Is Osama Bin Laden going ‘green’? Mickey Glantz, 1 February 2010

Written by M. Glantz. Posted in All Fragilecologies

Published on January 31, 2010 with No Comments

Associated Press writers (Keath and Nasrawi) reported that Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader, blamed the United States and other industrialized nations for climate change and said the only way to prevent disaster was to break the American economy, calling on the world to boycott U.S. goods and stop using the dollar.

The AP writers suggested that bin-Laden’s message on climate change was designed to show the world that he and the movement he started were focused only on one issue: destroying America.

“The effects of global warming have touched every continent. Drought and deserts are spreading, while the other floods and hurricanes unseen before the previous decades have now become frequent,” bin Laden said in his most recent audio recording, aired on the Arab TV network Al-Jazeera.

The terror leader noted Washington’s rejection of the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and painted the United States as in the thrall of major corporations that he said “are the true criminals against the global climate” and are to blame for the global economic crisis, driving “tens of millions into poverty and unemployment.” Well, we know that bin Laden does not like the United States and would like to see it pay for all the damages worldwide resulting from its greenhouse gas emissions.

The above commentary is real. Bin Laden did release an audio tape. He did talk about climate change and about America needing to be challenged for saturating the global atmosphere. But my first reaction was “Who cares what bin Laden thinks about the Earth’s environmental problems?”

I certainly don’t. I can’t image that many people do. I wonder why the media bothered to even report it. Would the media care what Charles Manson has to say about climate change?

Why did he do it? It was the first message from bin Laden devoid of mention of support for al Qaida and attacks on the US and its allies. But let’s play along and fantasize about al-Qaida’s attempt to broaden its support by appealing to environmental groups (as if that would work, or environmentalists would want their support).

Here’s the whimsical (not real) scenario.

Bin Laden has decided that arresting global warming has become more urgent that dislodging what he sees as America, the evil empire. He calls off the jihad again the USA and Europe. He issues a secret order to al Qaida operatives demanding that they prepare climate change risk disclosures (CCRDs) for their operations. He orders them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2015. Al Qaida then is asked to participate in carbon cap and trade and to shift its energy dependence from fossil fuels (including Saudi Arabian oil) to renewable energy sources including solar and wind. He then demands that American engineering concerns provide new clean technologies to al Qaida cells and that the U.S. Treasury pay compensation for global warming related damages that have already occurred.

Let’s take this tongue-in-cheek scenario a step further: might we soon be hearing headlines like, “bin Laden calls on al Qaida to field a football (soccer) team for FIFA,” or “al Qaida to participate in gymnastics competition at the 2012 Olympics,” or, perhaps, “bin Laden picks Saints to win Super Bowl”?

More seriously, one has to wonder what prompted Osama bin Laden to speak out on global warming. Does he want to be remembered as a 21st century Gandhi? Is his health failing? Is he seeking to broaden his support among environmentalists? Is he striving for a Nobel Peace Prize? Or, is he feeling neglected?

Only time will tell what motivated him to talk now about global warming. I think that whatever it was it was more personal and psychological than political.

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