, I hope so. Or I hope people can at least read their way out of ignorance. We've seen a passel of indices related to efficiency, we'll see more and more books like this, there are conferences and seminars and who knows what else. If you can't pay your way out of ignorance, these people's business models are in trouble.
Questions for The Guide: Does your reference book tell a shipping company about the thorny process of grafting a new efficiency technology on an existing structure? Does it describe how this efficiency technology will meet regulations that haven't even been written yet? What were the sources of your information about technologies - the suppliers themselves, Lloyd's Register, or impartial users?
What The Guide doesn't purport to offer (sadly) is a community around the content, to provide a mechanism for vetting and renewing the statements, and to build a path for future development of these technologies. Geomares Publishing at least tried to do as much with its book, The Electronic Chart. They seemed to fail, but at least they had their head on straight.