- By Christina Larson<p> Christina Larson is a Beijing-based contributing editor for Foreign Policy. Kevin Chou provided research assistance. </p>
It’s hard to know what to make of an audiotape released today by Al Jazeera, purportedly recorded by Osama bin Laden. Rather than slamming the West for all the usual reasons, the al Qaeda leader branches into new territory: critiquing the global financial system and its reliance on the U.S. dollar, and blaming western industrialized nations for acting too slowly to curb climate change:
"Talk about climate change is not an ideological luxury but a reality … All of the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis."
If authentic, the tape was likely recorded from a hideaway in Pakistan near the Afghan border. In FP’s July/August issue, Stephan Faris argued that the melting of Himalayan glaciers and the resulting water-use disputes in Kashmir are a major source of Pakistan’s instability. So one could actually argue that bin Laden has been a rare beneficiary of climate change.
There’s an easy punchline here about climate change having become the ultimate political football — with everyone from David Cameron to Evo Moralas to now Osama pointing fingers to serve varied ends — but I’ll refrain. It’s too true to be funny.
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| Passport |