Where in the World is Greta Thunberg? Climate Activist Comes to Denver
When Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in New York City by a sailboat made from petroleum products, her trip, as well as her addresses before Congress and the UN, made headlines. In the weeks since, Thunberg has not been the subject of national coverage, even though she has continued to maintain a brisk travel schedule. Over the course of the past month, Thunberg has made stops in Canada and the Midwest, traveling in an electric car borrowed from an unusual source—bodybuilder, actor, and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For Thunberg, who refuses to travel in gas-powered cars, travel in the U.S. was bound to be difficult after she left the Acela corridor. To assist, Schwarzenegger apparently arranged for the young activist, whom he met in Europe this spring, to use his Tesla 3, running on electricity generated largely from coal and natural gas.
According to a spokesman from Schwarzenegger, who confirmed the story with Car and Driver, “Greta can travel fully electric through the United States and Canada.”
This loan explains how Greta has managed to maintain her brisk travel schedule in parts of North America where public transportation infrastructure such as trains are scarce. With the help of the Tesla, she has crisscrossed Canada and the U.S. over the past several weeks, generally arriving in a city with a large university in time for her weekly protest marches.
After her speech before the U.N., Thunberg headed for Montreal. During a multi-day trip between September 27 and 30, she met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom she scolded for not doing enough to protect the environment, received a key to the city of Montreal from Mayor Valérie Plante, and led a climate march.
Through social media posts, one can track Thunberg’s travel as she passes through cities generally around 300 miles apart. A Tesla Model 3 has a driving range of around 310-325 miles and can take several hours to charge.
Thunberg left Montreal for Quebec, where she spent time visiting an organic farm and announced her plan to spend the following weeks “travel[ling] slowly through the North American continent, moving southwest and then eventually through South American towards Santiago.” She also stopped at a Marine Mammal Sanctuary.
Travelling south from Canada, she posted when passing through Chicago on October 3 en route to the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. Students at the University of Iowa held a rally with Thunberg on October 4, a date that she marked as week 59 of her climate strikes.
Despite visiting cities like Chicago and Iowa City, which have Democratic mayors, Thunberg has not been recently seen meeting publicly with politicians. Instead, she has been meeting with other environmental activists, including figures associated with the Standing Rock protests and climate change lawsuits. In New York City, she spoke at a rally alongside Boulder activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a plaintiff in the Juliana v. U.S. climate change lawsuit. In early October, she visited the Pine Ridge and Standing Rock reservations. At Standing Rock, the site of a year-long protest against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Thunberg received a traditional Lakota name and spoke on a panel with indigenous activists Tokata Iron Eyes, the daughter of Chase Iron Eyes, a leader in the indigenous environmental movements.
Standing Rock seems to be Thunberg’s last stop before heading to Denver. She is holding a rally today in Denver. However, she isn’t about to stop in the Rockies. Thunberg has state publicly that she intends to attend a UN climate change conference set to be held in early December in Santiago, Chile.
How she intends to get there remains to be seen. She has already sent back the yacht that brought her to North America and a spokesperson told Vox that travel details were still being worked out. At least point, it may be many more miles in the Tesla, doubtless punctuated with her trademark weekly protest.