I was forwarded this event announcement from a mystery source- apparently this happens on Saturday:
Hands Across the Road: Real Solutions to Oil Dependence
On June 26th, millions of well meaning, but misled people will drive their Toyota Priuses to our coastlines to condemn the side effects of a system that they are perpetuating as they fill up on the way to the beach. There’s only one thing to call the idea that people holding hands (or having simultaneous orgasms or worshipping crystals or having intentional naked drumming circles) will even slow down the multinational energy giants that control our governments and are recklessly endangering our health and safety- magical thinking. (1)
Calling for an end to offshore drilling in the US will simply put more pressure to develop offshore oil in other countries (the ocean- the circulatory system of our planet- knows no national boundaries of course). It will only increase pressure to develop the toxic and carbon intensive tar sands in Alberta, and push the consequences of our addiction onto less fortunate people from other countries. Unless….we start driving, flying, and buying less. Is that really so hard to do?
The cheap and easy oil has already been extracted from the planet. It gets pretty messy from here on out. The expectation that we can continue living single occupant vehicle lifestyles- even as oil fouls our nest and the climate destabilizes- is delusional and dangerous. We are driving the destruction of the planet and we have the power to put a stop to it.
We will join hands across roads all over the US at 10am on June 26th, to physically halt motor vehicle traffic heading to the beach. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit vehicles will be allowed to continue on their way.
Hands Across the Road is a grassroots initiative that has now gone national. The movement started in Marin County, Californa where the individual contribution to oil dependence and climate change is among the highest in the nation. Where affluent people are responsible for some of the highest carbon footprints anywhere in the world. Where those who can afford it enjoy vast tracts of open space that may eventually fall victim to these excessive lifestyles.
In Marin meet at 10am at Levee Road and Highway One in Pt. Reyes Station, West Marin County, California.
By sheer coincidence (or perhaps divine intervention) the “Navigating the American Carbon World” Conference — a schmooze-fest of oil executives, bankers, offset dealers, and green(wash) groups flown in to- essentially- carve up and sell the sky, perpetuating our addiction to fossil fuels- is- at this moment sharing the San Francisco Marriott Marquis with (are you ready for this?)—– the annual meeting of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
So, at the protest today organized by the Mobilization for Climate Justice- West , we thought, why not merge the conferences? Get the psychiatrists to treat the carbon trading carbon addicts. The real victims, the ones in denial, who believe we can just ‘offset’ the damage like a papal indulgence to guilty pleasures- and we know where that leads.
White man sell sky
Denial– a common symptom of addiction- is widespread. We bury our heads in the sand against the looming climate devastation and energy crash- Can our system’s habit be treated by the latest in addiction therapy before it’s too late? Right now we’ve got the top addiction experts in the world sharing the same hotel as the Shell executives, the Bank of Americas that fund them, and the Terrapasses who pardon the sin– there’s really never been a better opportunity to admit we have a problem and enter recovery.
The Panel discussing how corporations can green(wash) themselves.
So last night at a cocktail party at 111 Minna for conference attendees put on by Brighter Planet, an offset company looking to open up west coast markets, I posed the question to Patty, the Executive Director of Brighter Planet who was on the panel…
“given that the carbon trading and offsetting industry are increasingly in disrepute over a number of scandals and abuses, such as the multi-million euro carbon trade scam uncovered on Tuesday by the Spanish authorities and given that James Hansen, one of the world’s most respected atmospheric scientists is now saying that carbon trading and offsets ‘are designed to perpetuate business-as-usual and squander the precious time needed to prevent the crossing of disastrous ‘tipping points’.’
Given all that, what is Brighter Planet doing to transition away from the sale of offsets?”
They didn’t like that question. I mean they REALLY didn’t like that question. The moderator tried to rip the microphone out of my hands, and got all flustered.
Much hostility from the audience, including the drunk carbon traders on the floor who were rudely yelling over the panel discussion. This guy Trevor from Barclays capital became agitated and walked away when I offered to sell him “Cheatneutral infidelity offsets.” Maybe he has guilt issues around his fossil fuel cheating. Who knows.
Then today during the MCJ Demo on the first day of the conference, people unfurled a large banner in the middle of 4th St., temporarily blocking traffic, gave speeches and street theatre, and disrupted the conference a number of times inside including an announcement on a live mic at the luncheon that “history will spit” on those who delay emissions reductions.
Anyway, no doubt more fun tomorrow at the Offset This! protest outside the Marriott Marquis- 4th and Market- at 8am tomorrow (friday). We’re headed for climate chaos, and we have a message for the bankers, oil executives, greenwash groups, and politicians who profit from delaying the inevitable weaning:
Shell thinks the impossible is possible, which I believe is called doublethink.
Leading up to the Copenhagen conference in December, Shell ads like the one above dominated not just any newspaper, but the online version of the UK Guardian, the bastion of progressive and liberal thought in Britain. The only paper with the chutzpah to publish George Monbiot and the only paper to print a halfway decent analysis of my research in September 2008.
So I started to wonder why. What was Shell’s strategy here? Why did they not also flood other papers with the same, misleading ads claiming to be on top of the climate change problem, claiming that CO2 can presumably be caught with a butterfly net? The cogs started whirring, the juices started flowing, and I think I may have finally come up with some sort of answer. An answer that perhaps provides us with a glimpse into the inner workings of one of the largest corporations on the planet. Or maybe I’m way off base. Or maybe it’s obvious and I’m just venting sequestered CO2.
As I’ve been telling you, it’s like everything else in advertising, Jeroen. It’s about market segmentation. Take readers of the Daily Mail, the Sun, and the Times. We’ll allow them to relax in the knowledge (or at least creeping doubt) that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy to take away our second homes and 4×4’s. Boy, those hackers we hired to break into the computers at the University of East Anglia sure paid dividends, didn’t they? Not such a bad plan after all, eh Jeroen?
It’s those pesky Guardian readers that have the potential to really rock the boat. If enough of them mobilize to go to Copenhagen, they may not disrupt the conference, but there’s a strong likelihood that the brutal suppression of protest we are planning with the Danish Police will radicalise them even further. And you know what will happen then. The same thing that happened to the Kingsnorth power station. The same thing that is about to happen to Heathrow’s Third Runway we’ve been so excited about, Jeroen. The same thing that is happening to the public perception of our beloved market-based climate solutions. It seems that wherever this “Climate Camp” go, they destroy our financial interests. I’ve told you before that there’s not much we can do to re-sedate individuals once they’ve been exposed to this lot. And our research shows that the biggest pool of malcontents they’re drawing from are Guardian readers.
Jeroen, we’ve already tried telling the truth, and that just got our sponsorship deal yanked. If we could somehow convince these people that we are concerned about climate change and working on solutions, then maybe they will just stay home and watch telly. We could have ads with butterflies and a cool seventies lava lamp theme. What do you think of my idea, Jeroen? Can I go for a ride with you in your sports car?
OK maybe I went a bit overboard, but it’s just disturbing to me when an oil company puts out ads not so that people will buy their products, but because they are engaging in psychological warfare against those who would be most likely to get involved in massive grassroots action to save the biosphere from continued devastation. They should call it sedative advertising. And the Guardian, despite its platform for revolutionary thought, goes right along with it.
After that SF Bay Guardian article about the Green Festival, I got Derrick Jensen’s books out of the library and have been tearing through them. I think the following quote describes exactly what I’m getting at. He’s talking about a book that was put out by US govt. agencies to ostensibly examine the benefits of removing dams. I think he’s absolutely right. We have to stop them ourselves.
“The primary purpose of Dam Removal was to convince people that something is being done about the murder of the planet. If the interests and their experts were doing nothing, then we would know we have to stop the murder ourselves. But if they are doing something-anything- then both they and we can relax, because the experts are taking care of the problem. ‘See,’ they can say and we can hear, ‘we put out a book on dam removal. We’re working on it. Have patience. Trust us.’
