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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 4:49 AM
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Talking Yes Men pull off hoax at Go Expo Energy Conf. in Calgary

Yes Men pull off hoax at Go Expo Energy Conference in Calgary

Canadian Business Online
June 14, 2007 - 10:08 p.m.

CALGARY (CP) - A pair of anti-corporate activists may have pulled off a bizarre prank at the Go Expo Energy conference.

Footage was broadcast on a television station Thursday from an online site called theenergynews.com showing members of a group called the Yes Men posing as key players from the U.S. oil industry.

Oil and gas industry executives had paid $50 each to hear a speech from the National Petroleum Council, a group that advises the White House on oil and gas matters.

Rumour had it that a new joint energy policy from the Canadian and American governments was coming down the pike.
At first, the speech just seemed odd.

"Without oil, at least four billion people would starve," one of the speakers earnestly told the crowd. "This spiral of trouble would make the oil infrastructure utterly useless.
"And starving would become the new black."

When the speaker started to talk about vivolium - a renewable energy source nobody in the room had ever heard of - the red flags started to go up.

But once the pair lit up two torch-like candles and urged the audience to do the same in memory of a dead Exxon oil worker, attendees and organizers realized they'd been had.

The pair were quickly ushered off the stage and out of the building by security guards.

"We apologize for this incident," said Wes Scott of Go Expo. "We of course make every attempt to verify and, you know, ensure that the credibility and legitimacy of our speakers is always on par. Unfortunately, today's keynote speaker and presentation was misrepresented."

How did the Yes Men manage to get on stage in the first place?
Organizers of the conference said they were approached by what they thought was a reputable company offering them speakers from the petroleum council.

The conference took them up on the offer. After Thursday's debacle, they contacted the petroleum council directly. Council officials confirmed they have nothing to do with the men who appeared in Calgary.

The Yes Men have been travelling the world for years, pulling similar pranks at corporate events in an effort to demonstrate how corporations and government act in dehumanizing ways toward the public.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 5:12 AM
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That was really funny. I saw this on the news. It took them a long time to catch on!
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 6:42 PM
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^thats awesome!
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 10:49 PM
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Pics!



Quote:
Yes Men member, Jacques Servin (aka "Shepard Wolff" aka "Andy Bichlbaum"), presents Exxon's new human flesh-derived "Vivoleum" future fuel at a Keynote Luncheon at the GO-Expo 2007 (Oil and Gas Exposition) in Calgary, Alberta.

Alberta is currently home to the 2nd largest reserve of oil in the World when its Oilsands are included, so this is a particularly fitting venue for this "product" announcement.

The oilmen listened to the lecture with attention, and then lit
"commemorative candles" supposedly made of Vivoleum obtained from the
flesh of an "Exxon janitor" who died as a result of cleaning up a
toxic spill. The audience only reacted when the janitor, in a video
tribute, announced that he wished to be transformed into candles
after his death, and all became crystal-clear.

www.vivoleum.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/itzafin...7600367729006/

June 15, 2007, 2:46 pm
Vivoleum is People!


Posted by Mark Gongloff
Wall Street Journal Online

Joanna Ossinger reports on the latest prank by those corporate goads, the Yes Men:

The Yes Men have done it again.

The anticorporate activists crashed the keynote luncheon Thursday at Canada’s “largest oil and gas event” – the Gas & Oil Exposition 2007 in Calgary. According to the expo’s Web site , the luncheon’s speaker was a “Special Advisor” to the “National Petroleum Council,” an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Energy currently chaired by former Exxon Mobil CEO Lee Raymond.

Luncheon attendees showed up expecting a major announcement detailing the long-awaited results of an NPC study. What they got instead were the Yes Men, pretending to be representatives of the NPC and Exxon Mobil. The Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum says he and Mike Bonnano started out telling attendees about a World Health Organization study that estimates climate change is responsible for about 150,000 deaths a year. The good news, they told the luncheon, tongues in cheek, was that “that sort of loss to the biome could be turned into a net asset.”


A Yes Man with the offending candles (Yes Men)

The Yes Men said the flesh of those human casualties could be turned into a new Exxon oil product called Vivoleum. “With more fossil fuels comes a greater chance of disaster, but that means more feedstock for Vivoleum,” Bonnano told the conference. “Fuel will continue to flow for those of us left.”

By this point in the presentation, the audience still didn’t seem to realize it was being had. “It remained abstract,” Bichlbaum says. But then the Yes Men passed around a visual aid, and the jig was soon up. “The point at which we got interrupted was about five minutes after we had passed out these candles that were supposedly made from human flesh, to demonstrate their fuel capacity.” The candles had hair sticking out of them and, when burned, started to stink.

A conference organizer stopped the presentation, the Yes Men were escorted out, and the police were called. Bichlbaum and Bonnano were not charged with any wrongdoing. “It was a really funny scene — the [organizers] were extremely uptight about it,” Bichlbaum says. “They had 20,000 people there, they had really touted this event, and done a lot to get the media there.”

Calgary police confirm the Yes Men were escorted from the expo by security.

The Yes Men say they targeted Exxon Mobil and the Canadian oil and gas industry because “they’re just pouring immense amounts of research into oil sands,” Bichlbaum says, a process environmentalists argue is contributing to global warming. “Scientists are telling us that this sort of thing is going to destroy our civilization. Why don’t we have the political will to make that kind of investment into technologies that will actually save us? They’re pouring research money into something that’s going to make this worse.”

