The stunning hypocrisy of the PR machine behind Greta Thunberg

riven

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As has been covered in the media, Greta Thunberg (GT) is currently sailing across the Atlantic ocean in a £4 million racing yacht, in order to "demonstrate" low carbon transport, and avoid air travel. The boat has been especially chartered for this trip and has already been shown to be a controversial decision. To recover the boat for its existing schedule, a crew of five are reported to have to fly out to New York with the two current sailors, also said to be returning by air. Not only that but GT’s destination is Chile. So more emissions will have to be expended to get GT to Chile.

However one startling fact that is overlooked, is the boat itself. GT’s team have gone to unlimited lengths to describe this as a zero carbon mode of transport. Yet this can only be claimed for the fuel cost of the trip. Certainly the boat itself and its manufacture, are carbon intensive. While exact data cannot be ascertained, we do have the following (all figures obtained from various resources at Team Malizia – Team Malizia):
  • The material for the boat is carbon fiber (virgin).
  • The boat weighs ~8 tonnes (this includes diesel engine and ancillaries).
  • A crew of 5 is typical but single manning is possible.
  • The boat to this date (21/09/2019) has traveled approximately 40,000 km.
  • The boat was launched in 2015.

I have made very large, conservative assumptions
  • 7 flights confirmed for the crew. Not accounted in the calculation below but these emissions would amount to 4.2-9 TCO2e
  • I have given the boat a very generous lifetime.
  • I have counted 75% the boat as carbon fiber. It is likely more.
  • I have not counted the carbon cost of the other half of the boat (i.e. keel) or the ancillaries such as the diesel engine they are carrying (mass 372 kg = 0.66 T CO2 in raw steel)
  • I have not counted the manufacturing process for the boat, which not doubt, will have emissions of its own.
  • I have not counted the disposal emissions of the boat.
  • I have not counted the infrastructure or maintenance emissions associated with the boat.
The carbon footprint for carbon fiber is circa 29 TCO2e/T material (European research project MultiHemp, FP7/2007-2013, grant agreement n° 311849). The keel and ancillaries come to about 2T. Thus the carbon cost of the boat is 8*29*0.75 = 174 TCO2e. There will of course be some uncertainty of this number.

The ongoing lifetime of the boat will clearly lower this, as more kilometers are traveled. Given the boats current mileage is approximately 10,000 km per year and a lifetime of 20 (maintenance free) years (Malizia expect the boat to be competitive for 10 years), we could guesstimate a final CO2 emissions figure.

CO2 emissions = 87 g/km.

The estimated distance for GT’s trip is circa 4,000 nautical miles, which equates to 7,408 km. The boat must go back so this is doubled as it would not be making the return otherwise. Thus the trip will emit an equivalent of 87*14,816/100,000, assuming the boat makes it the full 20 years

CO2 cost of trip = 13 tonnes CO2.
Per passenger (2) = 6.5 tonnes CO2

The air trip from Stockholm to New York, is estimated at 1-2 tonnes passenger. But how can that be? Well the issue lies with the low occupancy of the boat. While the Boeing 737 weights 8 times heavier, it carries far more people per trip. Further the fuel cost is also spread out among the many people, whereas the cost of manufacture for the boat is only spread to a small number of passengers.

This is turning into a very carbon intensive trip.
 
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cozzy121

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All the hatred an bile that this young lady has generated. Her only crime in shouting that the emperor has no clothes and we are destroying the earth's climate.
Fair play to her, she has done more in her few years than many have done in a lifetime.
 

raetsel

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All the hatred an bile that this young lady has generated. Her only crime in shouting that the emperor has no clothes and we are destroying the earth's climate.
I agree, but this highly questionable trip seems to have handed the climate change deniers an open goal because of its inconsistencies and contradictions. It is at best a damaging distraction and counterproductive, and it is now being gleefully exploited by wilfully stupid, dishonest people to promote a false message.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
The storm clouds are gathering and the young,. for whom this issue is more pertinent than the elderly, are sitting up and taking notice.

Which means of course that this girl in her early teens must be attacked as a harbinger of evil.

Hard to attack her personally as she does appear to have a point, so the swift-boating has to take a different angle.

I'm betting the trained ESSO-Monkeys have already been through her family background to see if there is anything they can use there.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I agree, but this highly questionable trip seems to have handed the climate change deniers an open goal because of its inconsistencies and contradictions. It is at best a damaging distraction and counterproductive, and it is now being gleefully exploited by wilfully stupid, dishonest people to promote a false message.
Imagine if she had just joined the round of airport gallopers, though.
 

Pyewacket

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Nah, it is the hypocrisy of the people totting up the carbon footprints of climate change advocates that makes me smile.

Not one of them gives a fig for climate change, they are mainly deniers.

This is the same old same old, you can't call yourself a feminist, we saw you applying lipstick, you are not a socialist, you went to grammar school, you can't discuss alcoholism, you had a glass of wine with dinner.
 

raetsel

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Imagine if she had just joined the round of airport gallopers, though.
Which is entirely irrelevant to the point I made.
It is a moronic and hypocritical to engage in a publicity stunt highlighting the threat of carbon emissions from "airport gallopers" as you call them, when it involves quite a lot of........................................ carbon emission "airport galloping".
Handing the climate change deniers such an obvious "own goal" is fvcking idiotic.
 