I no longer have patience. I no longer have trust. I no longer have time. Nor do salmon, sturgeon, or the others. It’s a rigged game. It is now, and within this culture it always has been. So long as this culture stands it always will be. The primary basis for dam removal decision-making by the powers that be is cost-benefit analysis, and the analyses are always- always- stacked in favor of the powers that be. If you are one of them you count. If you’re not, you don’t”
-Derrick Jensen, Endgame vol. II: Resistance
(any resemblance to persons living or dead in this post is purely coincidental)
The media loves a good conflict. So in a way it is no surprise that the Guardian (the San Francisco Bay one) has picked up on a growing level of dissatisfaction with the consumerist Green Festival, set to return to San Francisco in April 2010. In their article published December 16th, they covered our Cheatneutral shenanigans and also got some great quotes by the activist and author of Endgame, Derrick Jensen. I totally agree with what Jensen is saying here:
“Where is the overtly revolutionary material?” Jensen asked. “Where is the acknowledgement that capitalism needs to come down, or the discussion of the psychopathology of those in power? They talk only of alternative economies, but look what happened to every alternative economy — they get taken over and consumed by mainstream culture.”
It is this undercurrent of docility and powerlessness that permeates the Green Festival that is troubling. The assumption that buying a hemp necklace or a new water filtration system is somehow enough to halt the downward spiral. This is not a problem that requires tweaks, but a complete system overhaul. And increasingly, the Green Festival is looking like the greenwashed arm of that very system.
One thing is for sure. Carbon offset companies are vultures who are growing immensely wealthy by peddling a lie- that you can continue your extravagent western lifestyle and be ‘green’ at the same time. Here in the Bay Area it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing a “Terrapass” bumper sticker claiming “I clean up after my car.” These companies are guilty of false advertising and preventing real and lasting social change that is badly needed to respond to the threat of climate catastrophe.
As our representatives at the Copenhagen Conference descend to a new low, drafting secret agreements that exclude the developing world, there seems to be a new peak of energy, creativity and determination being demonstrated by people through art, music, film, and simply putting their bodies on the line to demand climate justice. Check it out below. Do send in more examples and I will add them.
By the way, what’s up with Canada? My Canadian friends have begin talking about moving to the US in protest. O dear. It’s all about the tar sands it seems.
Survival of the Fattest
If one piece of art can sum up what is happening at Copenhagen, it’s the one above. Jens Galschiot’s sculpture Survival of the Fattest depicts the developed world, represented by an obese goddess of justice, tipping the scales of justice as she gets a free ride on the back of the developing world, represented by a thin African man.
The inscription reads: “I’m sitting on the back of a man. He is sinking under the burden. I would do anything to help him. Except stepping down from his back.”
The Story of Cap and Trade
Annie Leonard brings her simple, no nonsense, and populist style to the seemingly complex issue of cap and trade, which forms the basis of U.S. climate legislation, and is (dubiously) supported by a number of mainstream environmental organizations like the NRDC. Find out “why you can’t solve a problem with the thinking that created it…”
Having a Good Time…
A great song and hilarious video by Theo Bard, addressing the entitlement of consumption. Theo was arrested for blocking a coal train around the time he wrote this song. I love it: “if you’re having a good time everything will be fine…”
Become the Bike Bloc
This lot has energy and a creative plan to harness human power to resist false solutions at Copenhagen. Their mysterious large device, pioneered with Bristol cycle engineering prowess, is being assembled at an ultra secret location in Denmark to prepare for actions on the 16th.
The Great Climate Swoop
In October, hundreds of people converged on the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal burning power station in Nottinghamshire, England with one single goal- to shut the mother down. This is one of an increasing number of direct actions directed at the source of greenhouse gases. I was speaking with a friend who was there, and he said he saw the mass action as having been successful, even though the plant remained operational. “At least now it’s pretty clear that they can’t build a coal fired power station without spending millions of pounds on barbed wire and electric fences in order to defend it against their own people…” Rumors are that there will be an attempt to reclaim the negotiations on Dec. 16th. I wonder how fast the water cannons will come out.
I don’t believe in global warming
This is a good one- hits the nail on the head “If I believed in global warming then all I would think about is global warming.” (as opposed to more important things like sex, presumably) Welcome to Planet Earth circa 2010.
Produced by Plane Stupid, this is clearly a response to those cuddly and friendly appeals by environmental organisations to ‘save the cute polar bears.’ This video reminds us that climate change caused by aviation means a grizzly and sad end to these beautiful creatures, as seen in tragic new photographs of a polar bear eating its own cub. (Warning this is reality. And yes even more graphic than the video)
Rap News: Lord Monckton Rap Battles Al Gore
The Australian outfit Juice Media have created quite the stir with their spot on, tuned in rap news- the presenter Robert Foster lays down the lyrics: “it’s tempting to cry victim when the system tries to curb behaviors, but are we the victims, or are we the perpetrators?
