|Not just a river in Egypt|
|♫ We're not listening ♫|
Naomi Seibt (2000–) is a German internet kook and Heartland Institute shill who has been promoted as a counter to Greta Thunberg. A counter in the sense that she says the exact opposite of whatever Thunberg says. This strategy is naturally flawed when one side is speaking factually and the other is engaging in denial. It follows that from Heartland Institute's climate change denialism that Seibt is also a climate change denier, having been hired by a conservative think tank that has a history of downplaying or outright denying the effects or existence of climate change. Although Seibt does not outright deny that the Earth is warming, she suggest that its effects are overstated. This same 'think tank' also worked with tobacco companies to discredit the link between smoking and disease, so she's definitely choosing good company. Within months, she was front page news, receiving invites to conferences, and being held up by some as some sort of intellectual authority.[note 1]
But everyone started from somewhere, and she didn't become a superstar overnight (although it may seem like it). From the age of 14, she was involved in politics, attending meetings with her mother. We ought to blame her mother for at least part of her radicalisation, because her mother earned her living by representing far-right politicians, specifically those of the German AfD party. She has also criticised Germany's 'liberal' immigration policies, but the backlash from fellow students and teachers hardened her skepticism. At 16, her nationalist poem was published on an 'anti-islamisation' blog sponsored by the same party. But it was only in 2019 that she started the practice of uploading her climate videos, straight from her mobile phone. YouTube's nature makes it very easy for misinformation and shit-takes to spread, sometimes even faster than the truth, and so it is likely that this is how Heartland discovered their latest champion.
Heartland and beyond
Her opening comments (from the description box) suggest that climate panic is 'alarmism', and that we shouldn't 'panic' — we should 'think' instead. This supposes that the other side is too emotional or hysterical to think correctly, and that she, the cool and collected skeptic, is on the side of science. The idea that we can panic or be worried in response to the facts telling us that something terrible is about to happen is lost on her, of course. She also stated that "the goal (of climate scientists) is to shame humanity. Climate change alarmism at its very core is a despicably anti-human ideology and we are told to look down at our achievements with guilt, with shame and disgust, and not even to take into account the many major benefits we have achieved by using fossil fuels as our main energy source."
Naomi also ties the far-right, according to The Washington Post, with regards to feminism and immigration. While AfD were quick to claim her, she did distance herself, identifying as a libertarian. Things got worse when she was revealed to have been inspired by
noted professor of argumentation and top philosopher Stefan Molyneux.
- "'Here we have a 19-year-old young lady with tremendous poise tremendous intelligence,' Taylor told Insider of its decision to hire Seibt as a digital media specialist. 'Essentially, we are helping to provide resources so that she can continue to spread the message advocating individual freedom, which includes economic freedom, as well as climate realism.'" Couching denialism in positive terms is a textbook propaganda technique.
- A conservative group with a history of climate change denial has hired a German YouTuber to challenge Greta Thunberg's 'climate crisis' by Paulina Cachero (Feb 24, 2020, 2:06 PM) Business Insider.
- The anti-Greta: A conservative think tank takes on the global phenomenon: How a group allied with the Trump administration is paying a German teen to question established climate science. by Desmond Butler & Juliet Eilperin (Feb. 23, 2020 at 4:53 p.m. PST) The Washington Post.
- 'Anti-Greta' teen activist to speak at biggest US conservatives conference: Naomi Seibt, who tells YouTube followers that Thunberg and other climate activists are whipping up hysteria, to speak at CPAC by David Smith (25 Feb 2020 14.56 EST) The Guardian.