April 11, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Here’s an update on some recent Yes Men activities. But first, two appeals:
* In a few weeks, the Yes Men will speak at a major conference as one of the world’s biggest, nastiest companies. We’re planning something every bit as bizarre as the WTO’s meter-long golden phallus – but we’re a bit short on funds to pull it off. If you can help, please visit http://www.theyesmen.org/contactus/#donate or write to us.
* On a whole other level, survivors of the Bhopal catastrophe have just completed a march from Bhopal to Delhi to protest the Indian government’s refusal to help force Dow to the table; now they’re beginning a hunger strike. Please support them at
https://www.bhopal.net/delhi-march.html#actions or by donating to the Bhopal Medical Appeal (http://www.bhopal.org/donations/).
Now for the updates.
DOW PROMOTES “POST-CAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE”
Last November at a San Francisco nanotechnology conference, a “Dow representative” urged the scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs in the audience to hurry potentially dangerous nanotech products to market before they could be tested. Citing Dow’s record profits despite a history of releasing dangerous and often lethal products, the representative asserted that caution is best deferred until after a product is released, and that testing ought to be performed not by the corporation but by the population at large, to give them the opportunity to participate in corporate progress. The audience, to their credit, found these ideas disturbing, but many admitted that
they had no control over how the products they were developing would be released. Meanwhile, in the exhibits hall, the Yes Men discovered that nanotech products known to be dangerous are available for sale to anyone with the money….
The pesticide Dursban was banned in the US in 2001; that very year, Dow opened a Dursban plant in Chiplun, India, and now manufactures and sells it in India. Last December, the Yes Men, posing as Dow managers, dropped in on the factory for an inspection. They had been told of the plant by Bhopal survivors, who are angry that Dow is able to launch new, harmful ventures in India even as they continue to get away with murder in Bhopal.
Also in December, the Yes Men visited the largest agricultural fair in India and learned how companies like Monsanto sell their expensive seeds to farmers, who are often ruined when the crop doesn’t perform as well as expected; thousands of farmers have lately committed suicide by drinking the pesticide that comes with the seeds, and millions more have ended up in big-city slums. After speaking to Monsanto and other company representatives to learn their sales tricks, the Yes Men successfully sold seeds armed against “amoebas and houseflies” and demonstrated a pesticide that doesn’t kill but simply lobotomizes the drinker, making him or her happier with
OIL SOLVES GLOBAL WARMING
One week ago in Norway, one of the world’s very richest countries, the Yes Men posed as investigative reporters at a journalism conference and revealed their “discovery” that Norway, far from being enviro-friendly as everyone believes, is probably the world’s largest agent of climate change per capita. This is because (a) Norway is the world’s third largest petroleum exporter, and (b) Norway invests the billions it makes from petroleum in a wide range of oil, automobile, airplane, shipping, and defense companies, via its massive “Petroleum
Fund.” (While Norway’s aid to Pakistan, investments in ecological measures, and support of the Nobel Peace Prize are much better known, they are much smaller than its aid to Shell, Chevron, Exxon, Halliburton, etc. via the Fund.)
The journalists were dumbfounded at the April Fools’ talk. When the truth came out that the “investigators” were phony, many of the journalists did express surprise that the hypocrisy of a supposedly “green” country being so heavily invested in oil, pollution, and war had not received more attention.