Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 2pm AM
Photos and videos: www.theyesmen.org/plunge#photos
350.org day of action, Oct. 24: 350.org
More about Survivaballs: www.survivaball.com
More Survivaballs in action: www.survivanet.com
More about the Yes Men: www.theyesmenfixtheworld.com
Survivaballs Storm U.S. Capitol, Citing Frustration Over Senate Inaction on Climate
Dramatic Plunge Down Capitol Steps Marks 350.org Pre-Launch Event
At one point, Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men, wearing a Survivaball, began a speech on the Capitol steps. "I think this is our country, our country!" he said, before being grabbed by a policeman. At that point he let out a bloodcurdling scream and tumbled all the way down the monumental Capitol steps. "I'm fine, I'm fine," he said at the bottom. "No matter what comes as a result of climate change, Survivaball can protect us." (Video here.)
At another point, a fleet of Survivaballs chased Senator Arlen Spector outside the Hart Senate Office Building. "Anyone as wishy-washy on climate issues as the Senator, who thinks that clean coal is an answer, needs a Survivaball," said Ross Finlayson, a top Surviva-model involved in the chase. "Maybe he ran away because he knew that even he couldn't afford one."
Survivaballs are the stupidest costume known to humankind, and the Yes Men say that their point is to highlight the absurdity of the Senate's slow pace in responding to climate change. Originally deployed by "Halliburton" at an insurance conference on the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast (full story here), they have now replicated, and a fleet of 20 are available as a tool for climate activists.
After their antics on the Capitol steps and in front of the Senate building, the Survivaballs continued their antics to the Chamber of Commerce, the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. More reports will be posted at www.theyesmen.org/plunge.
The Yes Men are known for exposing corporate greed by posing as important corporate spokespeople at business conferences. Yesterday they posed as spokesmen from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and announced that the Chamber had decided to throw its full support behind climate change legislation currently in Congress, a contentious issue over which several Chamber members have recently resigned.
"Not doing anything about climate change is even stupider than the this costume," said Bonanno. "After yesterday's encounter, and the Chamber's continued insistence it will do nothing on climate change, we realized we need to take them Survivaballs."
The actions today served as an early kickoff for the 350.org international day of climate action planned for this coming weekend. On Saturday, October 24th people in over 3,800 communities in 164 countries will come together to demand that leaders embrace the target of 350 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric carbon. (Until recently, and for at least 650,000 years, the level of atmospheric carbon never exceeded 290 ppm. The current level is 390 ppm and rising.)
350.org says that a fair, ambitious and binding climate treaty in Copenhagen this year is the only way to get the world back down to 350, and give us a fair shot at a decent future.
(Additional Survivaball information: The Survivaball pretends to be a self-contained living system specially engineered to protect the wearer from all possible climate change impacts, including droughts, floods, tornadoes, and even food shortages. It has supposedly been developed by America’s largest companies as the sole alternative to the climate bills in Congress and the UN treaty designed to combat global climate change. The activists wearing Survivaballs today sought to highlight how dire the situation will be in the coming decades if no serious action is taken to both fight and adapt to climate change.)