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[First posted at Forbes.com.]
Tyrannical despots and environmental crybabies are locking arms in solidarity against wicked Western democracies and evil free markets this week at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. The only thing missing is Al Gore holding hands with Hugo Chavez in a tear-jerking rendition of Kumbaya – but rumor has it that may be in the works before the week is out.
As you sit in front of your energy-guzzling computer, emitting untold amounts of planet-killing carbon dioxide reading this column, never lose sight of the fact that every minute of every day you are committing ecocide against Mother Earth. The United Nations says so.
As United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark told the AFP French News Agency this week, “The issue is how to get human development that will see it continue to rise for the world’s poorest people and people in developing countries. Because frankly human development in the West – we don’t need more cars, more TV, whatever.”
Thinking about buying a new car this year? Why, you evil Westerner! You don’t need that. You are demanding your new car off the sweat, toil, and exploitation of the world’s poorest people in developing countries. If only somebody would have caught the ear of President Obama before Cash for Clunkers!
Thinking about replacing that aging, hulking, cathode ray tube television set with an HD LCD TV? How dare you?! Not only do you not need more TV, but your demand for an HD picture is killing the planet!
The inconvenient truth that you morally repugnant Westerners purposefully avoid is this: when people in Brazil, Indonesia, Tanzania, and other developing nations clear-cut their forests and turn them into unsustainable farms and ranches, they are doing so solely and unavoidably because you just bought an Xbox 360.
The ethical solution to your Western greed and environmental immorality is obvious. You owe reparations to the planetary stewards in North Korea, Iran, and other enlightened nations that have shed the self-centered deceit of democracy for altruistic and environmentally benevolent totalitarian rule.
And we are clearly not living up to our environmental reparations obligations. For example, Western nations give Iran merely $26 million each year in United Nations Clean Development Mechanism funds. Talk about selfishly stiffing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!
Thankfully, developing nations are throwing us evil Westerners a lifeline. China, which has consistently refused to consider carbon dioxide restrictions on its economy, announced in December’s UN-sponsored climate talks in Durban, South Africa, that it will consider such restrictions if the Western democracies agreed to give at least $100 billion per year to China and other developing nations
When it comes right down to it, we can either continue in our selfish, Western, freedom-loving ways or we can get right with Mother Earth and become more like North Korea. Thank you, all you environmentally sensitive NGOs and UN bureaucrats for your self-sacrifice of flying thousands of miles and emitting millions of tons of carbon dioxide to make it to the beaches of Rio to point out our Western environmental hypocrisy.