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Thugs in Copenhagen

One of the reasons some Americans become wary of the United Nations is that it gives a platform to obnoxious bores, several of whom have taken the podium this week at the UN climate-change conference in Copenhagen .

Among them was Hugo Chavez , who paraphrased Marx in assigning blame for climate change: "A ghost is stalking the streets of's capitalism, capitalism is that ghost." That's from the leader of a country whose economy is based largely on the export of particularly dirty oil. Awkward.

"The destructive model of capitalism is the eradication of life," Chavez also said. Tell that to the millions of Chinese that Mao killed in the fight against capitalism, or the millions more recently pulled out of poverty because of market-liberalizing reforms.

Even worse was the performance of Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabe. "When these capitalist gods of carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it's we, the lesser mortals of the developing sphere who gasp and sink and eventually die." Zimbabwe, of course, used to be one of the most developed countries in Africa -- until Mugabe's thugs pillaged the economy and tortured the population.

To be fair, Mugabe, it seems, anticipated that criticism: "Why is the guilty north not showing the same fundamentalist spirit it exhibits in our developing countries on human rights matters on this more menacing threat of climate change?" Perhaps because cold-blooded, state-sponsored murder, theft and abuse are intrinsically odious and cannot be justified, as Mugabe attempted to do, no matter the wrongs of others. Climate change, on the other hand, offers less certainty -- about the nature and scale of the consequences, about the precise assignment of blame, about the state of relevant international law.

Developing nations are demanding billions of dollars a year to adapt to climate change, mitigate their emissions and halt deforestation. Given that developed countries are responsible for most of the anthropogenic greenhouse pollution already in the atmosphere, and given that it will be difficult to reduce world-wide emissions without such help, they have a good case. But part of the reason the developed world -- and The Post editorial page, for that matter -- insists on robust reporting, monitoring and verification is to ensure that money and effort meant to battle climate change doesn’t end up lining the pockets of the Robert Mugabes of the world.

By Stephen Stromberg  | December 17, 2009; 6:59 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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What other reason would Mugabe or his kind demand payment if not to line his pockets? This whole affair in Copenhagen is a sad, sick, joke.

Posted by: Denbo1 | December 17, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

After watching the proceedings yesterday anyone that believes the UN is a viable organization must be on drugs. The "excellencies" all parade up to demand that the "developed" world fund thier efforts and then insist that the UN manage the funds with a group made up of "them" tells me that they are out just to ensure that the "excellencies" keep in power and funnel off the money to their pockets. I am still wondering where the $100B that the US promised is coming from and who will manage it or should we just send each of the despots demanding a "payoff" a check? What a waste. What a criminal waste and our current administration is playing along with these crooks.

We are borrowing money from China to pay China,,,stupid.

Posted by: staterighter | December 18, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The United Nations is nothing more than a podium for third-world, tin-pot dictators to spew their hatred of nations of merit and accomplishment.

These "Big Daddy" thugs are miserable failures in every way you can measure failure. The nations they lead are second rate banana/oil republics with virtually no industry or financial markets.

They are like cockroaches feeding on the crumbs dropped by real people.

They are grabbing onto "GOBAL WARMING" and using it as a club to beat the first world nations into submission and in the process help themselves to much undeserved wealth.

"GLOBAL WARMING" could be the tyrants of the world's biggest payday yet if our leaders are suckers enough to fall for the scam.

Barack H. Obama seems to be falling for it. Hence his falling poll numbers.

Most Americans don't like to be suckered.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 18, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Remember the movie with the trombone salesman who sold a whole town band uniforms, but they had no band instruments? Obama reminds me over and over of that movie. He is a seller of scams and a pleaser of despots. The UN has never been a "clean" operation. That is why we have not participated wholeheartedly in it, but given money. But ths is the way the progressives want to go global. What a FARCE the Clintons and Obamas are. We need to get rid of them once and for all. VOTE THEM OUT!!!

Posted by: annnort | December 18, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The UN is useless. Unless you work there, then you can have fancy lunches around Manhattan; beyond that, the whole thing is a sham that sits on real estate that would be better used for apartments.

Posted by: iphony | December 18, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what these two jokers have to say? Trying to stop them from speaking would give them more credibility than letting them. It's hard to impose a "reasonableness" or "obnoxious bore" test on heads of state that would be broadly agreed on, but doesn't have some weird consequences. How would Nick Stromberg organize things?

Posted by: crust1 | December 18, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I meant to ask how would Stephen Stromberg organize things? Not sure who Nick is... ;)

Posted by: crust1 | December 18, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Have you asked yourself if the US is always fair? Does it sometimes abuse its position in the UN by putting manipulation, deceit and self-interest above fairness and honesty?

Mugabe and Chavez may be boring but at least their oppressive agendas are on the surface.

Posted by: robertjames1 | December 18, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama was the Chicago thug in Copenhagen.

Posted by: Jerzy | December 19, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

So there are bad people in charge of some of the countries. Tell me, Mr. Stromberg, what this has to do with doing our part to save the planet?

Posted by: kduble | December 19, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Once more the UN and Third World nations, along with left-wing scientists, have cooked the books and are blatantly attempting to pick our pockets.

Suprise. We have no money.

Let the The Third World and `Developing Nations' clean up their own mess.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | December 19, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Who is going to feed these communist elitists, their followers, and the world for that matter if the productive, and yes, capitalist world gets taken down. A little reading of Adam Smith might help those to understand how the world actually works.

Posted by: tlunde | December 19, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

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