Eric BlairAugust 14th
2019

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has revealed that her boat was joined by a pod of dolphins on its journey across the Atlantic.

Greta set sail from the UK yesterday (August 14th) to attend UN climate summits in New York and Chile.

The 16-year-old made a speech to a crowd of her fans that had gathered to wave her off ahead of her departure from Plymouth on the Malizia II - a solar-powered racing yacht with underwater turbines originally built to compete in the 2016-17 round-the-world Vendée Globe race.

Greta said she was dedicated to doing everything she can to tackle climate change which is a ‘very big problem’.

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The teenager, who refuses to travel by air because of its environmental impact, said: “There’s always going to be people who don't understand or accept the united science, and I will just ignore them, as I'm only acting and communicating on the science.”

She said she thought people's mindsets were changing, and that ‘even if it's not enough, and not fast enough, that's something, it's not for nothing’.

When asked if she thought she could make US President Donald Trump listen, she answered with a simple ‘no’, prompting laughter from the crowd.

"I'm not that special. I can't convince everyone," she said. "I'm just going to do what I want to do and what will have most impact.”

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The captain of the Malizia II, Boris Herrmann, thanked Greta for her courage and called the issue of climate change a ‘race against time’. 

The teen activist admitted her two-week trip would pose challenges - including seasickness - but said many people in the world were suffering a lot more than that.

She said: “I was test sailing two days ago and we went out for several hours. I didn't feel bad or anxious, I felt seasick for about one or two minutes, then it stopped. I will just have to see, get on the boat and and see what happens, and that is also very exciting."

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Greta’s school strikes have inspired a global climate change protest movement driven by young people.

Laura Jackson, whose daughters Cicely and Tilia, took part in the school strikes, told the BBC: "It's very exciting for them to be part of this. They often feel that they're too small to make an impact and the strikes make them feel really empowered. My daughter Cicely wants to be a Greta.”

Kerrie Roche-Walker, from Plymouth, told the BBC she believed in what Greta was doing: "I feel it's so important at this time for all of us globally to support the causes that she stands for," she said.

Her grandson Eric, eight, added: "I'm excited to see Greta. She's doing her best for climate change. Waters are rising and people keep littering. The waters could rise too much. She's basically saving lives.”

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