BECAUSE jets leave a huge carbon footprint, eco-warrior Greta Thunberg refuses to fly. So in August she spent two weeks crossing the Atlantic by sailboat en route to a UN climate summit in Santiago, Chile, as TCW reported.
The conference, scheduled for next month, has unexpectedly been switched to Madrid and the 16-year-old Swedish climate-change campaigner needs to return to Europe. So she’s trying to hitch a seaborne lift.
But she may not know that transport is already available. In New York, the ‘eco-ship’ Emission Impossible has just been launched by warmist do-it-yourself enthusiasts, concerned by pollution from traditional cruise liners.
They prefabricated the vessel in their back yards and garden sheds before assembling it on the Hudson River. Now they’re offering paying passengers the ‘ultimate no-carbon cruise’ across the Atlantic.
I booked a passage. As I arrived at the gangplank, a nervous-looking figure clutching a copy of Navigation for Dummies greeted me . . .
Good morning. I’m your captain and cruise director, Mal D Mer. Welcome aboard the Emission Impossible.
Thanks, Mal. Can I see my accommodation?
– Of course. You’re in Stateroom 26 on the poop deck. Here it is.
Hang on, that’s just a tarpaulin propped up by sticks. How can you call it a stateroom?
– Well, as a room, you must admit it’s in a bit of a state.
Is it en suite?
– Yes, that’s why this is called the poop deck. Watch you don’t knock your bucket over.
I see the ship’s mainsail isn’t canvas. It’s made of marbled velvet, French crepe, silk organza and chiffon.
– That’s right. It was stitched together from cast-off designer dresses donated by millionaire supermodels trying to offset their jet travel emissions. Impressive, isn’t it? Just look at the lovely needlework on that Versace bodice near the crow’s nest.
There’s another thing I can’t help noticing. The ship smells like a farmyard.
– That’s because the hull is made from straw bales.
Did you say straw bales?
– Yes. The bales give buoyancy because they’re waterproofed with a coating of mortar made from cow dung and horsehair. The only trouble is, the mortar biodegrades quite quickly.
Then we’d better get over to Europe on schedule. But what if we’re becalmed?
– Don’t worry. We have auxiliary power.
Auxiliary power? Surely not a carbon-belching diesel engine?
– No . . . look over there.
I can see a line of miserable-looking blokes carrying oars.
– Yes. They’re all climate change deniers who’ve repented and want to atone for their heresy. So they’ve volunteered to row when needed.
I’m worried that there are no phones or radio equipment on board. What if I need to contact someone ashore?
– No problem. You can use what we amusingly call sail-mail.
You mean . . ?
– Yes, you can send a message in a bottle. But if you want ink for writing, you’ll have to catch a squid.
Doesn’t the ship have a signalling system? Semaphore?
– No. The only thing we signal here is our virtue.
What about meals?
– There’s an all-you-can-eat, 24-hour self-service buffet. It’s called the ocean. Just use your fishing line and plankton strainer.
Is there a vegetarian option?
– Yes. Use your ‘Kelp Yourself’ seaweed scooper.
Do you have an entertainment programme?
– Of course. As a tribute to Greta Thunberg, we’re staging a Swedish-themed concert with our own special Abba songs: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Carbon Ban After Midnight), Take A Chance On Methane, Thank You For The Muesli, etc. And, of course, the oarsmen will sing Rowing Me, Rowing You.
What are our ports of call?
– The first stop is Stockholm, Greta’s home town. Passengers can take an optional excursion ashore and join a school strike.
But haven’t you heard? An early cold spell in the Baltic has frozen the sea around Stockholm. This flimsy straw boat will never get through the ice.
– Really? Oh dear. It looks like we’ll have to cancel the cruise. Sea ice, you say? That’s incredibly frustrating . . . where’s global warming when you need it?