A video of the 16-year-old Swedish campaigner giving Trump what media described as a “death stare” at a U.N. climate summit in New York in September went viral on social media. Trump has questioned climate science and is pulling the United States out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.
Asked what she would have said to the president if they had spoken, Greta said: “Honestly, I don’t think I would have said anything because obviously he’s not listening to scientists and experts, so why would he listen to me?
“So I probably wouldn’t have said anything. I wouldn’t have wasted my time,” she said.
This month Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called Greta “a brat.” Trump has said on Twitter she needs to work on her anger management problem.
“Those attacks are just funny because they obviously don’t mean anything,” she said. “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.”
Greta came to world attention when she began a grass-roots campaign at age 15 by skipping school every Friday to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament. The protests have inspired millions of young people to take action against climate change.
Thunberg, who was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019, said becoming an activist had helped rescue her from the depression she had previously been suffering.
The teenager rejoined activists outside the Swedish parliament this month after four months of overseas trips to attend climate conferences in New York and Madrid.
“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 anymore,” she said, 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.”