Legendary teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg is causing waves again. This time, literally. She is currently sailing from Plymouth in England to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on a carbon-neutral, zero-emissions racing yacht. The trip should take about two weeks, so the schoolgirl hopes to make it in time for the climate change conference which starts on September 23.
The reason the 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl is traveling by sea is that she loves the environment so much, she refuses to fly on airplanes. This is just plain awesome. Unfortunately, some people don’t think so and lambasted her because they don’t agree with the message she’s sending. Some made fun of her because they think she just wants attention, while others think there’s nothing wrong with flying and rubbed their opinions in her face. Be sure to scroll down to the very end of this post to read an interview with Marc Moran, who defended Thunberg on Twitter.
Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg is ‘making a splash’ by sailing to New York from Plymouth, England
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“There’s always going to be people who don’t understand or accept the united science, and I will just ignore them as I’m only acting and communicating on the science,” Thunberg called out global warming deniers right before setting sail. 4 days after leaving Plymouth, she tweeted that she wasn’t feeling seasick yet and joked that being on the boat was like “camping on a roller coaster.”
Some people started making fun of the 16-year-old girl
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16-year-old Thunberg is sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on a 60-foot long (that’s 18 meters) yacht with three other people, among whom are her father Svante, and experienced captain Boris Herrmann. The yacht, called the Malizia II, is powered by sunlight and has underwater turbines. Ironically, this marvel of modern engineering lacks a toilet.
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Thunberg’s journey by boat was well-received by many environmentally-conscious individuals, However, there were some who called the teenager out. One Twitter user explained how she had “0%” guilt for booking “long haul flights” for her family. Another made fun of her getting on the cover of GQ magazine for telling people to “recycle jam jars.” Others still criticized Thunberg for pulling a stunt for media attention because, allegedly, a crew will have to fly to New York to sail the yacht back to England.
The teenager has drawn a lot of praise for her work from politicians. But she’s drawn a lot of ire as well. Especially recently. In July, she gave a speech at the French parliament, which was boycotted by some lawmakers who called her a “guru of the apocalypse”, a “prophetess in shorts” and the “Justin Bieber of ecology.” However, the teenager is used to ignoring criticism from climate change skeptics.
According to the UN, “the last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990.” Furthermore, the UN warns that “sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.”
That makes me want to do more in the fight against climate change. If I could, I’d sail everywhere on a yacht. But for now, I’ll keep on recycling jam jars, walking instead of driving, hugging trees when nobody’s looking, and growing vegetables and herbs in my tiny garden. What about you? What are you doing to help the environment? Share your thoughts about Thunberg and climate change in the comments below.
Thunberg’s fans rushed to defend her
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Twitter user Marc Moran, who goes by the handle moranmarc13 and who rushed to Thunberg’s defense online, told us in an interview his thoughts about the situation, the activist’s views, and climate change.
“I 100% percent agree with Greta’s message and her views. I feel that as the human race, we have spent hundreds of years, particularly in the last century, making incredible technological breakthroughs. There is no doubt that the very concept of a plane is a mechanical marvel — we have no business being up in the sky traveling at that speed, humans weren’t born being able to do that. Plastic was only properly commercialized and mass-produced around 100 years ago, and it’s easy to see why we used it so much; it is cheap to produce, long-lasting and has a massive range of use cases.
However, when things like plastic and air travel were created, we were naive as a human race and did not realize the impact it has on the environment and our world. Our issue now is that we are allowing our naivety to turn into ignorance, which is what Greta tries so hard to highlight. Of course, not everyone has the time or money to travel by sea as Greta has — and that isn’t what she’s asking for either. However, by doing this she has contributed to the conversation. My own tweet on the subject has been seen 25 million times — if only 5% of those people cut a little bit of plastic from their next weekly shop, that’s 1.25 million shoppers helping to contribute to a less plastic future.”
In Moran’s opinion, people make fun of Thunberg “for two main reasons — shame and intimidation.” Moran also added that “for a 16-year-old girl to tell people older than her that they are ruining the planet and need to change their ways will most definitely hit a bum note with them, as she is helping to contribute to change that they themselves have caused and refused to help undo. I think, unfortunately, although this should never be the case, the fact that Greta has Asperger’s will mean that some scumbags will always disagree with her.”
Moran also had some advice for all the climate change skeptics out there: “Open a window, turn on the news and look at what is happening to the planet through deforestation and the constant use of irresponsible materials. Have a look at the ice caps and polar bears and realize it is all of us causing it. There is no such thing as selective climate meltdown — if we don’t stop it, we will all be affected! So please, don’t buy as much plastic, try to buy used instead of new if you can, get reusable water bottles and containers instead of buying a new bottle of water each day, eat a little less meat and use sustainable travel where you can!
Greta has recently collaborated on a new song with British band ‘The 1975’, which will be the opening song to their new album ‘Notes on a Conditional Form’. I would urge any climate skeptics, or anyone who hasn’t yet heard it, check it out now.”