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Get ready, New York.

The Messiah is coming. On a solar-powered yacht.

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Beach  Male  Dorset
16-Aug-2019 22:14 Message #4748896
At just 16 years old, Greta Thunberg, school girl, climate change activist and Asperger’s sufferer, has already accomplished more in her short life than any one individual of most of the world’s population might expect to accomplish in a whole lifetime … certainly in the areas of environmental awareness, PR, politics and social media … but what do you make of the young woman and her ambitions?

Setting sail from Plymouth, England, aboard the Malizia II, a 60ft racing yacht built for round-the-world challenges, she intends to sail for 2 weeks across the Atlantic in the zero emission boat, (powered by wind, solar panels and underwater turbines), before arriving in New York to address TWO summits. First, The Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September and then the UN climate conference in Santiago in December. I imagine she's chosen this means of transportation to avoid being called a hypocrite for using carbon emitting / polluting air travel transportation … and / or to make a point about the polluting effects of traditional, modern, travel.

What do you think about that?

Me? I’m entirely split down the middle when even thinking about what Thunberg has already done.

On the positive side, (as a 15 year old), single handedly creating a global movement to encourage, inspire or bully world governments and corporations to shift their moral responsibilities as far as raping, abusing and destroying the earth’s natural resources, aside from the obviously polarising global warming issue itself … is a mind blowing achievement. I bet she'll be on the cover of TIME magazine AND be cited as one of the most influential people on earth before she is even 17.

While, on the negative side, she’s encouraging school children and adults to mess with our highways, airports and social structures and even sanctions the idea that it is OK to screw up our daily lives to make a point and make us pay for the error of our ways.

She was responsible for an initiative that saw roads closed and spotty kids marching right outside Beach Cottage, interrupting and interfering with my own little slice of West Dorset paradise and my first thought was, “You little fXXXers. I bet you got your parents to drive their polluting cars to make your silly point about NOT polluting the earth!” (Though all the kids cheered when I rode past them later on my electric bike).

So … I, utterly admire her overall intentions but … is she going about things in the right way?

This situation reminds me of a person, back in the 1920's, who tried to promote the idea that BOOKS were destroying society … but had to write a book to promote their weird outlook!

Is the idea of Thunberg, using a multi-million £ yacht, to commute from the UK to New York, (to avoid polluting the earth with carbon on her journey), a clever or ridiculous stunt? I mean; honourable intentions aside, do you think she really expects the world to regress back to the 19th century to conduct its commercial, business and personal affairs?

In this polarised 21st century, is Greta Thunburg the The Environmental Messiah OR some mixed up kid with Asperger's being manipulated and used by others who believe that, with her being a 16 year old girl, she is the perfect foil to deliver the messages some in society seem determined to promote.

What do you think?
RAACH84  Female  Buckinghamshire
16-Aug-2019 22:31 Message #4748898
Protesters always seem to have every question but no answers. It’s not difficult to shout about cleaner air, less rubbish, higher wages, more buildings, no more wars. But it’s meaningless without the answers or any viable concrete plans as alternatives to what is being done at present.
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire
16-Aug-2019 23:56 Message #4748906
There is a basic flaw to climate change theory, which many ignore.
Main greenhouse gas is water vapour, amount in atmosphere depends on air temperature.
If greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere, more water vapour in atmosphere.
Since water vapour is a green house gas, you get more heat, so more water vapour in the atmosphere.

If the above was the case, life on this planet would have been finished millions of years ago.
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia
17-Aug-2019 07:54 Message #4748913
It's easy to criticise, but I read some comments yesterday which questioned the zero carbon footprint of her stunt.
It was pointed out the boat/yacht she is sailing in is made from carbon fibre which is 14 times more polluting to make than steel, also 5 people are apparently being flown to the States from other countries in order to sail the yacht back to the UK when her stunt has finished.
So, in effect the stunt has created more pollution than if she had flown there by herself.

I guess it shows that if you scrutinise hard enough you will find a flaw in everything, but the likes of Thunberg and Emma Thompson shine a spotlight on the rest of us to highlight our shortcomings, so they should expect the same treatment.
As for the girl herself, maybe it's a failing of mine and I'm a nasty right wing individual but I really cannot stand the way the media fawn over self-proclaimed do-gooders and build them up to be saint like, expecting the rest of us to do the same.
Malala Yousafzai and Julian Assange are two others...
Pboro Trevor  Male  Cambridgeshire
17-Aug-2019 09:27 Message #4748922
Like most youngsters she has not thought this through.

