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Fact check: Satirical claim that Greta Thunberg’s global warming conference was canceled due to cold weather – USA TODAY


The claim: Greta Thunberg’s global climate conference was canceled because of subarctic temperatures

Some social media users are sharing an Instagram post that claims Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was one of the many people whose plans were disrupted by recent winter weather.

The Dec. 25 post (direct link, archive link) was liked more than 7,000 times in three days and shows what appears to be a screenshot of an article from the Genesius Times with a headline that reads, “Greta Thunberg’s Global Warming Conference cancelled (sic) due to sub-arctic freezing temps.” 

Exavier Saskagoochie is listed in the byline as the article’s author.

“Unfortunately, this Polar Vortex forced Greta and the gang to have to reschedule their Global Warming meeting,” reads the post’s caption.

At the time the post was shared, many parts of the U.S. were reeling from a winter storm that caused blizzard conditions and dramatically dropped temperatures.

Many users appear to believe the article is authentic.

“Anyone who believes we can change the weather is seriously deranged,” reads one comment beneath the post.

“Couldn’t happen to a better bunch of con artists. Talking about Karma,” reads another.

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The post garnered more than 7,000 likes in two days. Similar versions of the claim have been shared on Instagram and Twitter

But the article shown here is satirical, and USA TODAY found no evidence of any upcoming conference featuring Thunberg – canceled or otherwise.

USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment.

Article was published as satire

The article shown in the Instagram post was published by the Genesius Times, an explicitly satirical outlet. 

Text at the top of each page on the website labels it the “most reliable source of fake news on the planet,” while text at the bottom states, “We strive to provide the most up-to-date, accurate fake news on the Internet.”

The satirical article claims the canceled global warming conference was sponsored by the International Global Warming Trust, an organization that doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, the picture of the piece’s purported author originates from a stock image website.

The article was originally published in 2019, then re-uploaded in December.

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Thunberg has not mentioned anything on her social media about an upcoming conference.

This is not the first time climate change skeptics have suggested cold weather proves global warming is not real. USA TODAY has previously debunked the notion.

Julio Friedmann, the chief scientist at carbon-management firm Carbon Direct, previously told USA TODAY that climate change is making the overall climate more volatile, meaning extreme heat and extreme cold events are both becoming more common.

Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, previously told USA TODAY that extreme cold events are being offset by twice as many extreme heat events.

Our rating: Satire

Based on our research, we rate SATIRE the claim that Thunberg’s global climate conference was canceled because of subarctic temperatures. Genesius Times is a self-described “fake news” outlet. Thunberg is not participating in any upcoming climate conferences, canceled or otherwise.

Our fact-check sources:

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