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Greta Thunberg: ‘I Wouldn’t Have Wasted My Time’ Talking to President Trump

2 minute read

Greta Thunberg says that she “wouldn’t have wasted [her] time” talking to President Donald Trump about the threat of climate change if she had the opportunity to speak with him.

Since the 16-year-old Swedish activist has became known as one of the world’s most powerful voices heralding the threat of climate change, the U.S. President has repeatedly criticized her. After TIME named the teen Person of the Year earlier this month, Trump tweeted that Thunberg, who has spoken openly about her Asperger’s diagnosis, has “anger management issues” and should “go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend.” (Thunberg in turn changed her Twitter bio to troll the President. It read: “a teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”)

Although Thunberg has built a reputation for speaking truth to power, and has spoken passionately about the threat of climate change to world leaders at the United Nations and elsewhere, she told the BBC in an interview on Monday that she doesn’t think talking to Trump would be worth the effort.

“Honestly I don’t think I would have said anything, because he’s obviously not listening to scientists and experts. Why would he listen to me?” Thunberg said.

During the interview, Thunberg also addressed the aggressive attacks she’s received from world leaders — including Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro.

“Those attacks are just funny, because they obviously don’t mean anything. I guess, of course it means something — it means they are terrified of young people bringing change which they don’t want. But that is just a proof that we are actually doing something. And that they see us as some kind of threat,” Thunberg said.

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