“But as she was finally approaches the harbor in New York, the crowds were swelling.
Walser, wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Ride bikes, do good”, said he hoped to get on board a boat as part of a welcoming flotilla for the Malizia II. “I’m a seasoned sailor and she seemed to have done very well in rough waters,” he said. “Nothing much seems to bother her.”
Swedish climate activist anchors off Coney Island as she nears end of her journey on zero-carbon yacht
First published on Wed 28 Aug 2019
Greta Thunberg reached New York early on Wednesday, after crossing the Atlantic in a zero-carbon yacht.
Crowds began to gather in New York hours before she was due to step ashore, ready to welcome Thunberg upon her arrival on the unconventional, solar-powered craft.
Under cloudy skies at a marina near the southern tip of Manhattan, Thunberg’s supporters were assembling to greet the teenager who sparked a series of walk-outs by students protesting the lack of action to address the climate crisis.
“Land!! The lights of Long Island and New York City ahead,” the Swedish climate activist had tweeted before dawn on Wednesday, shortly followed by another tweet that she was anchored just off the city, opposite the famous beach resort of Coney Island in Brooklyn, and was waiting to clear customs and immigration.
She is due to dock at North Cove Marina on the edge of New York Harbor, on Wednesday afternoon.
But before she even steps onto American soil, the boat will be welcomed by a flotilla of 17 sailing boats, each with one of the 17 sustainable development goals written on their sails. The special welcome convoy will intercept Thunberg’s yacht near the Statue of Liberty off the top of New York City.
Thunberg is sailing to New York to attend a UN summit on zero emissions next month after refusing to fly there because of the carbon emissions caused by planes.
She was offered a ride on the Malizia II racing yacht skippered by Pierre Casiraghi, the son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and the German round-the-world sailor Boris Herrmann.
The 16-year-old, whose school strikes have inspired children across the world to protest against the climate crisis, has encountered some rough seas on her passage across the Atlantic and was later arriving than expected.
But as she was finally approaches the harbor in New York, the crowds were swelling.“I’ve been following her for the past year or so and am very enthusiastic about what she’s doing, how she’s got young people involved with the striking,” said Richard Walser, an IT technician who traveled down from Connecticut to welcome Thunberg with his son, CJ.
Walser, wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Ride bikes, do good”, said he hoped to get on board a boat as part of a welcoming flotilla for the Malizia II. “I’m a seasoned sailor and she seemed to have done very well in rough waters,” he said. “Nothing much seems to bother her.
“People here in the US will welcome her, although some want to see her fail and be defeated of course. For me, I’m 56 and I don’t think climate change will be catastrophic in my time but things will certainly be worse for people who come after us. This was the challenge of our generation and we’ve dropped the ball.”
One woman arrived at the marina clutching flowers and a placard that read “Welcome Greta.” The media was also out in force, including journalists from Chile, where world leaders will gather later this year for annual UN climate talks.