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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/25/20

Greta Thunberg Punches Back After Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Jabs at Her Youth

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By Jordan Davidson

Greta Thunberg says U.S. Treasury Secretary's degree dig had .no effect. on her
Greta Thunberg says U.S. Treasury Secretary's degree dig had .no effect. on her
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pretended not to know who Greta Thunberg is, and then he told her to get a degree in economics before giving world leaders advice, as The Guardian reported.

Thunberg gave an impassioned speech at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, in which she called for an immediate divestment from fossil fuels. Mnuchin, at a press conference, dismissed her completely, pretending not to know who the TIME Person of the Year is.

"Is she the chief economist? Who is she? I'm confused," he said when asked about her comments, as The New York Times reported.

He then insisted that he was joking, but continued to brush her off as ill-informed and not somebody world leaders should listen to.

"After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us," said Mnuchin at a press briefing, as The New York Times reported.

In her speech on Tuesday, Thunberg, who has a knack for shaming powerful adults for inaction and selfish behavior that will leave future generations in a crisis, said, "I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing the climate chaos you knowingly brought upon them?"

When asked about Mnuchin's comments before a Friday protest in Davos, Thunberg simply said, "We cannot care about those kinds of things," as the New York Post reported. She added that Mnuchin's insults had no effect on her and her fellow activists who are criticized all the time.

She also tweeted a response, "My gap year ends in August, but it doesn't take a college degree in economics to realize that our remaining 1.5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don't add up."

She added, "So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments."

As The Guardian noted, Mnuchin's comments expose the wide chasm between the Trump administration and climate activists. When Mnuchin was pressed on the climate crisis, which has been a focal point of the talks in Davos, the treasury secretary said that environmental issues are "clearly complicated."

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10 people are discussing this page, with 19 comments


David William Pear

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Says the guy that drove Sears and Kmart into the ground. Then through people out of their homes at OneWest Bank.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 25, 2020 at 6:59:59 PM

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shad williams

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Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

Mnuchin...a minion of the Dark Lords of Capital (as Glen Ford might say) sent forth from Goldman Sachs to steer their government through self created shoals of disaster for not only us but themselves.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 5:40:32 AM

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Peter Franzen

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It seems to me that it's Mnuchin who needs lessons in economics, as well as the avoidance of dodgy dealings. He was a member of Sears Holdings's board of directors from 2005 until December 2016, and before that was on Kmart's board of directors. After Sears went bankrupt, the company that formerly owned it sued Mnuchin and ex-CEO Edward Lampert for "asset stripping" during their tenure. During the financial crisis of 20072008, Mnuchin bought failed residential lender IndyMac. He changed the name to OneWest Bank and rebuilt the bank, then sold it to CIT Group in 2015. During his time as OneWest CEO and chairman, the bank became embroiled in several lawsuits over questionable foreclosures.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 25, 2020 at 7:38:58 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Reply to Peter Franzen:   New Content

Thank you for the facts. I hope you keep reading and commenting here at OEN!

Here in the U.S. , critters like Mnuchit abound. Grand theft is hidden right before our eyes. Well, not so hidden"just ignored, much as the truth about Trump's incompetence and ignorance.

I remember The Paradise Papers: The Nine-Month Investigation by the ICIJon the stash of dark money undoing us all, by banksters and the oligarchs and criminals who own the world's wealth.

It's lawless on the roads here, too. I worry about my grandkids who are all driving or soon will be. The rules have no meaning.

Judge Roberts warned the other day, that "Words have consequence."

In this 'post-truth' society the only words that 'have consequence' are those used by the power -elite. Lying and lawless disregard for humanity followed (as night follows day) the creation of that space -- cyberspace, where anarchy reigns and weaponizing words works.

In the tsunami of disinformation (not merely misinformation) overwhelming the middle-class and drowning the ignorant, and poverty-stricken millions in our decaying cities, the voices of the liars have the bully pulpit. The babble of lies had become ubiquitous and overwhelming 24/7! Folks stopped listening,. When would it stop? Where was this leading, they wondered... but suddenly comes Pelosi and the impeachment, and yesterday Adam Schiff.

As I write this, I just got an email of the (ironic) Trump 3:04 Tweet "Little Adam Schiff simply can't stop lying."

We who have actually gone to college. and read all of history, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no society or civilization thrived when decisions were based on lies.

Peter, I am exhausted by the level of lying at this moment. In February 2016, Rob Kall asked me to expand to an article, my February 26, 1916 comment on 'mendacity', but I never had time to do it... just trying to keep up with the 16,241 false or misleading claims Trump made in his first three years.

OMG! I just realized the significance or that date of my "mendacity comment" was a month after Trump became President, , and America descended rapidly into a post-truth society.

I never wrote that article, because I was immersed in the disinformation, and astonished by the outright lies. We all were. Unprecedented moments tend to confound us in our tracks... for a while. In 2016, I began to gather the links that exposed the lawlessness -- especially in the institution of public education where I was the victim of fabrications made at the very moment when I had gained eminence in my career.

This Senate trial, and the arrogance of McConnell and the outright manipulation of the truth that is ongoing in the Senate as I write this-- brings clarity to the problem... mendacity has become the norm, accepted.

Much as Senator Schiff put together --from the huge amount of information-- a coherent story of what Trump did, my friend Diane Ravitch put together a coherent saga of the war on public education so the reality, the truth is crystal clear -- undeniable. (In fact, Diane is right now, on a book-tour for her "Slaying Goliath." This historian studied the 2 decades as the power-elite used double-speak to lie to the people -- so that the worst voices would gain control of our schools, and thus, the schools would fail! The liars would 'get-em young'-- and thus, ensure that the next generation of voting Americans had learned only their version of history, and in addition, ensured our citizens had a very limited skill for critical thinking.

