Dead Polar Bears in Bristol Museum Lobby Represent Shell’s True Impact on Wildlife
It hasn’t been an easy week for the organisers of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award and the Bristol Museum, or their sponsor and proud wildlife destroyer— sugardaddy Shell Oil Company. All week, concerned individuals from around Bristol have been exposing the truth about Shell and the public institutions who are helping to greenwash them.
On Tuesday, activists staged a protest in the national offices of the BBC Wildlife Magazine in Broadmead, bringing work to a halt and reviving controversy within the organization about their relationship with the oil industry. See further details of this action in previous post
On Friday evening, Bristol Museum hosted a private, posh wine and cheese reception to kick off their hosting of Shell’s exhibit, with attendees including Dawn Primarola, Labour MP from South Bristol and Helen Holland, leader of the Bristol City Council, who were all patting themselves on the back for caring about wildlife. Bristol Rising Tide activists, dressed up to the nines, were admitted to the event under fake names, with one activist gaining access to the mic, and posing as the Shell public relations director. He then launched into a two minute speech (in the style of the yes men) thanking the city council and museum for helping to allow Shell’s destruction of wildlife to continue and calling the melting of the Arctic ice cap a “tremendous business opportunity” by allowing access to millions of barrels of oil. At :56 in the video, watch as the security guard walks over to tell the woman, who was heckling the speaker, to “let the man from Shell finish his speech” (!!!!!) Amazingly the mic was kept on through the whole 2 minute speech. (Full text of speech and video below)
Full text of speech read by Derrick Leavussum, “public relations director for Shell”
“Good evening my name is Derek Leavussum, public relations director for Shell. I want to welcome you all to the 2007 Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award. As you can imagine- I don’t have an easy job, what with all this fuss about melting glaciers, extreme weather and wildlife extinctions. I’d like to thank the Bristol City Council, BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Natural History Museum for making my job all that much easier by allowing us to sponsor your wild lie- I mean wildlife- exhibition.
We prefer not to see the melting of the Arctic ice cap as a threat to human civilization. We see it as a business opportunity. After all, there are millions of barrels of oil under there just waiting to be extracted. And we’ll need all the energy we can get since we’ve just abandoned our solar program. When you see the Shell logo, we don’t want you to think about the whale habitat we’re destroying in Siberia and Ireland, human rights violations in Nigeria, and especially not climate change. This may all be true but the fact is that the world needs oil and this is simply the price of progress.
Some say it’s ironic that the world’s second largest oil company is sponsoring a wildlife photography exhibition- but Shell is truly committed to preservation of the polar bear and other wildlife- in photographs if not in the real world. Some say it’s the end of the oil age- but we say it’s just the beginning- we’re thrilled about digging into Canada’s oil sands and with your help we can continue to deceive the public into thinking we’re a responsible corporate citizen. Thank you all for coming tonight and we hope you enjoy viewing these amazing photographs of wildlife that Shell is destroying- I mean conserving.
Also a special thanks to Dawn Primarola and the Labour party for supporting a third runway at Heathrow and ensuring that there remains a healthy demand for our products.”
Read the full article, and take further action on the one truly free and independent internet media outlet left in Bristol- Thank you Bristol Indymedia for being the voice of the people- not corporations!!