We are sailing

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, August 30th, 2019 - 209 comments
Categories: activism, climate change - Tags: ,

Greta Thunberg just sailed from the UK to the US on a compact, carbon-zero yacht. Mostly she is being lauded for her activism and personal commitment. Some grumpy ones are less enthusiastic, seemingly missing the point and looking for any excuse to pull her down. So let’s get some things out of the way.

That is about culture change and how we achieve it.

I’ve written before about why flying is a major climate issue beyond the simple carbon cost of individual flights. The people leading from the front on climate activism have that analysis firmly in mind when saying we need to stop flying so much. I don’t think the point here is to shift from flying at will to no flights. It’s about learning the systems involved and being willing to change our behaviours as part of a big societal shift. Just like we will have to learn about the pace of driving an electric vehicle that needs more time to fill up than a petrol car, we need to learn how to travel more slowly and deliberately, and less often.



Greta’s journey was an invitation into a conversation about how to do that. One of the key points we need to get to grips with fast is that we cannot offset non-essentials. We are so far along the track now that we need all the tree planting to repair the damage from what we have already burned. Future carbon budgets should be prioritised for what really matters. What that looks like depends on what we do now. Maybe it means expats still get to go home to visit family every couple of years, or maybe it means we have only enough leeway to fly in medical supplies or send aid. 



At the moment, most people aware of the need for change are still relying on green tech to obviate the need for radical change, and see our lifestyles as being able to continue on much as they are now. People like myself believe that we will eventually be forced to Powerdown by the climate itself and that it’s better to do this now while we have the resources, time and stability to do it well. Maybe our future lies somewhere in between.

Greta’s invitation to change what we are doing is in our hands. 

We can work with what is in front of us, and remember that there are commensurate benefits in the short term as well. This isn’t about deprivation, it’s about learning how to live well as we change. People are already starting to talk about how slow travel increases quality of travel and life.

209 comments on “We are sailing”

    • fustercluck 1.1

      Truth! If the carbon cost associated with building, equipping and provisioning that journey was totalled up I am confident that it would exceed the amount generated by a single seat on a commercial flight. Further, the economic cost of the exercise would be huge. It could be said that this option for travel is only open to rich people and is thus counterproductive to true conservation efforts. Virtue signalling at its worst!

      [lprent: Well I guess that just shows that you’re simply a complete illiterate in maths, science and economics. And lacking in common sense as well.

      This is just a troll wanking at its worst.

      I really don’t like people propagating obvious false facts without even bothering to try to justify them. Banned 3 months – unless you can show me some maths explaining your logic. ]

      • In Vino 1.1.1

        Lord, you guys are try-hards, aren't you? If she rowed across the Atlantic, you would complain that she was breathing too hard while rowing, and should not have used metal rowlocks because of the carbon involved in casting them in the mould, etc. 

        Anything to evade the message she brings.

      • KJT 1.1.2

        Bollocks. Most people who sail long distance are far from, Rich.

        As are most people who yacht race.

        Even on the big boats, there is a whole rail full of working people for every rich owner.

        It was cost less for me to yacht race in summer than travel to soccer matches in the winter. Definitely less emissions. I used to bike to the yacht club.

        I built my own, wooden, boat later, like a lot of my generation of yachties.

        I find the antipathy to yachting rather puzzling. You don't get the same hate against fishing, which entails myriads of fibreglass fizz boats using $100 worth of gasoline an hour, fishing out every spot near Auckland.

         

  1. Ad 2

    Proposing to decrease flying is simply not in the interests of New Zealand, so it should never be promoted here.

    • lprent 2.1

      Proposing to decrease flying is simply not in the current interests of New Zealand…

      My added word in italics.

      The problem with that statement is that we survived for most of our existence as a monarchy (ie since 1840) without significiant flying, and who is to say if in the longer term it probably is in our interests to decrease flying at all or using the current style of technology.

      …so it should never be promoted here.

      My italics again. Bullshit for the reasons above. You really need to look at periods other than the simple present.

      • df 2.1.1

        Ah the good ol' days, eh. Comical. Do you ever get out and see the world? So ignorant.

      • Ad 2.1.2

        Really stupid non-reasons on your part. 

        We existed on bulky weighty low-value products for over 150 years by ship, which in sum were exploitative of land and Maori and workers, and pretty much ruinous to all but an elite.  You know that had to change, and has to continue to change, if we are to survive as a country with the standards of living we have.

        Air travel and digital travel have been the technologies that enabled us to gain the export income to gradually break away from that. 

        Rather than having your eyes caked in futile nostalgia, you need to look at our last three decades of economic history, and into our next three decades.

        Even in our most green-misted optimistic trajectory, we are going to sustain our living standards on tax levels from foreigners choosing us and flying in, with their holiday cheques and business capital.

         

         

        • Stuart Munro. 2.1.2.1

          "We existed on bulky weighty low-value products for over 150 years"

          Not so much – our big export was wool – and a nice little earner it was. Unhappily we chose to go downmarket into carpet breeds when the better margins were for finer stuff. And we never took the artisanal carpet route either. Rather like the fisheries – we're practically the only fishery so backward we still prioritise fillet block – leaving NZ with among the lowest per kilo fishery returns in the world. Tourism is just more of the same – low wage work for offshore corporate owners – no serious government views it as anything more than a filler.

           

          • weka 2.1.2.1.1

            Why do we do that?

            Why did we not do carpet breeds *and fine wool breeds?

            • Ad 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Because for about eighty years the global market rewarded New Zealand to simply grow,  scour locally, and concentrate on coarse-wool breeds for carpets. 

              Plans to go up the value-chain tried and failed for example through the wool research levy for many many years. 

              Failed.

              Similar story to most of our other commodities. 

              It would be great for example to fully wean us off cheap package deals for tourists. The tourism leadership has a plan for that but it will take quite a while to have effect.

              • weka

                Was Icebreaker's success a function of advancing technology then?

                Tourism have been dragging the chain on climate change and shifting away from the mass market.

                • Ad

                  Icebreaker was an outstanding success for a small group of Merino growers.   Almost no part of its value-add chain is here, and it was fully sold to foreigners a few years back.

                  Tourism has definitely been dragging the chain. 

                  Auckland Airport and Air New Zealand are two of our most profitable and powerful companies.

                  • weka

                    The value of Icebreaker to NZ is that it led the way on merino fabric, so now we have multiple manufacturers of good quality clothing as well as merino wool grwing. That Icebreaker, or others in the industry, move offshore, is a symptom of the deeper problems with our market economy.

                    • Ad

                      Icbreaker was a great Merino wool story for a while, and their headquarters are still here. I don't have to knock them. 

                      Problem is they were one of a rare few, and because they were Merino they did not turn our wool industry around. 

                      Icebreakers' value story is regrettably against the tide  of our economic history in wool.

