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Greta Thunberg to Ellen DeGeneres: meeting Trump is ‘waste of time’

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  • Climate activist Greta Thunberg appeared on Friday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” 
  • DeGeneres asked the 16-year-old whether she’d consider trying to help President Donald Trump understand climate change. Thunberg responded: “I just think it would be a waste of time, really.”
  • This isn’t the first time the teenage activist has expressed her disinterest in meeting with the US president.
  • Thunberg and Trump got into a social-media spat in September following the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The face of the global youth climate movement seems to have no interest in meeting President Donald Trump.

On Friday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” host Ellen DeGeneres asked 16-year-old Greta Thunberg if she’d ever think about sitting down with President Trump to “try to help him understand climate change.”

The Swedish teenager dismissed the idea. 

“I don’t understand why I would do that,” Thunberg said. “I don’t see what I could tell him that he hasn’t already heard, and I just think it would be a waste of time, really.”

Trump, who has called climate change a Chinese hoax, plans to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement. His administration has also catalyzed rollbacks on a range of environmental policies, including the US Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean-water regulations.

This isn’t the first time Thunberg has suggested that a meeting with Trump would be futile. In a CBS interview on August 13, she said: “Why should I waste time talking to him when he, of course, is not going to listen to me? I can’t say anything that he hasn’t already heard.” 

Trump and Thunberg have never met, but they sparred on Twitter

President Donald Trump listens during the the United Nations Climate Action Summit during the General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, in New York. From left, National security adviser Robert C. O'Brien, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump listens during the United Nations Climate Action Summit, September 23, 2019, in New York. From left, National security adviser Robert C. O’Brien, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and US ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft.
Associated Press


To attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September, Thunberg crossed the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat in order to avoid the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with air travel.

Upon her arrival in the US on August 28, she said at a press conference: “People always ask me about Donald Trump … my message for him is listen to the science. He obviously doesn’t do that.”

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg waves from a yacht as she starts her trans-Atlantic boat trip to New York, in Plymouth, Britain, August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Greta Thunberg waves from the Malizia II as she starts her trans-Atlantic boat trip to New York, in Plymouth, England on August 14, 2019.
Henry Nicholls/Reuters


A few weeks later, Trump tweeted about the climate activist.

His tweet came after Thunberg gave a fiery, impassioned speech to UN leaders.

“You all come to me for hope? How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg said through tears.

In response to that speech — which Trump did not attend — the president tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

Less than 24 hours later, Thunberg clapped back by changing her Twitter bio to: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”

thunberg trump UN

A screenshot of a Reuters video taken during the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City on September 23, 2019.
Youtube


A Reuters video also captured Thunberg glaring at President Trump as he entered the UN Headquarters in New York on the day of the Climate Action Summit. 

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