In the days leading up to Copenhagen, it seems that everyone has been talking about false market based climate ‘solutions’ such as carbon offsetting and trading. A couple of weeks ago, I cycled over to the Green Festival in San Francisco, put on by the non-profits Global Exchange and Green America (formerly Co-op America), to find out why carbon offsetting continues to be promoted as a solution, despite evidence that it can actually worsen emissions, and provide psychological cover for carbon-heavy lifestyles.
With this in mind, I put on a suit and tie, bought a half dozen helium heart balloons, tied them onto the back of my bike and coasted into downtown, red balloons flailing wildly in the wind as I flew down the Post St. hill. The romantic descent was only quelled somewhat by a sudden waft of urine as I navigated around garbage trucks through the Tenderloin. Luckily the balloons were hard to miss, and (I hoped) would act as airbags in case of assault by four wheeled death monster– an idea actually in development according to the blog Copenhagenize.
Why was I doing such a thing on a sunny Saturday afternoon in November when I could have been out riding on beautiful Mt. Tamalpais overlooking the Pacific Ocean? Screw nature. Forget love. I was heading to the Green Festival obsessed with profit. Yes that’s right. My mission was to gauge American consumer interest in an innovative new product created by 3 young entrepreneurs in the hills of mid Wales.
CheatNeutral.com, the company created by Christian Hunt, Alex Randall and Beth Stratford, promises to ‘offset’ your indiscretions by channeling your fee to another couple so as to “buy” their fidelity. The idea is that the overall ‘heartbreak, pain, and jealousy in the atmosphere’ would thereby remain stable. Romantic candlelit interludes and carnal pleasure fests alike- quantified and fed into the capitalist system, a privatisation of the most private areas of your life.
According to Operations Director Beth Stratford, Cheatneutral is one of a growing number of ‘guilt management tools’ now being marketed to assist in the rationalisation of a whole range of immoral and selfish acts.
But would San Francisco, the sex positive playground of the West, the home of the polyamorous burning man hipster, the Lusty Lady and the Barbary Coast take the bait, buy the snake oil and pay to break their partner’s heart? Or would it click that carbon offsetting is a dangerous distraction from the changes in behaviour that are now essential if we are to avert a future catastrophic crumbling of civilisation? Perhaps both.
Eager to find out, the new San Francisco marketing director for Cheatneutral.com strolled into the giant hall with hundreds of exhibitors flown in from around the country, thousands of attendees from the Bay Area and the vibe of a giant Whole Foods Market. My mission: to separate the sneaky cheaters from the loyal and faithful- to see whether the Green festival is really green– or just greenwash.
I handed out Cheatneutral Flyers, and explained the valuable service that we offered. Past stalls with hemp dresses, organic lotions, yerba mate beer, and assorted green sundry, I plied the trade, and neither the humour (nor the serious message) seemed to be lost on people, besides a few who started inquiring about prices and who I had to hurriedly explain that it was actually a joke.
Walking down the hallway, I ran into none other than Gavin Newsom the San Francisco mayor who has had his share of embarrassing extramarital affairs. A moment like this only comes along every so often. I strode up to him, his handlers visibly nervous at the approach of this suited man with a walrus moustache grasping a bunch of heart balloons. “Mayor Newsom, I’d like to tell you about our company. We’re Cheatneutral.com and we’re proud to be able to offset your sexual indiscretions for a small fee.” He looked confused for a minute, then smiled broadly. Apparently, he has been waiting for just such a service. He accepted the flyer, then continued down the hall, the gallons of product in his coiffed hair leaving a slime in his wake that would rival the Exxon Valdez.
I approached the booth of a company called “Brighter Planet” who sell carbon offsets- even allowing you to earn them for every dollar you charge to your credit card! Talk about missing the point.
Here are the chilling words from their website:
“At Brighter Planet, we’re proud to be pioneers of a new environmentalism: one that is accessible to everyone, fits easily with one’s lifestyle, and is fun to share. We invite you to sign up and join our growing community!”
