Teen activist arrives by boat for UN summit after refusing to take gas-guzzling plane
Washington - After voyaging thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean, climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in the United States on Wednesday morning. The 16-year-old began the journey two weeks ago to reach the United Nations climate summit in New York without producing any carbon.
Amid a rising sun and pale yellow clouds, her boat floated near New York, in a picture she posted to Twitter on Wednesday morning. The sail reads the words, "Unite Behind the Science," Thunberg's call to action. If the tide allows, they will dock at North Cove Marina on Wednesday afternoon, Thunberg announced.
"Land!! The lights of Long Island and New York City ahead," Thunberg tweeted in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Land!! The lights of Long Island and New York City ahead. pic.twitter.com/OtDyQOWtF5— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) August 28, 2019
The Swedish activist, who reached worldwide fame after encouraging youth around the globe to strike from school and raise awareness around climate change, set sail in mid-August. She declined to fly due to the levels of emissions released during air travel.
Searching for the best way to get to New York, she decided on the Malizia II, a carbon neutral sailboat captained by Boris Herrmann. Thunberg made the trip with her father Svante as well as documentary filmmaker Nathan Grossman, and the head of the yacht's racing team, Pierre Casiraghi.
Stretching 60 feet in length, the boat is ultra-efficient, equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines for generating electricity during the odyssey. The boat will also measure ocean surface temperature as it passes through the Atlantic.
Thunberg packed books and eight journals for the trip, The New York Times reported, and said she planned to eat freeze-dried meals and use a bucket to go to the bathroom. She expressed nervousness before the journey began.
"Whether it's seasickness or homesickness or just anxiety or I don't know," she told The Times. "I don't know how tough this journey will be."
We have anchored off Coney Island - clearing customs and immigration. We will come ashore at North Cove Marina earliest 14:45 tide allowing. pic.twitter.com/t6yy5z2asp— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) August 28, 2019
Thunberg documented each day of the trip on Twitter. In one video, ocean water sprays up against the Malizia II as the crew passes by Nova Scotia.
The seas were rough at times, and so was the criticism. Thunberg faced attacks online during the journey. The Washington Post's Claire Parker reported that the attacks were "ruthlessly derisive," as others cheered her on.
The activist plans to attend climate summits in both New York and Santiago, Chile.
She has continually spoken out about the world's changing climate. Last year, she spoke at the United Nations COP24 conference, telling leaders they had ignored issues surrounding the climate.
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."The Washington Post