“It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.” – WUWT commenter H.R.
Change of plans.
Below is the note we just sent out to our friends accoss the USA.
I think I screwed up.
Yesterday 350.org sent out an email, telling people that we were going to melt a big hunk of ice in the form of the word “Hoax?” in front of Capitol Hill. We asked for money for it, and also for relief efforts for victims of the heat wave. The idea was simple enough: if this epic heatwave gripping the nation has one small silver lining, it’s that its reminding people that global warming is very very real. And the response was strong — we raised the $5000 it would have taken to pull off the event, and far more than that for relief efforts.
But we also heard from old friends, especially in nearby West Virginia, who asked us not to do it. The sight of ice melting while they sweltered would be too hard to take; their region, they pointed out, is as hard hit as any in the country by the heat wave, and it would make people feel like their plight wasn’t being taken seriously. Bob Kincaid, at Coal River Mountain Watch, said: “Our work in Appalachia is hard enough as it is, since we must ever contend with the well-funded coal industry PR machine.” They’d use, he said, the sight of that melting ice to make people feel disrespected.
That makes sense to me.
It’s sometimes hard to balance what we should do in one place with what we should be doing around the globe. Climate denial in the U.S. has huge implications for, say, the two million people in Assam, India, currently flooded out of house and home — it’s really important to fight people who deny science and hold up needed action. But it’s not worth causing trouble to our friends in the process. And the people who fight mountaintop removal in Appalachia are some of our oldest friends; we’ve been, as it were, up and down the mountain with them. Movements only really work when they move together.
So: no ice melting on the mall this morning. We’re sending out whatever the reverse of a press release is called. The money we collected will all go for heat and drought relief, and we hope it will do some good. If you’d like your contribution back, let us know (and we’ll send a separate mailing to everyone who contributed to make sure they get that chance). It’s been a long, hot, tough week everywhere east of the Rockies; let’s hope the heat breaks soon.
Bill McKibben for 350.org
P.S. The note announcing this thing yesterday came from Jamie Henn, our communications director. But the idea was mine, not his. I’m a volunteer in this effort, and there are days when it definitely feels like you get what you pay for.
Senator Inhofe released this statement this morning before the cancellation:
Inhofe Welcomes Global Warming Alarmists Back to Washington DC
Washington DC – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today welcomed 350.org, a group of global warming alarmists, to the National Mall where they will unveil a giant sculpture with the word “HOAX?” carved in ice. According to the group’s website, the event is in response to the igloo that Senator Inhofe’s family built during a snowstorm in Washington back in 2010, which they called “Al Gore’s New Home.”
“Let me be the first to welcome my global warming alarmist friends back to Washington,” Senator Inhofe said. “It’s been a long time: since the complete collapse of the global warming movement, many activists have been missing in action. Think about it, when was the last time anyone heard a Democrat talk about global warming in Congress? Remember, not a single global warming cap-and-trade bill has been debated on the Senate Floor since President Obama took office nearly four years ago, and Democrats have been in control of the Senate the whole time. In fact, the global warming campaign has failed so miserably that President Obama is now pretending to support oil an gas to gain votes for the election. One would think alarmists would be outraged that their leaders never mention global warming, but we’ve heard very little from them. Their loss of support in Washington is an inconvenient truth that often goes unnoticed.
“Back during the blizzards of 2010, my grandchildren had a lot of fun building an igloo outside the Library of Congress that they would call ‘Al Gore’s new home.’ That igloo was the comic relief needed for a public that had grown tired of every summer being used by alarmists as proof of man-made global warming. Today’s sculpture just goes to show that my friends on the left have not learned their lesson. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post warned them shortly after the igloo gained attention not to use weather as proof of man-made global warming. As Milbank wrote, ‘If the Washington snows persuade the greens to put away the slides of polar bears and pine beetles and to keep the focus on national security and jobs, it will have been worth the shoveling.’
“Clearly my global warming alarmist friends have not read my book, The Greatest Hoax. If they had, they would know that alarmism has failed every time, and will fail again and again. In fact, I have yet to find one objective person who has read The Greatest Hoax who doesn’t agree with me. Only a small percentage of meteorologists subscribe to man-made global warming and the American people are no longer buying it. The left has completely lost the debate almost as fast as that ice sculpture will melt on Saturday. But don’t expect Al Gore or President Obama to come out and help them drum up support. These activists are on their own.
“I wish I could have been there in person to join in the ice melting festivities, but 350.org put together this event when Congress is out of session and few elected officials will be in Washington. I do hope they enjoy their day in the sun as much as my family enjoyed our day in the snow.”
I think other things also contributed:
1. The forecast showed the heat wave breaking, with a reduced high today of 103 from yesterdays 106, with cooler temperatures tomorrow and into next week.
2. The possibility that the image of HOAX? would actually backfire on them. It was a poorly conceived idea to start with.
3. As I mentioned yesterday, the sculpture may have lasted past sunset…into the cooler next day given it was to be 6’x12’ a darned big sculpture. The FAQs below was for a tabletop sized ice sculpture.
A: An Ice Sculpture’s detail will last up to 6 hours indoors, such as a reception hall. For outdoor events, it depends on the temperature and placement of the ice sculpture. Sculptures typically melt about 1/4 of an inch per hour. It is especially important to keep sculptures out of direct sunlight.
The possibility the ice would not melt fast enough for a convincing photo-op loomed large. A 6×12 foot block of ice doesn’t melt in an hour, and we are dealing with “short attention span theatre” when it comes to photo ops. See the video below as they drone on.
4. The ice melt stunt has been done before, as WUWT readers discovered yesterday: