Greta’s Thunberg’s Atlantic journey


Sir, – I’m not sure what Kathryn Phelan’s expectations are of Greta Thunberg (“Greta Thunberg’s voyage is admirable but not practical – we can’t all sail across the Atlantic in a zero-emission yacht as a guest of a prince”, Opinion & Analysis, August 21st), but I know what mine are. That she gets safely to the UN summit in New York in late September and speaks truth to power, in her unique uninhibited way. The truth being the irrefutable data telling us that we are facing existential ecological and climate breakdown and that the planet is losing the ability to sustain life. That she is being brought there in a solar-powered yacht, while symbolic, is irrelevant in the context of her real goal. I have no expectation on her to provide practical guidance on how I can change my behaviours. I’m old enough to reflect on my own life choices and make whatever adjustments I can to reduce my impact on the environment, as should everybody else. Greta Thunberg’s strengths lie in her ability to confront fearlessly vested interests, both commercial and political, and call out the hypocrisy that passes for action on this crisis. Rather than spend our time analysing her every move, we should be following her example and demanding action from our elected officials and reducing our consumption. We should all show our solidarity with Greta Thunberg by joining our children on the global climate strike on September 20th: that is what she expects of us. – Yours, etc,