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AmeriCAN or AmeriCAN'T? Contractors Dance Their Answer
Security bigwigs applaud plan for renewable energy revolution
Contractors, lobbyists and officials attending the Homeland Security Congress in Washington DC yesterday did a "traditional" Native American circle dance to celebrate a fictitious new US government plan, the "American Renewable Clean-Energy Network" (AmeriCAN), to convert the US to 100% renewable energy by 2030. (Photos here; other material here.)
The conference attendees—including a retired Navy Admiral, a retired USAF General, a former Seal Team Seven leader, an aspiring Republican Congressman, lobbyists, and many homeland security contractors—applauded frequently during the stirring announcement by the US Department of Energy's "Benedict Waterman" (actually Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men), as well as the eloquent speech by "Bana Slowhorse" of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (actually Gitz Crazyboy, a youth worker from the Athabascan Chippewyan First Nations, whose land includes the Alberta Tar Sands).
"Bana's" speech concluded: "We are all the Department of Energy." All attendees then danced a "celebratory circle dance" to the singing of "Drum Chief Four Feathers" (actually Tito Ybarra, an Ojibwe comedian and singer). After the event, two dozen contractors lined up to hand "Waterman" and "Slowhorse" their cards and offer their services in carrying out the conversion.
"Waterman's" energy plan would redirect oil company tax breaks and subsidies to support renewables instead; commit "Manhattan Project-level" Defense spending to renewables in order to prevent future climate-change-related conflicts; and partner with Native American nations whose lands could provide all of our renewable energy needs.
The plan, based on a number of sources including Stanford's Solutions Project (FAQ here), would produce nearly 8 million jobs; save $530 billion per year in health-care costs alone; result in much lower eventual fuel costs and greater price stability; and provide much greater energy security. It would also reduce the risk of the climate change effects that are projected to cost the US at least $2 trillion per year by 2100 if nothing is done to address it.
Best of all, "Waterman" said, the plan would make a survivable future more likely. He also said that the government was enacting this plan because people are increasingly upset about climate change, and that if we don't take revolutionary action today, there could be a real revolution tomorrow. The conference attendees applauded this statement too.
The action was intended to spread two messages: first, that a complete renewables conversion is indeed possible today, with our current technology; and second, that it will only happen if millions of people take action to force our leaders to truly represent us.
Besides the Yes Men, Crazyboy, and Ybarra, participants in this project included members of Idle No More, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and several other groups. The action occurred just a few days after the "Cowboys and Indians Alliance" rally against the Keystone XL pipeline.
"Waterman's" wig was made by RuPaul's wig designer for the occasion.
- Mike Bonanno, The Yes Men, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-209-3282
- Andy Bichlbaum, The Yes Men, email@example.com, 718-208-0684
- Gitz Crazyboy, firstname.lastname@example.org