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The 'ecoheroine' odyssey Greta Thunberg: cross the Atlantic on a sailboat


In August 2018, Greta Thunberg was an anonymous girl with braids and with a face of perpetual anger who resisted returning to school for a compelling reason: the disdain of politicians

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In August 2018, Greta Thunberg was an anonymous girl with braids and with a face of perpetual anger who resisted returning to school for a compelling reason: the disdain of politicians in the face of the great challenge of the 21st century. With his “ Strike for the weather” sign he stood in front of his school, and when adults asked him why he was doing it, he replied bluntly: "Because you don't give a fuck about my future! "

A year later, when he turned 16, Greta is something like the global climate ecoheroine , considered as "the greatest threat" to fossil fuels by OPEC , a title that she proudly carries and has taken to the extreme of crossing the Atlantic by sailboat, to save CO2 emissions from an intercontinental trip by plane.

Everything is ready for departure from Plymouth del Malizia II , the monocoque of 18 meters in length and "zero emissions", driven by wind and electricity generated by its solar panels and underwater turbines. It is estimated that the journey of 5,340 kilometers to New York will last for two weeks, at an estimated speed of 40 knots per hour.

Despite the danger of hurricanes at this time of year , the ship's captain, Boris Hermann, has pledged to make Greta Thunberg's dream possible, that he will travel with his father, Svante, and with documentary filmmaker Nathan Grossman, who will attest to The odyssey. All of them will move in a minimum space, encased in a single cabin, without shower or toilet , forced to ration the food.

"I can feel dizzy and it will not be comfortable, but I can overcome it," Greta warned hours before the game. "And if it's hard for me, I will think that in two weeks I will return to a normal life."

The message, according to Greta, is not to make "people stop using the plane overnight," but to raise awareness about how our modern life contributes to climate change (his mother, opera singer Malena Ernman, canceled all his international tours for two years, raised by his own daughter).

Protests and summit in New York

Greta Thunberg has decided to cross the puddle in such an unusual way to take his message to Trump's land, although the possibility of an encounter with the US president is rather remote, "and it would also be a waste of time." What he really wants is to arrive in New York in time to join the global climate strike on September 20 and speak three days later at the UN General Assembly, personally invited by the Secretary General, António Guterres.

"Talking at the UN is not going to change the situation, but at least it will help to raise awareness, " said the Swedish activist, who has turned Asperger's syndrome into a virtue: "Those affected have something like selective mutism: only we talk when it is strictly necessary, as right now in the face of climate change. "

Greta will not return to school in September, but will take the sabbatical year to make the Americas, traveling by train and by boat, from the United States to Canada, and then to Mexico, Central America and finally to Chile, in time for the conference of the weather at the beginning of December.

But Greta and the Malizia II crew must first cross the Atlantic, in a journey full of difficulties, such as bad weather and the risk of storms and hurricanes in the second part of the trip.

"The fact that Greta wanted to navigate in these conditions and with these deprivations really demonstrates her commitment to climate change," said Captain Boris Hermann. "Our sailboat is designed for speed, and not precisely for luxury."

Other clouds, including sponsors of Malizia II, the BMW car brand and the Swiss bank EFG, have also hung over the aquatic adventure of Greta. To avoid suspicion, the sponsor's logos have been erased from the helmet and the monocoque sail, as announced by the activist on her Facebook account, at the time of confirming that the crossing will not only be "zero emissions" but "zero" business interests. "

"They offered me a free trip because they sympathize with my cause," Greta said, throwing balls out at Malizia II's close bond with the Casiraghi family, who usually compete with him and stroll along the coasts of Saint-Tropez with the Yacht badge. Monaco Club

Although the sailboat belongs to the German real estate mogul Gerhard Senft , the godfather of the boat is none other than Pierre Casiraghi, son of Carolina and eighth in the line of succession of the Monegasque crown. The links with Rainier and the jet set have not however detracted from the work of the innovative sailboat, which has traveled the Mediterranean with the Malizia Ocean Challenge project, for monitoring CO2 and oceanic climate education, affiliated with the Prince Foundation Albert II of Monaco.

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