From the Climate Action Team

The Winds of Change

"American Sailing" - painting by Thomas Eakins
“American Sailing” – Thomas Eakins

“Imagination is essential to our ability to create, design and bring about the futures we want. Scientific inquiry, combined with our own dreams, fears and desires, are the building blocks of the future we will create.” [1]

The winds of change are blowing and people are re-imagining a past technology to meet our current need to cut fossil fuel emissions. In 2007, while on a tall ship voyage, [2] three friends from the Netherlands imagined a shipping company using only the wind. Their vision became reality when they restored a two-masted, brigantine ship, the Tres Hombres and began shipping organic and traditionally crafted products between Europe, Atlantic islands, the Caribbean, and America.

They are not the only ones re-imagining the future of shipping. Many sail freight projects are starting up around the world including the Seattle based non-profit, The Salish Sea Trading Cooperative and Sailing Dog Dry Goods, who provides sustainable distribution for Western Washington State. [3]

A love of sailing and the oceans are inspiring people to re-imagine how we can live differently in this time of climate change. Vincent Van Gogh wrote, “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” How do you open to your sea of imagination? What helps you bravely trust in possibility and sail into the winds of change?

[1] Arizona State University, Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative: