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Rising Support of Sail Transport -- For a Different World Economy

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Organic Transitions page.

 At this writing, the Tres Hombres schooner-brig is just reaching the Netherlands, on its way back from Copenhagen. I wish I had taken the round trip and remained with my able crew mates, but I had to keep to my sail-transport research schedule by returning to the Mediterranean.

This we are sure of: as petroleum dependence continues to wreak havoc on our Earth's sensitive environment, and the energy alternatives do not comprise an immediate solution, sail power emerges as the most viable energy source for trade and travel.

The advent of zero-to-low-carbon transport is only "new" when consciously pursued as a step beyond petroleum. Traditional Indonesian sailing vessels, sporting low-tech/low-cost features, are only doing what is practical. The modern energy-intensive world's version is to create new projects with an eye to the new Age of Sail.

Prior to sailing to Copenhagen with French wine, Netherlands-based Fair Transport had its 32-meter schooner-brig Tres Hombres, complete an engineless delivery of 28,000 Grenada chocolate bars to Holland.  In the Caribbean, an additional, unanticipated spare cargo space materialized. So cacao spiked with toasted sea salt was picked up on HispaƱola.  This unanticipated cargo was due to U.S. intransigence on accepting the Grenada bars in New York Harbor because the vessel and crew were foreign -- even though there was a U.S. customer and the delivery would have been very low-carbon.  The U.S. public needs to clamour for a more rational approach, or wait until necessity ushers in the new Age of Sail. 


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