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Thunberg rejects U.S. Treasury chief's dig at her

53 Comments
By Balazs Koranyi and Alessandra Galloni

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Greta Thunberg on Thursday she should study economics, a jibe which prompted the climate activist to say she did not need a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets.

Asked about Thunberg's previous calls to divest from fossil fuels, Mnuchin told a news briefing in Davos: "Is she the chief economist? I'm confused ... After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us."

Mnuchin lists a bachelor's degree in economics from Yale University on his LinkedIn social network profile.

Earlier in the week U.S. President Donald Trump and Thunberg sparred indirectly at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort. After Trump said the United States had committed to joining the one trillion tree initiative, Thunberg retorted that fixing the climate crisis was not only about trees.

Thunberg, who has taken a year off school to advocate action on climate change, hit back on Twitter, saying it did not take a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets.

"So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments," Thunberg, said days after addressing a packed panel at the Davos summit, where she has been a star attraction.

Before leaving Davos, Trump seemed to extend an olive branch, saying he wished he had seen Thunberg speak.

Mnuchin said the Trump administration's stance on climate and Thunberg's criticism 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."

Mnuchin later told CNBC he did not believe there were just a few years left to prevent a climate catastrophe.

"There are a lot of other important issues" threatening civilization, he said, citing health and nuclear proliferation.

"The youth needs to understand: climate is one issue that needs to be put in contexts with lots of other things."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel rushed to Thunberg's defense, saying in Davos that attaining the goals of the Paris climate accord, which the United States has quit, was vital.

"Time is pressing, so we - the older ones, I am 65 years old, must make sure that we take the impatience of young people positively and constructively," Merkel said in her speech.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

53 Comments

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Let me be very clear: President Trump absolutely believes in clean air and clean water and having a clean environment."

Another lie from the Trump admin. How does that square with

The Trump administration is set to scrap protections for America's streams and wetlands, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51225604

and

Air Pollution Increases Under Trump, Despite His Claim of World’s ‘Cleanest Air’http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/10/air-pollution-increases-under-trump-after-7-year-decline.html

Trump (impeached) and his fellow predatory capitalists care zero about the environment. They care about this quarter's profits with no regard for future costs. They have excellent healthcare plans unlike millions of Americans.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Greta Thunberg

Curious so many Trump supporters and other far rightwingers around the globe fear women who question them. But then so many of them seem to fear existence in general, feel they have to carry bullet firing weapons when they're out in public and turn their homes into fortresses. They want big brother watching over those they fear most, usually people from a different demographic. I like James Brown (RIP), but want to move on from the 'it's a man's world' era.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

"Is she the chief economist? I'm confused ... After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us."

What a douche.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Is what he said wrong?

liberals always playing a card to avoid criticism or any investigation of the merits of the actual claim or attack. Age, race, gender, preference.

she’s a “child” if questioned at all. But when I say children should not be attacking world leaders and setting climate and economic policy with no knowledge or education?

Liberals: don’t deny her voice! But the children are our future!! We must hear and comply with their demands!

This person doesn’t even attend school nor is educated in these subjects. get an education or some actual experience then talk.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

@blacklalbliberals always playing a card 

Speaking for 'liberals' (i.e. those who dare to question Trump/Putin) again?

And pro-Trump, pro-authoritarianists once again defend the 'establishment' (particularly big oil and gas, big corporate farm and ranch, their Wall Street financiers among others) in their ongoing attempts to stifle democratic voices. Especially if those voices come from a woman, a person of color, or someone younger than them, i.e. those who have to live with the world left by their 'seniors' who care only about their portfolios and maintaining the ruling establishment.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Is what he said wrong?

What a douche.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

And there is that card I referenced.

Especially if those voices come from a woman, a person of color, or someone younger than them, i.e. those who have to live with the world left by their 'seniors' who care only about their portfolios and maintaining the ruling establishment.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Just look at all the Repugnant Repubs disrespecting a 16 year old girl. Hey Mnuchin - too scared to pick on an adult?

Pathetic wimps...

7 ( +13 / -6 )

If Greta Thunberg continues to arbitrarily skip basic schooling, then admittedly any future prospects to gain a higher education are indeed irrelevant.

I suspect Greta Thunberg fails to comprehend even a rudimentary understanding of the economic, geopolitical nuances, underling complexities that form global/regional climate patterns/climate change

So, there is little to warrant U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pompous condescension, “Is she the chief economist? I'm confused ... After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us."… Disingenuous patronising snobbery.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Mnuchin (and this trophy 'actress' wife) represents the greed and materialism that exists in this world. And god, do I hate that smirk on his face.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Auntie Maxine knew how to handle Mnuchin.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

then admittedly any future prospects to gain a higher education are indeed irrelevant.

Would that be in your home country? I don't know about Greta's Sweden, but in the US people can attend tertiary education institutions at any age. And there are ways to not attend secondary schools yet still be accepted to a university.

I take it as a good sign that even Trump's right wing supporters can't defend his attacks on environmental protection measures.

Instead they attack, using memes (uneducated child, etc etc) from #chan/Breitbart/RT and other media, those who question Trump. No idea about policies other than let big oil and the other bigs do what they want as long as their shares increase in value.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Mnuchin is such a clown and a criminal. I love how he thinks you need an MA in business -- and how Iran maybe getting nuclear weapons -- seems to justify his berating a CHILD, who knows you Don't need either of his excuses to see the fires raging in Australia. He's only succeeded in showing how pathetic he is.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Greta Thunberg on Thursday she should study economics, a jibe which prompted the climate activist  to say she did not need a degree  to know the world was not meeting its climate targets.

Oh My! Once again, Thunberg continues to push her personal agenda AGAINST children going to school.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

now she is a kid again, thanks CNN. But they forgot about they just paid millions of dollars for defaming a kid, Nicholas Sandmann. Oops, self own. Great is a child and a somewhat petulant acting one at that. But when it suits liberals they try to add her to the woman category instead of her actual category of child.

"Why do these Trumpers think it is OK to go at a kid?" Cuomo tweeted, scolding the Trump administration.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

It’s quite fun to see Thunberg completely tear apart another Trumpian idiot with a single sentence of clarity compared to the ‘educated’ and garbled words of Mnuchin.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

At 17 years old, and having addressed the United Nations and now Davos, Greta Thunberg is neither a "child" nor should she be immune to criticism. Having said that, she appears to be perfectly capable of handling the half-assed dismissals of her opinions, and her right to express them, offered by Trump and Mnuchin.

And speaking of Mnuchin, he's made it perfectly obvious now why so many Republicans and their fellow right-wingers the world over are so dismissive of anthropogenic global warming. He thinks you have to be an economist to understand (and dismiss) it, not a scientist. On that basis he should be replaced immediately as Treasury Secretary, and an environmental scientist appointed in his place.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Thunberg, who has taken a year off school to advocate action on climate change, hit back on Twitter, saying it did not take a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets.

She has taken a year off school, not given it up completely and run off to join a commune. And she's right, you don't need a degree to know the world isn't meeting its climate targets. You just have to be an informed person, something anyone, formally educated or not, can do by reading or listening to the more intelligent media outlets that somehow manage to survive against the tide of politically-motivated disinformation and ignorance that threatens to swamp our media and social platforms.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Why do these Trumpers think it is OK to go at a kid?" Cuomo tweeted, scolding the Trump administration.

But when it suits liberals they try to add her to the woman category instead of her actual category of child.

You just agreed with Cuomo that she is actually a kid. Good vote for CNN. Keep it up, you'll see the light soon enough...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the world was not meeting its climate targets

Unfortunately, Greta and millions of other people believe that by drastically cutting human produced CO2 emissions, the Earth's climate will stabilize and not get warmer.

We could stop all fossil fuel burning which would lead to the deaths and suffering of millions if not billions of people and the Earth's climate would still change as it has for billions of years.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Thunberg rejects U.S. Treasury chief's dig at her

That is not a dig at her, that was a very reasonable suggestion. All these "green energy" plans mean massive changes in the economy (closer to destroying the economy, in many cases), and she should understand how these systems work. Just bleating slogans is too cheap.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Big Yen;

And she's right, you don't need a degree to know the world isn't meeting its climate targets.

Who sets these "targets", what are they supposed to achieve, and how exactly are they to be met? We never hear explanations, only emotional slogans.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Is what he said wrong

Yes, it is absolutely incorrect. One needs not understand economics to understand that humans are affecting climate change.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Ok, trimmed down, PTownsend, the UK system, best read below.....absence equals zero tolerance.

School attendance and absence.......

https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence.

The essential element is that Greta Thunberg, and ultimately Greta parents appear to have neglected is, students build long lasting relationships from early learning.

This fundamental principal provides the means to communicate and empathise in later life.

An all embracing methodology to establish, parent, teacher, student rapport . A bond if you wish.

Miss it, or skip it and the opportunity is diminished if not lost without trace.

This being the point in question, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should have advocated

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Who sets these "targets", what are they supposed to achieve, and how exactly are they to be met? We never hear explanations, only emotional slogans.

This is absolutely incorrect. Only people that don’t want to hear the explanations don’t hear them. It’s called willful ignorance. Apparently, it makes life more comfortable than accepting reality.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Who sets these "targets", what are they supposed to achieve, and how exactly are they to be met? We never hear explanations, only emotional slogans.

