Corporate pranksters The Yes Men launched Climate Week in style this morning by blanketing New York City with a million copies of a special climate edition of the New York Post, its Post-like headline screaming: "We're Screwed"
Of course, their phony Post — not sanctioned by the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid — went in for the shock and awe with 32 pages filled with a different kind of mayhem: warnings from climate scientists and government reports about the future effects of climate change.
The cover story was about a real scientific study commissioned by the New York mayor's office on the threats the city faces from climate change. Another article hit on global security and how droughts, desertification and food shortages could spark violent conflicts; it used the Pentagon's own comments. One headline stated: "Congress Cops Out on Climate". Another warned of "Flopenhagen" if U.S. lawmakers don't take action before the December climate conference at Copenhagen.
"Climate change is the biggest threat civilization has ever faced, and it should be in the headlines of every paper, every day until we solve the problem," said The Yes Men's Andy Bichlbaum, who shocked the Canadian oil industry two years ago when he posed as a representative of the National Petroleum Council and gave an oil conference speech about a new source of oil — human bodies.
The phony Post was just the start of this year's Climate Week. With hundreds of world leaders and diplomats in New York City for the UN Climate Summit, UN General Assembly meeting and the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting, and then in Pittsburgh for the G20 meeting later in the week, demonstrators and street theater won't be far away. TckTckTck already orchestrated a Global Climate Wake Up Call this afternoon, with flash mobs and people ringing bells and calling government offices in over 100 countries.
The UN is also stirring up global public pressure for action on climate change. Its Seal the Deal initiative is asking people worldwide to sign an online climate petition that calls on leaders to agree to a definitive and equitable climate deal at Copenhagen.
"Climate change affects us all," the Seal the Deal organizers write. "Nine out of every 10 disasters recorded are now climate related. Rising temperatures and more frequent floods, droughts and storms affect millions of people's lives. This is set against a backdrop of financial and food insecurity."
"On December 7, governments will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark to respond to one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. The main question will be how protect the planet and create a green economy that will lead to long-term prosperity. Reaching a deal by the time the meeting ends on December 18 will depend not only on complex political negotiations, but also on public pressure from around the globe."