(p. B4) A year ago, a 15-year-old in leopard-print tights sat down outside the Swedish Parliament building with a purple backpack and a sign announcing she was on strike over climate change.
This week, Greta Thunberg arrived by solar-powered sailboat in New York, now as the 16-year-old poster child for younger generations’ climate angst. Also making its way to the New World, as evidenced in the coverage of her carbon-neutral trip, was a concept that in just a few years has swept Europe: flight shame, often hashtagged in the original Swedish, #flygskam.
. . .
As Greta . . . hopped ashore in southern Manhattan on Wednesday after 13 days at sea, loud cheers rose from the hundreds in the crowd there to greet her. . . .
Amanda LaValle, a mother of three from Kingston, N.Y., brought her two eldest daughters to be part of the crowd. “I’m encouraging them to be involved. I have already blown my own climate credentials by having three kids,” she said, half in jest.
She acknowledged how difficult it can be to put her principles into practice. Earlier in August, when she needed to travel to Minneapolis for a three-day training sponsored by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, she briefly considered taking the train. But, she said, “It would have taken two days and I couldn’t see taking more time away from my family.”
Greta’s voyage has had its own critics, who have pointed out that some members of the sailing crew will return by plane, while others fly in to sail the boat back to Europe.
Boris Herrmann, captain of the sailboat, Malizia II, said that the criticism was expected but that Greta shouldn’t be held responsible for the flights by crew members. “We are kind of the ferry to bring her over. We’re a professional sailing team and sometimes we need to fly. We used this voyage also to train,” he said, adding that the team offsets its flights by funding sustainability projects, including mangrove planting in Indonesia. “The trip is an example of how difficult it is to have zero carbon impact.”
For the full story, see:
Sofia McFarland. “‘Flight Shame’ Comes to U.S.—Via Sailboat.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019): B4.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story was last updated on Aug. 30, 2019, and has the title “‘Flight Shame’ Comes to the U.S.—Via Greta Thunberg’s Sailboat.” Where the online and print versions differ, the passages quoted above follow the more detailed online version.)