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Meet the 'Anti-Greta'

Germany's Naomi Seibt, 19, will address CPAC this week
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2020 8:42 AM CST

(Newser) – You're familiar with young climate activist Greta Thunberg. Now those who accuse her of being an alarmist have a young person of their own to spread their counter message—19-year-old Naomi Seibt of Germany, reports Mic. Seibt, nicknamed the "anti-Greta," is about to get what is perhaps her biggest stage: She will speak this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Coverage:

  • Who: Seibt is paid by the libertarian think tank the Heartland Institute, one of the leading voices against the idea that man-made climate change is causing dire problems, reports the Washington Post. "Climate change alarmism at its very core is a despicably anti-human ideology," Seibt has said.

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  • In Germany: Seibt first came to prominence with an essay at age 16 at a blog known for its anti-immigration and "anti-Islamization" views, reports Mic and the Guardian. An editor's note added that her mother, an attorney who has represented politicians from the far-right AfD party, also was a contributor. Seibt herself denies membership in the party, though a Facebook post by the party's youth wing identified her as such.
  • Heartland ties: The think tank sees Seibt as a "star" of its campaign to push back against what it sees as overhyped climate change alarm. That is how the institute's James Taylor described her to undercover reporters from CORRECTIV who were posing as big donors. "Heck, I would have spoken with them if they told us who they were, and the answers would have been pretty much the same," said Taylor, after the report aired on German TV.
  • The comparison: Comparisons to Thunberg have inevitably surfaced, and the institute pushes the theme with this video, titled "Naomi Seibt vs. Greta Thunberg: Whom Should We Trust?" Seibt herself pushes the contrast, making a reference to Thunberg's statement at the World Economic Forum in Davos that "I want you to panic." Says Seibt: "I don't want you to panic. I want you to think." She doesn't dispute that humans are causing climate change, but she argues the damage is exaggerated. (World bodies including the UN disagree.)
  • A critic: Seibt's campaign "is not outright disinformation," but it "does bear resemblance to a model we use called the 4d’s—dismiss the message, distort the facts, distract the audience, and express dismay at the whole thing," Graham Brookie of the Digital Forensic Research Lab tells the Post.
  • Friday: She speaks at CPAC at 12:30pm Friday. "Energy, Costs and Defeating the Climate Delusion: Featuring European 'Anti-Greta' Naomi Seibt" is how it's labeled on the CPAC agenda.
(Read more Greta Thunberg stories.)

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