I had a genial conversation with the guys from the company- one of them couldn’t stop laughing, while as soon as I started taking pictures he became very huffy and kicked me out of their booth. I guess it’s hard to admit that you are making a living by lying to people, making them feel green when they’re really not.
The day ended with a rap and ride by Fossil Fool, with his phenomenal new pedal powered mobile sound system:
“Don’t be greenin’ it if you ain’t meanin’ it
Only hurts the movement for those who believe in it…”
The Low Down on Offsetting Offsetting isn’t going to deliver us a stable climate any more than clicking your heels together and saying “there’s no place like home”. Offsets and other carbon trading measures simply allow the global rich to continue their unequal, immoral, and selfish appropriation of the Earth’s atmosphere. Offsetting and other false solutions to the climate crisis need to be stamped out and ridiculed at every opportunity.
Put simply, carbon heavy behavior like excessive consumption, driving and flying need to become so socially repugnant that if you choose to engage in them you will lose your friends and everyone will hate you. Period. Full Stop. It cannot be overstated the dramatic and tectonic- yet potentially sudden changes that this will require.
Guys who speed around in fancy cars must be deprived of the sex that presumably results from this primal macho display. Nothing like starving Africans and flooded homes to extinguish a girl’s appetite. But don’t worry we at Cheatneutral will compensate you for your flaccid moments with our Offset Project Program.™
Joking aside, bottom line is that we need to make this into a battle for individual hearts and minds- and that inevitably means behaviour shift as well. For too long we have been afraid of confronting each other’s oil addictions, discouraged by green organisations petrified of “offending the motorist” or being seen as too marginal.
Yet a major intervention, with all the family and friends round, sitting us down, smiling, and telling us that things can’t go on like this, is now what we desperately need. That for our own lives and happiness we should move back into the neighbourhood where we live, stop working so much so we can buy stuff we don’t need, get acquainted with our neighbours and ride a bicycle. Doesn’t sound that bad to me.
A climate friendly world would be a better world- but not for corporate greed (photo: Ecotopia)
The implications of the science are far more radical and marginal (by today’s standards) than even the most rabid hairshirt hippie ever dreamed up in a haze of cannabis laced idealism. Yet, it doesn’t seem to be translating into personal limits.
We need to put the science of climate change first- not our heavily ad-influenced assumptions about personal mobility and Victorian attitudes about our relationship with the natural world. Let’s figure out how much damage we’ve done, what it’s going to take to limit the worst of it, how much carbon all six billion of us can safely continue to emit, and restructure our societies to allow that to happen.
I’m talking- if not cold turkey- then a pretty cool bird. Using fuel simply to meet basic human needs, and to assemble infrastructure we will need over the long term, before the resource becomes unaffordable and out of reach. A pre-planned soft landing, lifting our heads out of the thick tar sands of oil addiction and see the forest for the trees (don’t get excited Green America- trees won’t offset the Alberta tar sands!).
As I understand the science there may not be even enough atmospheric space left for the global south to meet their basic needs like food, water, clothing and shelter and for us in the North to meet our own, without taking unacceptable risks to our safety (sorry, Donald Trump, your flight to the Bahamas is not a basic need).
The battle is not so much political or economic as moral. We are not powerless automatons, a society destined to perish in our own effluent just because some asshole in a suit wants to sell us the latest product. Presumably we all have free will and determine our own course in life- the effects of propaganda aside.
If we don’t buy their shit, and don’t buy into their insane growth-at-any-cost worldview, then their climate-wrecking machine will grind to a halt just as surely as a car without oil will sputter.
Anyone who’s been watching ongoing international climate negotiations can say it with confidence. Copenhagen will not yield a safe, sensible plan for climate stability. Governments and the corporations propping them up cannot be trusted it seems with such a basic function as protecting life on planet Earth.
It’s time to drop the pretense that the plane and the car aren’t selfish symbols of a 20th century level of unprecedented personal mobility that we can no longer afford- personally, culturally, or globally. We can no more neutralise the billions of tons of carbon that we are responsible for ejecting into the atmosphere as offset that selfish and ill-advised cheat that tore apart our lover’s heart. Love is not for sale. Neither is the atmosphere.
The credit for the title of this post goes to Zach Houston, who I found in a corner typing poems for people on an old manual typewriter at the Green Festival. Cheatneutral inspired a poem:
the car ban off streets
will be the only true
beauty is not even
having to travel
because we can
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!!
