Book Launch (Melbourne): “Trade Winds: A Voyage to a Sustainable Future for Shipping” (9 Feb, 6pm)

28 Jan Book Launch (Melbourne): “Trade Winds: A Voyage to a Sustainable Future for Shipping” (9 Feb, 6pm)

Book Launch: “Trade Winds: A Voyage to a Sustainable Future for Shipping”
Thu 9 February 2023 at 6:00pm

State Library, Woi Wurrung Country, State Library Victoria, 285-321 Russell St, Melbourne 3000, Victoria

Join us as Christiaan De Beukelaer, Senior Lecturer in Culture & Climate, at The University of Melbourne celebrates the release of his book, Trade Winds.

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.

Rebecca Olive (RMIT) will launch Trade Winds.

Free, but bookings essential.

Please book here:


‘This book is both important and beautiful: important, in that it describes one of the best ways we can move into a post-fossil fuels civilisation, which is to say by sail; and beautiful, because it shows on every page how this bursting out of the cocoon of heavy oil that we have been living in will return us to a life in the real world, with the wind felt in the hands and on one’s face, and every day an adventure. What a joy to read these pages and learn their news.’
Kim Stanley Robinson, author of The Ministry for the Future

‘Trade winds is an absorbing account of a voyage that starts off as an effort to prove the continuing viability of sail, but becomes far more challenging than expected when the COVID-19 pandemic shuts off all access to the shore. It is also a thoughtful analysis of practical ways for shrinking the carbon footprint of one of the world’s most polluting industries – shipping.’
Amitav Ghosh, author of The Nutmeg’s Curse

‘A truly fascinating account – of a voyage, but also of an idea that is counter-intuitive in a world based on speed, but revelatory for a planet that is going to have to start taking real care of itself. There’s a bit of romance here, and a lot of reality.’
Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

‘Simultaneously engaging and scholarly, Trade winds combines sailing memoir and environmental analysis to provide important insights about the environmental effects of global shipping and about what plausible alternatives might be. De Beukelaer brings together personal experience with an impressive command of scholarly literatures across history, economics, philosophy, climate science, among many others, and brings them all together in an interdisciplinary tour de force that is realistic and yet ultimately hopeful.’
Elizabeth R. DeSombre, Camilla Chandler Frost Professor of Environmental Studies, Wellesley College

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