350.org cancels melting "HOAX?" ice sculpture

“It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.” – WUWT commenter H.R.

Change of plans.

Posted by Bill McKibben – 07/07/12, 5:18am

Below is the note we just sent out to our friends accoss the USA.


Dear Friends,

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.

Thanks,

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.”

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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.

http://www.sculptediceworks.com/faqs.htm

 Q: How long will our Ice Sculpture Last?

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:

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Edohiguma

Real reason: “Even we realized how stupid the idea was.” But of course they can’t say it like that.
The scary thing is how fast they reached $5,000. Makes me think of that old Obi Wan quote: “Who’s the bigger fool, the fool, or the fool who follows?”

I know that Global Warming is a hoax, and don’t need ice to remind me, but what’s “climate denial”?

DJ

The money will go to heat and drought relief. At Bill’s house, in the backyard, in the form of sprinklers, Slip & Slides, and daiquiris.
All those who oppose coal may protest by not using coal fueled power generation to operate air conditioners.

Dave

I bet they are keeping the money.
It wasn’t a hoax, it was a scam.

Wouldn’t want to use the CO2 needed to refrigerate the ice in the first place.

daveburton

350.org is very closely associated with the “10:10 campaign” folks who brought us the exploding children video:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/30/o-m-g-video-explodes-skeptical-kids-in-bloodbath/

Ratty

I thought that everybody knew that “weather is not climate”

H.R.

“It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.”

Gail Combs

Real Reason: They read the comments on WUWT and realized it would backfire especially if the weather cooled at the same time.
REPLY: Possible, I know McKibben reads WUWT. May have also been the possibility the ice would not melt fast enough for a convincing photo-op. 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. – Anthony

noaaprogrammer

The small silver lining I see in their stated retraction is that they acknowledged that the heat was mainly a problem east of the Rockies. Up until now it has been very cool and wet in the Northwest. This coming Sunday it is predicted that we will hit 100 degrees in southeastern Washington State – the first time in 2 years. The norm during the summers here is at least several weeks of triple digits – and we never complain.

Vince Causey

They keep using the term “climate denial”. Makes no sense – I mean, who denies climate?
They really should be saying something like “we need to fight positive feedback induced high CO2 temperature sensitivity imputed catastrophic climate disruption denial.” I could get behind that.

Bill

Climate denial is apparently what we do here at WUWT.
When it’s hot, we say “no it’s not. And when it’s cold, we say “no it’s not. Same thing for rain, etc.

Richard Day

Hoax? Or Scam? Sounds like the old bait and switch to me.

I’m afraid these people are the ones who are denying science, the earth hasn’t warmed in the last 12 to 15 years:
http://iceagenow.info/2012/07/met-office-warming-15-years/
And I’m insulted that they refer to me as somebody who denies climate. “Climate denial in the U.S.” What’s that?

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.

Whoa. West Virginians are tough, scrappy folk. I don’t understand how the sight of melting ice would be that hard on their psyche. The sight of all the wasted energy it took to create the ice (and the concomitant release of CO2 it took to create the electricity that made the ice) would be much more annoying to me if I were an active 350.org supporter in WV.
To beat the heat, I’d go caving. Always cool there.

“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 ”
Assam wouldn’t by any chance happen to be the country with the highest annual rainfall, would it?
http://www.webindia123.com/Assam/LAND/Climate.htm

Michael Jankowski

“…The sight of ice melting while they sweltered would be too hard to take…”
What a great life they must have when the sight of an ice sculpture melting (viewed from their air-conditioned home and via PC screen, both likely powered by fossil fuels no less) is devastating.

Gunga Din

I like the Ad below the post. I don’t know if everybody sees the same one or how long it will stay but the current one I see is for “Cheesemans Ecology Safaris”. This one is a cruise to Antartica with a picture of a penquin.
Anthony, do you plan these things?

350.org just had ANOTHER of their “Unibomber-Heartland” moments….shame…giant melting “HOAX” could have the double-entendre of the AGW HOAX melting. The unwashed masses are so easily distracted by conflicting imagery….maybe some deniers could photoshop a faux melt.

MattN

I don’t think I’d call going from 106F to 103F as “breaking a heat wave”. But it does appear that a pattern shift is coming next week and the east will get a break for a couple of days at least.

Doug Proctor

“Climate denial in the U.S. has huge implications for, say,
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) Movements only really work when they move together.”
Mckibben writes out the warmist-skeptic problem here. The skeptics argue against catastrophic feed-back mechanisms of water-vapour to a <1C degree rise of global temperatures from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 content. Warmists, as shown here by McKibben, conflate, combine and confuse the issue with their "movement" issues. The 2 million flooded out have nothing to do with the 0.6C rise in global temperatures, but he implies they are the victims of such. He adds his support for removal of mountaintops – aesthetic issue here as described, not pollution or loss of wildlife habitat – as somehow part of the anti-CO2 cause. And, of course, he identifies what they are doing as a "movement".
350.org is going to evolve back into a general environmental and, ultimately, anti-human, population control support group. I guarantee it. As the CO2 monster breaks its teeth, the snorting beast will retire to its cave except for sponsored nostalgia appearances. But the "movement" will live on. Billy will become a Gore and Suzuki stoolie, proud of his association and defense of the undefended.
This ice-block fiasco expresses the level of silliness that the uninhibited eco-green has descended to. His apology is a puff of hot air running around inside a paper bag.
We need more warmists like Billy.

thisisnotgoodtogo

WASHINGTON–On Saturday morning, 350.org will re-examine it’s plans to unveil a giant sculpture on the National Mall—the word “HOAX?” carved in ice. it will not last long, but organizers say that is the point.

Chuck Nolan

“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. ”
———————————
Because we members of the “TEAM” know how important it is to feel good about everything.
What a low life jerk!
If he believed for an instant CAGW was the cause of “weather events” he would not allow someone’s hurt feeling stop him from single handedly “saving the world”.
Maybe Billy is like me and he doesn’t really believe it, either.

R.S.Brown

It’s really difficult to get volunteers and news crews out in
100+ F weather just to watch ice melt.
Pictures of ice melting with no crowd to watch is as entertaining
and informative as… well, watching paint dry or ice melt.
They “cancelled” before the embarassment became obvious.

Titan 28

What a fool McKibben’s turned out to be. I used to read him years back. Now he’s so far off the rails it depressess me. What a stupid, pointless, manipulative, childish stunt this was.

R. Shearer

P.S.S. “Now we don’t have to pay for the ice, and the cool cash can go directly into our pockets. Makes sense to me.”

anthony holmes

We are still waiting for summer to start in the UK . Only two days of back to back warmish weather up to yet the rest way below normal temps , incessantly dull and well above average rainfall, quite enough to float away any ice sculptures but perhaps not warm enough to melt it !!!! Crops are being ruined here as well as peoples holidays ,sporting events, festivals , shopping etc. Believe me guys this is definately not global warming , please stop reducing your CO2 output – we need all the warmth we can get over here .

David, UK

So Bill McKibben cites Bob Kincaid, who had explained to Bill how hard it is already, having to contend with the “well-funded coal industry PR machine,” and that they would use this ice sculpture to make baby Jesus cwy.
So, pious Bill sees the light, sheds a crocodile tear for getting it wrong, and disingenuously offers the donations back, as if any donor would ever demand that. What a snake.
I’ve not read anything so obviously contrived and downright slimy since Gleick’s fakegate letter. And they thought the general public were stupid enough to fall for that as well.

Rob Dawg

How did they plan on sustainably manufacturing the ice?

I’m personally convinced that the skeptical cause would be much better off had the notion of a climate hoax never become common. The Piltdown Man was a hoax; evidence of a “missing link” was intentionally fabricated from a modern human skull and a primate jawbone and buried. The perpetrators of the hoax knew it was a fraud. In contrast, I have little doubt most of the scientists driving the IPCC to its preordained conclusions really believe it. At the most, a minority have doubts but believe to wait until the problems with the GCM conflicting with reality are resolved is to risk catastrophic loss of life. It’s so much easier to ignore evidence contrary to your beliefs than it is to intentionally fabricate evidence to support them and I think that’s what has been happening.
It isn’t a hoax, and it never was. Just groupthink science driving us off a cliff. Yelling “hoax!” just opens us up to ridicule as conspiracy nutcases, which, considering the demonizing of energy companies in general and the Kochs in particular, really should be left to the warmistas.

Wayne2

The forecast has changed even more than you said:
This morning, it was 105-106. Now, it’s down to 101 (at Weather.com), with a current temperature of 100. Of course, in the DC humidity, it’s still unbearable, but what’s with the overly-aggressive predictions?
(Actually, this is a great time for monitoring and testing our heat pump. Yeah, I’m a geek.)

