Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tanker rescues Carbon Neutral Expeditions sailboat

A 40-ft sailboat outfitted with solar panels and a wind turbine attempted to cross the North Atlantic as part of an expedition publicized as “the first carbon-neutral crossing of Greenland.” But weather and irony intervened.

Wind gusts estimated at 60 knots accompanied by waves reaching 30 ft. capsized the boat three times while the Carbon Neutral Expeditions vessel was 400 miles off Ireland.

A tanker, Overseas Yellowstone, carrying 680,000 bbl of crude oil came to the rescue.

Reporters asked Jess Tombs, an expedition spokeswoman, about the irony of the sailboat being rescued by an oil tanker. She said the crew was “just relieved” to be rescued.

Carbon Neutral Expeditions set sail Apr. 19 for a scheduled 10-week expedition. Instead, the crew was rescued on May 1.

The expedition's goal was to raise awareness of climate change, and some UK school children were following the team’s progress. Although the trip got cut short, the expedition deserves credit for being realistic and open about its contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.

On the Carbon Neutral Expeditions web site, the team states that it could not avoid some direct GHG emissions. For instance, the engine had to be used sometimes such as getting into harbor.

“There are also carbon emissions associated with the manufacture and materials of the equipment that we will use on the expedition. These indirect emissions are fiendishly difficult to calculate and therefore we will not be trying to offset these,” Carbon Neutral Expeditions said.

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March 28, 2017 at 11:17 PM  

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