When You Care Enough to Sail the Very BestOpinion
OPINION — No doubt you’ll be happy to hear that Greta Thunberg didn’t end up having to swim across the Atlantic Ocean to get to the UN’s COP25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain. She was stuck in the US for a while, after coming over from Sweden to scold us about our reprehensible irresponsibility in the area of dooming the planet to destruction, but now she’s back on track, so to speak. Greta managed to hitch a ride back to Europe on a sailboat, and word has it she’ll make the big meeting on time. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say, without rancor, ‘Whew.’
Of course, Greta could’ve made the trip in a fraction of the time if she’d taken a plane, but the Gretster doesn’t fly. No, she’s way too environmentally conscious for such heinous, polluting, fossil fuel-burning contraptions. That was one of the main points in her speech to the UN while she was in New York – the rest of us are lousy wastrels, flying all over the place in jets that are ruining earth, because we just don’t care. But she cares, so she doesn’t do that. Because she cares.
Of course, there are a few tiny problems with Greta’s caring. For one thing there’s a rumor going around that her father and another person flew over to the US from Sweden, on a jet, so they could join her on her return journey to Europe. Maybe it’s OK for them to pollute the environment, because Greta cares so much.
There’s also the issue of her boat. Remember Greta’s boat? The one she came over here on in the first place, so she could chastise us about what heinous wastrels we are? The boat that was supposedly made from environmentally non-harmful materials, that used only wind power, unless there wasn’t any wind? So why didn’t she just hop back on the GretFloat and let the wind blow her to Spain?
Well, that ship has sailed, as they say. Five of Greta’s closest friends, assuming she’s met them, flew over from Europe a while back and sailed that boat home. So it wasn’t available for Greta. I guess it’s OK for five people to fly commercial across the ocean to sail the boat back, because Greta cares so much.
Above: The 48-foot luxury catamaran named La Vagabonde is operated by Elayna Carausu and Riley Whitelum
So I’m glad that’s all cleared up. But then there’s also the tiny little issue of the boat Greta finally managed to finagle a ride on, to get to Spain. It’s a 48-foot luxury catamaran named La Vagabonde, operated by Elayna Carausu and Riley Whitelum, whom I would describe, if pressed, as ‘rich people.’ That’s pretty much the only kind of people who own luxury sailboats capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean carrying a sniveling whiner in the style to which she’s become accustomed. CFACT president Craig Rucker recently pointed out that Carausu and Whitelum are ‘European royals who made billions operating Monaco as a tax haven.’ But that’s none of my business.
But the La Vagabonde is not just any old catamaran. It’s an Outremer 45, and it’s made of carbon fiber and fiberglass reinforced plastic, state-of-the-art materials that are, themselves, manufactured from petroleum products. It’s also equipped with two huge Volvo diesel engines, and has a 672 liter diesel fuel tank. I’m sure, of course, that it won’t be necessary to fire up those engines to get Greta to Spain on time. Unless it is. The poor girl is probably beside herself with grief at the thought. Bless her heart.
Above: The La Vagabonde is not just any old catamaran
Now, when I first wrote about Greta’s dilemma in getting to Spain for the conference, I was mercilessly chastised by numerous readers (four of them) who thought I was being too hard on her. Maybe they’re right. She does, after all, care so much. Several echoed a woman named Laura, who said, “Really Kendal? I guess you don’t believe in climate change?”
As a matter of fact, as I’ve pointed out many times, I do believe in climate change, since it’s a fact of nature. But it seems to me the more worried someone is about climate change, the more angry they should be about a kid with nothing to offer the climate conference doing all the polluting Greta is doing just to get there. If you’re worried about climate change, how about holding some of the hypocrites accountable for engaging in recreational activities that use a hundred times the amount of fossil fuels the rest of us use to accomplish less important tasks, such as survival? How about being angry that Al Gore uses as much energy to heat his swimming pool as it takes to operate thirty normal houses every year? How about getting upset that Greta’s close friend and climate activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, flies all over the place in a private jet, while claiming to care so much?
Me, I don’t care so much. Necessity is the mother of invention. When the fossil fuel runs out, we’ll all have to find something else, anyway. It seems to me the people who are worried about it should be glad oil is in short supply. If it is.
But just so we’re clear, if you really care about climate change, maybe you could find a way to complain about my columns other than using a computer, iPad, or cell phone. The electronics industry uses more petroleum products than most, and you’re burning electricity whining about my whining.
But that’s none of my business . . .
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