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Greenpeace scales Mexican oil rig, Radiohead calls for giant Viking

The media circus ahead of next week’s United Nations conference on climate change has begun.

Among the sideshows: Greenpeace activists hung a banner on a Mexican off-shore oil rig, and Radiohead 's Thom Yorke is seeking 2,000 volunteers to create a giant human statue visible from space.

Four Greenpeace activists on Monday scaled the "Centenario" oil rig and hung a banner reading "Go Beyond Oil." The activists remained on the rig for four hours before they were forced to descend by security guards, the group said.

Greenpeace said the oil rig was one of four sent to Mexico in July while the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was still out of control.

"Our governments have the choice to lead the world to a clean energy future, safe from the ravages of climate chaos, or continue towards energy dependency and fossil fuel addiction," Greenpeace said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Yorke is working with 350 Earth to create one of 16 statues to be photographed by satellites on the eve of the UN meeting.

"The plan is to make images visible from the skies to remind those in Cancun that we are running out of time," Yorke wrote on Radiohead's website.

Yorke's statue is in honor of King Canute, the 11th-century Viking who ruled England. According to legend, Canute set his throne next to the sea to demand that the tides retreat. When the water reached his feet, Canute declared that a king's power was no match for nature's laws.

Representatives of 194 countries are to meet in Cancun next week for another attempt to cut a deal to curb greenhouse gases after 2012.

Monte Paulsen reports on carbon shift for The Tyee.

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