Greta Thunberg: "I Wouldn't Have Wasted My Time" Meeting With Trump

During a Monday interview with BBC radio’s "Today" program, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said that she wouldn't have met with President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, even if she had the opportunity.

She wouldn't meet with him, Thunberg said, because she doubts that he would take her seriously: if Trump won't acknowledge the work of the world's leading climate scientists, then what hope would Thunberg have?

"Honestly, I don't think I would have said anything [to Donald Trump] because obviously he's not listening to scientists and experts, so why would he listen to me?" Thunberg said. "So I probably wouldn’t have said anything, I wouldn't have wasted my time".

Back in September, a video of Thunberg giving Trump the "death stare" - as left-leaning outlets like the Guardian, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post described it - during her visit to the UN General Assembly went viral, earning the 16-year-old climate activist more plaudits from her peers and supporters.

Donald Trump earned the enmity of climate activists when he decided to pull the US out of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord back in 2017. So far, Trump has directed his administration to relax or rescind dozens of Obama-era environmental rules. And if he wins another term (an outcome that is looking more likely by the day), it's almost guaranteed that he will continue to gut the EPA while relaxing restrictions on the American energy industry - coal in particular.

Since Thunberg's rise to fame earlier this year, Trump has repeatedly criticized the teenager, once joking that she should "work on her anger management problem."

And he's not the only world leader to criticize young Greta. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro once called her "a brat" and complained that she receives too much attention from the media.

Australian Prime Minister Morrison  told Thunberg that he was "not here to impress people overseas" after she accused his administration of not doing enough to protect the environment.

During Monday's interview, Thunberg accused Bolsonaro, Morrison and her other critics of being "terrified of young people" and their insistence that their countries do more to protect the environment.

"Those attacks are just funny because they obviously don't mean anything," Thunberg said during the interview. "I guess of course it means something - they are terrified of young people bringing change which they don't want – but that is just proof that we are actually doing something and that they see us as some kind of threat".

Her father, who also chimed in during the interview, praised his daughter for handling the criticism "incredibly well" consider his daughter's autism.

Thunberg rejoined the activists camping outside Sweden's Parliament in December after four months of traveling overseas, starting with her trip to New York for the UN General Assembly back in September.

"I hope I won’t have to sit outside the Swedish parliament for long. I hope I don’t have to be a climate activist any more," she said on Monday, adding she was looking forward to returning to school in August.

"I just want to be just as everyone else. I want to educate myself and be just like a normal teenager."

Unfortunately for Thunberg, the young activist will likely find that there's no going back. But fortunately, she has a good sense of humor, as Reuters pointed out. 

"Quite frankly, I don’t know how she does it, but she laughs most of the time. She finds it hilarious," said Thunberg's father,  Svante Thunberg, who also participated in the interview. 

Don't take criticism from strangers on the Internet so seriously: now that's a lesson that could benefit thousands, if not millions, of Americans.