                      Sheep numbers have been plummeting for decades. 

                      We hardly even add value to most of our wool through scouring. 

                      Broadly our wool industry is in a death spiral. 

                       

                    • mauī

                      Weka, the thing is we used to have many companies making massive amounts of quality wool products in lil ol' NZ – Swanndri, Manawatu, Roslyn, Mosgiel woollen mills, are just a few of those companies.

                      I have a fine wool knit thermal top from the mid-20th century (something like https://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/collections/3009/objects/120516/woollen-underwear) that I still wear and it's incredibly comfortable – no itch factor. It could be that Icebreaker just copied something like that and did a great marketing job on merino, while most manufacturers had shifted to synthetic clothing.

          • Ad 2.1.2.1.2

            Wool was a bulky and under-processed commodity good. 

            We are less reliant on this commodity now. But more reliant on event bulkier, cheaper ones.

            Those who made the money out of it were English wool barons. 

    • Adam Ash 2.2

      '…decreased flying..' When viewed in the context of what will probably be about a 200 year period of human history when useful amounts of fossil fuels are available for transport, we dont have to fret about preparing future generations for less flying – there simply will not be any way to get off the ground except by the historic methods of bedecking oneself in feathers – and risking flying too close to the sun – with the usual unfortunate consequences.  In fact, in a warming world, Icarus would have a hard time getting the feathers to stick at all!
      So we may as well start telling the story now about our future.  We will be earth-bound again.  Starships will be mouldring in the Texas sun, homes for chicken and rats – a symbol of our opportunity for Galactic Greatness lost.

    • cleangreen 2.3

      “Proposing to decrease flying is simply not in the interests of New Zealand,”????

      What planet did you jettison from?

      Shit when I was 13 yrs old everyone mostly came or left by ship not by plane! in 1957!!!!

      Get real; – as ships produce far less carbon per head ‘footprint’ than plans do chump.

      • Ad 2.3.1

        Don't tell me. Trains will save us.

        Nothing of any value to our trade goes by train here.

        • KJT 2.3.1.1

          I call bullshit. Most of our export cargo is railed to the ports. Except in Nelson. Obviously because they do not have a rail line.

          Taratahi alone, rails milk powder from all over the North Island, to Tauranga.

          Tauranga and Auckland ports depend on rail.

           

      • Naki man 2.3.2

        "Get real; – as ships produce far less carbon per head ‘footprint’ than plans do chump."

        Really, chump, making shit up again.

        Cruise ships emit three times more carbon emissions than aircraft, new research has revealed. Carnival, which comprises 11 cruise lines, said in its annual environmental report that its ships, on average, release 712.kg of CO2 per kilometre. Carnival's ships carry, on average, a maximum of 1,776 passengers.Jan 19, 2008

        Flying three times greener than cruising – Telegraph – The Telegraph

         

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk › travel › Flying-three-times-greener-than-cruisi…

        [You linked to an article on cruising but failed to quote data on a passenger ferry in comparison to “a standard Boeing 747”. This would have been a fairer comparison (like with like) between two modes of transport. Thus, your comment was not in good faith and for that you can take a week off – Incognito]

        • Incognito 2.3.2.1

          See my Moderation note @ 6:19 PM.

        • Incognito 2.3.2.2

          Naki man responded with this, which I intercepted in the back-end:

          It was in good faith. When i have been on an overseas holiday it is either cruise ship or plane. There is no ferry option. I assume cleangreen is talking about coming to nz. You cant catch a ferry to nz

          I have removed your one-week ban. However, please don’t selectively quote like that again. A cruise is not just a means to get from A to B but a destination in its own right, generally. If you want to be taken seriously it serves to be upfront about things and this will earn you respect, and not just on this site.

          Have a good weekend, Naki man.

          • KJT 2.3.2.2.1

            A large proportion of cruise ship fuel is not used for going places, it is used to maintain hotel services while it is sitting at a sight seeing destination.

            A passenger liner is continually sailing from a to b. Fuel consumption is closer to a cargo ships. 

            • Incognito 2.3.2.2.1.1

              Yes, if they were to use space on a cruise ship as they’re on an airliner things would be rather different, wouldn’t they? Imagine reclining seats with very little legroom on a cruise ship. I’d miss the chemtrails though.

              • KJT

                Not necessary to use much less fuel per passenger than an airliner. Just fill some of the entertainment space up with basic cabins.

  2. James 3

    ”seemingly missing the point”

    or perhaps the author has in this case. 

    People are seeing past the signaling and looking at the actions. The carbon cost of this trip was huge and they knew that but instead of walking the walk chose to emit more carbon for press time. 

    Sadly her advisors (parents seem to be behind a lot of this) seem to misjudged this in their efforts to create some celebrity with their daughter. 

    It’s just another example like 000’s of private jets being used for climate change conferences. They deserve all the flack they get. 

    [lprent: Perhaps you should justify your assertion about (and only about the carbon cost). I can’t see any way that it could have cost more carbon than flying and you haven’t provided an argument so I’ll treat that as a fool promoting false facts to me.

    Since I know that you have a history or fire and forget on these kinds of false assertions, and avoiding dealing with people pulling you up on false facts, I’ll make this interesting.

    Banned for 3 months starting now, unless you can justify in part or the whole with some actual basis for your assertion. I’ll reduce or increase your sentence based on the clarity of your justification of the assertion – and use numbers please. You can reply in private on here – I’ll ask the other mods to leave the comments in pending for me for the next couple of days. ]

    • Wayne 3.1

      Yes, I know it’s your blog, but frankly it is an over the top reaction by you.

      • infused 3.1.1

        most are. and they wonder why this blog is a wasteland now

      • lprent 3.1.2

        James has form for just making stuff up that he cannot and has not a  hope in hell of justifying. I have form for going over the top when someone just makes crap up and lies stupidly. 

        I am sure that he must have thought it was worth it. His problem for taking the risk.

        If the coin had flipped the other way  then he may have gotten an after the election ban. That is also one of my rewards for bringing completely false facts to my attention.

        FFS: I suspect that everyone knows this. It is a personal foible- I just don't like people who are blatant and obvious liars about facts and who don't even try to justify them.

      • cleangreen 3.1.3

        Wayne you are always speaking in the opposite to facts so we will not agree with this assertion by you. 

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.2

      Thanks lprent; James never leaves me wanting more.

  3. Climaction 4

    the worthies of our time see symbolism as more important than the realities of the symbolic statement. Skype is nowhere near carbon neutral thanks tot he energy intensiveness of the server farms it requires, but it’s far better on an individual level than everyone flying to meetings. Skype just Doesn’t make amazing twitter bait.

    • cleangreen 4.1

      Climation are you also saying that your National mates are carbon neutral?????

       

      'More roads for trucks and cars and kill rail; –  yeah right?

      • Climaction 4.1.1

        So James gets banned for making stuff up and Cleangreen leads with an ad hominem attack so devoid of logic it’s downright insulting.

        At least i live my climate concerns, travelling only when necessary and using technology like phones and Skype to get my messages across and my work done. Unlike Cleangreen I don’t AstroTurf relatives names to fill out my “Action” groups numbers. 

        I’ve never believed endless conferences in desirable destinations send the right message about tackling climate change. The veneer of caring displayed by celebrities as they jet in and out of these talk fests is symbolic of the vapid consumer culture that brought about climate change in the first place. Yet I’m supposed to worship these self appointed worthies as we apparently share a common aim? 

  4. Adrian 5

    It's a orchestrated stunt which will ultimately backfire on the people who are serious about trying to minimise waste and lower our carbon emissions. It's not 4 extra flight tickets to New York and back, its shitloads more. If she had just flown there ,spoken and gone home ,one return fight on a plane that is probably half empty. Now it is also her PR crew, her parents AKA the manipulators, and assorted press etc etc.

    The name Pierre Casiraghi, the owner, caught my attention, one of the Monegasque royal family, his net worth north 50million USD, owner of innumerable cars, a few castles, private jets and boats. This boat uses more fuel than you can possibly imagine being raced around the world with a huge number of crew both sailing and maintenance being flown all around the world all year.

    What a load of bullshit.

    • KJT 5.1

      So. Casiraghi is actually doing something good with his money, for once.

      And if you think a 16 year old is being manipulated by her parents, you don't have a fucking clue about teenagers.

       

  5. James 6

    countdown until someone calls us out for sexist simply because of the criticism of a females actions.  5….4….3….

    Being an often used attack by some to silence opposing views. 

     

    (To be clear not meaning the author)

    • weka 6.1

      If you don't want to be called sexist then don't be sexist, it's really not that hard.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        James is always into the unjustified assertion. See my moderation at comment 3.

        My guess is that he will have 3 months to consider how not to attract my attention to him doing it again. And on my known propensity to double up on repeated offenders.

         

    • Robert Guyton 6.2

      CU in 3, James.

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        Misread while scrolling down – I thought you were using a reclaimed word there for a moment…

  6. weka 7

    Lol all the grumpies coming out to defend their wrong side of history rhetoric.

    • marty mars 7.1

      yes I think the invitation to a conversation aspect didn't stick with the right wingers lol – they seem very scared of Greta – I can't quite work out why tbh – but i do know that the lines around her 'mental health' and other issues are very low and disgusting.

      Thank you Greta – I feel inspired by your actions and words. Kia kaha!

      • weka 7.1.1

        I suspect they didn't make it as far as reading and comprehending the post 😉

        I find Greta inspiring too, her power is awesome.

        Yes, they are afraid of her. I just wish they'd lift their game around the debate.

      • cleangreen 7.1.2

        Me too Marty Mars,

        Greta is awesome. a real gem in a otherwise dark world today.

      • KJT 7.1.3

        Being right wing, a climate change denier, and being misogynist and ageist, seem to go together, funny that. 

        All coming from an ignorant sense of entitlement, I suppose.

    • Adrian 7.2

      No not grumpies, just people with a hair trigger on their bullshit detectors. Americas Cup boats are excoriated on these pages rightly because of their vast expense, enormous maintenance crews and carbon footprint even though they are in fact more of a sailing boat than the one in question as AC boats do not have an on board diesel motor.

      This craft is an Americas Cup boat in all but name only but suddenly its is the shining light of an entire movement to a more sustainable world. 

      If she had sailed there on a 10 metre home built wooden craft then there would not be any credibility issues. FFS this is a PR construct polishing the turd of conspicuous consumption. 

      Ask yourself one question, if everybody were to travel internationaly on boats such as these just exactly how many would we need and would one that can carry 350-400 people not cost as much as a large aircraft, and then multiply the number by 56 , 2 weeks x 24 = 336 divided by 6 hours flying time. That's a fucking lot of boats, fossil fuel based resins, coal fired aluminium smelting, titanium and the list goes on.

      • weka 7.2.1

        Did you even read the post? Because if you did, you spectacularly failed to understand what it said.

        I'll stand by my comment about all the grumpies coming out, but there's a limit to how much bullshit I will tolerate under my post. Right now it looks like climate deniers being cunning with their denial.

      • Incognito 7.2.2

        If she had sailed there on a 10 metre home built wooden craft then there would not be any credibility issues.

        Really? Only if it were made of driftwood because no cutting down trees to build a vessel. She’ll have to walk to the meeting because no motorised transport. She’s got plenty of time since the UN Climate Action Summit is on September 23. At the Summit, all lights, air-conditioning (climate control), and the microphone will need to be turned off because no wasting power. Journalists and reporters will have turn off their electricity-consuming electronic devices and rely on verbal accounts only. No photos, of course, only drawings and paintings on stonewalls using charcoal blood.

        Some people will always find an issue to attack and shoot the messenger instead of engaging with the message in a mature and genuine manner.

      • KJT 7.2.3

        The "if you have used one plastic bag in your life, you are a hypocrite, if you try and do anything about Anthropogenic global warming" argument.

        This can be seen for what it is, a bullshit attempt at derailing without addressing the issue.

      • KJT 7.2.4

        Really. Every modern wooden boat has large quantities of oil derived epoxy resin in the construction. So you would be still trying the same derail.

    • Kevin 7.3

      There is going to be a lot of very disappointed people in years to come. All uttering words like 'how?', 'why?', "no one told us?' etc.

  7. millsy 8

    This whole thing about "Powering Down" is really no different to Volcker back in the 1970's declaring that the standard of living for American workers must decline. Yes, he did say that. Look it up.

     

    Give up flying, and all mod-cons or the planet will cook.

    No different to:

    "Give up your penalty rates or the company will go broke"

    "Put the super age up to 67 or the country will go broke"

    "Cut welfare and sell state housing or the country will do broke".

     

     

    • weka 8.1

      Except in a Green Politics framework social justice is arm in arm with protecting and restoring the environment. This is worlds apart from the centrist economics you are naming.

      Besides many are targeting high carbon polluters (i.e. the rich), not low income people. You're way off base here.

      The Powerdown isn't about a decline in our standard of living. There's no reason we can't powerdown and still have good lives, they will just look different. That's if we do it now. If we wait until we have runaway climate change, we will have little choice.

      Read the news, they're already talking about mass starvation when the Himilayan and associate glaciers are done. Or maybe you just where thinking of NZers and don't feel a sense of obligation to workers in the rest of the world.

      The only arguments against what I am saying that I'm aware of are either denial (CC isn't real or won't get that bad), or green tech BAU (there's plenty of analysis showing why this is risky and probably not real)

       

  8. Puckish Rogue 9

    But what conversation can we really have.

    Flying is still better than sailing in that if you wanted to move the same amount of people you'd need a lot more ships.

    Flying is also safer than sailing

    Flying is also quicker and more convenient.

    Seems to me that if Greta (or her advisors) really wanted to do something radical they'd use Skype and castigate celebrities and politicians into doing likewise

    • weka 9.1

      If you want us to keep doing all the things we currently do with the same degree of speed and convenience, then you are saying it doesn't matter if we end up with runaway climate change. Which is kind of an odd position, because runaway climate change will take away all our toys and much of our current standard of living. So I guess the argument is let's keep doing what we are doing to suit ourselves and ignore the big tidal wave on the horizon because we think it's still far away (optical illusion).

      The conversation I am interested in in response to that is why are you so resistant to inconvenience that brings other benefits. I'm guessing if this was a war situation you wouldn't be arguing convenience over say preventing mass slaughter or invasion and loss of sovereignty.

      In the context of climate catastrophe, no-one needs to fly to Sydney for the weekend for a break, and it won't hurt people to stop doing that. Whatever need is met by that activity can be met in ways that don't destroy nature. We can come up with better ways of meeting that need.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1

        The conversation needs to be around changing the amount of CO2 emissions surely or are you happy to have more people die due to increased sailing because the ocean isn't particularly forgiving (quick send out the search and rescue sailing boat)

        Maybe more thought needs to be given to alternative fuel sources

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          Read the link to the previous post about flying. There is no emerging tech that is a good replacement for avgas at the scale you are implying.

          I just argued that people can travel less and it won't harm us. Reducing GHG emissions requires behaviour change, doubly so in this case because we can't afford to wait for new tech to come on stream, we have to drop emissions now.

          No-one is suggesting there should be no flights, I even said that in the post. Think in terms of a decreasing carbon budget over a few decades and you'll get the idea. We can burn up our budget now on non-essential flights or we can reserve our budget for when it truly matters (eg SAR).

          • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1.1.1

            Then you'll agree with me that Greta would do more good staying home and skyping instead of doing what shes doing now.

            She could then,  legitimately, harangue politicians and celebrities into skyping more who, in turn, then could use their their positions of influence to tell more mortals to fly less

            Good to see we can agree on things angel

            • weka 9.1.1.1.1.1

              If I thought that politicians and celebrities would take any notice of her if she skyped instead I might agree, but I don't think they would. I think it needs high profile acts like sailing across the Atlantic to raise public awareness, gain media attention, so that he voice is amplified and heard.

              The value in what she did is pushing the debate. She's done that and it's obvious that skyping wouldn't have helped.

              I hope next time she finds a way to stay close to home and get the message across. Really though, someone needs to do the mahi on how to have such meetings without flying or by flying a lot less. She's pushing the debate towards that.
               

              • Puckish Rogue

                I disagree, her stature is such that if she declared she'll use Skype that'd be big news and that would start to shame the polis and celebs that're riding on her coat tails

                • weka

                  I think she'd get some media attention, but not on the scale and over time. Unless she made it an event eg next year instead of sailing she uses the two weeks to do something high profile locally.

                  But she's travelled without flying in the past and didn't get this kind of response.

                  Also, the adventure. She's a teenager, let her go out and have some fun.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I'd agree with letting her go out and have some fun but she (or her handlers) are insisting she gets into the middle of political debates and you cant have it both ways

                    • KJT

                      Why not. Because you say she can't?

                      By the way, AGW is not political. It is simply, fact.

                      The right wing try to make it political, because it threatens their burgling the commons.

                      "Handlers". PR. Ageist, sexist and misogynist, all shown in your use of that word.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Fortunately we'll never know if you were right.

            • KJT 9.1.1.1.1.2

              No. Obviously sailing has done more to publicize the reduce carbon goal.

              Her voyage is going to result in much more attention being paid to carbon reduction by millions, if not billions of people. Eventually reducing carbon by many times any she emitted for the voyage.

              The hypocrites are the people who are trying to rubbish her, because she challenges their willful ignorance and lack of action.

        • KJT 9.1.1.2

          Thousands of people sail around the world every year. The accident rate is much less than taking a car, bus or train the same distances.

          However it is too slow. I don't think many of us want to take a week from Auckland to Christchurch.

          There are low emission passenger ship alternatives, and people will have to travel, less.

          • weka 9.1.1.2.1

            how long would a passenger ship take?

            Wouldn't people just go by rail and the ferry crossing? AA says 16 hours in a car. Maybe an overnight trip?

  9. Andre 10

    By all means, consider Thunberg's choice to accept a publicity stunt ride across the Atlantic in a racing yacht as an invitation to a conversation. But that conversation should include the idea that sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

    But I really get turned off by those trying to present this as a low-emissions way to get there. Just to start, there's the simple fact that two crew were flown to New York to sail the boat back, and just that is the same emissions as if Greta and her father had simply flown over in the first place. I also spent seven years working for Southern Spars: I'm well aware of how much the high-performance yacht industry is into gratuitous conspicuous consumption, generating waste and subsequent disposal problem, and on and on.

    Here's a worthwhile read on how Greta's trip relates to changes ordinary people can make in their lives to reduce their footprint:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/greta-thunberg-s-voyage-is-admirable-but-not-practical-1.3992104

    • weka 10.1

      Sure, and I disagree with her that everyone going vegan will save us. I personally don't see what she did as a suggestion that everyone should stop flying and travel by yacht instead. I consistently argue that less travelling is important. Her trip makes that more visible for people that stop and think about.

      My main point of divergence from some of the criticisms of her is that instead of negating her core message, which isn't to take up yachting but is to reduce GHG emissions asap, by focusing on the things we can't change, I'm more interested in how her trip can stimulate people to think about what they *can do. Either personally or in terms of activism.

      She was able to travel to a global climate meeting in a way that raised awareness of CC. Staying home and skyping wouldn't achieve that, nor would have flying there.

      These big conferences are a huge problem. Soon we will move onto how to do it differently, but at the moment most people are still stuck in green tech BAU solutions and that's where the conversation is having to be had.

      Having a teenager sail across the world and tell the jet setting mainstream CC bods that they need to change their ways is gold.

      Besides, she's young and on an adventure. The only people that get to criticise her for doing something cool and not being perfect are those that are doing better. Anyone still flying for holidays and convenience doesn't have a leg to stand on and I'm willing to bet that 99% of the people who think this was a stunt are legless.

       

      • Puckish Rogue 10.1.1

        I must be a one percenter then because the only times I've been overseas it was for training or deployment 

        (However I do plan on going to the USA next year but I'll plant some trees to make up for it wink)

        • Robert Guyton 10.1.1.1

          Will you, Pucky?

          Where?
          And looking at your smile-emoticon, is that a mote or a log in your eye?

