Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oil: “It’s People! Agghh!”

Those wacky Yes Men have struck again.

Mike and Andy, the artful activists known to wreak havoc on WTO meetings and the like have pulled a fast one on the Go-Expo energy confab in Calgary, Canada.

Posing as representatives from ExxonMobil and the National Petroleum Council, the two delivered the Go Expo keynote address today. And what a keynote! According to a Yes Men news release, the speech was supposed to deliver results of a long-awaited study commissioned by US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. Here’s what the oil execs got instead:
In the actual speech, the "NPC rep" announced that current U.S. and Canadian energy policies (notably the massive, carbon-intensive exploitation of Alberta's oil sands, and the development of liquid coal) are increasing the chances of huge global calamities. But he reassured the audience that in the worst case scenario, the oil industry could "keep fuel flowing" by transforming the billions of people who die into oil.

"We need something like whales, but infinitely more abundant," said "NPC rep" "Shepard Wolff" (actually Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men), before describing the technology used to render human flesh into a new Exxon oil product called Vivoleum. 3-D animations of the process brought it to life.

"Vivoleum works in perfect synergy with the continued expansion of fossil fuel production," noted "Exxon rep" "Florian Osenberg" (Yes Man Mike Bonanno). "With more fossil fuels comes a greater chance of disaster, but that means more feedstock for Vivoleum. Fuel will continue to flow for those of us left."

The oilmen listened to the lecture with attention, and then lit "commemorative candles" supposedly made of Vivoleum obtained from the flesh of an "Exxon janitor" who died as a result of cleaning up a toxic spill. The audience only reacted when the janitor, in a video tribute, announced that he wished to be transformed into candles after his death, and all became crystal-clear.


According to a local news report, Go Expo attendees were not amused, especially since attendees paid $50 a head to hear a speech from what they thought were American energy policy bigwigs.

Neither Andy nor Mike were arrested, according to their news release, although they were tossed out of the event once the hoax became clear.