The Yes Men Save the Arctic

To change the world you need some good sense of humour – that’s what we learn from the Yes Men.

Their latest coup: exposing what Shell really is doing with our climate. Their fake Shell ads and videos are a successful prank on one of the most ruthless companies active today.

Dutch Petrol Company Shell is unstoppable: as we are running “out of easily accessible oil, they’re being pushed to the environmentally destructive, high-cost oil provinces like the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the tar sands of Canada and the Arctic oceans off Greenland, Russia, Canada and the US”, Greenpeace writes. The price is high not only for extracting oil in these areas but most of all for the environment. “None of the oil companies inspires confidence when it comes to drilling safety: there is virtually a 100% certainty of spills when drilling for oil, but the Arctic raises even bigger worries. The US regulator – the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management – estimates a one-in-five chance of a major spill occurring in just one block of leases held by Shell in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska. This would be worrying enough, but Shell’s level of preparation for any such accident isn’t just relaxed, it’s nearly non-existent.”

Reason enought to act, right? That’s probably what the Yes Men thought – if you don’t know them yet, check out their wonderful documentaries. Their latest: THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD “is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world’s most outrageous pranks.”

Part of their newest hit is the following video known by the tag #ShellFAIL:


The event was a hoax, and so was the follow-up email and the website with its often hilarious-if-it-wasn’t-true fake Shell marketing copy.” The Yes Men confuse people, that’s their strategy. Simply because what they tell is the truth – but the company would never say that. From the (fake but very true looking) homepage: ‘That’s why we at Shell are committed to not only recognize the challenges that climate change brings, but to take advantage of its tremendous opportunities. And what’s the biggest opportunity we’ve got today? The melting Arctic.'” On the homepage the Yes Men and friends have also put together a couple of fake ads like the one above. You can even make your own and send it to your friends!

If you have great ideas for pranks on big companies with big money: join the YES LAB. “The Yes Lab was founded to help progressive groups carry out ethical, high-impact projects with clear campaign goals.”


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