The targets are the result of formal international agreements, not "emotional slogans". Here, read up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol

https://unfccc.int/process/the-kyoto-protocol/the-doha-amendment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement

And finally a report on which countries are not meeting their CO2 emissions targets (i.e. the vast majority of them).

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/09/climate-change-report-card-co2-emissions/

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Since Trump took office, 5,000 coal miners have lost their jobs contrary to his campaign promises has the demand for coal has fallen and many tens of coal fired power plants have shut down.

Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, increasing 100 percent from 2000 to 2018. Renewables made up more than 17 percent of net U.S. electricity generation in 2018.

Solar generation (including distributed) is projected to climb from 11 percent of total U.S. renewable generation in 2017 to 48 percent by 2050, making it the fastest-growing electricity source.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Trumpophiles: You must be so round of Donny for disparaging a 16 year old. It’s not as if the president should have better things to do or act dignified.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

*proud

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I’ll be so happy when the entire Great allure is past us. Good on Mnuchin to call her out. You can be passionate about a cause, but at least know what you’re talking about before you go in detail.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Hard to believe the producer of the Lego Batman Movie doesn't know what he's talking about, but there you go.

In March 2017, Mnuchin drew ethics concerns as regarding a statement he had made urging parents to "send all your kids to LEGO Batman" during an interview with Axios, apparently endorsing The Lego Batman Movie which he was an executive producer of.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Since Trump took office, 5,000 coal miners have lost their jobs contrary to his campaign promises has the demand for coal has fallen and many tens of coal fired power plants have shut down.

Oh my...

Varney: Democrats 'killing' blue-collar worker jobs in the name of climate change

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqfXZ1yulvM

Renewables made up more than 17 percent of net U.S. electricity generation in 2018.

From renewableenergyworld.com:

According to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of the latest issue of EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through August 31, 2019), both wind and solar are accounting for more and more of the total electrical generation in the United States.

Renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for 18.49% of net domestic electrical generation during the first eight months of 2019, said SUN DAY. A year earlier, renewables’ share was 17.95%.

So, renewables are expanding under Trump!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

You can be passionate about a cause, but at least know what you’re talking about before you go in detail.

Well, if that's the case, I guess Donnie needs some studying up on the Revolutionary War if he thinks the UK had airports here in 1776...

https://time.com/5620936/donald-trump-revolutionary-war-airports/

Or maybe invention of the wheel...

https://theweek.com/speedreads/890989/trump-seems-think-wheel-invented

So, renewables are expanding under Trump!

For a guy that eats two big Macs and two Filet-of-Fish, and a milkshake for dinner - he is indeed expanding....from obese to morbidly obese...

https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/articles/this-is-what-donald-trump-eats-in-a-day/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I have actually studied a good deal of economics, but I am unfamiliar with the economic school of thought that holds that environmental responsibility is in opposition to prosperity.

Would that be the TEA Party School of Economics?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Why do liberals always choose people from a “protected class” to push their agendas?

so that any criticisms can be directed away from the narrative.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

So, renewables are expanding under Trump!

Yes but not because of Trump or his policies. The price of kw from renewables has reached a lower price than coal but oil lobby remain a powerful force.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sorry guys, but a mocking tone isn't the right way for an adult of such stature (or any stature) to be talking to a child.

You mean like Barron Trump?

Some Trump fans have forgotten that since they are more interested in getting revenge on people like Thunberg so they want to see the adults in the room lash out at her, themselves included.

Liberals actually think that? Honestly, I wish the conservatives were more revenge driven when it comes to the Democrats, but sadly they just won’t stoop to that level.

It becomes a matter of low-class people doing low-class things and enjoying it.

That’s why they stay away from revenge politics.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Oh, I'm sorry, do you have a college degree in finance from a Top 20 private American university like I do? Perhaps you should crack a book before responding to any of my posts. Or perhaps you should finish off your GED and then get back to me.

I hope you feel better now that you got that off your chest. ROFL!

Now take my argument and pretend I'm talking to a 16-year old

Anyway, Greta is a passionate little girl good for her, but she doesn’t know so much, so I do hope she continues her education, goes back to school and really learns about the issues and engages in a real debate with less emotion. Emotion never supports your argument, it undercuts it, take note.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

You mean like Barron Trump?

Barron didn't tell anyone that they need a college degree to talk to him.

Liberals actually think that?

Conservatives actually think that?

Most liberals act like 5 year olds.

Most conservatives act like 4-year olds.

goes back to school and really learns about the issues

You're in the same boat she is....no college degree. And very soon she will match your level of education. Should I tell you to go back to school and learn about the issues when you respond to my posts?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm getting the feeling that Trump fans here don't support the "talk to me when you get a college degree" angle when it's directed at them. But to a little girl from a public official? Bombs away.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I thought Trump was very popular with the poorly educated - he said he loved them. His supporters certainly dislike the intellectual elites.

