Greta Thunberg is a teen-aged eco-activist in Sweden and I have to hand it to her: she is not one of those environmentalists who jet to climate change conferences in a Gulfstream. MarketWatch reports:
Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager whose social media-savvy brand of eco-activism has inspired tens of thousands of students in Europe to skip classes and protest for faster action against climate change, said Monday that she plans to take her message to America the old-fashioned way: by boat.
The 16-year-old tweeted that she’ll sail across the Atlantic aboard a high-tech racing yacht, leaving Britain next month to attend U.N. climate summits in New York in September and Santiago, Chile, in December.
Thunberg told The Associated Press ahead of her announcement that she spent months trying to figure out how to travel to the U.S. without using planes, which she has long shunned because of their high greenhouse gas emissions.
Unwittingly, Thunberg is making a case that airplanes, big ships, and other modern conveniences are necessary.
You see, most people have to be places more quickly than Greta. If you have a business in Europe, a leisurely boat trip is not going to cut it.
Greta's voyage really dramatizes how impractical her boat is and reminds us of how fortunate we are to have modern innovations in transportation.
And I wonder if Greta has read histories about how old-fashioned boats and slow communications affected life in, say, the American colonies?
Yes, Greta's boat is great for drama, but it really makes the opposite point from the one Greta is trying to make.
And it’s really not your ordinary boat anyway—it’s sort of deluxe:
The yacht she’ll be crossing the Atlantic with is a far cry from the Viking ships that first brought Scandinavians to America. Captained by yachtsman Boris Herrmann, the 60-foot (18-meter) Malizia II is fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate zero-carbon electricity on board.
Thunberg will also be accompanied on the two-week journey by a filmmaker, her father Svante and Pierre Casiraghi, the grandson of Monaco’s late Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly.
I hope the kids have a good, safe time
But, if they are concerned about climate change, they’d do better to espouse human innovation rather than trying to turn back the clock to Medieval times (which, of course, they do with lots of comforts real Vikings didn't enjoy).