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Fox & Friends Panel Mocks Child Climate Change Activists for Wanting to Stay Alive

The hosts of Fox & Friends, along with a professional climate change denier guest named Marc Morano, had themselves a big ol’ guffaw this morning over the kids who participated in Friday’s international climate strike. The panel took particular aim at 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, demonizing her as a baseless fearmonger, and not a child who is painfully aware that the climate crisis threatens the planet’s ability to sustain life.

This generation’s drive to reverse a looming manmade extinction event that imperils their chances of living until old age should be an easy motivation for anyone to understand—anyone who isn’t Fox & Friends co-host and glorified ventriloquist dummy Steve Doocy, that is. He kickstarted the Monday morning conversation with a question on why Thunberg’s activism is so appealing to other young people. Let’s hear what the anti-climate science lobbyist Morano has to say.

“Well, she sells fear,” Morano claimed. “Greta Thunberg started in Sweden, every Friday outside the Swedish parliament, and it spread—to skip school in order to have a future.”

Given that the U.N. estimates that we have only 11 years left to head off irreversible damage to the Earth’s ecosystems, that seems like a reasonable concern. But do go on, sir. This message of fear you were mentioning

“It worked in Sweden, it’s working in Europe, and now it’s come to the U.S. The message of fear sells. There’s reports now in Europe where kids are getting anti-anxiety medication, they believe they’re going to die. She is the Greta Effect. She’s causing and instilling fear in millions of kids around the world, and actually has them believing that government can legislate our climate. In other words, if we pass the Green New Deal in America, these kids can all go back to school.”

It’s an argument made in incredibly bad faith: Thunberg isn’t making people scared; the very real threat of living in a Fury Road hellscape is. Fortunately for Morano, he’s in a safe space for those who want to espouse baseless Koch-funded pro-fossil fuel propaganda without the burden of getting fact-checked.

Not to be outdone by her coworkers, intellectual juggernaut Ainsley Earhardt proposed that kids are worried about climate change because of what Morano deemed as “peer pressure.” “They watch their other friends say certain things, they jump on board, they celebrate Earth Day and do all these projects,” Earhardt said. She then asked Morano, “If this were your child, what would you tell him or her?”

Morano interpreted this as an opportunity to barf out all the disjointed talking points in his head, including the nonsensical argument that “a real protest” would consists of kids getting off social media for a week.

While Fox & Friends was telling kids to put down their phones, Thunberg was at the U.N. Climate Action Summit bringing the heat with her scathing address on the urgency of the climate crisis.

“I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you!” Thunberg said. She added: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

As we’ve seen with the Parkland kids, Fox News talking heads and conservative pundits seem to become more irrational than usual when faced with teens who are unafraid to speak truth to power. Perhaps they’re frustrated because they don’t have an argument as morally straightforward as the desire of an entire generation to stay alive for the foreseeable future. Or maybe they’re just scared of the kids.