The positive I take from the climate change conference at Copenhagen is that it has exposed in all its naked ugliness the avarice of the third-world dictators who hide their despotism behind sham democracies.
How laughable it is to read about Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe chiding the West from the podium in Copenhagen for what he charged was a double standard under which it fell short on addressing global warming while taking developing countries to task over human rights. He’s concerned about our “double standard.” I’d be satisfied if this ruthless despot had a single standard that could bear scrutiny by any standard of civilized conduct.
To take a measure of this man, one need only to read the report by Stephen Lewis’s Aids Free World in which Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party is accused of engaging “in the systematic violent rape of women who supported the opposition in the widely discredited second-round presidential poll in 2008.”
And that is the sort of man who gets to the podium at Copenhagen. Mugabe said that because the developing world would be called upon to clean up the mess left by the industrialized West, it deserved ample climate-related funding. “We who bear the burden of healing the gasping earth must draw the most from the global purse for remedial action,” Mugabe declared pompously.
Why was Mugabe even allowed to speak at the conference? His deplorable record on human rights and general issues of governance should have disqualified him from preaching to civilized nations. Denmark and the 26 other European Union states have barred Mugabe from travel within their territory, but since this is a U.N. gathering he is allowed to be there.
I hope Elizabeth May is correct when she says the Copenhagen climate conference is a “dismal failure.” I fear success will not be measured by how much real action is promised to influence greenhouse gas emissions, but rather by the amount of Western taxpayers’ money that is shipped off to countries like Zimbabwe and their wretched leaders.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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