Mnuchin hits a lib nerve, says climate activist Thunberg needs economics education before lecturing the masses

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a swipe at Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and said she needs more education before thinking she can lecture the masses on economics.

Mnuchin addressed his headline-making comments during an interview with CNBC, noting that “there are a lot of other important issues” besides the climate.

(Video: CNBC)

 

At a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, Mnuchin was asked about Thunberg’s demand that public and private sectors divest from fossil fuels. The 17-year-old climate crusader, along with other activists, called on forum attendees to stop the “madness” of investing in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, recommending they “completely divest” from fossil fuels.

Mnuchin was asked about her remarks and how a complete and immediate divestment from fossil fuels would affect the U.S. economy.

“Is she the chief economist or who is she? I’m confused,” Mnuchin said, adding that it was “a joke.”

“After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us,” the former Goldman Sachs executive, who has an economics degree from Yale University, added.

Speaking with CNBC later, Mnuchin elaborated by pointing out that other important issues including health and the spread of disease as well as nuclear proliferation have to be considered along with the climate emergency.

“Nothing against the climate issue,” he said. “But I think the youth needs to understand, climate is one issue that needs to be put in context with lots of other things,” he said, after being asked about his remarks on Thunberg needing to further her education.

Some would argue that an “education” in many of today’s schools could make things worse.

Naturally, the left had a meltdown that Mnuchin dared to diss Thunberg, their environmental darling.

Thunberg lamented the inaction over the climate “crisis” while addressing attendees at the World Economic Forum this week.

“I’ve been warned that telling people to panic about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing to do, but don’t worry—it’s fine—I’ve done this before and I can assure you: it doesn’t lead to anything,” she said. “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.”

Liberals ate it all up, heaping praise on their climate hero.

President Trump, who has been previously critical of Thunberg’s alarmist predictions, dismissed the “perennial prophets of doom” who warn of the coming “apocalypse” in a speech at Davos.

“To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse,” he told an audience that included Thunberg.

Trump committed the U.S. to the “One Trillion Trees” initiative which is aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, called out the “virtue signaling” by Thunberg’s fans.

“Publicly, you have to agree with Greta Thunberg and you have to be part of the virtue-signaling community on climate change, on ESG,” he told CNBC. “Privately, you’re quietly agreeing with Trump.”

(Video: CNBC)

“Privately, a lot of people are admitting that Trump is doing the stuff we should be doing – fiscal stimulus,” he added, noting that “60 percent of CO2 emissions since Greta Thunberg was born is attributable to China… but nobody talks about that.”

Ferguson argued that the world, instead, looks to Europe and the U.S. to fix the problem.

“If you’re serious about slowing CO2 emissions and temperatures rising it has to be China and India that are constrained,” he noted. “I don’t see her in Beijing or Delhi.”

While liberals slammed Mnuchin for calling on Thunberg to get educated on economics, many on Twitter agreed with his premise.

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Frieda Powers

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