It's Been 6 Years Since Greta Thunberg Warned We Have 5 Years to Stop the Extinction of Humanity


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

How do climate alarmists expect the rest of us to care about their cause when they can’t even distribute information from experts accurately?

Internationally known climate alarmist Greta Thunberg, the 21-year-old Swede with a penchant for leftist causes, warned the world in 2018 that mankind had five years to stop using fossil fuels or all of humanity will be wiped out.

The since-deleted social media post — a tweet on the platform then known as Twitter — can be found via a screenshot from another post below.

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While Thunberg’s post did not say humanity would end in five years — we did make it past 2023 after all — there was one glaring problem with it. The article that Thunberg linked misquoted the scientist who made the relevant remarks.

In January 2018, James Anderson, a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard, gave a speech that was covered by Forbes.

Anderson remarked in that speech on damage he claimed climate change is doing to the “permanent ice” at the Earth’s poles, and its implications for the globe, according to Forbes.

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“The chance that there will be any permanent ice left in the Arctic after 2022 is essentially zero,” he said, according to Forbes. “Can we lose 75-80 percent of permanent ice and recover? The answer is no.”

The Forbes article was published Jan. 15, 2018.

On Feb. 19, 2018, Grit Post — a leftist online publication with the motto “real news for the working class” — used the Forbes piece as its source for a now-deleted article with the headline: “Top Climate Scientist: Humans Will Go Extinct if We Don’t Fix Climate Change by 2023.”

Its lede sentence declared: “A top climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.”

(The article has been deleted, but internet archives last forever.)

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That was the report Thunberg quoted.

In a 2023 article, The Assocated Press took a look at the controversy surrounding Thunberg’s deleted post — and defended Thunberg, naturally, as a victim of bad sourcing and nasty attacks from conservative websites.

In remarks to the AP for that report, Anderson pushed back against Grit Post’s framing of his speech. He stated, “the ‘wiping out of humanity by 2022’ is a total distortion of what I said or meant at the University of Chicago colloquium in 2018. I would never make such a statement.”

The timeline above is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Here’s a summary:

Anderson gave a speech in January 2018, which Forbes reported on the same month.

Grit Post wrote its own piece in February 2018, quoting mostly from Forbes. Grit Post put the “extinction of humanity” and the “wipe out of all humanity” into the conversation as part of its article.

Thunberg — in June 2018, six years ago last month — posted a link to the Grit Post article and quoted its opening sentence.

Thunberg deleted the tweet in 2023, which is amusing, considering it was the five-year mark.

What is also amusing is that AP picked up Thunberg’s deletion of the tweet not to lambast her for sensationalism, but to defend her. AP took to guarding Thunberg against conservatives — obviously the real culprits — who ridiculed her for the post’s deletion.

Now six years removed from the original speech, the real issue is how the left used a child to promote its agenda. Thunberg is a young woman now, but made herself a climate celebrity as a teenager with a gift for bombastic remarks.

The AP report did not chastise her for spreading an article that misquoted Anderson. The article instead criticized conservatives who went after her for deleting the tweet.

The establishment media outlets are very quick to fact-check conservative voices who would dare go after Thunberg.

Now an adult, Thunberg was used as a pawn while still a child. Her cover was perfect — a young person who could say outrageous things, while also having the fallback of being a child. To the left, her reported mental and emotional problems, the fact that she had been diagnosed with Aspberger’s syndrome and had battled depression, just made her more untouchable.

It’s time we start holding her to a higher standard. Maybe then we will see most of what she says is nonsense — and sometimes dangerous nonsense.

Even more importantly, we need to understand the mindset of those who used her for political purposes.

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Sam Short is an Instructor of History with Motlow State Community College in Smyrna, Tennessee. He holds a BA in History from Middle Tennessee State University and an MA in History from University College London.