The teenage climate guru, Greta Thunberg, has braved high seas and strong winds to attend the New York UN Climate Change Summit. She has suffered discomfort and insanitary toilet conditions to cross the Atlantic Ocean in carbon zero style.
Nearly 400 years ago, the original pilgrims left Plymouth to sail to the U.S. on the Mayflower. The Puritans suffered similarly unhygienic and cramped conditions, but they were sustained by religious zeal and a burning sense of mission. Greta too, is prepared to suffer for her faith. Although the Maliza II racing yacht is owned by a member of the Monaco royal family, Pierre Casiraghi, there is no toilet onboard. She has been forced to poo into a plastic bucket and throw the waste overboard but it’s a small price to pay to stir up the climate zeal of future generations.
Along with her fellow believers, she abhors the use of plastic. The Maliza II is made from carbon fibre, a material that creates a carbon footprint 14 times higher than that of steel. However, footage of Greta harnessing the natural wind to sail the high seas will inspire business men and women everywhere to forgo their transatlantic flights and instead sail to the office. The cold air which carried her across the Atlantic inspires the hot air required to sustain a week of speeches by salaried activists.
Greta brings her super human powers of climate detection to the conference. As her mother, Malena Ernman, wrote in her memoir about Greta’s family Scenes from the Heart, “she can see carbon dioxide with the naked eye. She sees how it flows out of chimneys and turns the atmosphere into a rubbish tip.” Greta is the only known human currently capable of seeing the colourless, odourless gas and its effect high up in the atmosphere. She has a rare ability to observe what others only fear.
Although, we climate mortals can only imagine the ‘rubbish tip’ in the sky, we can see the truth in Greta’s vision of unearthly degradation. She provides a clear window into the heavenly filth produced by a fallen mankind and has been given an international stage on which she can spread her vision. Us mortals must sit at her feet and listen.
Cynics have pointed out that Greta can spare the two weeks required to travel across the Atlantic because she has plenty of time on her hands, she has no job and she only attends school when she has run out of speaking engagements. Greta has said “the older people usually say that we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But we don’t want you to be hopeful, we want you to panic”. Greta understands that the sense of perspective acquired by older generations is useless when we face a cataclysm unlike anything we’ve known before. They must be held responsible for denying the tomorrow of today’s teenagers. Unlike the 10,000s of older salaried activists who have wearily attended Climate Conferences for the past 30 years, Greta brings urgency and alarm.
Greta’s fellow conference delegates arrived by plane, train and taxi. To inoculate them against eco-disgrace, 685 hectares of trees would be needed to offset the emissions produced. In future, UN Conference delegates should follow Greta’s lead and travel by yacht, kayak, bicycle or skateboard. Perhaps they could move beyond ‘carbon zero’ by planting trees on the roadside as they travel, thus introducing ‘carbon negative’ journeys.
After undertaking a carbon-laden flight from Europe to New York, a fresh crew of sailors will transport the Maliza II on its return journey. To ensure that the crew is protected from eco-disgrace, it is rumoured that the Monaco royal family will pay some less fortunate people to plant a few hectares of trees in penance. It is anticipated that, in the not too distant future, some developing countries will be entirely covered in dense forest, as a result of the activities of Western climate activists. Every tree will be a monument to the Grace of Greta.
A film crew joined Greta on her sailing journey and recorded her heroic endeavour. We can look forward to a Netflix series charting her elevation from anonymous schoolgirl to international eco-star. Greta has entranced the rich, famous and powerful. Greta is now taking the helm of Western politics. Hold on tight for the ride.