One of the world's biggest issues is climate change. And one of climate change's biggest events is the UN Climate Summit in New York on September 23. And one of the world's biggest climate activists is Swedish teen Greta Thunberg.
It would seem obvious that Greta would be at the UN Climate Summit — how could such an important voice not be heard there? But the young activist has always had a problem attending because flying to New York from her native Sweden would release a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. And that is the exact thing she's trying to stop!
Just go by boat, you say? Cruise ships suffer from the same problem: they shove boatloads of CO2 into the ocean.
Finally though, a solution has presented itself. Greta Thunberg is going sailing!
Meet the Malizia II
The boat that she will make the trip on is the Malizia II. The boat was built to compete in the 2016–2017 Vendée Globe race. It has solar panels and underwater turbine for generating its electricity. Zero carbon emissions. Perfect!
But while the 18-metre (60-foot) vessel is modern, her trip will be anything but comfortable.
A boat like this is designed for speed, not luxury. There are no private bunks or rooms for socializing. And what's more, the boat will be traveling across the Atlantic in mid-August — prime time for hurricanes. Though the crew of the boat will plot a route to avoid large storms, this will still be an intense, grueling two-week journey.
Or as skipper Boris Herrmann said in a recent press conference, “This trip will be massively challenging for Greta and for all of us.”
Talk the talk, walk the walk
One of the most common criticisms of an activist — especially a younger one — is that the person is a hypocrite. This means that their words and actions don't match.
In the case of Greta Thunberg, let's say that she did fly to New York. Some people might call her a hypocrite for flying, which is not exactly earth-friendly (many others would probably forgive her — after all, it's not her fault that the world is so huge and that the summit is held in the New York and not Sweden).
So she's challenging herself to lead by example. Doing this certainly makes her inspiring. But it also means that she'll be able to look others in the eye at that conference and say, "I did it. Why can't you?"
All in all, this summit should be a fascinating event to follow!