She can't find a way to get back home once she gets to New York

terry  Male  West Yorkshire
17-Aug-2019 10:26 Message #4748929
I'd be quite proud to have either girl as a daughter. Critiscise all you want, but two thruths are apparent, if the media are making them out to be saints that's the media's fault, not theirs, and they have grabbed the chance to speak up on a world stage for something they believe in...fair do's when all to often the talk of young people is negative.
I find it ironic that we demonise people who seek change, yet without people seeking change and protesting we would still be serfs to the landowners and mill owners. Yes, I know we are still slaves in one sense, but at least we now have some knowledge and ability to bring change that wasn't open to the common man.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
17-Aug-2019 10:39 Message #4748930
I was absolutely astonished at the comment from Arron Banks about her journey and I found it rather sinister.

He claims it was a joke. When I first heard it, it sounded like an open threat to me.

And I think that's one of the most chilling things about the society that we live in; that a wealthy middle aged man with considerable influence politically and other wise would openly and publically wish death to a 16 year old girl, simply on the basis of her beliefs not aligning with hers. I would go one step further than having concerns about the environment alone. It's the loss of basic values almost en masse; such as human decency, caring towards others and compassion for other's suffering that scares me most. What a world we live in nowadays.
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia
17-Aug-2019 10:50 Message #4748931
Well, like you terry I'm a cynical sod (probably for different reasons) and I always doubt the true motives of people doing stuff like this.
These days it's easier than ever to be "famous" - when you see 17 year olds on social media with a million followers hanging onto their every word it does make me uneasy. When I was 17 I didn't know what the world was about, now they are worldwide celebrities.
Young people tweeting all manner of stuff to the masses, saying they feel suicidal, saying the world is going to end, pleading for financial help to get them through a tough time. Followers lap it up.
All this stuff is social media driven and so much of it is false.
Let's face it, can you imagine if the nonsense we post on here was being absorbed by millions of followers, people were hanging onto our every word, believing anything and everything we post?
Perhaps all of that says more about me than them (I will say that before someone else trots it out as the normal response)...
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
17-Aug-2019 11:29 Message #4748934
I agree with you Minnie I found it shocking too and sinister.

Thunberg isn't perfect, none of us are, our planet is in trouble, we are the cause of most of it and we can do something about it. I doubt if Thunburg ever thought she'd be addressing the UN or any of the other international groups she has, she might have wished she could. So maybe instead of criticising a young woman who's trying her hardest to live up to her principles and remind the rest of us to do our bit, including mational governments, we could start following her example a little. Its not often you will find me quoting the bible but 'Ye who are without sin cast the first stone', seems the right response here, we all have to make choices about how we live and the impact we make, so lets have a little more respect, for each other and the planet.
tumbled  Male  Gloucestershire
17-Aug-2019 13:08 Message #4748938
We're always going to be in an era where people say 'what a world we live in today'...

Progress is always going to destroy certain things...and it's good that some people are trying to bring to peoples attention...

There are certainly other ways to do certain things, that are less harmful than the way they are currently being done..

Also, I don't know all the stats, but the World wars and the damage they did...I expect people were saying in those days 'what a world we live in today'

Not just wars, but all sorts of things...Every century has something...Damage and destruction of some sort..

There is no solution really...It's just good that it makes people think...

I also believe that the Earth and the atmosphere is stronger than a lot of people think...It can survive most things that people throw at it...or just about everything really....If it's all going to obliterate, then it'll be external forces that are my opinion..
SQL  Male  Devon
17-Aug-2019 14:12 Message #4748942
tumbleweed -17-Aug-2019 13:08

I also believe that the Earth and the atmosphere is stronger than a lot of people think...It can survive most things that people throw at it...

I notice you say "most", how about the 30,000,000,000+ tonnes of carbon dioxide than Homo Sapiens is pushing into the atmosphere annually? What will you say a few years time when sea levels are 6 metres (predicted) above current levels?

The earth will survive, that's not the issue. Many species will not survive, possibly including Homo Sapiens - can you look your grandchildren in the face and say "Yes I know we are destroying the planet but I can't be bothered to make any changes to help".

Beach  Male  Dorset
17-Aug-2019 15:02 Message #4748944
THIS is climate change! (Below) :-)

An animation showing …

A) The plate tectonics of the Earth regressing back from today to the super-continent Pangea 250 million years ago. (Video from 0m:00s - 2m:05s)

and then

B) From Pangea back to the present day. (Video 2m:05s - 03m:55s)

And then crashing back into another super-continent a further 250 million years into the future!

I love watching the animation (and the part depicting Britain), because it demonstrates that back in the Jurassic, my Jurassic coast was, just about on the Equator with a shallow sea just off what can be distinguished as Cornwall … and with a harsh red desert just North.

Today, the creatures in that sea can be dug out of the cliffs as fossils just a mile or two from here and the rich red sands of that nearby prehistoric desert can be seen transformed into rich red layers of rock just as you approach, (or was it leave?), an area close to Exeter in Devon.

So, I guess, we might argue that, compared to a supercontinent actually breaking up over 250 million years to form the differing continents we are used to currently, a mere ocean rise of 1m, 5m or even 10 metres is nothing dramatic in the life of Gaia, Mother Earth.

The video goes a bit weird after returning to / passing the present time but I thought it was a great (and simple) way of showing time over 250 million years.
Do you think Greta Thunberg is being used as a pawn in the great climate debate … and do you think her age, her gender, her Asperger's and her. (potential) naivety all contribute towards a package that is very hard to argue against without looking like a bully?

Are folk allowing her to get away with statements such as "It is an emergency … our house is burning down", (A metaphorical expression meant to promote urgency) OR do you think regular grown up male politicians, (the typical rulers of this planet), could generate an equally passionate feeling in (some) people's hearts IF, (it's a big if), they had a desire to do so?

Is Thunberg a genius … or a puppet?
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia
17-Aug-2019 15:48 Message #4748947
I'm sorry but I don't get the message she is trying to send by pretending to sail across the Atlantic carbon neutral to a climate conference.
Don't chastise the rest of us for wanting to take holidays - 'Ye who are without sin cast the first stone', indeed....
Judance  Female  Berkshire
17-Aug-2019 16:34 Message #4748950
There is a lady who regularly stands on the main street here with a placard saying STOP CLIMATE CHANGE!

I finally got the opportunity to take her to task the other day as I argued that the Earth's climate changes constantly whether man contributes to it or not. She did try to think of another slogan, I'll give her that, but none was as 'punchy' as her 3 word placard. She did, however, agree that she should change her message .. I wait and see.

Although I am not against people making a stand against things they believe are destroying the planet as we know it, I do think that there are a lot of people who just jump on any bandwagon that's passing, without knowing much about the issue.

The contribution of greenhouse gases to the rate at which climate is changing is an issue for man, but not necessarily for the planet. Climate changes naturally and there's not much we can do about that. Whether it's descending into an ice age or causing desert or tropical conditions, this fluctuation over time happens. We can worry about the rise in sea level, but it's only because we choose to live by the sea. I doubt if anyone living in an interior or highland area is bothered much about it. Species have been wiped out time and again .. Beach mentioned the fossils along his beloved Jurassic coast - a case in point.

I admire the young lady for challenging the authorities, but I do feel the media hype is not doing her cause any good. Why choose to go to a convention in America at all when she knows she has to travel there? We have video links nowadays, don't we?

Hierophant  Male  East Anglia
17-Aug-2019 16:57 Message #4748951
Indeed, I don't think any of us would or could deny that the climate is changing - in my short time on this planet I have seen a difference, especially so because of many years spent in agriculture.
I was watching a programme the other night, nothing to do with climate or weather, it was about medieval bones found in a mass grave, but they were talking about the climate at that time and it was erratic to say the least - bitterly cold harsh winters and boiling hot summers. Nothing like I have seen in my lifetime.
I just think it's nonsense to expect the Earth's climate to stay nice and predictable so us humans and all wildlife can live in comfort for eternity. If Mother Nature wants rid of any of us then it will happen no matter how many electric cars we buy or Greta Thunbergs sail across the Atlantic in multi-million pound yachts...
SQL  Male  Devon
17-Aug-2019 18:45 Message #4748960
Judance - 17-Aug-2019 16:34

The contribution of greenhouse gases to the rate at which climate is changing is an issue for man, but not necessarily for the planet. Climate changes naturally and there's not much we can do about that.

