Did Greta Thunberg Walk Back on Claiming ‘Climate Change Will Wipe Out Humanity’ By 2023?

20-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg has been a favorite target for many right-leaning figures and influencers since she became a household name for berating adults for how they were handling climate change. She’s everything conservatives love to hate: a young, opinionated female.

Thunberg made headlines again recently after conservative commentator Jack Posobiec called her out for deleting a 2018 tweet where she shared an article that warned that “climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.”

The tweet was a shared link to an article from the now-defunct news site GritPost.com, and the content of the tweet itself was the article’s first paragraph.

Posobiec’s tweet then became fodder for headlines suggesting that Thunberg deleted the tweet because the world did not end in 2023. 

While Posobiec was correct that the tweet no longer appears in Thunberg’s Twitter feed, the resulting headlines from his callout may be a bit misleading.

The title of the article that Thunberg tweeted and the paragraph she quoted does not say that humanity will be wiped out in 2023. What it says is that unless the world stopped using fossil fuels in five years (or by 2023 in 2018), climate change will be the cause of the end of humanity (as opposed to war, or a pandemic).

An archived copy of the article would show that the writer was referencing scientist James Anderson, a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University. TL:DR: Anderson’s study found that if the world kept using fossil fuels over the next five years, the impact on the polar ice caps would be irreversible.

Thunberg, who doesn’t typically engage with the likes of Posobiec on social media — unless it’s a good opportunity for a mic drop — has not addressed why the tweet was deleted. 

(Also, it might be too early in the year to gloat about the world not ending in 2023.)

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