Treasury Secretary Steve Munchin suggested that teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg should study economics before lecturing people on climate change.
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Mnuchin made the remarks Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, according to The Guardian, where he initially joked that he had no idea who the teen is.
"Is she the chief economist?" he joked. "Who is she, I'm confused."
Turning more serious, Mnuchin added, "After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us."
"Many economies are transitioning to a more efficient and cleaner energy," he continued. "That doesn't have to be all renewables."
Calling issues of the environment "clearly complicated," Mnuchin added, "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."
Thunberg, who also took part in a climate-related forum at the Davos forum on Tuesday, insisted that world leaders are simply "fueling the flames" of climate change by doing nothing.
"You might think we're naive, but if you won't do it, you must explain to your children why you've given up on the Paris Agreement goals and knowingly created a climate crisis," the teen said in dramatic remarks.
President Donald Trump, who also appeared at the annual forum on Tuesday, said, "To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday's foolish fortunetellers."