The Yes Men Strike Again With Gitz Crazyboy

From the interview by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman & Juan González with the Yes Men & Gitz Crazyboy:

GITZ CRAZYBOY: Keystone XL is important, I think, especially like turning a page in America’s history. You have this amazing resistance, the CIA, the new CIA, Cowboy and Indian Alliance, that are adamantly rejecting the TransCanada pipeline that’s coming through. It’s interesting to talk about the pipeline, because the State Department has released that there’s only going to be 35 permanent jobs out of this. People are saying it’s pushing thousands of jobs, but in the end, 35 permanent jobs. They’re pulling out of their responsibility to protect and maintain the pipe. People don’t know about synthetic crude oil, which is thick, and they have to mix it with other chemicals. These expedite the process of the pipes being eaten away. So we have no idea—like, a 50-year pipe with synthetic crude oil pumping through it won’t last 50 years; it’ll last less, depending on the volume and how the mixture is. That’s the CIA alliance here in America’s Heartland. There’s also the resistance pockets we’re seeing in—up with the Enbridge pipeline, with the Unist’ot’en, the Wet’suwet’en Freedom Camp.

AMY GOODMAN: Which is where?

GITZ CRAZYBOY: Northern BC. It’s right in the middle of the pipeline [inaudible].

AMY GOODMAN: British Columbia.

GITZ CRAZYBOY: British Columbia. And then on the East Coast, you have the Elsipogtog, and there are people who are adamant against fracking. These are the resistance pockets we are seeing that are continuously building every single day, and they’re adamant about this not going through.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you put this in the context of previous actions The Yes Men have done, for those who don’t know what you do?

ANDY BICHLBAUM: Well, yes. Go ahead.

MIKE BONANNO: I mean, this fits within the continuum of things we’ve done, where we have impersonated government officials or, you know, government or industry bigwigs, infiltrated their conferences, and on their turf said something that either was dark satire, in the tradition of Jonathan Swift, like A Modest Proposal, or simply engage the utopian dream. So we would announce, for example, on live television that Dow Chemical was finally going to clean up the mess in Bhopal and compensate the victims, which they haven’t done even 30 years on from the largest industrial accident in history. And by doing that, it creates this moment of confusion, where people ask, “Why don’t they do that? Why don’t we simply do the right thing?” Because there’s nobody out there who thinks that the people in Bhopal should keep suffering, who thinks that the toxic waste that they left on that site should keep poisoning people for generations. Everybody knows it’s the right thing to do, so why don’t we do it? And this is one of those cases. Converting to renewable energy now is the right thing to do. It’s the only thing to do. And so, why aren’t we doing it?

ANDY BICHLBAUM: And everybody knows it. As soon as you mention it, everybody understands. “Oh, obviously we should,” and they do a circle dance with you. And there are lots of credible plans for converting to renewable energy. You just have to look for them. There’s one, The Solutions Project, that has solutions for every single state in the union, how to convert to convertable energy and what that would mean. There are many projects—there’s one out of Stanford—that show the benefits of this. And it’s not just in reducing the risk of climate change, which is big enough; it’s also going to save $500 billion in healthcare costs, which are due to air pollution. Fifty-nine thousand people die every year from air pollution in the U.S. That’s expensive, besides being terrible.

MIKE BONANNO: And if we don’t do it, we’re going to end up with places that look like where Gitz is from. I mean, Gitz comes from the tar sands. We went and looked at the places where his people have lived for thousands of years, and it is a big black hole in the ground. It is incredible. It’s disturbing. It’s frightening.

GITZ CRAZYBOY: Well, it’s really turning a biodiverse boreal forest into a toxic wasteland. I mean, these problems are going to be there for generations to come. Like monitoring the waste that’s there from the tailings ponds from the excess, like, crap that comes out of the tar sands, minimum 150 years. It’s going to be half—it’s just going to be monitored to see what happens after that. So, literally, we’re digging these things, these gigantic tailings pond wastes, that can be seen from space. We’re destroying all the biodiversity in the area. We’re poisoning the Athabasca watershed. And all these poisons are going north. We’re seeing sicknesses that are killing people within the communities, rare cancer clusters we’ve never had. We’re seeing species of fish being deformed, tumors within animals that walk, mass amounts of birds dying every single year from landing on the tailings ponds. But not only birds landing on the tailings ponds, animals swimming through, because it looks like a river. It looks like a lake. And once they step in there, they have to be euthanized. This is the largest, most destructive industry on the face of this planet. And it’s growing every single day.

ANDY BICHLBAUM: And that’s what the Keystone XL pipeline is all about. It’s getting oil from there to the Gulf to be shipped for export to make these companies even wealthier. And the good news is that indigenous activists in Canada have stopped already—have stalled, at least, the Northern Gateway pipeline, which is about the same thing, getting the oil to the Pacific Coast. It’s completely stalled, largely, I think, because of indigenous activism.

GITZ CRAZYBOY: But not only that, I mean, there’s a lot of non-natives, as well.

ANDY BICHLBAUM: Yeah.

GITZ CRAZYBOY: I mean, there’s the town of Kitimat, which is a resource-based town, like fishing, lumber, all of that. It’s a resource-based town. They voted against having this pipeline coming through, because they see it as too much of an environmental risk.

VISIT: YesLab.org

WATCH: The Yes Men Fix The World, P2P Edition FULL MOVIE (2009) (w/subtitles)

See also: Electronic Frontier Foundation

WATCH ALSO: GNARR — Best Party – Defeating Criminal Bankers

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