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With the President of the United States visiting the conference on climate change in Copenhagen, some foreign leaders have used the opportunity to chastise America for the "sins" of capitalism.
Addressing climate delegates, Bolivian President Evo Morales stated:
The real cause of climate change is the capitalist system. If we want to save the earth then we must end that economic model. Capitalism wants to address climate change with carbon markets. We denounce those markets and the countries which [promote them]. It’s time to stop making money from the disgrace that they have perpetrated.
Worse still, was the crowd’s reaction to other assaults on the American way of life. According to the Herald Sun, Communist Dictator Hugo Chavez "brought the house down" with his anti-capitalist sentiments.
When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.
But then he wound up to his grand conclusion – 20 minutes after his 5 minute speaking time was supposed to have ended and after quoting everyone from Karl Marx to Jesus Christ - “our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell....let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.” He won a standing ovation.
The conference even provided Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe--a man who is currently the target of Western sanctions over alleged human rights abuses-- with the opportunity to criticize the American economic system:
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.
Such statements, and the applause that accompanied them, show the anti-capitalist views shared by many of the attendees at the Copenhagen conference. As the leader of the free world, President Obama should have used his speech at the conference as an opportunity to denounce such rhetoric and applaud the successes of the free market system. Instead, his administration has openly supported sending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars overseas to combat climate change.
But no matter how many cheers Hugo Chavez and his supporters received at Copenhagen, Americans understand that piling debt onto future generations and destroying the free market system will not solve climate change.