Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg takes flak for returning to Europe on ‘plastic yacht’
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg eschews jet travel based on her opposition to greenhouse-gas emissions, but her return trip to Europe isn’t entirely carbon-neutral.
Twelve weeks after sailing into New York City, Greta hitched a ride back to Europe Wednesday with celebrity sailers Elayna Carausu and Riley Whitelum on La Vagabonde, a luxury catamaran made of petroleum products like fiberglass.
“Greta sets sail on new plastic yacht,” said the free-market Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow in a post.
The catamaran, the Outremer 45, has four solar panels that produce about 130 amps per day, according to a January video on the couple’s Sailing La Vagabonde channel on YouTube.
They said they only use about half that in a typical day when anchored, but that larger groups would use more energy.
Greta’s father Svante Thunberg and British yachtswoman Nikki Henderson joined the La Vagabonde crew, raising questions about whether they flew across the pond only to sail back.
In addition to solar and hydro power, the craft is equipped with two diesel 30hp engines, according to Multihull Central, a boat-reviewing site, as noted by climate skeptic Tom Nelson.
“Uh oh: Greta’s planet-destroying luxury yacht has two diesel engines with 672L diesel fuel tank,” Mr. Nelson tweeted.
Uh oh: Greta’s planet-destroying luxury yacht has two diesel engines with 672L diesel fuel tank. https://t.co/vkQM1bHlls https://t.co/ga1xg7MiHO https://t.co/esHRZ0aJwR https://t.co/0e0vmDoJRF
— Tom Nelson (@tan123) November 13, 2019
Greta’s return boat, an Outremer 45, weighs 17,400 pounds and is made of fiberglass, or fiber-reinforced plastic. The yacht was pumped out of the ground by oil companies. It draws auxiliary power from twin Volvo Diesel engines #Greta https://t.co/JZJelGiS3O
— CFACT (@CFACT) November 13, 2019
.@_NikkiHenderson, did you really fly from Europe to the US to be part of a luxury diesel-powered yacht crew helping Greta avoid the CO2 emissions of flying from the US to Europe? #ClimateStrike https://t.co/RJJIVsOD8v https://t.co/BjEH7K0ccA
— Tom Nelson (@tan123) November 14, 2019
CFACT President Craig Rucker said “Greta’s return trip remains rife with irony.”
“An Outremer 45 weighs 17,400 pounds and is made of fiberglass, or fiber-reinforced plastic,” he said in a Wednesday post. “It draws auxiliary power from twin Volvo diesel engines.”
Greta arrived Aug. 28 in New York City for her U.S. climate-strike tour on the Maliza II, described as “an elite racing yacht” owned by Pierre Casiraghi, grandson of the late Princess Grace of Monaco.
“The irony of protesting capitalism and oil on board a carbon-fiber (petrochemical) yacht owned by European royals who made billions operating Monaco as a tax haven was rich,” Mr. Rucker said.
Greta had planned to attend the 2019 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Chile, but Chilean leaders abruptly canceled after weeks of street protests driven by increased metro and electricity prices as the country seeks to phase out coal-fired plants by 2040.
Instead, the Dec. 2-13 gathering was moved to Madrid, forcing Greta to return to Europe earlier than expected.
The 16-year-old activist has drawn international attention for leading Friday school strikes, urging students to skip school to protest human-caused climate change.
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