Halliburton is the latest corporate victim of online satire with anti-corporate pranksters The Yes Men targeting the controversial multinational with a press release and website proclaiming “Halliburton Solves Global Warning”:

SurvivaBalls save managers from abrupt climate change

An advanced new technology will keep corporate managers safe even when climate change makes life as we know it impossible.

“The
SurvivaBall is designed to protect the corporate manager no matter what
Mother Nature throws his or her way,” said Fred Wolf, a Halliburton
representative who spoke today at the Catastrophic Loss conference held
at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Amelia Island, Florida. “This technology
is the only rational response to abrupt climate change,” he said to an
attentive and appreciative audience.

Most
scientists believe global warming is certain to cause an accelerating
onslaught of hurricanes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, etc. and that a
world-destroying disaster is increasingly possible. For example, Arctic
melt has slowed the Gulf Stream by 30% in just the last decade; if the
Gulf Stream stops, Europe will suddenly become just as cold as Alaska.
Global heat and flooding events are also increasingly possible.

In
order to head off such catastrophic scenarios, scientists agree we must
reduce our carbon emissions by 70% within the next few years. Doing
that would seriously undermine corporate profits, however, and so a
more forward-thinking solution is needed.

At today’s conference,
Wolf and a colleague demonstrated three SurvivaBall mockups, and
described how the units will sustainably protect managers from natural
or cultural disturbances of any intensity or duration. The devices –
looking like huge inflatable orbs – will include sophisticated
communications systems, nutrient gathering capacities, onboard medical
facilities, and a daunting defence infrastructure to ensure that the
corporate mission will not go unfulfilled even when most human life is
rendered impossible by catastrophes or the consequent epidemics and
armed conflicts.

“It’s essentially a gated community for one,” said Wolf.

Dr
Northrop Goody, the head of Halliburton’s Emergency Products
Development Unit, showed diagrams and videos describing the
SurvivaBall’s many features. “Much as amoebas link up into slime moulds
when threatened, SurvivaBalls also fulfil a community function. After
all, people need people,” noted Goody as he showed an artist’s
rendition of numerous SurvivaBalls linking up to form a managerial
aggregate with functional differentiation, metaphorically dancing
through the streets of Houston, Texas.

The conference attendees
peppered the duo with questions. One asked how the device would fare
against terrorism, another whether the array of embedded technologies
might make the unit too cumbersome; a third brought up the issue of the
unit’s cost feasibility. Wolf and Goody assured the audience that these
problems and others were being addressed.

“The SurvivaBall
builds on Halliburton’s reputation as a disaster and conflict industry
innovator,” said Wolf. “Just as the Black Plague led to the Renaissance
and the Great Deluge gave Noah a monopoly of the animals, so tomorrow’s
catastrophes could well lead to good – and industry must be ready to
seize that good.”

Peter Fray

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