Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has defended Greta Thunberg after US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested the teenage climate activist should study economics.
The congresswoman took to Twitter to show her support for Thuberg after US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested she should study economics in order to be taken seriously.
Mnuchin pretended not to know who Thunberg – the teenage environmental activist who is widely credited with inspiring the global youth movement against climate change – was, before dismissing her climate concerns as ill-informed.
“Is she the chief economist? Who is she, I’m confused?” he said at a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, after he was asked whether calls for public and private-sector divestment from fossil fuel companies would threaten US growth.
Mnuchin, who subsequently clarified he was joking, said: “After she goes and studies economics in college she can come back and explain that to us.”
Thunberg responded to Mnuchin’s jibe by tweeting a UN report showing how the world’s remaining carbon budget will be used up by 2027 unless global emissions are curbed.
“My gap year ends in August, but it doesn’t take a college degree in economics to realise that our reaining 1,5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don’t add up,” she pointed out.
She continued, “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.”
Ocasio-Cortez defended Thunberg, saying even though she graduated cum laude with a degree in international relations and economics in 2011, she knows all too well that even an academic degree is not enough to make those in power listen.
“If you don’t have an economic degree like Greta, they’ll mock you for not having one. If you DO have one, as I do, they’ll claim it’s illegitimate,” she wrote. “Haters gonna hate & deniers will deny. They will deny logic, science, and environmental consensus in order to protect oligarchy.”
AOC has been a vocal advocate for a Green New Deal resolution in Congress, which aims to address the climate crisis with in for the form of a set of social and economic reforms, including generating all energy in the US through “clean, renewable, zero-emission sources”.
In the past, Trump – who has rejected mainstream climate science during his political career – has declared war on this deal.
“I will not stand for it,” he said during a speech at the White House, touting his administrations so-called environmental progress.
Like AOC said: deniers gonna deny.