Re: “Cruise ships have returned to Seattle — is that a good thing?” [July 17, Business]:

What are the benefits and risks of cruising? Benefits: a vacation with limitless food and drink, entertainment, beautiful sights and support for some small businesses. Risks: Burning bunker fuel and emitting huge amounts of greenhouse gases, discharging waste in port communities, interfering with marine life, scandalously low worker wages and tax evasion via “flags of convenience.”

Port of Seattle Commission President Fred Felleman’s description of an “insatiable appetite” for cruising is a symptom of a materialistic consumer culture that incorrectly assumes that our planet is an infinite resource.

Opposition to cruising is not opposition to jobs and business. Rather, it’s opposition to an industry that doesn’t care about its workers or its myriad harmful effects. Physicians, labor leaders, marine biologists, parents and environmentalists oppose leisure cruising. Rather than clinging to a 20th-century vision, let’s create the new jobs and businesses that are needed to transform our world.

Iris Antman, Seattle