In the interview, the sharp-witted teen explains how she began to have doubts about the movement when the question of a CO2 tax came up and her father had doubts about it. This made Sina think about the implications of shutting down the coal power plants and the financial implications.
“The demands were so dogmatic and radical” that “they they could not really be implemented,” she says in the interview. She then explains how she researched the subject and found out that the 97% claimed consensus was bogus. When her doubts and skepticism became known, she recounts how immediately she was accused of acting like a Nazi, and getting labelled a “climate denier” and “future destroyer”. At that point she had had enough and ditched the movement.
“We won’t die from old age,” reads one of the signs they hoist above their heads. “We’ll die from climate change.”
Michael Shellenberger, an author and founder of the California-based nonprofit Environmental Progress, which promotes nuclear energy, remembers how panicked he felt after watching the movie. Now, he considers it “bizarre” that adults would have decided “to traumatize teenagers with that.” Today, he says, some in the environmental movement are making climate change “the new apocalypse.”
“These scenarios of apocalypse, of really cataclysmic climate change that people are scaring children around, are in the realm of an extreme, unpredictable event,” he told me. He has reflected on eco-anxiety while observing his 14-year-old daughter and her friends grow more worried about the planet; his book on the topic, “Apocalypse Never,” is due out in June. He’s not advocating that children be shielded from the science, but rather that it be presented seriously. The headline-grabbing threats of mass extinctions and deaths may motivate action, he says, but at what cost?