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Climate dignitaries, "experts," and activists in Cancun for the United Nations COP16 global-warming conference were caught on film over the weekend signing a petition to ban water and another to cripple the U.S. economy if the American government refused to cooperate with the "international community."

Carried out by the student arm of a market-oriented non-profit environmental group known as the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), the water-ban prank was meant to illustrate the gullibility of COP16 attendees. And according to the organization, it succeeded.

"It was designed to show that if official U.N. delegates could be duped by college students into banning water, that they could essentially fall for anything, including pseudo-scientific studies which claim to show that global warming is man-caused," the collegians reported on the CFACT website.

"I was wondering if you might want to sign our petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide," the CFACT signature collector asked an attendee pouring himself a cup of water. "DHMO contributes to the greenhouse effect, it's a major substance in acid rain, it's fatal if inhaled, it contributes to the erosion of natural landscapes ... Basically, they want to use it in nuclear power plants, the production of Styrofoam, fire retardants, pesticides, and cruel animal research."

The unidentified man finished off his water and promptly signed the petition. And according to CFACT, almost every other delegate the students approached signed on as well.

"There's kind of this aura about the conference that these are experts meeting," CFACT Executive Director Craig Rucker told The New American. "But they are not people endowed with some sort of special scientific understanding of the natural world. They're very ordinary folks who, in our opinion, have much more of a political agenda than they do a scientific one. That's what the video on dihydrogen monoxide revealed."

Rucker said that with very rare exceptions, everybody signed the petition. "It was mostly [Non-governmental organization] activists, but there were some delegates" and possibly even a few scientists accredited with the NGOs. The students worked on the project for about an hour and managed to sign up several dozen attendees.

The anti-water effort was based on a similar gimmick orchestrated by libertarian-leaning TV personalities Penn and Teller, who succeeded in duping hippies and other activists into signing a petition that would ban the "evil" chemical dihydrogen monoxide (H20). The idea has been around for a while, and there is even a website hosted by the "U.S. Environmental Assessment Center" dedicated to banning the substance.

The other project, entitled "Petition to Set a Global Standard," involved asking summit participants to sign a petition to impose trade restrictions on the U.S. if it refused to work through the United Nations on a global-warming agreement. And again, almost everybody signed.

"What we want to do is destabilize the American economy by imposing tariffs and trade restrictions that will cause a drop in U.S. [Gross Domestic Product] by six percent over the next ten years if they refuse to cooperate with the international community," the CFACT petitioner told a conference attendee. She promptly signed the petition with a big smile on her face.

"Ha! I'll sign that," quipped another summit attendee after the explanation, also with a wide grin.

"When you attend these conferences, you immediately sense that the people here are very hostile to the United States, its economic system, and its way of life. We wanted to bring that out," explained CFACT Director Rucker, who did not participate directly in gathering signatures.

CFACT's sister organization, Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow, uses the same acronym. But it was the student-led CFACT group that was responsible for gathering the signatures. Entitled "UN Climate Kooks: Cripple US economy & ban H2O!," the video (below) the students created had been viewed close to 10,000 times by December 9.

And despite being totally ignored by the media, one climate commentator did pick up the story. "Oh dear, some of these folks aren't the brightest CFL's in the room," wrote climate expert Anthony Watts after seeing the petition video. "Yeah, they signed up to ban water ... you'd think some of these folks would be have enough science background (from their work in complex climate issues) to realize what they are signing, but sadly, no."

The global warming summit in Cancun has been the subject of intense ridicule and scorn in the world media since before the confab even began, with some analysts even predicting the possible collapse of the "scam." Attendees and "stakeholders" have proposed everything from a ban on kerosene lamps and traditional light bulbs to global taxes and world socialism. Along with the Chinese delegation, CNN boss Ted Turner is pushing a global "one-child policy" modeled after the brutal communist Chinese system.

"Perhaps together, the footage associated with these two projects will illustrate to mainstream America the radical lengths many current U.N. delegates are willing to go to carry out an agenda no more ethical, plausible or practical than the banning [of] water," the students noted on the CFACT website. Climate delegates are still trying to hammer out a global "climate change" deal, but for now, most analysts aren't expecting much.