World leaders negotiate an historic climate agreement. ... Temperature rise will be kept below 2 degrees, averting runaway global heating and chaotic weather. ... Celebrations break out. ... World leaders at Copenhagen thank the citizens of the world for the months of protests that created the political will to take on the climate crisis while there was still time:
"It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies.... To those who were arrested, we thank you."You've probably figured it out by now.
These announcements are part of a fake issue of the International Herald Tribune, dated December 19, 2009. The newspaper is another hoax by the Yes Men (sadly, no relation to YES! magazine), this time in collaboration with Greenpeace. All the headlines are made up.
But it all could come to pass. As real news continues to come out about the climate crisis, the alarm is spreading. Next December's global climate talks in Copenhagen may seal the deal -- world leaders will either step up to the crisis with binding commitments to cut their own emissions and help the poorer nations to do the same, or we may be in for runaway climate catastrophe.
The headlines in this faux newspaper contain the news that many hope for, crediting mass nonviolent civil disobedience for the changes.
"Non-violent civil disobedience has been at the forefront of almost every successful campaign for change," Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, said in announcing the prank newspaper. The Yes Men are also behind the technology at BeyondTalk.net, a new database where people can sign up to do civil disobedience, or, through "action offsets," financially support others willing to risk arrest for the climate.
"Especially in America, and especially today, we need to push our leaders hard to stand up to industry lobbyists and make the sorts of changes we need."