CAIRO — Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has called for the world to boycott American goods and the U.S. dollar, blaming the United States and other industrialized countries for global warming, according to a new audiotape released Friday.
In the tape, broadcast in part on Al-Jazeera television, bin Laden warned of the dangers of climate change and said that the way to stop it is to bring "the wheels of the American economy" to a halt.
He blamed Western industrialized nations for hunger, desertification and floods across the globe, and called for "drastic solutions" to global warming, and "not solutions that partially reduce the effect of climate change."
Bin Laden has mentioned climate change and global warning in past messages, but the latest tape was his first dedicated to the topic.
Climate change an 'actual fact'
The speech, which included almost no religious rhetoric, could be an attempt by the terror leader to give his message an appeal beyond Islamic militants.
"This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions, intentionally or unintentionally, and about the action we must take," he said.
"Speaking about climate change is not an intellectual luxury, the phenomenon is actual fact."
He pointed out that former President George W. Bush had not signed the Kyoto emissions agreement although most industrialized countries did.
Bin Laden targeted the U.S. economy in particular in the recording, calling for a boycott of American products and an end to the dollar's domination as a world currency.
"We should stop dealings with the dollar and get rid of it as soon as possible," he said.
"I know that this has great consequences and grave ramifications, but it is the only means to liberate humanity from slavery and dependence on America."
He argued that such steps would also hamper Washington's war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The new message, whose authenticity could not immediately be confirmed, comes after a bin Laden tape released last week in which he endorsed a failed attempt to blow up an American airliner on Christmas Day.
The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report.