September 21, 2009
New York’s favorite tabloid got a face-lift of sorts one day before the city hosted a major UN summit on climate change. Distributed by over 2000 volunteers throughout New York City, an eco-conscious but otherwise pitch-perfect replica of theNew York Post, created by a coalition of activists including the Yes Men, was handed out across the city as a wake-up call to action on climate change.
Although the 32-page Post is a fake, everything in it is 100% true, with all facts carefully checked by a team of editors and climate change experts. The cover story (“We’re Screwed”) reports the frightening conclusions of a blue-ribbon panel of scientists commissioned by the mayor’s office to determine the potential effects of climate change on the City. That report was released in February of this year, but received very little press at the time. Other lead articles describe the Pentagon’s alarmed response to global warming (“Clear & Present Disaster”), the U.S. government’s sadly minuscule response to the crisis (“Congress Cops Out on Climate”), China’s alternative energy program (“China’s Green Leap Forward Overtakes U.S.”), and how if the US doesn’t quickly pass a strong climate bill, the crucial Copenhagen climate talks in December could be a “Flopenhagen.”
The paper made its debut on the same week that Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was to push 100 world leaders to make serious commitments to reduce carbon emissions in the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009. Ban has said that the world has “less than 10 years to halt (the) global rise in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the planet,” adding that Copenhagen is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
The real Post, owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., was not amused.