    • weka 10.2

      In other words, tell me what you are doing in this regard rather than what you think she should be doing (or at least lead with the former).

      • Andre 10.2.1

        You looking for a virtue signalling competition?

        OK.

        I haven't flown anywhere since January 2015, or taken any road trips for that matter. My fuel use for driving is down to about a fifth, and km driven a quarter what it was ten years ago, and most of what I still do is related to doing things for family rather than for my own activities. It would be cheaper for me to just have one vehicle, in that scenario it would be my Landie, because I have enough times I really need its load capacity. But for the sake of reduced GHG emissions, I also have a little nana's shopping trolley that I use whenever I can, which is about 2/3 of my driving.

        I've pared my home electricity use waaay down. In my home, electricity does everything, there's no gas anything. I'm averaging about 4 kWhr/day, or a monthly bill around $45 (which stays the same year-round). That includes hot water (there's enough trees overhanging that solar hot water isn't feasible). Heating is windfall firewood off my property, and I've only used the fireplace maybe 8 times this year. And I've helped family and friends with efficiency improvements at their places.

        I've dropped most meat out of my diet, I'd average around 300g (uncooked weight) per week. Most of which is chicken, when I really want dead mammal I'll generally go for pork.

        Almost everything I buy is pre-used. Clothing, workshop tools, electronic devices, recreational gear.

        Any other aspects of my lifestyle you're curious about?

        • weka 10.2.1.1

          "You looking for a virtue signalling competition?"

          Not really and I think you may have misunderstood what I meant. But I think it's great that you did share what you are doing, and it's an interesting and thought provoking list, thanks.

           

        • millsy 10.2.1.2

          Nothing wrong with being frugal, but it seems that you want to live like a medieval peasant. Which I do not believe is a viable option.

          • Robert Guyton 10.2.1.2.1

            Because…no Commons?

          • weka 10.2.1.2.2

            medieval peasants didn't have cars millsy. Nor electricity.

            • KJT 10.2.1.2.2.1

              One of the things that has stopped Greece from collapsing, in starvation and anarchy, is because unlike the UK, they still have family and village land to grow crops, and a sense of community.

              • weka

                This is my understanding about rural Russia, that it was not nearly as affected by the end of the Soviet Union because villages were relatively self-sufficient.

                I suspect NZ sits somewhere between that and the UK.

      • Andre 10.2.2

        Oh, and I wouldn't dream of trying to tell Thunberg what she should do, apart from doing her own thing as best she can. Nor would I make the assumption that Thunberg had any real understanding of the carbon costs incurred that were not immediately apparent to her.

        My objection is to presenting her journey as zero-emissions and/or some kind of possible model for others. It's neither, it's a publicity stunt, pure and simple. Publicity stunts have their place, but let's be clear-eyed about what it is.

        It also seems to me that participating in this stunt aboard a racing yacht, it's also validating that incredibly wasteful pastime of the 0.001 percenters. But I'm not inclined to hold that against Thunberg, I doubt she appreciated that aspect of it, nor how wasteful and emissions-intensive the racing yacht industry really is.

        • weka 10.2.2.1

          What makes you think she is unaware of the broader carbon costs? You may be right (eg the vegan argument is easy enough to pull apart) but I'm curious what you are seeing.

          Publicity stunt implies that there was something about publicity that she sought. If you mean she is using her fame to further her political causes, then sure. I'm not sure she is after publicity for its own sake.

          Of course it wasn't a zero emissions trip. Nothing is. This is where the debate is at currently. We talk about renewable power generation as if it is the highest goal, but it's not. When we get to that conversation things will get interesting and our chances will improve.

          Did she actually say that everyone should be sailing?

          So again, what I'm suggesting here (to you, but not to the naysayers) is that the invitation to a conversation wasn't about pulling her politics or her journey apart but to use it as a spring board to what we *can do.

          • Andre 10.2.2.1.1

            I'd be surprised if she appreciated the hidden carbon emissions because they really aren't apparent to outsiders. They're really only visible when you're inside the industry. It's a bit like car racing, the real impact is from moving all the equipment and support personnel from place to place, along with the very short useful life of racing equipment. What the cameras focus on is just a teeny-tiny fraction of what's going on.

            Casiraghi would have had no interest in making that clear to Thunberg. Had Thunberg become aware of all of it she may have declined and looked harder for a genuinely low carbon alternative such as passage on a cargo ship. Then Casiraghi's blaze of publicity glory would be gone.

            • weka 10.2.2.1.1.1

              I don't know, it's not that hard to have a basic understanding of the interconnection of things once you start thinking in those terms, but I don't know where she is at with systems thinking.

               

              • Koff

                Greta has Asperger's and doesn't get too distracted by meaningless distractions. She is her own person. The opportunity came up to sail across the Atlantic which seemed better to her than flying across. Sounds like the girlfriend of the German skipper heard Greta give a speech somewhere in Euope and was inspired and the idea just fell into place. I think she was extraordinarily brave or just didn't know what she was going to experience and I have crossed over many ocean passages before on a near enough zero emission boat so know how it was. It could have ended in disaster and embarrassment if the people on the yacht had to be rescued. Don't think that really entered Greta's mind. She just thought how she could get to NYC. I also don't think that her parents are using her as Adrian seems to think. From what I have read it took quite some persuasion on Greta's part to convince her parents that her concerns about climate change really did matter. As for the emissions / crew flights etc. well that's really up to the people who own the yacht and crew it. They could just sail it back again after a bit of a rest!

                • In Vino

                  Well said, Koff.  Adrian is right in saying that modern sailboats  (epoxy resins, carbon fibre, kevlar, mylar sails, etc) have a heavy carbon footprint in creation, but so what? If a cargo ship is actually the most honest option, the general public would never have seen it that way. I have heard that ships in general burn more fuel and create more Co2 than all the road vehicles in the world. 

                  I am not sure if that is true, but had she travelled by cargo ship, some naysayer would doubtlessly have raised that point. 

                  As you say, the yacht could be used with little carbon footprint if the owners wanted to, and Greta has actually achieved the dramatic gesture of crossing the Atlantic carbon-free if you just look at her trip alone – which only the determined naysayers will rush to deny. 

                  Even if her point was not perfect made in this way, it was probably still the best way to make it. There will always be those who attack details about her methods rather than debate the points she raises for real debate.

                  • KJT

                    A cargo ship, a smaller one, uses 30 times less fuel per ton/mile than a truck. The bigger they get the more fuel efficient they get.

                    It takes less fuel to get a container to the UK, than it does to truck it from the port to the supermarket.

                    A yacht is simply a better way to get the point across to the public.

                  • lprent

                    I have heard that ships in general burn more fuel and create more Co2 than all the road vehicles in the world. 

                    Nope. As KJT says not in total emissions per km and especially not if you measure it against the transported payload weight. And I'm including the manufacturing emissions in that as well. 

                    Ummm.. summary here that shows the rough operational ranges (way faster than out of an IPCC report) :- https://timeforchange.org/co2-emissions-shipping-goods
                     

                    The following table shows the amount of CO2 (in grams) emitted per metric ton of freight and per km of transportation:

                    Air plane (air cargo), average Cargo B747 500 g 

                    Modern lorry or truck 60 to 150 g 

                    Modern train 30 to 100 g 

                    Modern ship (sea freight) 10 to 40 g 

                    Airship (Zeppelin, Cargolifter ) as planned 55 g 

                     

                    • KJT

                      Looks much worse for trucking, when you add in the carbon emissions from providing the respective infrastructure.

                    • weka

                      obviously the distances make a big difference in the other direction, but is the idea here that the ship can carry much more than a truck. What would be the average load of a container ship vs truck? Doing some calcs from Liverpool to Lyttleton, then Lyttleton to Dndn by train or truck.

                    • KJT

                      Coastal container ship currently about 700 full containers each way, each week per ship. A larger one is going on the run next month.

                      The ones that go to Europe direct currently around 3000 to 4000 containers.

                      Two containers per truck, at the most.

                    • weka

                      thanks. Containers on a train (Lyttleton to Dndn)?

                    • weka

                      although really I guess I need tonnage to make the comparison.

                    • greywarshark

                      Interesting facts.   Yum.

                    • KJT

                      Container weights vary a lot, but I use an average of 14 tonnes/TEU for planning.

                    • KJT

                      Dunedin has a container port.

  10. China and Europe have extensive and fast train networks, 2 hours for a trip equivalent to NY-Chicago. USA relies on air transport; about 50 minutes, plus shenanigans at the airport, for the same trip. Massive malinvestment.

    Here's Australia:

    https://twitter.com/profterryhughes/status/1102893960039559168?s=21

    Not only Brazil is destroying important rainforests (10,000 wildfires); Central Africa is burning 72,000 fires

    https://twitter.com/roblogic_/status/1166892999583752192?s=21

  11. Robert Guyton 12

    Greta is setting the scene and framing the story.

    Powerful young person.

    • infused 12.1

      she's just being manipulated by powerful groups. the left is so dumb in this aspect

      [I have heard that her parents are supposedly manipulating Greta Thunberg but that “powerful groups” are also manipulating her is news to me. You wouldn’t have a link to support this allegation and to show that she is and how “powerful groups” are manipulating her, would you? I’m following Lynn’s lead and give you a three-month ban unless you come up with something convincing – Incognito]

  12. Stuart Munro. 13

    I think Greta's doing rather well, and it seems like some kind of a movement is beginning to accrete around her. We need one frankly – the idea that flying, being BAU, should continue to be so deserves to be challenged. 

    It looks like a millennium frankly – the point at which society begins to question the decisions that put us where we are, and consider alternatives. Our last one was neoliberalism and what a tragic set of compromises that was, without ever producing the growth in quality of life on which it was sold.

    Greta at least does not appear to be chiefly motivated by the desire to glom public assets.

  13. WeTheBleeple 14

    Seems many are dead set on arguing semantics, ignoring the call to change, and sitting on imaginary high horses. Public awareness and the groundswell that follows it is due to the efforts of all those the BAU crowd attack. XR, Greta, Green Party/s etc. The nitpicking and deliberate sidetracking of each and every conversation is pathetic.

    May all friends and family see them for the self-obsessed assholes they truly are. Irrelevant and whining all the way to their graves.

  14. Adam Ash 15

    Weka – well said!

    For a NZ household, swapping from a fossil-fuelled car to an electric car for most travel is one of the most effective things the family can do to reduce its emission profile – reducing transport-related CO2e emissions to about 10% of the fossil fuelled situation.  We acquired an EV in 2018, and its been a great experience for us, and for the climate.

    The other thing folk can consider is to stop using the log fire for home heating, and swap to using an electrically-powered heat pump.  In May we used our log fire for heating – and put about 3.6 tonnes of CO2 into the air.  We swapped to a heat pump, and have reduced our total monthly emissions for household use (excluding charging the EV) to about 200 kg, and at a lower overall cost too.  So, the use of a heat pump drops household heating CO2 emissions to 6% of the same heating using a log fire.

    I know locally-grown fire wood is 'carbon neutral' in the long run, but right now we just cannot afford to put any more carbon into the atmosphere, if at all possible.

    Both are pretty simple individual responses to our climate predicament.  We need to lead by personal examples, and we need our leaders to show leadership in the same fashion – first by doing it themselves, then by asking us to follow their lead.

    • cleangreen 15.1

      Yes I agree with Adam; – Weka you said it well,

      It seems that these 'pro fosil fuelers' and road loving folks really want to pollute the planet and take us to abliviion it seems s anything we say they take the opposite view.

      No point in trying to change 'the essence of their ways'.

      Only time will tell and we don't have much time now..

    • weka 15.2

      Adam, I'm wondering how far north you live? I think there's a compelling case for the lower SI and the West Coast to burn wood for space heating. Completely agree that at the moment it's being done very poorly re CC. We need way better forestry management, and ultra efficient wood stoves.

      • Psycho Milt 15.2.1

        Yep – your heat pump doesn't do a great job in sub-zero temps, and the subber it gets, the worse a job the pump does, until it stops working entirely.  They're not a great option for southern NZ.

        • Adam Ash 15.2.1.1

          The heat pump works down to minus 15C. It gets cold here, but not that cold!
          Im not going to let the chance that the heat pump may not work once or twice a decade send me back to putting literally tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every winter month.

      • Adam Ash 15.2.2

        Weta. We live in Southland. I see snow covered mountains when I look out the window. The ‘compelling argument to burn wood’ went away when we were feeling good about the emission reduction from using our EV, but then we checked what we were doing burning wood vs a heat pump. It was a shock, so the heat pump was installed soon thereafter, and the log burner sits idle.  No excuse could re-justify using the fire except dire emergency with power out. 

  15. Chris T 16

    I just find this whole thing odd.

    Apparently, according to a 16 year old without any real science education, I am supposed to be committed to travelling round in multi million dollar carbon neutral racing yachts, instead of buying a plane ticket, loaned to me complete with crew if I go overseas.

    And I am supposed to be listening to what she says, as she is the global focus of climate change knowledge, and admire her.

    The media hype is just strange to me. But realise it is the age of celebrity and internet coverage.

    Think I will stick to what qualified scientists say which is basically the same thing.

    • weka 16.1

      Which scientists are telling you to travel by a racing yacht instead of flying? For that matter, where has Thunberg said that's what you should do?

      • Chris T 16.1.1

        Well why else would she save a plane trip so other people would do it getting the boat back?

        Unless it is just a personal statement, that she refuses to take a plane and it means something.

        To which I would ask how is she getting home as the boat is leaving.

        • weka 16.1.1.1

          Is that you acknowledging you were making shit up?

          Read the post, it addresses your question. And next time, read the post before commenting.

          • Chris T 16.1.1.1.1

            Unless I'm an idiot, which wouldn't surprise me it doesn't say how she is getting home.

            And "Greta’s journey was an invitation into a conversation about how to do that. " implies we should follow her multi million dollar, eco friendly, free, racing yacht option.

            • weka 16.1.1.1.1.1

              not that question. This one "Well why else would she save a plane trip so other people would do it getting the boat back?"
               

              And "Greta’s journey was an invitation into a conversation about how to do that. " implies we should follow her multi million dollar, eco friendly, free, racing yacht option.

              only if you feel you have some god given right to travel where you want at will as fast as you want. The point of the post was to explore how to stop flying. Not how to take up sports yachting.

            • Robert Guyton 16.1.1.1.1.2

              How will Greta get back home, Chris T?

              She'll surf on your waves of indignation, that's how.

              • Chris T

                I don't have any indignation over her thing, so I would guess it would be plane

                • In Vino

                  I bet that yacht she sailed on planed most of the way across the Atlantic. She has done plenty of planing (if you don't understand, Chris T, Google 'boat planing').

                  I have heard this argument before – naysayers like Chris T suggested she would fly home from England, and thus show herself to be an egregious hypocrite after having arrived there by train.  Big fail – she returned by train as well.

                  Your silly suggestion, Chris T is likely to be an equally big fail. She seems good at out-manoeuvring distractors like you.

                  • Chris T

                    I am beginning to realise actually looking at the logistics of this particular trip is a bit of a no go area for some people.

                    I am not sure why you are giving me grief over a trip to England I didn't comment on, as trains go to England.

                    They don't go to the US

                     

                     

    • Incognito 16.2

      I find that after I have whipped myself into a frenzy a nice bubble bath sooths the nerves and calms the mind. Followed by a nice wine and calming soothing music and definitely no internet use. To you, I’d highly recommend James Last.

      • Chris T 16.2.1

        Frenzy?

        This is the first time I have even commented on her.

        What she says is admirable for a kid her age, and she is probably a good influence on other kids, but it stops about there.

         

        • marty mars 16.2.1.1

          frothing more apt – just accept that others, even 'kids' as you term them or young adults, can lead and can show the way by example.

          Stop getting in the way and get out of the way instead.

          • greywarshark 16.2.1.1.1

            Chris T look on life as a maze, we keep coming on new paths to different thoughts if we  are to find your way through.    What types of actions have you taken that will solve one aspect of climate change and future difficulties?    

            It seems to the rest of us that we are just starting on the maze but you imply that you have got through it already (with a chainsaw?) and that is why it all seems so simple that a child can't demonstrate anything to you.    I am sure people would like to know. 

            • In Vino 16.2.1.1.1.1

              Exactly. Whence comes your supreme arrogance, Chris T?  I teach kids Greta's age, and I can assure you that many of them are brighter than me, broad-minded, and well clued up on intricacies about carbon footprints of products supposed to save energy, etc.

              I think that leaves them well ahead of you, with your damning stereotype of 'a kid of her age.' 

              Anything to avoid debating the points she raises, huh?

              • Chris T

                I have already said she is probably a good influence on other kids her age.

                But I don't get your adoration when it comes to media putting her on a pedestal higher than climate scientists

                • marty mars

                  "But I don't get your adoration when it comes to media putting her on a pedestal higher than climate scientists"

                  umm that isn't happening – slurring your words again eh – you would do well to bow your head to Greta because she is shaming you and you can't take it – lol 

        • Robert Guyton 16.2.1.2

          "she is probably a good influence on other kids"

          How many kids do you reckon there are on the planet, Chris T?

          If Greta's, as you say, a good influence on them, we, you, me and everybody else, should be praising her to the high-heavens and thanking our lucky stars for someone so good to be influencing so many!

           

          • Chris T 16.2.1.2.1

            Well yes, but I don't see why this should mean we can't question her yacht enterprise.

            Unless you are saying She is great. Everything she does is great. We must not look at certain bits unbiased

            • weka 16.2.1.2.1.1

              I can think of ways to critique what GT does. It's not about her being perfect, it's about the people that feel the need to pull her down and use criticism to do that. Or be patronising, for whatever reason.

              There's also the issue of CC deniers using any opportunity.

              I'm good with critique, there just hasn't been much in this thread that's been useful or well done. Andre had some useful things to say, some of the righties at the start just lowered the standard of debate quite a few notches.

               

        • Incognito 16.2.1.3

          No bubble bath and wine for you, I’m afraid.

          If Greta Thunberg had been 26, would you have brushed aside her message with same sleight of hand?

  16. Ad 17

    We are not sailing. 

    We have a mythology that we are a sailing nation and that's why we win sailing medals and trophies. 

    Most people make claims like that based on the number of boat clubs we have, and the number of boats tied up at Westhaven. 

    It's horseshit.

    Sailing is the preserve of the elite of the white elite in this country. 

    From April to May 2018 Ipsos surveyed 3,101 New Zealanders aged 18 and over regarding recreational boating. More people do badminton.

    https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/recreational/safety-campaigns/recreational-research.asp

    • weka 17.1

      Lol. Are you drunk Ad?

      • Ad 17.1.1

        The full nationalist mythology of New Zealand sailing is about to be unleashed again late this week when Emirates Team New Zealand unveils its new boat with the Prime Minister. 

        You won't be able to breathe without inhaling nationalist sailing.

        This, and I mean this week, promoted wall to wall by its key sponsor TVNZ, and by its other massive global sponsors, is where our own Greta Thuneberg sailing story really takes flight again. 

        By flight I mean: they are according to ETNZ more akin to planes than boats.

         

        • weka 17.1.1.1

          Fortunately I'm well out of the way of that. I do find it odd. I mean I get that people who sail are really into it, and that people who like watching sport are, but the rest is just way over the top.

          • weka 17.1.1.1.1

            It doesn't really connect for me as  NZ thing. The only people I knew who were into sailing when I was growing up were rellies in Auckland. I think I've been on a yacht once. Lots of people were into boating, just not yachting.

            • Ad 17.1.1.1.1.1

              You are going to seriously hate late 2020 to first quarter 2021. 

              There will be almost nothing else on the screens and workplaces will just stop. 

              We have the weirdest relationship to sailing here. 

               

            • lprent 17.1.1.1.1.2

              It is pretty much a group of people in Tauranga through to Bay of Islands and the regions inland of the East Coast who are the main sailing nutters.

              Of course that is about potentially about half of the NZ population – there are quite a few rellies in Auckland.

              There are extensive groups who are into sailing or boats. Quite a few in various parts of my family grouping. Most of us have spent time looking bored shitless politely interested floating in various yachts and motorboats. 

              There is a significiant amount of  export industry based on it. I spent almost 4 years building the software for first version of this beast..

              https://www2.vespermarine.com/watchmate-vision2

              (nice to see that they didn't change the screen code for the second version – looks like a hardware upgrade to faster core and shift to a capacitive screen).

              But I agree about the mad keen sailors, especially the armchair ones. Personally I gave up watching sailing in my 20s soon after I gave up watching cricket. Watching paint dry is more interesting.

        • KJT 17.1.1.2

          I'm not into watching sport. Rather be on the water.

          But a hell of a lot of working class Kiwi's got work from the America's cup, some got to sail the boats, and many more were glued to it on TV.

          The advances in foils for watercraft are filtering through to ferries and fast cargo ships.

          Composite boat building is one of New Zealand's real areas of high value added, high wage exports. For those who think exports are a necessity.

    • In Vino 17.2

      Ad, you really piss me off at times, and because I am a keen sailor who, over the years, have spent on average less than $2,000 a year on my sport, I am calling you out.

      I know golfers who have spent more than that.

      I know I have spoilt myself compared to the penniless poor, but to call me and most other small-boat sailors the 'élite of the élite' is pure bullshit. I know personally 3 of our small-boat medallists going into the coming Olympics, and they are definitely Not from the 1% , the 'élite of the élite' as you so arrogantly put it.

      Some of that élite do in fact own huge keelboats in expensive marinas, and maybe they are the rich minority you are aiming at. OK..  In my experience, not all of those rich super-yacht owners were ever very good sailors, and I do not see why my sport should be tarred by their wealth.

      Don't make dumb assumptions from some silly statistics just because you never enjoyed sailing yourself.

       

      • Ad 17.2.1

        Silly old statistics will never beat your own anecdote.

        It's about now every prole with a tinny and a ute comes down and goes all Represent.

        • In Vino 17.2.1.1

          Bollocks. Your statistics say nothing about what I stated.

          I can agree with the bullshit thing about what we are to suffer about the America's Cup, etc. The commercialised bullshit we are about to see is likely to be surpassed only by the bullshit concerning the Rugby World Cup.

          There are plenty of normal sailors who agree that the money spent on the America's Cup is downright obscene.

          But you know far better about all sailors, don't you AD?

           

          • marty mars 17.2.1.1.1

            The thing I like about this is that over time sailing and coastal up and downing will become more important – sailing scows and other vessels than recreational ones, will once again frequent our coasts – and all the old wharves can get fixed and opened again.

            • In Vino 17.2.1.1.1.1

              +1

            • Ad 17.2.1.1.1.2

              Exactly the opposite has happened in the 20th century. 

              River transport died. There's still the occasional scow pulling sand up an estuary as in the Kaipara-Helensville one.

              Ports are now extremely concentrated and dominated by just 2 of them, marinas are opposed where they are new and expensive where they exist. 

              No sign of that reversing.

              Have a look at the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy from MoT this year. It's got all the stats and trends in there for you. 

              • marty mars

                "No sign of that reversing."

                Yes well early days yet and climate change is just so much easier to ignore. Today no change, tomorrow everything changes. 

              • Sacha

                Silt from intensive farming has not helped our smaller rivers remain navigable. Another reason to turn down the volume.

              • KJT

                You may be surprised at the amount of barge and tug and barge transport that still exists. I was driving one for a bit.

                I suspect they carry more tonnage than the old sailing scows ever did.

                But, I doubt they are much more fuel efficient than trucks. Too small. Don’t have to have machinery constantly building roads, though.

        • Koff 17.2.1.2

          My partner and I have been living on yachts for over 30 years. Right now we are anchored in Southport on Australia's Gold Coast waiting for the right winter weather (!) to sail back to NZ. There are probably about 100 other people living on boats of all shapes and sizes all around us. They are not environmentalists, just people living on boats. At a guess, the average value of these boats is about $50 to $80,000 each. There are believe it or not a lot of people living on boats because they are a lot cheaper than "affordable" houses of the $650,000 kind and there are many ways that owners can make them environmentally friendly – sailing of course, solar, and wind for electricity, reduced consumption because there is nowhere to put the crap that most people fill their houses with, water consumption much lower than most. It's definitely not a solution for most and yes there are rich people who have boats too, just like there are rich people who have houses and apartments. 

    • KJT 17.3

      Absolute bull.

      Doesn't look like the white elite at my yacht club.

      In fact most of their boats cost considerably less than your car.

    • francesca 17.4

      what a load of bullshit 

      My very underpriveleged kids ..of an overworked and underpaid single mother ..learnt to sail in little pclass boats at their area school in a not wealthy rural area . Fundraising and community efforts, loads of volunteers made it possible

      Wanky and rich they were not.

  17. Adam Ash 18

    Weka, in your headline you opine that ‘Greta Thunberg’s journey was an invitation into a conversation not about deprivation, but how to live well as we change.’

    We are of course deluding ourselves about the ‘live well’ bit. On our present trajectory it will be a miracle if we are not confronted with ‘live at all’ in the next one or two generations.  For some it will be the weather of their last day that kills them, but for most it will be social consequences, diseases in crowed horrid under-resourced places where climate refugees have overwhelmed the incumbents. It will be in skirmishes with unwelcome visitors who seek to take your scant supplies, or to change your social or political systems to theirs.  

    Greta is allowing us to discuss these harsh realities, where before such talk was just not PC.  She speaks simple truth to power, and manages to demand and get respect at the same time.  A remarkable being, for whose existence we should all be grateful in these difficult times. 

  18. marty mars 19

    Good call Greta – actions not words!!!

    Thunberg, the teenager whose school climate strikes have ignited a global youth-led movement, said that her journey to New York on a solar-powered yacht was symbolic of the lengths young people will take to confront the climate crisis.

    She said: “It’s insane that a 16-year-old has to cross the Atlantic in order to take a stand, but that’s how it is. It feels like we are at a breaking point. Leaders know that more eyes on them, much more pressure is on them, that they have to do something, they have to come up with some sort of solution. I want a concrete plan, not just nice words.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/29/greta-thunberg-young-activists-push-leaders-climate-crisis

  19. marty mars 20

    can't hide guys

    While these examples might feel like mere coincidence to some, the idea that white men would lead the attacks on Greta Thunberg is consistent with a growing body of research linking gender reactionaries to climate-denialism—some of the research coming from Thunberg’s own country. Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology, which recently launched the world’s first academic research center to study climate denialism, have for years been examining a link between climate deniers and the anti-feminist far-right.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/154879/misogyny-climate-deniers

  20. David Mac 21

    Greta sailed on a billboard and the world read it.

    • greywarshark 21.1

      That's very good David Mac.    Really apt, and I wish that a Banksy or cartoon could be built around it.

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