AOC trolled by Swiftian satire

This clip from an Ocasio-Cortez meeting in New York seems to have gone viral. A woman in the audience says “Your next campaign slogan has to be this: we’ve got to start eating babies, we don’t have enough time, there’s too much CO2…”

She is quite convincing, and I confess that it took me a few minutes to realise that this was a piss-take based on Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal.

It’s interesting how few people realise that this was supposed to be satire. We’ve seen this many times before in the climate arena; it’s called Poe’s law – what the climate cultists say is so ridiculous and extreme, that when someone tries to make fun of it, they are taken seriously. Remember the Brad Keyes incident at WUWT?

As usual, both sides were fooled. Bloomberg who posted the video described the person as “a climate change activist”. AOC herself says the woman was in crisis and may be suffering from mental health issues:

Anthony Watts doesn’t get it (though several people in the comments do), and nor does Pierre Gosselin. The Breitbart article only says towards the end that it’s not clear if it’s real or a spoof.

An organisation called Lyndon LaRouche says it was behind the stunt.

Here is a video of another member of the team, wearing the same T-shirt. “We’re taking orders now that can be fulfilled for Thanksgiving”.



  1. “Anthony Watts doesn’t get it …”

    Don’t be so quick to condemn people who may not have read other works by Jonathan Swift. I never have, so I couldn’t be expected to pick up on it. That’s true for the vast majority of people, as reading old texts (classic works) generally aren’t part of a technology and science curriculum. I read Gulliver’s travels as a child, my sum total exposure.

    Now that I know, and have read the passage for the very first time, I’ll make a note of it in the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fooled me. The problem is, satire works only when it pushes slightly beyond the boundaries of its subject and is almost believable but not quite. Sadly, given the recent outlandish behaviour of climate activists, such an hysterical outburst isn’t beyond the realms of possibility anymore. These people really are that nuts. Neo Malthusian climate change activists like Bernie Sanders are advocating abortion for women in Third World countries now. Murdering babies before they’re born in order to fight the climate crisis is OK, so why not eat them after they’re born?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike Shellenburger has an excellent long thread on this prank.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Paul, until you do a little research on the Lyndon LaRouche cult, you cannot possibly know that this woman calling for eating babies was trolling as performance art. This group is seriously messed up. When I saw the guy with the tee shirt, I too thought it HAD to be a spoof. But then I heard that she was a LaRouche cult follower, I knew that there was a chance that they’re both fu by the same group. It is a distinct possibility that these folks are serious. BTW, the former leader, LaRouche, died on Feb 13th of this year. In the battle of CAGW, we owe ourselves and our side a full dose of humility and circumspection, and we ought never think we fully understand anything.

    Here are a few links that might help:

    here’s a humorous podcast from all things comedy that actually captures a lot of LaRouche’s quirkiness developmental history it’s a slow moving podcast, the larouche part starts at 15:40


  5. The climate billdhitters should have to deal with being confronted by the logical outcome of their idiocratic policies. If the Larouchites can see the DS of the climate consensus, anyone can see it.


  6. Like Paul, I was thrown by the quality of the acting. I thought she was deranged.

    AOC’s reaction is more telling. She doubled down on the notion that net zero greenhouse gas emissions has to be reached in several years, not decade.


  7. Scott Adams makes a similar point about parody in recent Dilbert cartoons – he calls it a parody inversion!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maybe you could define who you might regard as climate cultists? It seems as though you’re suggesting that climat activists are you so extreme that what they’re demanding is somehow equivalent to suggesting that solving the climate crisis would require eating babies. However, given that many here seem to object to the use of “climate science denier”, I can’t believe that you would make such a vile comparison.


  9. Mike Shellenberger has turned his tweet stream into a Quillette article, adding this caveat about the LaRouche organisation:

    Progressives and environmentalists are dismissing the prank, noting that it appears to have been carried out by a pro-Trump political action committee dedicated to the rehabilitation of eight-time presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, who has promoted the view that 9/11 was an “inside job,” that global warming isn’t real, that black people didn’t really create Jazz music, that the Beatles were created by the “British Psychological Warfare Division,” and dozens of other conspiracy theories.

