New York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman said Monday that Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States represent a new axis of evil.
“There’s a new axis of evil: Russia, Saudi Arabia — and the United States,” Krugman tweeted, linking to a story about how the three countries all declined to endorse the United Nation’s latest climate study.
The phrase “axis of evil” was coined by former President George W. Bush to refer to Iraq, Iran and North Korea in 2002, three countries accused of supporting terrorism or of nuclear proliferation.
The United States, along with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, at a climate summit in Poland objected to language welcoming a report produced by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The U.N. report predicted that nations had only until 2030 to prevent the global temperatures from rising to the point where there would be great risk for drought, wildfires and other disasters that could lead to global food shortages.
It said that unless nations take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” there would be disastrous levels of global warming.
The State Department, according to a report by CNN, said it voted against welcoming the report because it did not want to be seen as endorsing it.
“The United States was willing to note the report and express appreciation to the scientists who developed it, but not to welcome it, as that would denote endorsement of the report,” it said in a statement. “As we have made clear in the IPCC and other bodies, the United States has not endorsed the findings of the report.”
The State Department said its decision was discussed with the other nations that voted against welcoming the report.