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12 Mar, 2023 21:04

Greta Thunberg deletes ‘end of the world’ tweet

The climate campaigner claimed in 2018 that humanity had until this year to prevent its doom
Greta Thunberg deletes ‘end of the world’ tweet

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has deleted a 2018 tweet in which she shared a warning that climate change “will wipe out all of humanity” unless fossil fuels were abolished by 2023. 

In the tweet, Thunberg quoted a “top climate scientist” as saying that “climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.”

It is unclear when the self-described “autistic climate justice activist” deleted the tweet, but its removal was first noticed by US conservative pundit Jack Posobiec on Saturday. The website her tweet linked to no longer exists.

Thunberg herself did not reply to Posobiec, and a host of right-wing commentators chimed in to remind her that the world, in fact, still exists.

“Greta Thunberg deleted this tweet because it exposes her for being a fraud,” US conservative activist Brigitte Gabriel tweeted. “Make sure the entire world sees it.”

However, Thunberg may not have been predicting the end of humanity in 2023. As some commenters pointed out, she may have been claiming that the human race faced extinction at some undetermined point in the future if fossil fuels weren’t eliminated by this year. 

The Swedish campaigner has made similar predictions before. In a 2019 address to the United Nations, she claimed that “irreversible chain reactions beyond human control” would take place unless carbon emissions can be reduced by more than 50% by 2030. Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos a year later, she declared that humanity has eight years to “completely divest from fossil fuels.”

Environmental activists have a long history of doomsday predictions. Scientists warned in the early 20th century that global cooling would render much of North America uninhabitable, while biologist Paul Ehrlich claimed in the 1970s that rising temperatures would cause mass starvation in the UK by the year 2000. 

In ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ from 2006, former US Vice President Al Gore declared that melting polar ice caps would lead to hundreds of millions of people being made refugees by 2013. When his prediction looked set not to come true, his office called the date a “ballpark” one.