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Snowy Backdrop For Global Warming Protest

Several inches of snow will be the backdrop in Washington, D.C. today for what could be the largest ever U.S. protest of global warming.

(iStockphoto)
The nation's capital, along with other eastern U.S. cities, closed schools and businesses Monday after being hit by a major winter storm Sunday night. First Lady Michelle Obama cancelled her "Read Across America" event "due to inclement weather," the White House said.

Nonetheless, PowerShift '09 organizers expect thousands to protest global warming outside a southeast Washington, DC coal burning power plant starting at 11:30am E.T. Capital Power Plant provides heating and cooling to Congressional buildings, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court.

Participants will be joined by lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Those rallying include environmentalists from various organizations, including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Greenpeace, who will call on Congress to pass a bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In a video on Capitol Climate Action's web site, NASA scientist James Hansen encourages people to join the protest.

"The only practical way to solve the problem is to phase out the biggest source of carbon and that is coal. The science is very clear on that but yet the decision makers are not taking the actions that we needed to do that," he says. "We have to send that message to Congress and the president."

The Associated Press reports that the power plant is 99 years old and has been a symbol of climate change legislation challenges.

"Despite repeated attempts by Congress to clean it up, the plant still burns coal and accounts for a third of the legislative branch's greenhouse gas emissions," the AP writes.

While hundreds may still show up for the highly anticipated protest, organizers can't be thrilled that today's effort will be seen against a backdrop of several inches of late winter snow.

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