Now they are getting all elitist about education while supporting a man who said climate change was a hoax created by the Chinese.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Barron didn't tell anyone that they need a college degree to talk to him.

But still attacking a child, never a good thing.

Most conservatives act like 4-year olds.

Not like liberals and that’s why they get drowned out of any debate.

You're in the same boat she is....no college degree. And very soon she will match your level of education. Should I tell you to go back to school and learn about the issues when you respond to my posts?

What are you talking about? Lol

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

But still attacking a child, never a good thing.

Agreed and she was criticized and apologized for using his name. Your side is busy giving each other high 5s and justifying it.

Not like liberals

Not like conservatives.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You're in the same boat she is....no college degree. And very soon she will match your level of education. Should I tell you to go back to school and learn about the issues when you respond to my posts?

What are you talking about? Lol

You dismiss universities as liberal PC institutions and a waste of money. I can’t imagine you attended one given the bile you spit at them.

Also, Greta has a better command of English grammar and range of expressions ( her second language ) than one Trump supporter here who posts about ‘rolls being reversed’, ‘road scholars’ and ‘bias media’.

Age or education is no guarantee of knowledge or even basic command of one’s first language.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Agreed and she was criticized and apologized for using his name. Your side is busy giving each other high 5s and justifying it.

And liberals continue to do the same.

Not like conservatives.

Oh, I vehemently disagree. ROFL!

You dismiss universities as liberal PC institutions and a waste of money. I can’t imagine you attended one given the bile you spit at them.

I went long before liberals took over the institutions, phew!

Also, Greta has a better command of English grammar and range of expressions ( her second language ) than one Trump supporter here who posts about ‘rolls being reversed’, ‘road scholars’ and ‘bias media’. 

Not really, but she may get there one day. I think so.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

And liberals continue to do the same.

Show me.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Jimizo:. You dismiss universities as liberal PC institutions and a waste of money.

I believe his position is that Harvard is on par with Trump University.....both are scams.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Also, Greta has a better command of English grammar and range of expressions ( her second language ) than one Trump supporter here who posts about ‘rolls being reversed’, ‘road scholars’ and ‘bias media’. 

Not really, but she may get there one day. I think so.

Honestly, I’ve heard her speak in her second language off the cuff. He command of English is better than one poster here who writes semi-literate, incoherent gibberish with absolutely shocking grammar and spelling. I’m a grease monkey rather than a writer but I even I can see it.

It is a shining example of how poorly educated people love Trump and will support him trolling ‘a little girl’.

As an elite journalist and a non-partisan, I’m sure you feel the same disdain for this as I do.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Show me.

Turn on the TV, they own it all. Lol

Honestly, I’ve heard her speak in her second language off the cuff.

Not unusual these days, especially if you live in Europe or the States, nothing special.

It is a shining example of how poorly educated people love Trump and will support him trolling ‘a little girl’. 

He has nothing to do with this just like the previous President has nothing to do with this.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Where do you learn climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese?

What are you talking about? The Chinese? Anyway, there’s a lot on climate change that can and should be discussed as well as things debunked or overly exaggerated.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

BigYenJan. 24 02:53 pm JSTAt 17 years old, and having addressed the United Nations and now Davos, Greta Thunberg is neither a "child" nor should she be immune to criticism. Having said that, she appears to be perfectly capable of handling the half-assed dismissals of her opinions, and her right to express them, offered by Trump and Mnuchin.

And speaking of Mnuchin, he's made it perfectly obvious now why so many Republicans and their fellow right-wingers the world over are so dismissive of anthropogenic global warming. He thinks you have to be an economist to understand (and dismiss) it, not a scientist. On that basis he should be replaced immediately as Treasury Secretary, and an environmental scientist appointed in his place.

The Big Problem is that they don't like a female with smarts and insight. She's witty, observant and has more maturity than these bullying idiots. They hate females that they can't overpower or control.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The point is not whether male of female or educational levels or even economics or global warming.

It is not whether a lot of money (how much or what percentage of GDP) is being spent by the government to combat global warming. The entire world, the entire population of the world including industries that pollute the oceans and scorch the earth must play a role in this problem. It is in the how.

That how, can also have a major environmental effect. An example is the fires now being battled in Australia where chemicals are also being used to prevent its spread. The hot air brought polluted gasses and materials into the atmosphere which came down as rain and hail that then took those pollutants to the rivers and ocean along with the chemicals. That changes the entire ecosystem of the ocean.

Along with that when new plants are replanted or not, the kind and types of plants on such massive land area can again change the ecosystem. How that affects the global warming, we just do not know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trump supporters can't defend his policies, instead attack those who question their messiah parroting memes they got from #chan/Breitbart/RT. SMH

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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