MINOT, N.D. — Greta Thunberg's sensationalist, divorced-from-reality, inch-deep brand of environmental activism would be a punch line if so many people weren't taking it seriously.

What she calls for — an immediate end to investment in the production and distribution of fossil fuels — would cause an economic catastrophe.

She would drive millions, maybe even billions, of people into poverty if she got her way. Our quality of life would plummet.

If you don't believe me, read up on Thunberg's idiotic attempts to traverse the globe and attend to her activism through the use of things like sailboats.

Can you imagine the entire world trying to live that way? As if the last couple of centuries of technological advancement hadn't happened?

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It's ridiculous, and it's hard to blame people who would be harmed by Thunberg's preferred policy outcomes for having strong reactions to her message.

What Thunberg and her disciples advocate for is demonstrably stupid, and yet we are expected to pretend as if it's not.

Thunberg was named Time's person of the year, and she's up for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Which is sort of like treating a kid who sputters their way through "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a school-issued recorder like they're the second coming of Mozart.

All that being said, if an artist wants to commemorate Thunberg's brief visit to North Dakota as "a very important piece of history" with a mural on the side of a building in downtown Bismarck, he shouldn't be threatened for it.

The people who own the business housed in that building shouldn't be threatened.

The building owner shouldn't be threatened.

Not only is that sort of thing abhorrent from a moral standpoint, not only does it run contrary to fundamental American notions about free speech, but if you oppose Thunberg's economically illiterate rhetorical stylings as much as I do, the last thing you should want is to lend her cause a veneer of false credibility by turning her into a martyr.

Much of the conceit behind Thunberg's political celebrity is that she's a child, and if you're critical of a child, you're just a bully. Her age is a built-in shield against criticism of her dangerously dumb message.

It's a transparently cynical tack, but when people react to Thunberg by behaving like actual bullies, it gains credibility.

So knock it off.

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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, a North Dakota political blog, is a Forum Communications commentator. Listen to his Plain Talk Podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RobPort.