Friday, July 24, 2009

Political Pranksters Say Latest Climate Venture Is Not Hot Air

By Joshua Rhett Miller

But can the Yes Men -- a group that has previously lampooned former President George W. Bush and impersonated officials from Dow Chemical and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- be taken seriously?

Igor Vamos, one of the Yes Men's founders, claims the Yes Men's latest venture,, is completely authentic. The group is seeking "like-minded people" to participate in non-violent acts of civil disobedience to coincide with the U.N.-hosted Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.

"It's a real site," Vamos told during a phone interview from Scotland. "But right now, it's still in the planning stages."

Vamos, who uses the alias Mike Bonanno, said the site was created about three weeks ago, but it hasn't been officially launched yet. He says several environmental groups and climate action organizations will join the effort and participate in "very wacky protests" as the climate conference approaches. But Vamos declined to identify those groups.

"Not every act of civil disobedience has to be somber," Vamos said. "We're looking for ways to build up a massive coalition to put pressure on governments [regarding climate change]."

The Yes Men say they are seeking 10,000 participants to participate in the yet-to-be determined acts of civil disobedience, and they are billing it as potentially the largest act of collective protest in the demand for aggressive action against climate change. As of midday Wednesday, 2,340 people had signed up, according to the Web site.,2933,533363,00.html

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