Climate Change Denial
Naomi Siebt and the Heartland Institute
Naomi Siebt speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in the United States
Naomi Siebt has been referred to as the Climate Change deniers’ Greta Thunberg. She appears to be sponsored (employed?) by the US based Heartland Institute….
The Heartland Institute is an American conservative and libertarian public policy think tank founded in 1984 and based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The Institute conducts work on issues including education reform, government spending, taxation, healthcare, tobacco policy, global warming, hydraulic fracturing, information technology, and free-market environmentalism.
In the 1990s, the Heartland Institute worked with the tobacco company Philip Morris to attempt to discredit the health risks of secondhand smoke and to lobby against smoking bans. Since the 2000s, the Heartland Institute has been a leading promoter of climate change denial. It rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, and says that policies to fight it would be damaging to the economy.
The climate deniers feel vindicated by the Trump election. These fringe extremists have a lot in common with the extreme agenda of the Trump camp, where many have embedded themselves. There are speakers at the Heartland meeting who were on the Trump EPA transition team, who will be talking about the plan to dismantle the government’s climate science and policy capacity. Donors to the Institute included the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, Microsoft, General Motors, Comcast, Reynolds American, Philip Morris, Amgen, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Eli Lilly, liquor companies, and an anonymous donor who had given $13 million over the past five years.
Some of these companies, but by no means all, have rather “interesting” practices. For example, Comcast has been dubbed “The worst company in America” by a consumer organisation, and tobacco companies have in the past been associated with ill-health through smoking. Koch Industries have been associated with the US right wing through the Koch Brothers.
Koch Industries, Inc. is an American multinational corporation based in Wichita, Kansas. Its subsidiaries are involved in the manufacturing, refining, and distribution of petroleum, chemicals, energy, fiber, intermediates and polymers, minerals, fertilizers, pulp and paper, chemical technology equipment, ranching, finance, commodities trading, and investing. Koch owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Molex, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals, Matador Cattle Company, and Guardian Industries. The firm employs 120,000 people in 60 countries, with about half of its business in the United States. The company is the largest landowner in the Athabasca oil sands
On Thursday May 3, 2012, Heartland launched an advertising campaign in the Chicago area, and put up digital billboards along the Eisenhower Expressway in Maywood, Illinois, featuring a photo of Ted Kaczynski, the "Unabomber" whose mail bombs killed three people and injured 23 others, asking the question, "I still believe in global warming, do you?" They withdrew the billboards a day later. The Institute planned for the campaign to feature murderer Charles Manson, communist leader Fidel Castro and perhaps Osama bin Laden, asking the same question. The Institute justified the billboards saying "the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen."
Naomi Seibt (born 18 August 2000) is a German YouTuber and professional climate change denialist employed by The Heartland Institute. She has been described as the "anti-Greta" (referring to Greta Thunberg). She has been an invited speaker at events organized by the Heartland Institute, and its German equivalent, the Munich-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) think tank. The Heartland Lobby revealed that the Heartland Institute's James Taylor considered Naomi Seibt to be the star of their "media strategy for the masses", in their "fight against climate protection measures" which "needs a better image"—to "move away from old white men and instead showcase a younger generation."
Seibt said that in 2015, she had started "being sceptical", largely because of the "migrant crisis in Germany". In school, at that time, Seibt had challenged "Germany's liberal immigration policies", and the "backlash from teachers and other students hardened her skepticism about mainstream German thinking. "She says she is critical of topics such as "immigration, feminism, gender theory, socialism, postmodernism and climate change", that have found "consensus" or group think in "mainstream media". She says that these issues are
"all linked in a sense and open the way to totalitarianism." Her opposition to Thunberg's climate change activism, increased with the increase in the number of students participating in "Fridays For Future" protests.
On 3 December 2019 Seibt spoke as an invited guest at the Madrid "Climate Reality Forum", a forum organized to rebut the United Nations' climate change warnings, while Greta Thunberg spoke at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) several miles away. The Forum was jointly organized by EIKE and the Heartland Institute. In 2019, Germany's AfD had embraced climate change denial as part of their political campaign in Europe, and were therefore, also aligned with EIKE. James Taylor's goal was to build networks between like-minded climate deniers in Europe and American right-wing, market-radical think tanks. Seibt, who was introduced as "the new 'young star' of the Climate Reality movement—a right-wing blogger and an anti-Greta—once a naive environmentalist, who says that she has now learned about the 'climate lie.'" She was the only woman invited to speak at an event that is "traditionally dominated by older men".
The party has been described as a German nationalist, right-wing populist, and Eurosceptic] party. Since 2015, the AfD has been increasingly open to working with far-right extremist groups such as Pegida. (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident). Parts of the AfD have racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic tendencies linked to far-right movements such as neo-Nazism. In February 2020, the Secretary General of the German CDU party has called Björn Höcke, leader of the AfD in the state of Thuringia, a "Nazi".
According to the Die Weltwoche, Seibt does not want to be labelled as the anti-Greta—instead she has publicly aligned herself with what she calls the "more direct democracy" of the AfD.
In a 28 February 2020 Heartland-sponsored session entitled "Energy, Costs, and Defeating the Climate Delusion", at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland, Seibt spoke to about a hundred conservatives. She dismissed allegations that she is a "puppet of the right wing or the climate deniers or the Heartland Institute either."
She has stated that:
“Climate change alarmism at its very core is a despicably anti-human ideology and we are told to look down on our achievements with guilt, shame and disgust”