Christiaan De Beukelaer, Senior Lecturer in Culture & Policy in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne (Australia), will join the Greenhouse environmental humanities book talk to discuss Trade Winds: A Voyage to a Sustainable Future for Shipping (University of Manchester Press, 2023) on Monday, 23 January 2023, at 10am in Norway (Central European time) / 8pm in Melbourne. Note that the start time is earlier than normal to accommodate our guest in Australia.
In 2020, Christiaan De Beukelaer spent 150 days covering 14,000 nautical miles aboard the schooner Avontuur, a hundred-year-old sailing vessel that transports cargo across the Atlantic Ocean. Embarking in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, he wanted to understand the realities of a little-known alternative to the shipping industry on which our global economy relies, and which contributes more carbon emissions than aviation. What started as a three-week stint of fieldwork aboard the ship turned into a five-month journey, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced all borders shut while crossing the ocean, preventing the crew from stepping ashore for months on end.
Trade winds engagingly recounts De Beukelaer’s life-changing personal odyssey and the complex journey the shipping industry is on to cut its carbon emissions. The Avontuur’s mission remains crucial as ever: the shipping industry urgently needs to stop using fossil fuels, starting today. If we can’t swiftly decarbonise shipping, we can’t solve the climate crisis.