16-Year Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Arrives via Ship to NYC

Nearly a month ago now, I shared a story about 16-year old climate change activist Greta Thunberg and her plans to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. The teenager undertook this journey in order to reach New York City, where she plans to attend a United Nations summit on climate change. But rather than get on a jet plane to fly to NYC, putting more carbon emissions into the atmosphere as a result, she was instead invited to make the trip via a 60′ racing yacht instead. Yesterday, the young Swede completed that voyage and arrived at her destination at long last.

The journey across the Atlantic took about two weeks to complete and wasn’t without its share of challenges. Not a particularly seasoned sailor, Thunberg took it all in stride however, even when the Malizia II, the ship she was traveling on, hit rough seas 300 miles (482 km) off the coast of Nova Scotia. The sailing vessel even had to alter its course in order to avoid Tropical Storm Chantel, which had developed in their path as they sailed west. From all accounts however, the 16-year old handled the sailing adventure like a seasoned pro and had few complaints about her mode of transportation.

Great was greeted in New York by a crowd of well-wishers who had been anticipating her arrival. The young woman has gained international notoriety after she made headlines while protesting outside the Swedish parliament last year. Since then, she’s become a staple on the climate change circuit thanks to her tough, realistic talk on how our planet is changing and the impact it will have on her generation, as well as those that follow.

Upon arriving in NYC, Thunberg thanked those who had seen her off from Plymouth, England and those that welcomed her to the U.S. She indicated that she’ll now take a few days to rest and recover before joining a protest outside the U.N. building in a few days.

Other climate activists, politicians, and researchers could take a cue from Greta’s sailing excursion. It has been reported in the past that many of them have not only flown to past climate change summits, but they’ve done so in private jets no less. You have to respect Thunberg’s willingness to put her money where her mouth is and embark on a sailing adventure to avoid contributing to the problem.

Kraig Becker