Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has blamed “criminal” capitalism for global climate phenomena, including heavy rains that have killed scores and left tens of thousands homeless in his country and Colombia.
In Venezuela, at least 32 people have died and 70,000 have been forced out of their homes in recent days, especially on the coast where mudslides have toppled houses in hillside slums.
In neighbouring Colombia, the death toll is higher, though over a longer period, with 170 people dead, 19 missing and more than 1.5 million affected.
Venezuela’s socialist leader has taken personal charge of rescue operations, giving 25 families refuge in his presidential palace and ordering space made for others in ministries, army barracks and even a Caracas shopping mall.
“The calamities we are suffering with these cruel and prolonged rains are yet more evidence of the unfair and cruel paradox of our planet,” Mr Chavez said.
“The developed nations irresponsibly shatter the environmental order in their desire to maintain a criminal development model, while the immense majority of the earth’s people suffer the most terrible consequences.”
His comments came as climate negotiators meet in Mexico to discuss the future of the Kyoto Protocol for fighting global warming. Consensus is proving elusive.
Nearly right Hugo. Capitalism is partly to blame but the main culprit is Consumerism.
You can’t have Capitalism without a market. That market is Consumerisim or as God calls it, Idolatry and yes, it is the cause of the disasters we see today and the climate catastrophe soon to come.
Yes, the way Hugo is reported is often by a hostile press and it is most likely that he would elaborate on what he meant by capitalism with a critique that agrees with you redsky.
Consumerism I think stems from a need to accumulate things that give meaning to an otherwise meaningless life. People who have no concept of a God who has given life to this planet AS A GIFT are trapped in a world where a meaningful existence is measured by how much material they can accrue before they die. The race to the top has always been run this way by the few but when mass production came along the race to the top expanded to a much greater number of the population which has an exponential effect like greenhouse gas feedbacks.
The Elite talk about population reduction as one of the solutions. I’d rather think of reduction in terms of restructuring the crazy extravagant lifestyle of the consumer marketeers and their industrial tycoons.
Nice touch that Hugo should open up the presidential palace to the poor and needy in a time of trouble. I hope there is more to this story of refuge than its propaganda value.