Saturday, July 7th 2012, 4:30 PM EDT
Global-warming ice sculpture protest canceled in embarrassment for green group
In the sweltering, triple-digit Washington, D.C. heat, the climate change group 350.org planned to mock global warming skeptics on Capitol Hill Saturday morning by melting an ice sculpture shaped into the word “Hoax?”
Early Saturday, however, group founder and “Fight Global Warming Now” author Bill McKibben sent a cancellation notice to participants, claiming he was calling off the stunt out of sensitivity to those suffering in the heat wave — especially people in West Virginia.
“I think I screwed up,” McKibben began, explaining that while melting a statue was a good way to draw attention to global warming, it could also have offended those suffering in tough times.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Others are not so sure McKibben’s explanation holds water.
Former meteorologist and climate change skeptic Anthony Watts pointed out that the stunt would have backfired, given the slow rate at which the ice was likely to melt.
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