One of the effects of impeachment mania has been that it has knocked the progress of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager with mental health issues who has become, inexplicably, the maiden goddess of climate change. Now, however, Ms. Thunberg is in a bit of a quandary. She needs a ride back across the Atlantic to get to a climate meeting in Madrid that was moved from Chile due to civil unrest in that country.
Most people would hop on a plane and head to Spain at leisure. However, one of the disadvantages of being a climate goddess is that one must set an example. Jet airliners or even private planes emit lots of carbon dioxide when they fly and are therefore evil. Indeed, Thunberg crossed the Atlantic to New York City in a sailboat that had solar panels to great acclaim.
In the meantime, during her exploration of the New World, Thunberg has made a great many celebrity friends. According to the UK Guardian, Leonardo DiCaprio was very impressed by the teenage climate change activist. Besides being an actor, most famous for his role in “Titanic,” DiCaprio is an environmental activist. Unlike Thunberg, he is not shy about flying to climate events in his private plane. When asked about it, DiCaprio claims that he buys carbon offsets to balance out the pollution caused by his desire to travel in style and comfort.
Thunberg has also met Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of many action films such as “Conan the Barbarian,” and the “Terminator” movies. Arnold’s environmental activism came to him late, when he was obliged to trade in his hummer to a more fuel-efficient vehicle when he first ran for governor of California. He enjoyed a bike ride with the young activist and proclaimed her to be a “friend and hero.” He has also offered Thunberg the use of his electric car.
However, now Thunberg needs to hitch a ride back across the Atlantic. As people do, she took to Twitter and, metaphorically, stuck out her thumb.
“As #COP25 has officially been moved from Santiago to Madrid I’ll need some help. It turns out I’ve traveled halfway around the world, the wrong way:) Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November… If anyone could help me find transport, I would be so grateful.”
It is probably best that Thunberg gets out of California in any case. The wildfires and the accompanying power blackouts are making electric cars problematic anyway.
Thunberg could solve her problem by asking one of her new celebrity friends the use of a private plane. They can certainly plant a bunch of trees or whatever one does to create a carbon offset. However, the Swedish teenager has an iron set of values. No aircraft.
Quartz explains the low carbon options that Thunberg has available instead of flying quickly to Madrid.
She could hitch a ride on a cargo ship. It may seem counterintuitive, but cargo ships emit far less carbon dioxide per ton than a passenger jet. The addition of one pint-sized teenager would have a negligible effect on the world’s greenhouse gasses.
If using something that has engines is not her style, Thunberg could use a yacht. She used a yacht to cross the Atlantic to New York, ordinarily a good low carbon means of transportation. However, if the carbon footprint was what concerned Thunberg, she might as well have taken a plane. Several crewmembers returned to Europe via scheduled airliner flights.
If Thunberg wants some relaxation, a cruise ship might be a good option. However, these mammoth ships travel at a leisurely pace and have a higher carbon footprint than most other ocean vessels.
The best option, so long as one is willing to offset the carbon emissions, might just be economy class on an airliner. But the objection seems to be political and, likely, psychological.
“As a rule, Thunberg doesn’t fly. It’s not hard to see why: A single transatlantic flight can exceed some people’s entire carbon budget, and the message she is trying to spread might be muddied if she’s thought to be a hypocrite. But unless she can find a spot on a cargo ship, this may be the least climate-negative way to travel—especially if she purchases carbon offsets to ‘counterbalance’ the effect of the flight.”
As of this writing, Thunberg is stuck without a politically correct way to get to Madrid.