With Greta Thunberg in the audience, and just shortly after she delivered her own speech at the World Economic Forum urging action against climate change, US President Donald Trump railed against ‘alarmists’ who want to ‘see us do badly’.
“We must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse,” Trump said at the at the WEF summit in Davos, Switzerland, adding that “they want to see us do badly”.
He said that “alarmists” had been wrong before in their predictions of population crises, mass starvation and the end of the oil economy.
Saying that “we are on the threshold of virtually unlimited reserves of energy” including “clean coal”, “traditional fuels”, “next-generation nuclear power” and others, Trump hailed the US for having among the cleanest air and drinking water on earth.
“This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism. Fear and doubt is not a good thought process because this is a time for tremendous hope and joy and optimism and action. But to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictors of the apocalypse.”
“These alarmists always demand the same thing, absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives. We will never let radicals, socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country...” he added.
This year’s WEF summit had began with a report that identified extreme weather events as the biggest long-term risk. The summit featured talks by climate activists such as Thunberg.
Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz later told AP that Trump had “managed to say absolutely zero on climate change” while “we’re going to roast”.
Trump said that the US is in the midst of an economic boom “the likes of which the world has never seen before”, calling the country’s economic turnaround “nothing short of spectacular”.
“America is thriving. America is flourishing and, yes, America is winning again like never before,” he said before speaking about the Phase 1 trade deal with China and upcoming trade agreements with Mexico and Canada.
His remarks came just hours before his impeachment trial was set to begin in the Senate, weeks after he was formally impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.