Greenpeace names villains behind the climate emergency
31 July 2019 (MONTREAL) – In collaboration with renowned street artist Roadsworth, known for his engaging street art in Montreal and abroad, Greenpeace activists rose early this morning to place large banners at the crossroad of LaGauchetière and Robert-Bourassa (in Montreal) to bring attention to the impacts of climate change and the role of the oil industry in contributing to the climate crisis. The installation was designed to mimic how oil companies proudly tout the benefits of their products, but instead bring attention to the harm they cause because of climate change.
Fighting climate despair through art
The art installation consisted of six (13 x 3 feet) banners which depicted various climate disasters, including droughts, floods, forest fires and extreme storms to which fossil fuel producers are contributing, and a message reading (in french) “Climate disasters proudly brought to you by Shell, BP, Exxon and Suncor” (‘Désastres climatiques, gracieuseté de Shell, BP, Exxon et Suncor).
Climate disasters have already cost countless lives and billions of dollars, as floods, droughts, wildfires and other extreme weather become stronger and more frequent. Meanwhile oil companies have spent millions on misleading advertising and lobbying to block action on climate change. Worldwide, the 100 biggest fossil fuel companies, including Exxon, Shell, BP, and Suncor, are responsible for the majority of the pollution that has triggered the climate crisis.
“I want people to become more aware of the power they have to act on climate change. I hope that my street art will help them connect the dots and give them the inspiration and motivation they need to fight for a better future. Art is a powerful way to tell the truth about the oil industry. I encourage everyone to embrace their artistic side and explore their own creative ideas to expose the reality of climate change. We can make change happen together, from the ground up,” said Roadsworth.
Subvertising activities in 25 cities around the world
The installation happened the same day as Greenpeace activists blanketed over 25 cities around the world with satirical ads conveying a similar message to the Montreal installation and featuring other oil company logos: “Climate emergency brought to you buy [oil company logos]”. The cities where posters were placed in public spaces include Manila, Moscow, Athens, Oslo, Amsterdam, and New York. Similar subvertisements will appear in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal as the day unfolds.
This international day of creative protest comes on the heels of months of student climate strikes and shortly before the release of the IPCC’s special report on Climate Change and Land in August.
“If we want to put an end to the oil industry’s toxic business model, we must mobilize and tell the truth about this industry so that they, and our governments, can be held accountable,” said Yann Robitaille, Greenpeace activist and volunteer.
“The climate crisis must become top of mind for all of us. Everyone needs to understand that it is already affecting our daily lives, our health and our future. That is why we need to quickly end the oil era and embrace real solutions to climate change, such as the holistic vision for people and planet offered by the Green New Deal,” said Isabelle L’Héritier, mobilization campaigner with Greenpeace Canada.
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