Bichlbaum says the expo organizers have not contacted him since the prank, but he hopes they sue. “It would bring a lot of attention to this issue.”

Exxon Mobil won’t comment. NPC spokeswoman Carla Byrd says, “We didn’t find out much about it until late yesterday, and that’s mostly from what we’ve read. We had no knowledge of it until late last night.”
A public-relations firm representing the expo, dmg world media, also won’t comment. In a press release, it says it “continues to make every attempt to verify the legitimacy and credibility of its speakers and security of its conference venues.”

Permalink | Trackback URL: http://blogs.wsj.com/energy/2007/06/...ple/trackback/
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Batman: "This money goes to building better roads. We all must do our part."

Last edited by Holden West; Jun 19, 2007 at 10:57 PM.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 10:50 PM
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haha wicked pic
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 10:55 PM
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This wasn't funny at all. The organizers thought they were getting a responsible speaker for the US petroleum industry (i forget which major company), which these guys advertised themselves as. Then they show up and pull this stunt. Not impressive. I would support fraud charges against the group.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 11:02 PM
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Oh lighten up, a bunch of uber-rich oil profiteers get a harmless prank pulled on them... It was funny
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 11:32 PM
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...then let's prank an eco movement and see if this is so funny....

however, you must admit this took guts to pull this off...
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2007, 6:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise_of_the_West View Post
This wasn't funny at all. The organizers thought they were getting a responsible speaker for the US petroleum industry (i forget which major company), which these guys advertised themselves as. Then they show up and pull this stunt. Not impressive. I would support fraud charges against the group.
It is good to know that atleast one person in this thread had the guts to stand up for the poor, maligned oil industry executive. Oh how they've long suffered with the cruel fates of wealth and power, some one should really start a charity for them.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2007, 5:49 PM
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That was awesome. They also spoke here in Edmonton just afterwards but I couldn't make it.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2007, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edmonchuck View Post
...then let's prank an eco movement and see if this is so funny....

however, you must admit this took guts to pull this off...
shower green peace in oil and furs during a show.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2007, 8:35 PM
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^^ LOL

Just for reference, i don't belive in anyone pulling that sort of stunt. Its fraud (yes mabey funny when it happens to the oil companies) but it dosen't matter how rich or poor you are. Thes guys deliberately misrepresented themselves, and hijacked the $50/plate dinner (not to mention the reputation of the organizers).

I'm not saying i agree with the oil companies enviromental record (or profit margins) but I am calling what this prank was, FRAUD.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2007, 8:59 PM
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Pranks by definition are a fraud. So what.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2007, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise_of_the_West View Post
^^ LOL

Just for reference, i don't belive in anyone pulling that sort of stunt. Its fraud (yes mabey funny when it happens to the oil companies) but it dosen't matter how rich or poor you are. Thes guys deliberately misrepresented themselves, and hijacked the $50/plate dinner (not to mention the reputation of the organizers).

I'm not saying i agree with the oil companies enviromental record (or profit margins) but I am calling what this prank was, FRAUD.
You don't get invited to many parties, do you?
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2007, 4:52 AM
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Again, and not like I'm defending the oil companies here, but I wonder what the reaction here would be if you pranked Greenpeace et al...you would be a FRAUD, an INHUMAN PRANKSTER DEFRAUDING THE GREAT CAUSE "X"...

Something tells me that the folks here that find this one so funny would be asking for thix version's heads...

funny when it is a cause you like to hate, disgusting when it is a cause you love.

My point, this "prank" now has lost its message in its medium. There are better ways...
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2007, 5:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edmonchuck View Post
My point, this "prank" now has lost its message in its medium. There are better ways...
Such as...
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  #17  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2007, 2:03 PM
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There was a documentary about these guys in theatres about two years ago, named, you guessed it, "the Yes Men". They're hilarious. They pull similar stunts almost every year against the WTO and other global conglomerates. If you can find the DVD, it's worth watching. You can learn more about the "Re-burger" - it's more gross than vivoleum!
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Old Posted Jun 22, 2007, 7:49 AM
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I'm willing to bet every attendee at that dinner felt they got more than their money's worth (which was paid for by their employers anyway). Have you ever attended a conference like this? Usually they're quite dull. Now everyone has a great anecdote to take home with them. The only people upset seem to be the organizers, and they're probably mad at themselves over the fact they didn't adequately check the backgrounds of the presenters.

It was even mentioned in the prestigious Scientific American.com:

Quote:
SCIAM OBSERVATIONS
Opinions, arguments and analyses from the editors of Scientific American
June 19, 2007

04:40:29 pm, Categories: Global Warming and Climate Change, 168 words

Beyond petroleum with Vivoleum

In a speech at Canada's largest oil conference in Calgary last week, Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men, a political prankster group, posed as a representative of the U.S. National Petroleum Council. He told several hundred oilmen that, to address worldwide energy needs, "we need something like whales, but infinitely more abundant." Into the breach comes Vivoleum--a fuel made by "transforming the billions of people who die into oil," according to a blog item by a Reuters environmental reporter. Bichlbaum and a companion were thrown out after handing out Vivoleum memorial candles purportedly made from the remains of an Exxon-Mobil worker who had died following the clean-up of a toxic waste spill. (The candles were actually made of paraffin, beeswax and human hair.).

Vivoleum has potential. It is not exactly a renewable resource, but, unlike petroleum, it is an expanding one, given the aging of the world's population. One drawback: Vivoleum emissions might not meet the goal of achieving a substantive decline in atmospheric carbon releases by 2050.
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