Jan 23, 2020

Mnuchin jabs Greta Thunberg at Davos: "Is she the chief economist?"

Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took aim Thursday at teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg during a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, questioning if she is even qualified to talk about economic challenges, Bloomberg reports.

"Is she the chief economist? Who is she? I'm confused ... After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us."

The big picture: Thunberg, who was also in Davos, called out government officials on the issue of climate change earlier in the week, saying, "I wonder what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing the climate chaos you knowingly brought them?"

Flashback: President Trump and Thunberg have previously sparred, most notably over Time's decision to name Thunberg as its 2019 Person of the Year.

  • Trump used a speech at Davos earlier in the week to refer to climate change activists as the "heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers."

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Greta Thunberg applies to trademark her name

Climate activist Greta Thunberg holds a poster reading "School strike for Climate" as she protests on Jan. 10 outside the Swedish Parliament while on strike from school. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

Climate activist Greta Thunberg announced in an Instagram post Wednesday that she's applied to register her name and that of the Fridays For Future movement she founded in 2018.

The big picture: The 17-year-old is taking this action to protect their misuse. "I and the other school strikers have absolutely no interests in trademarks. But unfortunately it needs to be done," she said. "Fridays For Future is a global movement founded by me. It belongs to anyone taking part in it, above all the young people. It can — and must — not be used for individual or commercial purposes."

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Media coverage of Davos portrays more conference rhetoric than reality

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos via Getty Images: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP and Harold Clements/Express

Call it the hypocrisy gap. Davos has always struggled with the difference between the conference's rhetoric and its reality. This year, as climate change and talk of "stakeholder capitalism" increasingly dominate the public agenda, the gap between why delegates go and why they say they go is wider than ever.

Why it matters: Davos, once a quiet Alpine talking shop, has become a global media frenzy. Governments, corporations, and the World Economic Forum itself (slogan: "Committed to Improving the State of the World") increasingly see Davos as an opportunity to send the message that they care deeply about {insert cause here}. But that's not what keeps the plutocrats returning year after year.

Go deeperArrowJan 23, 2020

BBC Studios to produce TV documentary series with Greta Thunberg

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg. Photo: RvS.Media/Basile Barbey/Getty Images

BBC Studios will produce a documentary series that follows 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg's "international crusade" as she seeks to explore the damage caused by climate change and what can be done to mitigate its effects, the company announced Monday.

Details: The documentary will be produced by BBC Studios' award-winning science unit, but does not yet have a broadcaster or a set number of episodes, per Deadline. It will also feature "a chorus of experts" that will explain the science behind Thunberg's objectives, as well as elements that document "her own journey into adulthood."