Otter

R. Shearer says:
July 7, 2012 at 9:50 am
P.S.S. “Now we don’t have to pay for the ice, and the cool cash can go directly into our pockets. Makes sense to me.”
——-
Perhaps the ‘HOAX’ was the ice in the first place, and the money was the actual and only goal?

cui bono

“The money we collected will all go for heat and drought relief”
—–
Does that mean they’re going to send a large block of ice to everybody?

Gunga Din

I think he was afraid the local hospitals couldn’t handle the 5 extra heat strokes victims the crowd might produce.

Eve Stevens

Damn and I arranged to have temperatures crash from 40 C to 20 C overnight here in Toronto.

Robert G

Seems like the real reason it didn’t happen is the $5000 was never raised. Maybe in the winter they can get a few bags of charcoal together and melt AGW in the snow.

Instead of wasting energy making and then melting a block of ice how about doing something more like wearing the flag on their arses and actually sending an important message about a very real problem that spells disaster for the country and burn the dollar in effigy to represent the runaway presses and waste like borrowing from China to pay cash for clunkers.

The sight of ice melting while they sweltered would be too hard to take;

This would be torture to them, then.
http://bit.ly/MKkqc0

2soonold2latesmart

The sight of ice melting while they sweltered would be too hard to take;
Then this must seem like torture.
http://bit.ly/MKkqc0

Mike

What a shame, I was so looking forward to another idiotic display of gaia hugging, guess I’ll just have to lower my sights and enjoy some mountain top trimming West Virginia style. Can we get sone shaved ice to go with that ?

WTF

Someone should make an ice sculpture of Bill Mckibben’s head so we can watch him ‘Weep” as it slowly melts 😉

George Lawson

“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;”
Why would anybody go to the trouble of asking Mckibben not to do it because “The sight of ice melting would be too hard to take” What a ridiculous excuse for realising that he had made such a stupid blunder. Or was ir a blunder? After all it raised him $5,000, “and far more than that for relief efforts” I think Mckibben should publish details of exactly how much he raised and the charities to which he is wending the money for heat and flood relief. Only then will we understand his motives for embarking on this ridiculous exercise. If he doesn’t publish the details then we will know exactly why he did it.

An example of the huge implications for, say, the two million people in Assam, India would be if the enviro-whackpots really did have the power to deprive them of the energy they need.

Mike Bromley the Kurd

What a hastily-constructed poor excuse for a retraction. Utterly lacking in conviction, and dripping with ill logic, lazy expression, and empty empathy. A lurching non-sequiter. Shall I continue? I think maybe, Anthony, that “weepy” has run its course. Bill’s tear ducts are drier than a Sonoran Gulch. Responding to the combination of collective snore and jeer that a little forethought may have anticipated, Billy folded up like a deck of tarot cards, patting a bunch of truly sodden East Indians on the back as a final, dismissive escape.

Joseph Bastardi

This is the same McKibben that while supporting agendas that are shutting down freedoms, said the heat wave was a sign of global warming that was denying people life liberty and the pursuit of happiness which by the way are the targets his draconian reforms are after.. After his comment on Irene being a sign of global warming, given the history of hurricanes on the east coast (ie 8 majors 1953-1960 SC north), it is hard to believe he has any true connection with realism. That alerted me to the him being deceptive ( either he knows about the history of hurricanes and then hides i), or ignorant. In either case, this and the little 4th of July proclamation shows a real disconnect from reality.
For him a simple reminder as he continues to push ideas that will shackle the freedoms we cherish
http://clivebest.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/overlayco2.png

Capt. Obvious

4. Cannot recruit the mass of simpletons we need with a $5000 slowly melting block ice watch party,

Absolute sheep. Moronic sheep.

Michael Jankowski

This has been done many times before to bring awareness to climate change. Here’s one involving 1,000 icemen.
(WARNING: disturbing images of ice melting!!!)

gofer

“The sight of ice melting while they sweltered would be too hard to take”
Really??? That doesn’t even make a lick of sense. Sounds like something conjured-up to cover the real reason for the cancellation. Possibly someone, with a little common sense, saw the folly in such a stunt. Remember when they protested the coal-fired plant after it snowed. Protesters, standing in snow, waving global warming signs is just fodder for ridicule, just like watching ice melt in 100 degree heat.