In a new tape, Osama bin Laden weighs in on climate change, linking the catastrophic floods in Pakistan to man-made warming. "The number of victims caused by climate change is very big” — "bigger than the victims of wars," says the international terrorist mastermind.
The New York Times, October 1
Dear suicide bombers and assorted jehadis, I am writing this letter to announce a change of policy at al-Qaeda. Like any other world-class organisation, we too are planning to go green. We already figure in The World's Most Respected Companies and in the Great Places to Work lists. God willing, we shall soon be among the Top 10 Green Companies as well.
As of today, all suicide bombers will have to cycle to work. No more gas-guzzling cars for you. As an added incentive, al-Qaeda will be pleased to provide you bicycle loans, interest-free of course. Before departing on your suicide missions, you are hereby directed to switch off all lights, fans and other electrical appliances. Since you do not come back from your missions, we have often been forced to pay huge electricity bills. By switching off the lights you will not only trim expenses, but also reduce our carbon footprint. You are also requested to carry re-usable water bottles while on your mission. Before blowing yourself up, along with "Death to infidels", you should also shout "Save the polar bear" to show how environmentally conscious we are.
We are taking necessary steps to issue smokeless explosives to you all, so that the damage caused when you trigger the blast results in the least possible harm to the environment. We are arranging to procure the very latest green arms, such as bio-degradable land mines and bombs that turn into manure, along with the people they blow up. You should rejoice that all bullets issued from today will be completely lead-free. We are working on a prototype of a solar-powered AK56. Our scientists are also developing an anti-aircraft missile powered by bio-gas, praise the Lord.
Needless to say, your leaders are already setting a fine example of green living, an example unparalleled by unbelievers who only talk about global warming but do little about it. Do they live deep inside caves, so as to reduce greenhouse emissions? We do. We are so deeply against global warming that we do not use refrigerators, airconditioners, heating systems or washing machines in our caves.
We realise that it may not be possible for you to immediately emulate our high standards. Nevertheless, our training courses will now include, besides, the standard texts like How to Blow Yourself Up in Ten Easy Steps and Jihad for Dummies, the book An Inconvenient Truth by my buddy Al Gore. We will also ask fellow green-warrior Rajendra Pachauri to take a few classes.
Your performance at work will now be evaluated not only on the number of people you blow up but also on the number of saplings you plant and how many trees you have hugged. You are also sternly forbidden to use those Satanic flush toilets because they waste so much water.
You will instead be issued a cardboard box with a hole, a bag and pouch of pathogen-busting dust, the very latest in green toilet technology. All our bomb-making workshops must install compact fluorescent light bulbs immediately. And lastly, do not keep the tap open while you shave. Indeed, that's why I do not shave at all.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal