Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Donald Trump denounced pessimists spreading doom about the future as he noted that since his election, America has proven wrong those who said its best days were behind it.
In his remarks, Trump equated climate change activists with those who have forecast catastrophes before that failed to materialize.
Among those attending the form was teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who last year told the forum’s assembled leaders that she wanted them to panic and feel fear over the state of the planet.
“This is not a time for pessimism; this is a time for optimism,” Trump said. “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 predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune-tellers — and I have them and you have them, and we all have them, and they want to see us do badly, but we don’t let that happen.
“They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the ’70s and an end of oil in the 1990s. These alarmists always demand the same thing: absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives.
“We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country or eradicate our liberty. America will always be the proud, strong and unyielding bastion of freedom.
“In America, we understand what the pessimists refuse to see: that a growing and vibrant market economy focused on the future lifts the human spirit and excites creativity strong enough to overcome any challenge — any challenge by far.”
The president went on to say, “So together, we must go forward with confidence, determination, and vision. We must not be timid, or meek or fearful — but instead we must boldly seize the day and embrace the moment.”
Trump pushed back against the concept that a good standard of living and protecting the planet were opposites.
“I’m proud to report the United States has among the cleanest air and drinking water on Earth — and we’re going to keep it that way. And we just came out with a report that, at this moment, it’s the cleanest it’s been in the last 40 years. We’re committed to conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world,” the president said.
America will do even more, he promised.
“Today, I’m pleased to announce the United States will join One Trillion Trees Initiative being launched here at the World Economic Forum. One Trillion Trees. And in doing so, we will continue to show strong leadership in restoring, growing and better managing our trees and our forests,” the president said.
Thunberg brushed aside Trump’s comment.
“Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough of what is needed,” the 17-year-old said, referring to efforts to reduce.
During her own speech, she scolded nations for doing too little on climate change and called for an immediate end to the use of fossil fuels.
“Without treating it as a real crisis, we cannot solve it,” Thunberg said, according to the New York Post.
Trump was asked about Thunberg in an interview Thursday with The Wall Street Journal.
“I don’t really know anything about her,” the president said, adding that the teenager is “very angry.”
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