Greta Thunberg is in many ways the anti-Trump.
She’s a teenage girl who has dedicated her life to fighting climate change. When she’s not leading massive marches and engaging in activism, she gives intelligent speeches – at some of the world’s biggest political gatherings – on the subject.
She was named ‘TIME Person of the Year’ 2019 and recently spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Donald Trump is a man in his seventies, who acts like a spoiled man-child, denies climate change, Photoshopped his head onto Thunberg’s body when he wasn’t named ‘TIME Person of the Year’, and generally makes a fool of himself at some of the world’s biggest political gatherings.
He also delivered a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
A visual of that edited TIME cover for your consideration:
That really happened.
Back to the World Economic Forum, and this from the BBC:
US President Donald Trump has decried climate “prophets of doom” in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where sustainability is the main theme.
He called for a rejection of “predictions of the apocalypse” and said America would defend its economy.
Mr Trump did not directly name the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was in the audience.
I watched that speech, and I can tell you that his disdain for her was definitely implied, if not explicitly stated.
Thunberg went on to give yet another powerful speech to world leaders:
She starts her speech by talking about how she has been warned not to tell people to panic about climate change.
This echoes Trump’s assertion that “these alarmists [climate change activists] always demand the same thing – absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives”. He also spoke about how this is not a time for “pessimism”.
Thunberg, who didn’t namecheck Trump directly, seemed to respond to this in her speech when she said: “You say: ‘We won’t let you down. Don’t be so pessimistic.’ And then, silence”.
The timing of President Trump’s “don’t panic” message is intriguing.
He’s reassuring the Davos rich club about the climate just as the pillars of capitalism are themselves starting to treat global warming as a crisis.
The leading bank Goldman Sachs will no longer fund new investments in Arctic oil or in coal for power stations.
And the boss of investment giant BlackRock has defined climate change as the biggest threat to markets as rising temperatures put profits at risk.
Someone will have to put together a ‘climate change, business and you’ colouring book so that Trump can catch up.
Meanwhile, in her speech, Thunberg outmatched him point for point. Whether this was deliberate, or just further proof that a 17-year-old girl is smarter than the American president…well, the answer seems rather obvious.
The two have gone head to head before. When Thunberg delivered a powerful speech at the UN, Trump immediately issued a mocking response like the internet troll that he is.
Was this time different? Yes – he didn’t attack her on Twitter. Vanity Fair reports:
President Trump on Tuesday said he didn’t know anything about Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg but called her “very angry” in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“I don’t really know anything about her,” Trump said of Thunberg when asked about her on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Claiming not to know someone despite endless documented evidence is a very Trump thing to do.
Does Thunberg care? Nope – she has other things on her mind, like what happens to the world if we don’t do something about climate change.
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