Bin Laden Rebukes U.S. on Climate Change
Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, blamed the United States and developed countries for not halting climate change and said that the global economy should immediately abandon its reliance on the American dollar, according to an audiotape released Friday by the broadcaster Al Jazeera.
“Talk about climate change is not an ideological luxury but a reality,” Mr. bin Laden was quoted as saying in a report on Al Jazeera’s English-language Web site. “All of the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis.”
The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately confirmed, and Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, did not say how it had obtained the message.
But if substantiated, it would be Mr. bin Laden’s second public message within a week. On Sunday, Al Jazeera broadcast a one-minute tape in which Mr. bin Laden hailed the Christmas Day attempt to bring down a plane over Detroit and warned of more attacks against the United States. Mr. bin Laden, who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan near the Afghanistan border and has issued several other audiotaped anti-West invectives, had not put one out in four months before the one about the Detroit attempted bombing.
In the message broadcast on Friday, Mr. bin Laden veered away from his traditional vows to inflict death and destruction on the United States, and instead discussed climate change, globalization and monetary policy in a message that he said was directed to “the whole world.”
He called for a worldwide boycott of American goods and the dollar. He faulted the United States for failing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which sought to curb global warming by restricting greenhouse gas emissions. And he offered a word of praise for Noam Chomsky, the American linguist and liberal political activist.
“Noam Chomsky was correct when he compared the U.S. policies to those of the Mafia,” Al Jazeera quoted Mr. bin Laden as saying. “They are the true terrorists and therefore we should refrain from dealing in the U.S. dollar and should try to get rid of this currency as early as possible.”
Bank and government officials in China, Russia and elsewhere have previously floated the idea of abandoning the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, replacing it with a basket of other currencies and commodities such as gold. But Mr. bin Laden’s aim in turning away from the dollar were to inflict harm on the American economy.
“I am certain that such actions will have grave repercussions and huge impact,” he was quoted as saying.