Donald Trump’s speech at the World Economic Forum wasn’t received well by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who glowered as he called environmentalists ‘ prophets of doom.’
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 17, looked less than amused while listening to Donald Trump, 73, deliver a speech calling environmentalists “alarmists” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Cameras caught Thunberg staring daggers at the United States president during his January 21 speech, in which he called activists “perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse,” adding that “we will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country or eradicate our liberty.” Trump claimed that he was a “big believer in the economy and pledged the United States would join the UN’s Trillion Tree Campaign.
Thunberg delivered two speeches at Davos the same day, protesting against the agents of “climate chaos.” The teenage activist called for world leaders to “start listening to the science,” urging them to “treat this crisis with the importance it deserves.” Thunberg echoed the speech she gave at the 2019 World Economic Forum, lamenting that little, if nothing, has changed in the past year. “Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour. We are still telling you to panic, and to act as if you loved your children above all else,” she said in her second speech of the day at the forum, which brings together international political and economic leaders. “Without treating it as a real crisis, we cannot solve it.”
Thunberg never addressed Trump directly during either speech, though mentioned that “planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough” less than an hour later. Thunberg called for an immediate end to using fossil fuels if they don’t want to reach the point of no return. “We don’t need to lower emissions… Emissions need to stop.” Trump didn’t name Thunberg during his speech, but called “alarmist” activists “the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers.”
Trump has yet to speak out against Thunberg, but it’s only a matter of time. The president called the teenage activist, who has mobilized her generation to demand action from their governments, “angry” in a December tweet after she was named TIME’s Person of the Year: “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” he tweeted. The tweet came days after First Lady Melania Trump exploded because their son, Barron Trump, 13, was brought up during the impeachment hearing. Thunberg responded by simply changing her Twitter bio to “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”