Now that the dust has settled from the last two weeks at the Copenhagen summit, it's time to look back at some stories that may have flown under the radar, or were otherwise diluted by the massive amounts of information from Copenhagen produced by citizen and traditional journalists, bloggers, and photographers. In particular, there was one story out of Canada that received lots of press attention, even if it was fake press attention.
The Canadian Government was the target of an elaborate hoax and an experiment in prefigurative politics orchestrated by the satirical political activists, the Yes Men, that claimed Canada had made a major about-face on their climate policy, promising vast emissions cuts and reparation payments for their climate debt. Familiar from their recent punking of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other stunts, the Yes Men have gotten pretty good at these acts of direct political action and the most recent action is likely the most complex thus far.
It all started with a tip to journalists and a phony press release that was published on what was made to look like the Canadian government's official environment page (http://www.enviro-canada.ca as opposed to Canada's real environment page: http://www.ec.gc.ca/). Canada's sudden change of course in climate policy was shortly followed by another press release announcing a press conference from the Ugandan delegation welcoming the reversal as an important step for the cause of climate debt and reparations.
The fake Ugandan delegation then staged a fake press conference at a make-shift press room designed to look just like the press room at the Bella Center and posted the video on a fake COP15 website (http://cop-15.org as opposed to the real site, http://en.cop15.dk/).
The news was so big, it was covered in this fake Wall Street Journal article
Why Canada? Apparently, wanted to bring attention to the fact that Canada is the only country to ratify Kyoto and then formally retract its commitment. Canada has been able to slip in under the radar of world attention to carbon polluters, yet
And when Canada apparently did catch they published a statement calling-out the press release as a fake... or so it would seem. As it turns out, the second statement from the Canadian government calling out the first statement as a hoax was also a hoax.
Read more about the act of prefigurative politics and the Canadian climate policy hoax at the The Yes Men website. Watch the Yes Men give a real press conference, of sorts, explaining the whats, how and whys below: