Over the weekend of 3-4 Feb 2007, actions up and down the country and beyond targeted dangerous 'greenwash' being desperately pushed by corporations and politicians. The actions came in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released on Friday, which warned of world temperature rises of over 6C by the end of the century. The report indicated that a 4 degree rise would mean a 10% loss in global food production due to draught, flooding, water shortages. While the world slowly wakes up to the magnitude of climate chaos, Shell and Exxon Mobil last week announced record breaking profits. With the figures laid out so clearly, the nauseating hypocrisy spouted by corporations and politicians has spurred action from Paris to Aberdeen.
Links Press release for oil spill action | action report, photos & video | another video | Shell sponsorship background
Other actions Glasgow | Edinburgh | Plane Stupid | Greenpeace
Coming up Protest against ESSO, 9th Feb | Spring into Action
Climate Camp 2006 indymedia page | website | 2007 Camp 14-21st August | next organising meeting 17-18th Feb
Fossil fuel giants branded 'climate chaos profiteers' in the wake of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.
Over the weekend, actions up and down the country and beyond, have targeted dangerous 'greenwash' desperately pushed by corporations and politicians.
The IPCC, an expert panel of the worlds scientists, released a report on Friday warning of world temperature rises of as much as 6.4C (with 4c most likely) by the end of the century. The reports findings show a 4C rise would mean a 10% loss in global food production due to draught, increased flooding, water shortages, and an increased risk of diseases such as malaria. Most frightening of all, we risk run away climate change.
While the world wakes up to the magnitude of climate chaos, Shell and Exxon Mobil last week announced record breaking profits. Shell, for example, raked in an unprecedented $23 billion, and invested $15 billion back into unlocking new oil and gas reserves. Exon Mobil’s annual profit jumped to an unprecedented $36.13bn - 42% up on last year, primarily from the sale of fossil fuels.
With the figures laid out so clearly the nauseating hypocrisy spouted by corporations and politicians has spurred action from Paris to Aberdeen.
The Shell Wildlife Photographer of the year competition based at the Natural History Museum in London was the scene of mayhem on Saturday morning as 20 activists, inspired by the Camp for Climate Action, threw paint around the exhibition. The black oily paint across the photographs served to remind the public and the museum that the event is tainted by Shells slimy political agenda. A spoof banner was hung from the main hall above the famous dinosaur skeleton, and leaflets distributed outside, in order to alert visitors and staff to Shell’s ludicrous involvement with the exhibition. Although there were scuffles in the exhibition when security staff grappled with activists, NO-ONE was arrested. Activists reminded staff that they had no right to restrain or powers of arrest. As a result all involved were able to leave the building, through the main entrance, heads held high…. having had an enjoyable and productive day! A spokesperson for the museum defended their involvement with Shell in a sickeningly spineless response to the action saying "We fully acknowledge working with an energy company raises difficult questions about the need to balance energy use with the conservation of our natural habitat." [Photos 1 2 | video | BBC Online].
Simultaneously, Camp for Climate Action activists in Glasgow protested at a Shell garage, with banners and placards proclaiming "Shell Stop Gas flaring in Nigeria Now!".
At Edinburgh University on Friday, the fictional 'Greenwash & Co' parodied a talk being given by the current UK environment minister, David Miliband. The minister was then pied in the face by a pie-bearer in an unrelated incident. One activist involved said: "Greenwash has become a widespread and very harmful issue in the fight for environmental sustainability. Now any political body or corporation can reel off a few well-placed buzzwords or implement an insubstantial policy and appear 'green' without really having to make any serious changes. This is lulling people into a false sense of security. The purpose of protests like this is to show people what lies beneath the rhetoric and to wake up to the in-action and spin that surrounds us regarding environmental issues. Question everything: 'green' is not always what it seems."
On the same day, Plane Stupid activists spay-painted green and red footprints in travel agents across London, representing the effect flights have on our carbon footprints. In Manchester too, these footprint stencils appeared on Friday morning all over the city centre: outside supermarkets, travel agents, flight centres and the Hummer garage that had been target of climate activists only a few weeks earlier.
On Saturday, Manchester city centre was host to street performance and samba music from Rhythms of Resistance in an climate change awareness raising event.
Greenpeace were also quick to respond to the IPCC report, reminding us all that "it is not too late" from an enormous banner at the top of the Eiffel Tower. In addition DEFRA found a dirty great pile of coal deposited outside its London offices on Saturday morning. Green Peace are concerned that despite the warnings of the IPCC "Blair is ushering in a new generation of coal fired power stations on the UK, which will still be pumping out greenhouse gases in 50 years' time." Government spokespeople are now fluent in green wash spin- while actual policies still pander to corporate interests.
This diverse range of actions indicates that the movement against climate chaos is gaining momentum. Last month, the Camp for Climate Action announced the dates of the 2007 camp: 14th to 21st August. The Camp hopes to build on the success of the protests at Drax Power Station last summer. The 2007 location will be chosen collectively. The next organisational meeting is in Leeds on the 17th-18th February. Go to climatecamp.org.uk for more information.
The urgency and scale of the task facing us all is now wildly accepted. Mary Stevens was on the action at the Shell sponsored photography exhibition: "In the 21st Centaury, the greatest threat to life on earth is climate chaos, and yet corporate shareholders are enjoying record profits on the back of the carbon economy. In the battle against climate change, Shell, Exon Mobil and the like must be acclaimed as climate chaos profiteers. It would be a deadly mistake for the whole planet to trust their empty, well oiled spin."