    But whatever the discredited nature of the source, the substance of prank itself was a brilliant send-up of the apocalyptic and Malthusian character of today’s environmental extremism, and the hypocritical nature of those who advocate for it.

    The LaRouche lot have been around a while and their pinning of much of the world’s evil on the British royal family has never seemed quite the heart of the matter to me. On the other hand, Where the Global Warming Hoax Was Born by Marjorie Mazel Hecht, published by them in 2007, had much more going for it, shedding light on Margaret Mead’s convening of the seminal ‘Endangered Atmosphere’ conference in North Carolina in 1975, at which Stephen Schneider, John Holdren, George Woodwell and James Lovelock all presented. Though Lovelock at least scoffed at some of the more ridiculous prognostications from the platform, even then.

    The latest excellent ‘prank’ got me back into Twitter this afternoon, despite having prorogued myself from the medium for at least a month:

    Thanks to Jaime for alerting me to Shellenberger’s informed support of the pranksters.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I thought everybody would know about Swift’s “Modest Proposal” (without necessarily having read a lot of Swift themselves), as it’s a classic example of early modern satire, with the phrase “modest proposal” becoming more or less common currency (admittedly not used here). But perhaps it’s a generational thing.


  11. So enjoyed it. The hoaxers hoaxed. AOC ‘s face, aghast at this revised Greta performance, not’ how dare you, you have stolen my childhood!’ but ‘we hafta get rid of the kiddies!’

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The problem is that, spoof or not, there are people who believe in what she said. They have been completely taken over by the climate change scam and are suffering from CDS.


  13. Ah it’s more doubled edged.

    Some folks on the right were “fooled” ( not us Swift fans) and reacted by saying liberals must be crazy, exposing both their lack of a well rounded education and their confirmation bias. Liberal must be crazy.

    AOC’s response is essentially the same. Girl must be crazy. show compassion

    Reality is the person is both a prankster and crazy.

    But at the base of things, folks who were fooled are more alike than they think. They only differ in their compassion for the crazy.


  14. The technical term is CDD, Climate Delusional Disorder. From the textbook:

    People with delusional disorder often can continue to socialize and function normally, apart from the subject of their delusion, and generally do not behave in an obviously odd or bizarre manner. This is unlike people with other psychotic disorders, who also might have delusions as a symptom of their disorder. But in some cases, people with delusional disorder might become so preoccupied with their delusions that their lives are disrupted.

    What Are the Complications of Delusional Disorder?

    People with delusional disorder might become depressed, often as the result of difficulties associated with the delusions.
    Acting on the delusions also can lead to violence or legal problems. For example, a person with an erotomanic delusion who stalks or harasses the object of the delusion could be arrested.
    Also, people with this disorder can become alienated from others, especially if their delusions interfere with or damage their relationships.
    Treatment most often includes medication and psychotherapy (a type of counseling). Delusional disorder can be very difficult to treat, in part because those who have it often have poor insight and do not know there’s a psychiatric problem. Studies show that close to half of patients treated with antipsychotic medications show at least partial improvement.


  15. Mosh, it was double-edged. I’ve been thinking a lot about that. But in what way was the actress who brought Swift back to life, once we understood her, crazy?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ‘Some folks on the right were fooled and reacted by saying that liberals must be crazy’.
    Some folks were fooled but merely observed that yes, liberals and end of days climate cultists really are that crazy. No actors here:


  17. I find parody, irony and sarcasm seem to fail more often than not on the internet. It’s especially true when dealing with SJWs, global-warmunists, and other death-cultists who frequently had their sense of humor gland surgically removed during adolescence.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. “Some folks were fooled but merely observed that yes, liberals and end of days climate cultists really are that crazy. ”

    Using the conjunction “liberals and”, really doesnt help you make a strong argument. it actually weakens the argument.

    conservatives and nazis are crazy. see how that works.?

    and no one merely observes. they also comment which is why I used the words “reacted by saying”


  19. “I find parody, irony and sarcasm seem to fail more often than not on the internet. ”

    they also tend to fail as effective rhetoric in real life. Of course exceptions abound . This aint one of them.


  20. Steven, you’re right, ‘liberals’ was a bit too vague as not all of them are end of days climate cultists. Mike’s description is perhaps more appropriate:

    ” SJWs, global-warmunists, and other death-cultists”

    Liked by 2 people

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