5 years ago, Greta Thunberg cautioned that if we don’t halt fossil fuel usage within the next 5 years, climate change would devastate humanity.

What happened

Five years ago today, child activist Greta Thunberg promoted a so-called scientist’s warning that “climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.”

• For obvious reasons, Thunberg deleted her Twitter post from June 21, 2018.

Why it matters

We haven’t stopped using fossil fuels in 2023. Humanity has not been (and will not be) wiped out as a result. That’s a good thing!


Harvard University professor James Anderson, the “top scientist” whose claims Thunberg promoted in 2018, insists his words were distorted by journalists at Grit Post, the site that published the (since deleted) article Thunberg linked to in her tweet.

• Anderson said he would “never” claim that humanity would be wiped out by 2023. He did, however, express support in 2018 for a “Marshall Plan-style endeavor in which all of the world takes extreme measures to transition off of fossil fuels completely within the next five years,” according to Forbes. (Which is basically just as crazy a thing to say.)

• The scientist also suggested “there will be no floating ice remaining [in the Arctic Ocean] by 2022” absent major action on climate change. (The ice is still there, miraculously.)

Bottom line

If climate activists (of any age) want to be taken seriously, they should stop making hysterical predictions that never pan out.

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