To be able to shoot to prominence, in the public eye, at a young age is not an easy thing to do. Yet Greta Thunberg is now a household name across the world, a fierce campaigner for action against climate change, the 17-year old has amassed a huge following. She was last year’s Time Person of the Year, and for all of those who relish and support her fight and public standing, there is a growing number of people who openly criticise and denounce her. An emerging young woman to do just that, is Naomi Seibt.
“She is an ardent believer that Thunberg is a scaremonger, causing people to threat and panic about a climate emergency, which she simply believes is not an emergency at all.”
From Germany, Naomi Seibt is a 19-year old woman who is pushing for ‘Climate Realism’, as an opposition to Thunberg’s beliefs. She is an ardent believer that Thunberg is a scaremonger, causing people to threat and panic about a climate emergency, which she simply believes is not an emergency at all. Most of all, she believes the science in the climate change debate is just not there, and that Thunberg and all who follow her are far too emotionally driven on the subject. A prime example of what caused her to think in such a way, to deviate from a mainstream opinion on climate, is, ironically, the ‘Fridays for Future’ or Youth Climate Strikes campaign. These strikes by young people around the world are particularly gripping the Western World, capturing media attention and encouraging politicians and industry professionals to act. To Naomi, they send ‘chills’, not for fear of the climate crisis, but because ‘“they [young people] are screaming and shouting and they’re generally terrified”’ and that ‘“They don’t want the world to end”’. She argues it will not end, and wants to provide, what she believes, is a voice of reason and calm to the storm.
Employed by The Heartland Institute, a conservative American think tank, she has been gaining traction and attention more and more this year. Appearing on UK television on Good Morning Britain, she states Global Warming is a phenomenon which is overstated, and that human contribution is minimal. In fact, the interview later brought out Piers Morgan to apologise to her for misappropriating his words on how dangerously the planet is heating up. She span this to highlight how people are not aware of how they talk about climate change in another TV appearance, for Sky News Australia. In this she compliments the presenter Chris Smith’s climate change skepticism, by again suggesting Global Warming is not happening fast enough to warrant fear. In particular, she claims that the heating is favourable for the global economy, citing better crop yields. However, this is debatable, uncertain, and can be outweighed by certain consequences such as drought. In addition to this, Seibt does not support the idea that renewables can power the world and support the economy, citing unreliability, blackouts and higher taxes. Although this too is not universally accepted to be true. Renewables are powering a large proportion of the UK’s energy right now, with wind and solar combined at almost 19%; all renewables combined equaling the highest electricity generator, gas, at almost 28%, and coal which used to generate ~48% but now accounts for <1%.
“Young people are driving the debates for climate action and have become influencers to all generations”
Young people are driving the debates for climate action and have become influencers to all generations. Arguably, Ursula Von der Leyen, the EU Commission President, will have thought up plans for her European Green Deal seeing Thunberg and young people all over the media. Criticism is expected and abundant from those that are older, but also those who are young, like Seibt. The pertinent question is this, is it wrong to set these net-zero emission targets, if the planet really is heating only a little bit? Overhauling the economy to suit climate targets is a jump, maybe even a potential risk. Although, everyone will agree that even early preparation, changes, for what could be a crisis not now, but in years or decades to come, would not go a miss. Perhaps, Seibt would benefit from knowing just that.
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