Can't have voters who can compare and contrast real knowledge of the Rule of Law, with the shenanigans of the president! Teachers like me had to go, a nd so did real learning.

Looking back -- hindsight offers a clear view of the intentions, not merely the behavior.

Suddenly, I want to write about the mendacity, but only as part of the big picture which Diane and Adam draw for those of us suffocating under the verbal assault. Both of them demonstrate that Words Matter (my recent essay here at OEN! As Senator Schiff explains lies are just plain wrong, and moreover, this particular liar is dangerous.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 1:55:43 AM

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shad williams

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Reply to Peter Franzen:   New Content

There is no question about the practices.

We allow pretext to act as a Jedi mind trick...nothing to see here...no laws broken...no ethical standard of justice, no moral foundation for human survival, move along.

We are beyond fight or flight. We have listened to the command, "FREEZE!!!".

So now it seems to me that we are frozen into inaction unable to ward off pending spells of pretext in the pipeline.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 5:53:41 AM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Mnuchin needs a lesson in civics, regarding lying and cheating -- and a good look at the Bible wouldn't hurt

He also needs to go back to college and study the Constitution, and to study the history of civilization which shows that truth will out, and the liars will be exposed.

Then, he needs to read Pinocchio, because if he keeps this up, his nose.....

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 25, 2020 at 10:26:33 PM

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Robert Gormley

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Who do I despise more, Mnuchin or Trump.

That's a tough one. Both are chronic liars.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 25, 2020 at 11:27:59 PM

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Bob Stuart

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How much time do economists spend learning about the limits of natural systems? "Mine it to death and run to the next best place" seems to be the main lesson. This makes disasters for people into great opportunities. Economists can describe important patterns for planners, but they should never be in charge.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 25, 2020 at 11:38:23 PM

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Paul from Potomac

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I love this underage girl who stares down men in power, climate deniers, warmongers, multi-trillion-dollar thieves and con-men. Greta is fearless. Only Joan of Arc, Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank, and Mary Shelley can come close to her accomplishments to date. Mnuchin never had a chance. Can you imagine going toe-to-toe at Davos? I hope to meet her before I die, if for no other reason to give her our solution for reversing global warming. My colleagues and I have spent 42 years developing the necessary approach. Perhaps she can propose the answer to stave off our extinction in time.

click here

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 2:22:48 AM

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Stan Crawford

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You hold unwarranted admiration for the yachtivist Greta, who along with her entourage have only added to their carbon footprints and offered no solutions. I personally am not hoodwinked into the slick marketing plans her fame-starved parents and the "Green" machine have chosen to abuse a naive adolescent.


When those who tongue-lash others while being accomplices themselves in contributing to the planets conundrums are hypocrites. Taking rides on multi-million dollar boats made of fiberglass, silicone and polyester, First Class train seats and using the electronic devices and latest fashions of man-made materials; while your handlers fly to arrange your schedule, makes your cause moot.


I predict that when the yachtivist Greta's fifteen minutes of fame are up and no immediate changes made to her satisfaction will cause more depression than she already experiences. With the way Sweden's future is going I would not be surprised if Greta marries a Muslim jihadist and dons a Burka.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 2:24:52 PM

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Robert Gormley

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Reply to Stan Crawford:   New Content

Keep using tree leaves for toilet paper Stan and you'll save the planet!

Your so impressed with your own environmentalism you can't see

the forest from the trees. Greta is making the world more aware

of climate change which is a huge accomplishment. I am almost

think you are jealous of her.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 3:49:02 PM

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Stan Crawford

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Reply to Robert Gormley:   New Content

If it took Greta to inspire you, then you are late to participating in the "Green" agenda.


I have one up on Greta and her parents by not having children, so yes my "environmentalism" is far less a carbon footprint than the Thumberg charlatans; who have made more than 16 million dollars on their quest.


Nothing to be jealous about a depressed adolescent whose parents are living their lives through their children.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 11:23:00 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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"The former hedge fund manager and former Goldman Sachs executive then told reporters, "When I was allowed to drive, I had a Tesla. I drove in California. I liked it. But nobody focuses on how that electricity is made and what happens to the storage and the environmental issues on all these batteries," as The Guardian reported."

Well at least Mnuchin's not lying about one thing: the electriciy that goes into electric vehicles at this point in time is sourced mostly from coal. Hopefully that will change, but in the meantime, the net result is often worse than driving a gas powered vehicle. If you have access to pure solar power, then e-cars are clearly the way to go. I just constructed a 1/4 acre solar field on my land and plan to get the new Mission-E, provided Trump doesn't put new restrictive tariffs on German imports.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 4:32:25 PM

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Robert Gormley

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How many KilowattHours can you get out of your solar field?

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 4:43:17 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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57

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 5:25:06 PM

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Robert Gormley

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57 kwH is great, and no carbon footprint either!

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 at 11:30:02 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Yep, and it pays for energy not consumed. I placed it in one of my fields that's out of sight.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 27, 2020 at 12:43:39 AM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Tried to upload a photo of it, but was unsuccessful in doing so.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 27, 2020 at 12:45:10 AM

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David Wieland

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No carbon footprint? That's only if you omit the energy input in materials extraction, processing, manufacturing, transportation, installation, and replacement of the panels and collateral equipment. Small-scale solar panels are reasonably efficient and effective for powering things like path and doorway lighting, and rooftop installations don't disrupt additional habitat, but large-scale solar is oversold. And the lifespan is rarely considered.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 27, 2020 at 5:08:10 AM

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