More than 9 out of 10 climate scientists agree: Human activity has at least acceleratedclimate change. And those changes are scary. Consider these facts:
- Bees are rapidly disappearing, at least partly due to climate change. Countless plants depend on bees for pollination – including many crops. If bee numbers drop too low, famine won’t be far behind.
- Warming Arctic waters have shrunk the extent of pack ice. Arctic seas are also frozen for shorter periods. Polar bears are starving. As apex predators, they reflect the health of their ecosystem. And it’s not looking good.
- The Colorado River – the source of water for millions – is drying up. Major reservoirs are shrinking. At the same time, the population of the southwest is exploding. This is a recipe for disaster.
- The latest research shows methane gas emissions – a major by-product of fracking – are much higher than previously thought. Methane is a key contributor to global warming… and far more dangerous than CO2.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration props up the dying coal industry and loosens restrictions on polluters. For Trump and his allies, man’s contribution to climate change is still in question.
At least, as long as the money keeps flowing.
But it’s getting harder to find climate-change deniers… especially outside the U.S.
Not to worry. A pro-Trump think tank has found one. And deniers are calling her “the anti-Greta Thunberg.”
Just 19, But Smarter Than the World’s Scientists
Naomi Seibt is young, blonde, and eloquent. She’s everything the Trump administration hates about Greta Thunberg… except she’s on their side.
Seibt doesn’t deny climate change. Or even that it’s partially man-made. But she doesquestion its effects. According to Seibt, climate change activists are blowing it all out of proportion.
Over 90% of the world’s climate scientists say she’s wrong. But that doesn’t stop Seibt. After all, she’s 19, and has the backing of the Heartland Institute – a pro-Trump think tank. In fact, she’s on their payroll.
As is Trump’s former security advisor, James Taylor. At a climate conference in Madrid, Taylor explained his plan to undercover journalists from CORRECTIV.
“… he intends,” they report, “to make a young YouTuber from Germany the star of climate denier [sic], and how he works closely with German partners whose ideas are consistently cited by the AfD in the Bundestag.” (The AfD is Germany’s ultra-conservative anti-immigrant party.)
That young YouTuber is Seibt.
Seibt denies ties to AfD… but at least one AfD branch claims her as a member. And Heartland’s Taylor says she’ll be working for his think tank to counter Thunberg’s message. In fact, in a phone conversation, Taylor suggests Heartland can control – at least to an extent – what Seibt will say in her videos.
Lo and behold, Heartland now features a speech given at a “Climate Realist Forum” in Madrid… which their site seems to link loosely – and wrongly – to the UN climate forum there. According to CORRECTIV, Seibt’s keynote address was given to a “crowd” of about 20… almost half of whom were speakers at the event.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement for her (now paid-for) positions.
The Company You Keep
According to Britain’s Independent, Seibt’s mother, an attorney, has represented AfD members. Some within the AfD also claim Seibt has been a member of their youth branch.
Seibt, a former economics student, says, “… these days, climate change science really isn’t science at all.” She also calls concern over climate change – which she labels “alarmism” – “… a despicably anti-human ideology.”
She has also spoken out against Germany’s liberal immigration policies and feminism. And addressed an AfD gathering at least once.
Seibt also lines herself up against some 97% of qualified climate scientists… and proclaims their work “alarmist” and wrong.
It was probably inevitable climate-change deniers would look for an “anti-Greta.” Thunberg’s message resonates with millions. And she’s spurring people to action.
That’s something Trump’s fossil fuel supporters can’t tolerate. Clean energy – and a healthy environment – will cost them money. And American business is notoriously focused on the short-term.
So, Heartland has hunted down a pretty young thing to counter Thunberg’s message. There’s just one big difference…
Thunberg is right.
Butler, D. and Eilpern, J., “The anti-Greta: A conservative think tank takes on the global phenomenon,” The Washington Post. Feb 23, 2020.
“The Heartland Lobby,” correctiv(dot)com. Feb 11, 2020.
Cockburn, H., “Anti-Greta: Far-right groups trying to turn teenager into climate change-denying version of Greta Thunberg,” The Independent. Feb 24, 2020.