Greta Thunberg must be recognized for her consistency and respect. So far, her actions are ideally suited to her alarmist remarks. At the time of social media, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion — talk to those vegan influencers caught eating meat.
Here, the path of the Swedish activist is perfect. In Railway trains, on station platforms or in parliamentary buildings, Greta Thunberg is always seen as a young woman who is aware of climate issues. And so here – naturally? – that she announces to go to New York in a luxury boat powered by the energies that provide us, Gaia.
What luck! Be able to sail on a boat more expensive than a car, equipped with the most modern technology and driven by the best skippers in the world. Supporters of nature will be reassured: Greta Thunberg’s carbon footprint will certainly be smaller than that of each of the participants who will join Santiago (Chile) for COP25 in early December.
The Marketing Plan Is Perfect
The Malizia II is a Marvel. Owned by the princely family of Monaco, it bears the nickname (“The Crafty”) given to Francesco Grimaldi, founder of the dynasty in the 13th century. 60 feet (18 m 28) Long, this IMOCA monocoque carries solar panels and hydrogenators designed to give it a “green” image. Ideal, in the perspective of seeing its German skipper, Boris Herrmann takes the start of the Vendée Globe 2020.
So the marketing plan works perfectly. The message, The Messenger and her generous patrons are aligned. No one would have imagined that Greta Thunberg would have gone on a pedalo or kayak to the United Nations conference. No more than anyone would have seen her swaddling on the lustrous deck of a cruise ship.
A form of uneasiness remains, as a filigree of this irreproachable attitude, due to the status of quasi-universal icon gained by this ultra-media teenager.
But isn’t Greta Thunberg, relying on a logistics that are inaccessible to ordinary people, demolishing the very essence of her message, namely the sobriety that is essential to a decarbonized world? A trip to Malizia II is about a hundred times more expensive than a one-way flight from London to New York. However, economic efficiency remains the main criterion for the choice of individuals.
Here is a snapshot of the situation of part of the European airspace, captured this Tuesday 30 July 2019 at 13: 36:
In this period of summer “crossover”, the “kerosene” effervescence is in full swing. According to Planetoscope, an average of 127 passengers fly every second in the world. More than 18,000 aircraft are currently in flight on our planet, representing 4.3 billion people transported in 2018. In one of the safest and fastest modes of transport.
But, to follow Greta Thunberg, would it be desirable for each of these passengers to sail, like her, on a Tesla of the seas? The cost, the investment, the risk incurred for passengers, are incomparable compared to the comfort and safety that the airlines offer today. If the yacht were to prove a valid alternative from an economic point of view, millions of people would have rushed on this mode of transport.
This is not the case.
Responding to the call of the Monaco Yacht Club, Greta Thunberg has produced a counter-productive message: in today’s world, environmentalism is a luxury. And the effective fight against global warming is today reserved for an elite. What do the 99.9% think of dreamers for which this carbon-free transatlantic will remain forever inaccessible?
The message will not appeal to the frantic ecologists or the fanatics of anti-capitalism. It consists of saying, “You only have to take a few weeks of vacation and find a friend who will make you cross the ocean”.
The media attention to which Greta Thunberg is subjected must not hide the observed reality according to a 360° panorama. The Chinese are building a railroad to transport… coal for more than 1,000 km, the Americans do not need the oil dependency of the Arab countries, the African population aspires to achieve a level of development similar to the western world… starting with the basic electrification of homes, schools, hospitals.
Economic development is an ally of humanity. Time will do its work and, let us be sure, we will be able to enter a decarbonized economy when everyone, wherever they are in the world, has found their place. As such, Greta Thunberg’s transatlantic crossing sounds like a reminder to those who blame the gap between the elite and the humble — those who do not have the honor of red carpets and cameras.
(Has she been informed that her racing boat is made from petroleum?)
Greta Thunberg is very lucky. A lot of luck lucky. The one that will not benefit the 95% of the world’s population if politicians come to apply the precepts that it carries… Nevertheless, let us wish her a peaceful crossing of the Atlantic in accordance with her convictions.