Teenage activist Greta Thunberg has admitted she “hates small talk” and “doesn’t like a lot of people” after capturing the world’s attention with her uncompromising stance towards climate change.
The 16-year-old Swede has become a global figure after her demonstrations outside the Swedish Parliament sparked climate protests and earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
Speaking on Norwegian talk show ‘Skavlan’, Ms Thunberg told how she is a private person - despite her fiery speech at the recent UN Climate Action conference in New York.
She said: “Privately, I am very shy. I don’t really speak to people unless I have to. Now I have to.
“But when I am on stage or doing an interview, it’s like I am in an act in some way. But privately I hate small talk, I don’t like too many people.”
Host Fredrik Skavlan then asked: “Was this the reason that you didn’t go over to Donald Trump for a little chit chat?”, to which Ms Thunberg responded: “Maybe not the biggest reason, but I do actually cancel meetings with heads of state because I don’t want to make small talk with them.
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“Because I know it’s all it’s going to be about.”
The activist also responded to Trump's tweet, in which he sarcastically wrote: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! https://t.co/1tQG6QcVKO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
Ms Thunberg said she knew the firebrand president was going to take aim at her after she was captured directing a frosty stare at him.
“Well, first I was stopped because suddenly he came in and security went ‘You have to step to the side,’ and then I just wondered what was going on and then he showed up and I was... I think I was very shocked.”
When Mr Skavlan asked how she interpreted Mr Trump’s tweet, the teenager said: “I mean you can interpret it in different ways - many different ways - but, I mean, I knew that some time he is probably going to, to say something about me and it was like, it doesn’t make any difference in a way.”
The host then asked: “You don’t read any sarcasm into it?”
Greta: “Well of course I do, but... of course he’s going to write that.”
During her speech at the UN conference, which has since gone viral, Ms Thunberg angrily told the Assembly: “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean.
“Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying.
“Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”