Guess who was an environmentalist? It turns out Osama bin Laden had major concerns about global warming. He noted the "massive consequences" of climate change in one of the many documents collected at his Pakistani hideaway, and said the phenomenon claims more lives than wars.
The undated letter to "My Islamic Nation" written by bin Laden and recovered in his home where he was killed is evocative of a 2010 video also complaining of global warming and criticizing the international community's weak efforts at aiding flood victims in Pakistan.
In the letter, among a trove just released by the US director of National Intelligence, bin Laden proposes the establishment of a permanent relief effort to help victims facing "much more frequent, diverse and massive consequences of climate changes," reports Mashable.
Finally, this advice to his leaders: "We need to raise Muslim awareness about the dangers associated with depleting the underground water used for agriculture that is not renewable, while it is crucial to establish a network of pipes that joins the agricultural wells with the main network of drinking-water, in order to be used in times of necessity."
In yet another letter between bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders, the terror mastermind urged them to send a copy of a study on climate change to Al Jazeera.
In that letter, he remarks: "You don't fail to notice that due to climate change, there's drought in some areas and floods in others. The brothers in Somalia must be warned so that they can take the maximum precautions possible. This lays on the shoulders of the leadership more than on the residents living along the rivers and valleys."
He adds at the end: "Attached is a report about climate change, especially the floods in Pakistan. Please send it to Al Jazeera."
While bin Laden clearly believes climate change is a major threat to humanity, and that people can take steps to ameliorate it and help its victims, he apparently sees Allah, not industrial polluters, as the major engine behind the change. "Relief work is mentioned as the only solution for these disasters, without warning that it is a plague or suffering from Allah Almighty, and the first solution is faith and correct deeds. One of the correct deeds is assisting Muslims."