Help came from Riley Whitelum, an Australian who has been sailing around the world with his wife, Elayna Carausu. “If you get in contact with me, I’m sure we could organize something,” he responded.
In the span of a week, the voyage was organized. Mr. Whitelum and Ms. Carausu will be joined by a British professional sailor, Nikki Henderson, for this voyage. Ms. Thunberg’s father, Svante, will accompany her back across the ocean, as he did on the westward trip.
The couple’s 11-month-old son, Lenny, will also be onboard, meaning that Ms. Thunberg, who is usually the only child in rooms full of powerful adults, will not be the youngest person in the crowd. “Finally,” she said.
Ms. Thunberg’s extraordinary rise stems, in large part, from the fact that she is a child.
She was 15 when she decided she would skip school and sit in front of the Swedish Parliament, holding a homemade sign that read, in Swedish, “School Strike for the Climate.” She credits her single-minded focus on climate action to what she calls her superpower: Asperger’s syndrome, a neurological difference on the autism spectrum.
Word spread of her solo act of civil disobedience. It buoyed the efforts of other young environmental activists and inspired hundreds of school strikes. Young people organized with the tool that they best know how to use: the internet, mobilizing by the millions, from Melbourne to Kampala to Bonn to New York City. Their anger, like hers, embodied the frustration of their generation at the incongruously slow pace of action in the face of definitive science.
Ms. Thunberg’s fame has grown in the United States. A collection of her speeches, most of them previously published, has been released in a new anthology by Penguin Press. Her angriest speech, delivered to world leaders at the United Nations in September, has been used in a death-metal remix. The likeness of her face is painted on a mural on the side of a building in San Francisco.
Perhaps her most famous American encounter was with President Trump in the corridors of the United Nations. He didn’t see her. But she saw him, flashing icy daggers with her eyes. Asked what she was thinking in that moment, Ms. Thunberg said, “It speaks for itself.”