A small group of global warming activists protesting oil and gas drilling outside the Department of Interior office in Colorado Thursday morning were met with bitter cold weather and snow.
About 10 “Keep It In The Ground” activists waved signs next to a busy road in the Denver area, calling for the Obama administration to stop issuing leases so companies can drill on public lands. Activists say drilling only exacerbates global warming.
The irony, however, is activists stood outside about 4 inches of snow with temperatures hovering in the 20s — in degrees Fahrenheit. The official low temperature was negative 10 degrees early Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Activists with 350.org and Food & Water Watch braved the cold to protest hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” after two measures to restrict the drilling technique failed to make November’s ballot. The pro-fracking Western Energy Alliance took photos of activists trying to stay warm. You can view the photos here.
“While it is clear that the national activist groups behind these efforts are not abandoning their goal to ban fracking, they picked a day to protest the use of fossil fuels when most Coloradans are likely more thankful than ever for the affordable energy provided by domestic energy development,” Randy Hildreth, a writer for the industry-backed, Energy In Depth, wrote in a blog post.
Now, of course, one cold day doesn’t disprove global warming, but it continues a trend of activists being beaten by cold weather when holding events trying to highlight how fossil fuels are warming the planet.
This phenomenon is called the “Gore effect” — coined after a global warming rally held by former Vice President Al Gore in 2004 was met with frigid weather. A similar rally held by Gore in 2006 in Australia was also hit by cold weather.
It’s not just Gore who’s held freezing global warming rallies. Yale anti-fossil fuel campaigners postponed a protest in early 2015 due to “unfavorable weather conditions and other logistical issues.” New Haven witnessed a negative 9 degrees when the event was canceled.
In 2013, environmental protesters in Washington state were hit with cold weather and snow flurries protesting global warming. Activists tried to encourage the crowd that “climate and weather are two different things,” but words didn’t warm anybody up that day.