Greta takes on the Atlantic | Plymouth | August 14th 2019
ABOVE : Greta Thunberg in Plymouth UK on her way to the UN Climate Change Summit
A lot of men 'THINK' they are brave. When with very little experience you are willing to face the Atlantic Ocean, and not back down from a challenge in which the scariest foe never even blinks, before in a second changing from flat calm to furious, then you have earned the right to walk with a bit of a swagger.
ABOVE : Greta Thunberg leaves Plymouth aboard Malizia II heading for America
Crossing the world's second largest Ocean aboard a Yacht, is not for the timid. It is a challenge for which people usually prepare over a long period. For climate change and environmental activist Greta Thunberg though, it is seemingly not the daunting impossible challenge it seems for many. While she admits it will be challenging, she also sees it as a great adventure in which she will have to manage the trials, remarking when speaking of things like sea sickness “A lot of people in the world are suffering a lot more than that”.
ABOVE : The International Press gather at Mayflower Marina for Greta Thunberg in 2019
It is this candid honesty which has seen her catapulted into the consciousness of so many, viewing the crisis we are all facing through the prism of her perception. She is remarkably frank and succinct in answering her critics, admitting that in order to do ones part in drawing attention to and helping to fix the problem
“ You just have to be creative and come up with, maybe something new to do... since this is such an incredibly big and global problem, it needs to be tackled from every possible angle. You can do so much”
ABOVE : Greta Thunberg in Plymouth before crossing the Atalantic on Malizia II
In those last five words are the seeds of why what she says is so attractive to so many people. She destroys the myth that nothing an individual can do will ever matter, and that everything is written in fate and out of our hands. The power of embracing such agency is often lost in a world in which the focus on individuals often ignores the fact that humans are much more than consumers in a broken system, which despite it's arrogant belief that it is some zenith of progress, is like all systems, imperfect and temporary.
ABOVE : The Zero Emission Yacht Malizia II with Greta Thunberg on board
Like the Mid Atlantic Ridge , the longest mountain range in the world, visible only in a few places, such as Iceland, where it rises in the shape of a volcano, the environmental emergency that should dominate our thoughts is often submerged and ignored by the swell and dips of our everyday lives.
ABOVE : Climate Change activist Greta Thunberg who is crossing the Atlantic today
The young Swedish activist who today so bravely took a giant step into the unknown in boarding a racing yacht powered only by the wind and the sun, to sail to New York to attend the United Nations Climate Summit, before travelling onto other climate summits in Chile, Canada and Mexico, is a timely reminder that however much we try and forget about it, that environmental catastrophe is a reality now, and not some elusive potential consequence we will avoid.
ABOVE: Plymouth waves goodbye to Greta Thunberg from Devil's Point were Darwin sailed the Beagle from on his voyage
She is a reminder that we can as individuals, not only raise awareness of how personal changes can make a positive impact on lessening our own negative environmental impact on the world, but also an example in how it falls to all of us to make sure that those in positions of power, and therefore able to make greater changes, are held accountable. Not just by the example of our conduct and actions, but by confronting and questioning and reminding them, of their obligations.
ABOVE: Malizia leaves Plymouth for the UN Climate Change Summitt 14/08/2019
It was fitting that she leave from Plymouth today, a city with a long history of people striking out toward the unknown. Not only toward the Americas but with Drake and Darwin and Scott, a globe trotting family of people who saw the bigger picture, and for various reasons, good and bad, struck out and acted on the belief that they could make a difference.
ABOVE: The crowds turn out to watch Greta Thunberg leave Plymouth aboard Malizia II
I wish Greta , her father Svante and Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Hermann who will sail them across the Atlantic on Malizia II a fair wind, and the safest of journeys. We are not all as fearless in the face of the biggest challenge we most not turn away from, in our, and our children's lifetime. Yet we can all surely take heart from her bravery, and at least try and face the thing head on instead of always kidding ourselves that it is somebody else's problem.
Good luck Greta.
ABOVE: Greta Thunberg waves from on baord Malizia II in Plymouth Sound
ABOVE: Malizia II in Plymouth Sound before heading out on a journey across the Atlantic
ABOVE: Totnes climate change activists at Devils point in Plymouth
ABOVE: Malizia heading past Plymouth breakwater on its way to the Atlantic in 2019
ABOVE: The public leave Devil's Point in Plymouth
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