SALT LAKE CITY — There wasn’t much snow in the Utah skies on Sunday, but hundreds of little snowmen made their way to the grounds at the state Capitol.
It was all part of a plea to save the “endangered species” — the snow.
The demonstration aims to encourage lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, state and local, to demand a price on carbon.
“The snow people claim carbon pricing is the fastest and most effective way to curb climate change,” said Nick Huey, of Taylorsville, who organized Sunday’s event.
He said more than 50 volunteers turned out to create at least 500 snowmen and snow women, using snow that was already on the property.
“We need to do something about (climate change) ... and it doesn’t have to be that we launch ourselves into the Dark Ages and never use our cars,” the 28-year-old father told the Deseret News. He said lawmakers should “set the rules and let the market respond with new innovations” that could lead to less pollution and cleaner air.
Some of the cleverly and quickly crafted snowmen held messages, including “Snowppl 4 carbn pricing,” and “Mister Mitt Romnee, if u price carbon we will vote 4 u 4 ever.”
Huey said putting a tax on carbon emissions is something both parties can get behind.
Carbon pricing would essentially shift the burden of greenhouse gases to the corporations that play a part in creating it. Those companies also have the ability to slow or reduce their emissions.
“It’s free market, small government and it’s incredibly effective,” he said, adding that it would allow the U.S. to meet the goals set by the Paris climate agreement without having to belong to it.
Dozens of other countries, as well as cities, states and provinces, already use carbon pricing as a part of their plans to reduce their own carbon footprints.
The sun was shining probably a little too brightly Sunday on the new, little population of snowmen, whom Huey said are “all Utahns, born and rolled here today and half of them are conservative — so it’s a bipartisan group.”
He says the snow people will likely stick around until Monday afternoon, but it would be nice to see them pop up in other states and cities, increasing awareness about climate change, about which “most of my younger cohort of Americans is very passionate about.”
Photos of the “Snwmen 4 Carbn Pricng” and others carrying similar messages across the country can be seen on Twitter @pricecarbonplz.
Similar snowmen appeared outside the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., last week, with some of the same messages demanding action from the new Senate majority leader.