No argument about that, what you have not seemed to grasp is the rate at which the earth's surface and atmosphere is heating and the rate at which life-form evolve or mutate. Carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate since the mid 1800's, the oceans are turning acidic thus affecting a multitude of species. Sea levels are rising rapidly (in the geological timescale). The natural environment for countless living species is being changed at a rate incompatible with natural evolution. It's not our lives that will be greatly affected but the lives of the generation after the next (our grandchildren). We have the knowledge and the ability to mitigate these changes, adopting a "head in the sand" approach won't wash with your grandchildren.

wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
17-Aug-2019 19:11 Message #4748964
No I don't, Thunberg is young female and has Aspergers, naivety is possible but not a bad thing in one so young, but does all of the above make her wrong? Do any one of the above make her wrong? Not to me they don't, there are many things that I believe now that I held just as strong opinions when I was her age, to me thats called a principle, something which guides you through life. To me mearly raising age, gender and Aspergers is trying to deminish the importance of what she says, although I think it diminishes the poster more. What she says is important, its easy to say that the planet has changed through the course of its long life, but that dosen't mean we should treat it as a rubbish tip, creating damage that will outlive us by thousands of years. What ever we as individuals do to help is good, theres so much that needs doing that we can all do something and we should be pressing our governments to do their bit too.
Beach  Male  Dorset
17-Aug-2019 19:40 Message #4748967
I hear you, Hen … but you'll notice I'm playing Devil's Advocate on this thread, partly, because I am genuinely torn in my opinion, (of the young woman), and, partly, by simply trying to remain neutral to encourage others to present their thoughts.

Caring for the earth and her environment should be important to all, whatever politics our views are held by people.
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
17-Aug-2019 19:51 Message #4748968
I think she is amazing.

It is important to raise questions even if we do not yet have the answers. That's how we get an idea we can research, build on, and then develop.

Judance's comment about her listening and reconsidering is not a sign of arrogance either. Usually, people with autism don't like crowds and disarray, but her intelligent mind will see the bigger picture, that her own feelings and discomfort are less important than the cause she is endeavouring to bring to the attention of as many as possible.
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia
18-Aug-2019 08:24 Message #4748991
"Thunberg is young female and has Aspergers, naivety is possible but not a bad thing in one so young, but does all of the above make her wrong?"

I'm not saying she's wrong, it's this "don't do as I do, do as I say" attitude that narks me. Personally, I don't see what difference it makes that she has Aspergers, Autism or whatever, to my mind it's just another stick to beat critics with and make them seem like nasty bullies when they don't agree with her.
I'm all for doing my bit, of course we need to reduce plastic use and packaging - I think we all realise that it's got out of hand, but we/they need to involve the ordinary man and woman who live ordinary lives.
How the hell does sailing across the Atlantic in a state of the art £4 million yacht inspire ordinary people to do their bit, even with all that technology and all that money at her disposal she still isn't actually carbon neutral like she said she would be.
Taking two weeks to reach a place you can fly to in 7 hours doesn't really prove anything does it? I could walk or cycle to work and back, it would take me a day and wouldn't leave any time for actual work, but at least I'd be carbon neutral.
How does an ordinary person who drives a 10 year old petrol car and needs it to get to work each day relate in any way to what she is doing or use it to inspire them. Most of us couldn't afford to take two weeks out to do anything anyway...
Andromeda  Female  Berkshire
18-Aug-2019 08:33 Message #4748992
She reminds me of one of those beauty queens making a speech about how she wants to do good things and save the world.
It’s just a publicity machine.
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon
18-Aug-2019 08:35 Message #4748993
I don't understand the use of such an expensive yacht. Surely any yacht of a sensible size would do provided the sails are used for the journey?

I suspect big business are exploiting the situation for their own agenda?

However, it has raised discussion which must be good surely?
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire
18-Aug-2019 09:51 Message #4748997
It’s just a publicity machine.

I suspect big business are exploiting the situation for their own agenda?

In a nutshell. That’s why everyone has heard of her. The media have created another celeb.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
18-Aug-2019 10:03 Message #4748999
I don't get the analogy with a beauty pageant, at all. It's a competition and they will say whatever they need to win. I have no reason to believe that what great says comes from the heart and that she speaks from a place of having done her homework. The only thing she has to win is a decent planet to live on; long after we will be pushing up the daisies and feeding the worms.
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia
18-Aug-2019 10:12 Message #4749000
The yacht stunt seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to criticism she received about her travelling around the world criticising others for travelling around the world.
We seem to be stuck in an endless cycle of analysing every minute detail and weighing up it's climate impact - I'm not sure it's helping anybody...

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