Don’t let Bin Laden discredit climate change

Osama Bin Laden has called for the world to boycott US goods & the US dollar, blaming them for climate change, according to a new audiotape released last week.

Climategate was a well coordinated, strategic and devastating attack on the Copenhagen climate talks in December last year. With unprecedented moves from US and China in the run-up, the world’s media and attention was hooked onto the alleged manipulation of data at the University of East Anglia. That stolen information framed the entire negotiations, and set it up for failure.

Today the prospect of a clean-energy economy faces a new threat.

Osama bin Laden has called for the world to boycott American goods and the US dollar, blaming the United States for climate change, according to a new audiotape released last week. Right-wing media outlets including The Daily Telegraph, Drudge and Fox News, are already seizing on the al-Qaeda leader’s comments.

All this came on the same day the American administration formally announced its 2020 carbon targets, and a 39 per cent increase in wind-power.

Those in the struggle for a clean-energy economy and safe climate futur, should ask themselves why bin Laden would come out with this statement. This is the man who has shown no concern for human life, indeed revels in killing innocent people – why does he now care about rising sea-levels?

His plan is to drive the wedge between the climate cynics and climate activists even further, and it’s already working. This is the perfect story to kill any federal climate bill in the US. In fact it’s the perfect strategy if you desire chaos and destruction.

Any association with him immediately demonises the climate movement, and will maintain the stranglehold of oil-rich nations over the American economy. More worryingly in the long term, a world in the throws of extreme weather and an unpredictable food-supply is rich pickings for a fanatic totalitarian.

So how should the environmental movement respond?

Immediately and unequivocally condemn his comments. We can’t let ourselves be aligned with a terrorist. Bin Laden isn’t an environmentalist and cares nothing about climate change (because that would mean caring about people).

• Whatever your feelings on climate change; don’t use his comments for your cause, because actually he will be using you.

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8 Responses to “Don’t let Bin Laden discredit climate change”

  1. Andrew Regan

    *Left Foot Forward* "Don’t let Bin Laden discred…": Climategate was a well coordinated, strategic and deve… http://bit.ly/9NtkQT #labour

  2. Claire Spencer

    Activists, politicians take @leftfootfwd's advice – Bin Laden must not stop us working together on climate change: http://bit.ly/bpwAin

  3. Paul Tran

    Don't let Bin Laden discredit climate change | Left Foot Forward: Osama Bin Laden has called for the world to boyc… http://bit.ly/cJQdqy

  4. DavidC

    I don’t agree with some of this analysis.

    1. the stolen emails most likely had no effect on the Copenhagen talks. No analysis of them suggested any attempt by the scientists to distort or misrepresent the science. Here’s a partial list of credible assessments: http://enviroknow.com/2009/11/25/climategate-the-swifthack-scandal-what-you-need-to-know/

    2. I believe it is plausible that bin Laden is scientifically literate (he had a good education) and would therefore understand that climate change is hitting ‘his’ part of the world hardest – and he knows who is responsible, as we all do. Of course he will use it to his advantage – but that doesn’t make him wrong.

    3. Citing James Delingpole as evidence of *anything* is silly. He’s a ranting idiot – even if he is an accurate reflection of many on the right!

    However, I do agree that “a world in the throws of extreme weather and an unpredictable food-supply is rich pickings for a fanatic totalitarian.” – but don’t think bin Laden is the only person to fit that description. The harder things become, the more we will see violent people take advantage.

    P.S. Don’t call it ‘Climategate’ – you’re handing ammunition to the enemy by giving it a name which suggests there was malfeasance when there clearly was not.

    P.P.S. As vile as bin Laden’s tactics are, many of his reasons for fighting the US – and ‘the west’ – are very difficult to deny: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver

  5. Casper ter Kuile

    Hi David,

    I like the number thing you’ve got going on, so will respond in kind.

    1. The effects weren’t on the talks directly, but more on the public’s understanding and media context to the Copenhagen process. This then impacted the political will from those inside the talks.

    2. His understanding of the climate science may be correct, but my point centered around the reaction the environmental movement should have to that. Comments on the Guardian included, ‘He may be a mass murderer, but he has a point’ – a comms disaster in waiting. Whether he accepts scientific consensus is utterly neutered by his terrorism.

    3. Point taken!

    4. Again, my mistake – I wanted to illustrate the potential power of this episode.

    5. Perhaps. But his alternative society is not one worth replacing ‘the West’ with.

  6. DavidC

    Hi Casper,

    Thanks for the reply.

    1. I doubt that anyone who already accepted the science was influenced by the stolen emails. Those who were already certain that global warming is a New World Order ‘land grab’ were just a little more convinced that it’s all a hoax – but those people are simply unreachable. We just need to ignore them and push back as necessary.

    2. Fair point. But I think this will just be another 10 minute teacup tempest and then the Deniers will move on to the next “OMG! It’s all a hoax!” piece of hysteria. One trait of the hardcore Denier is the ability to completely forget about last week’s failed “It’s all over!” story and to move seamlessly to the next.

    3. 🙂 And Delingpole becomes ever-more hysterical. He seems to have realised that his viewing figures increase the more unhinged his writing becomes! He’s the British Glenn Beck.

    4. –

    5. Absolutely. I’m – obviously! – not condoning or excusing his barbarity, but many of the reasons he offers and uses to justify his atrocities are very valid. ‘We’ are ‘over there’ doing bad things – and have been for many decades. If England was dotted with Iraqui army bases and our villages were being hit by Predator drones, I expect some of us would want to hit back any way that we could.

    Thanks again for the reply – and thanks for the stimulating article.

    David.

  7. Casper ter Kuile

    In agreement.

    Re the ability of vested interests/deniers to come back with a rehashed counter-argument that has no scientific value – LFF is working on a little idea which might help. Because these absurd and incoherent arguments can’t be killed by reason, we’re calling them Zombie Arguments (they come back from the dead every time)…

    Stay tuned!

    Do you blog?

  8. Sceptic

    Denier tag, with its connotations of Holocaust Denial, seems a little offensive. Hope you don’t condone the usage of that term, because it actually only serves to damage your credibility.

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