Fed Up Polar Bear Disrupts National BBC Wildlife Magazine HQ-
Shell Sponsorship of Photography Exhibit at Issue
This morning, Tuesday December 11th, at 10am, two members of “Arctic Associates” (aka Bristol Rising Tide), and one grumpy refugee polar bear paid a visit to the national offices of the BBC Wildlife Magazine at the top of Tower House in Broadmead, Bristol. More than a hundred employees looked on aghast (some winking in support) as “J. Smith” from Arctic Associates, flanked by Mr. Pole R. Bear, made a long and passionate speech about the sad and dangerous irony of allowing the world’s second largest oil company- responsible for endangering thousands of species through oil spills, toxic pollution, and climate change- to sponsor their Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award Contest, which is coming to Bristol Museum this Saturday December 15th.
The visit evidently created quite a stir, as employees of BBC Wildlife gathered around to hear what the commotion was all about, and the press team, directors, and building security simultaneously converged on the protesters, who were finally asked to leave, after circulating through both the 9th and 14th floors of the building, and speaking to the entire national staff of the BBC Wildlife Magazine, who are now more aware than ever of the historic blunder than was made when Shell’s £1,500,000 two year sponsorship deal was accepted.
Ironically, the poster child of this year’s Photography Award is a polar bear stuck on a melting iceberg, the most visible symbol of the climate-damaging nature of Shell’s core business.
Today Sir Nicholas Stern, a respected UK economist, issued a report predicting serious impacts to the British economy from the increasing number of naked bicycle rides through British town centres. “If governments act immediately and decisively to avoid the rising tide of naked cycling, we will avoid the worst impacts of this worrying trend.” Known as the World Naked Bike Ride, these events are intended to draw attention to problems of oil dependence and climate change. They began in Spain in 2004 and have been spreading throughout the world at a rate that has alarmed scientists. According to Philip Petrole, a scientist with the Royal Academy on Public Decency, “we predicted the current levels of push-bike nudism for the year 2020. We are very concerned that these dangerous and socially destabilizing events could potentially continue throughout the year due to increasing winter temperatures associated with global warming.”
Central to economists concerns is the potential extinction of the Chelsea Tractor Mum (CTM), an economic powerhouse driving the success of the UK High Street. According to latest research, as well as anecdotal evidence, there is reason to worry that recent naked rides through the Broadmead Shopping Centre in Bristol, have disrupted a crucial habitat for this species. One CTM recently commented, “It was absolutely horrible. I’ll never come back here again….dozens and dozens of muscley naked toned bodies exposing themselves. I’m still having nightmares about those bulging calfs and toned thighs….” Biologists believe that when confronted with a group of naked cyclists, CTM’s enter an uncomfortable state of cognitive dissonance, comparing the cyclists’ healthy toned and tanned bodies, big grins, and the sudden manifestation of safe, healthy communities with their own life of frustration shuttling the kids everywhere, sitting in traffic gridlock, and constant fear that one of their own obese offspring will be squashed by their Land Rover one day.
Panicking capitalists are now attempting to lure these shoppers back with fake robotic Chelsea Tractor Mums made of straw, in order to fool them into thinking that there remains a thriving community of consumers, that the brief appearance of the naked pedalers was only fleeting. Mall bosses are hoping that these measures will lure CTM’s back to the hungry tills, yet indications are that they are failing miserably. In a particularly worrying sign, several former CTM’s have been observed in recent days on Gloucester Rd, riding with the kids to school — the rosy glow returning to their cheeks.
A desperate meeting of Broadmead officials last week also resulted in the installation of giant freezer fans at the entrances to the mall, to be used in the event the naked cyclists return. According to unnamed staff of Mr. Bymore Plasticshite, executive director of the mall, the scheme has backfired, as the extra coal needed to be burned to power the giant freezers, has in turn warmed up the planet’s climate, and generated additional naked rides. Scientists are warning that this so-called feedback loop could end up producing runaway naked bike rides, until hopping on two wheels in the buff becomes the norm. “By then it will be too late. We must take decisive action now to halt the growing concentration of attractive bottoms flooding the high street. Our very way of life is under threat.”
"Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground....Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
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