"How does this sound to a child who hasn't eaten in days?"
An Indian historian's blistering "climate colonialism" speech at the United Nations' COP26 climate summit has gone viral as it raises questions about the United States' and Europe's destructive — and hypocritical — role the collapse of Earth's climate.
"The United States [is] four, five percent of the world's population," historian and journalist Vijay Prashad told the conference earlier in November in Glasgow, "[and it] still uses 25 percent of the world's resources!"
Prashad didn't hold back any of his contempt for the US and Europe, calling out the irony of their self-appointed climate stewardship in the face of the "colonial structures and institutions" the West left behind in their former imperial holdings that "reproduce themselves" over and over.
Prashad's ire wasn't limited to Western governments, either.
"The climate justice movement is a movement that says 'we're worried about our future,'" Prashad seethed. "What future? What future? Children in the African continent, in Asia, in Latin America — they don't have a future! They don't have a present. They're not worried about the future, they're worried about their present... that's some middle-class bourgeois Western slogan. You've got to be worried about now."
"[More than two billion] people can't eat now and you're telling people reduce [their] consumption?" he continued. "How does this sound to a child who hasn't eaten in days? You've got to clue into this, guys... otherwise, this movement will have no legs in the third world."
Towards the end of the clip, Prashad shouted out the International Peoples' Assembly, a socialist-oriented network of movements, parties, and trade unions that he characterized as "rooted in the Global South."
"We want to tell you what our issues are," Prashad concluded, "but are you willing to listen?"
Watch the whole clip below:
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