'Go study economics,' Trump treasury secretary tells Greta Thunberg

‘Who is Greta? Is she the chief economist?’ Donald Trump’s treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin dismisses clivate activist Thunberg at Davos

  • Trump treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin takes swipe at Greta Thunberg when he is asked at Davos World Economic Forum about her call to end fossil fuels
  •  ‘Is she the chief economist? Who is she? I’m confused,’ he said. Then following a brief pause, he said it was ‘a joke.’
  • ‘After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us,’ he concluded
  • Swedish climate campaigner, 17, was also at Davos, where she met Prince Charles shortly after Mnuchin’s quip
  • Treasury secretary insisted Trump was ‘misunderstood’ and wanted a ‘clean’ environment
  • Mnuchin publicly confirmed he had economics major from Yale. He followed his father’s footsteps to Yale and Goldman Sachs 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is in no position to give economic advice until she´s gone to college and come out with an economics degree.

At a press briefing at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos, Mnuchin took a swipe at the 17-year-old environmental campaigner for her recommendation that both the public and private sectors should divest from fossil fuels.

When asked how that would affect the U.S. economic model, Mnuchin took a swipe at Thunberg.

‘Is she the chief economist? Who is she? I’m confused,’ he said. Then following a brief pause, he said it was ‘a joke.’

‘After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us,’ he concluded. 

Who is she? Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s treasury secretary, hit out at Greta Thunberg when he was asked about her call to divest public and private funds from fossil fuels. She met Britain’s Prince Charles just after Mnuchin’s comments, as all three attended the Davos World Economic Forum


So misunderstood: Mnuchin said: ‘There is a real misinterpretation of the U.S. policy. Let me be very clear: President Trump absolutely believes in clean air and clean water and having a clean environment.’

Thunberg has yet to respond to Mnuchin’s comments but is likely to be asked about them when she holds a press briefing Friday at a climate strike with other young people in Davos, on what is the final day of this year’s gathering of the elites. Thunberg sparked a global environmental movement after she shot to fame a year ago by staging a regular strike at her school.

She met Britain’s Prince Charles shortly after Mnuchin’s quip. 

Over the past year, Thunberg has taken issue with many aspects of U.S. policy, not least President Donald Trump´s decision to pull the country out of the Paris accord to limit global warming.

Mnuchin insisted that U.S. policy has been misinterpreted, and that Trump ‘absolutely believes’ in a clean environment.

The U.S., Mnuchin said, has been a leader in reducing carbon emissions. ‘What the president objects to is the Paris agreement, because he thought it was an unfair agreement for the United States.’ 

Mnuchin said the U.S. position had been ‘misunderstood.’

‘There is a real misinterpretation of the U.S. policy. Let me be very clear: President Trump absolutely believes in clean air and clean water and having a clean environment.’ 

The Trump administration and Greta Thunberg have sparred indirectly since Tuesday on panels in Davos but organisers have carefully averted any direct confrontation.

In a speech on Tuesday, Trump castigated the ‘prophets of doom’ and those that predicted a climate ‘apocalypse’, while Thunberg sat in the audience.

Shortly before leaving the Swiss ski resort, Trump said he would have ‘loved’ to have met the activist, Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

Thunberg repeated her climate warnings, hammering home in her speech that it was time to ‘panic’ because ‘the house is burning’, as she did the previous year in Davos.

Mnuchin graduated from Yale, which his father attended; it is unclear if he entered as a legacy. He graduated with a bachelors degree which he confirmed for the first time Thursday was in economics. He then went to work for Goldman Sachs, where his father had also worked.

He then he founded the film production company Dune Entertainment, which in addition to helping out in the relaunch of the Mad Max franchise in 2015, has The Lego Movie and Wonder Woman among its credits.

To her supporters around the world, Thunberg has become a role model, not least for her criticism of U.S. policy, particularly President Donald Trump´s decision to pull the country out of the Paris accord to limit global warming.

Mnuchin insisted Thursday that U.S. policy has been misinterpreted, and that President Donald Trump ‘absolutely believes’ in a clean environment.

‘What the president objects to is the Paris agreement, because he thought it was an unfair agreement for the United States,’ he said.

Last month, Trump told Thunberg in a tweet to ‘chill’ and to ‘work on her Anger Management problem.’ It prompted a dry and humorous response from Thunberg, who changed her Twitter caption to read: ‘A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old-fashioned movie with a friend.’

Earth just finished its hottest decade on record, with the five last years being the five warmest, according to U.S. and other science agencies. Scientists repeatedly point to more extreme weather as a problem worsened by human-caused climate change. There have been 44 weather and climate disasters in the United States that caused at least $1 billion in damage since 2017, killing 3,569 people, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 

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