Pyewacket

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Which is entirely irrelevant to the point I made.
It is a moronic and hypocritical to engage in a publicity stunt highlighting the threat of carbon emissions from "airport gallopers" as you call them, when it involves quite a lot of........................................ carbon emission "airport galloping".
Handing the climate change deniers such an obvious "own goal" is fvcking idiotic.
What's idiotic is wasting time joining in this pathetic slagging off of a climate change advocate.

The deniers want Thurnberg to be the story not climate change. Don't be so easily played.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
They are a bit nonplussed by being confronted by a Danish teenager, the old 'do-nothings'.

How do they attack her? Hard to do personally as she hasn't been around long enough for the usual skeletons in any closet to be explored publicly by muck-rakers paid by the corporate world.

So she must be exposed as a non-thinking hypocrite. Despite the fact that her decision not to fly highlights the corporate idiocracy of a load of over-cossetted directors flying in and out of Davos with their stories of green-washing in glossy brochures.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Which is entirely irrelevant to the point I made.
It is a moronic and hypocritical to engage in a publicity stunt highlighting the threat of carbon emissions from "airport gallopers" as you call them, when it involves quite a lot of........................................ carbon emission "airport galloping".
Handing the climate change deniers such an obvious "own goal" is fvcking idiotic.
So what do you suggest instead?
 

Destiny's Soldier

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Here we have an exploited impressionable teen with asbergers who is rarely seen smiling for the cameras. A bit like Jesus himself in the sense of never being depicted with a smile on his face laughing.

It would have been cheaper and more energy efficient if she flew with just her parent / guardian instead of the media circus over getting a boat. But the CO2 agenda has nothing to do with actual numbers.

Like Electric Vehicles are Zero Emissions. Energy out of thin air for the cretins promoting their cult and feeding off the mass population.
 

riven

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All the hatred an bile that this young lady has generated. Her only crime in shouting that the emperor has no clothes and we are destroying the earth's climate.
Fair play to her, she has done more in her few years than many have done in a lifetime.
The problem though, is that a life cycle assessment for this trip has not been done. I cannot believe that the large number of advisers and experts in this group did not manage to do what is, after all, the foundation of environmentalism. You work out, cradle to grave, the CO2 costs, and choose the lowest option.

What this means is that while Greta herself is trying to at in an environmentally friendly manner (and does so generally, by reducing her food and travel emissions), them machine behind her is clueless to the environmental campaign and puts itself in a rather hypocritical position. It pushes the message of environmentalism by contributing to using the higher emissions pathway.

I believe the Greta is sincere and obviously will accept that a youth with no formal training in science or engineering, will make mistakes. But those behind her?
 
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Lumpy Talbot

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She's not doin' it right! She's not doin' it right!

the whole point of course is that she has sought out an alternative method of transport.

Not everyone can do this of course but that isn't the point. I think her point is that the days of carelessly booking air travel is coming to an end.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Still doesn't beat the utter cynicism of BP changing its logo to have friendly flower petals around it.
 

riven

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She's not doin' it right! She's not doin' it right!

the whole point of course is that she has sought out an alternative method of transport.

Not everyone can do this of course but that isn't the point. I think her point is that the days of carelessly booking air travel is coming to an end.
So instead of carelessly booking an air travel, and even more polluting form of transport has been booked. Careless? Certainly.

The simple fact is if the planet is burning, you save it by reducing emissions, not increasing them.
 

fifilawe

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it's all for show, for a dvd, for a book, for TV show appearance money, it is what I call a SHAM similar to how shAmnesty International works.The same Pr companies get behind all these ventures and get Corporations to fund the Show as an Advertising ploy.Its all been done a thousand times before in previous "Awareness Campaigns" and each new venture has to have a "New Angle/Ordinary Person(Muppet/Puppet) participating. An established "Celeb/Personality" is fooling no one these days , so an Ordinary/Common person (Allegedly) is put up front and centre. Sorry, but they can pull my other leg , I'm not falling for that "old trick"
 

Lumpy Talbot

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So instead of carelessly booking an air travel, and even more polluting form of transport has been booked. Careless? Certainly.

The simple fact is if the planet is burning, you save it by reducing emissions, not increasing them.
Probably about 90% of all air travel is unnecessary. Certainly at a corporate level.

I'm not so convinced that Greta Thurnberg is the villain of the piece though.

As much as I am sure Esso would like us to think that.

There was a total bunch of massively overpaid eejits who flew from around the world and were limmoed up into the pristine airs of Davos in Switzerland in order to worry about the environment last January.
 

raetsel

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So what do you suggest instead?
Not making mistakes which hand your opponents obvious ways of deflecting from your message by making you look foolish would be a good start. I don't claim to have the answers, but I do know that it is important to recognise your pratfalls and learn from them.
 

Emily Davison

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Does this mean I have to cancel all the flights I've booked. That would be 4 this month, and 11 next month. I suppose I shouldn't use the car to drop the kids to school or to go shopping. And I was contemplating taking the kids to Thailand next year. I also filled up the swimming pool twice this year. I do switch off the lights, wear a fleece to turn down the heat and turn off the tap when I'm brusing my teeth and I don't put the vegetables into individual bags anymore.

Which reminds me, what country in the world wastes more water than anybody else, and totally unnecessarily too.

AL announced cheap deals to America because of Norwegian pulling out. And Ryanair have loads of new routes.
 


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