Citizens’ Climate Lobby to Host Snowman Protest in Whitefish

Local climate advocates invite families to decorate snow people and learn how to advocate for national climate policy

By Micah Drew
Snowmen on display during the Citizens' Climate Lobby's Snowman Protest in Whitefish's Depot Park in 2023. Courtesy Photo

The idea that it might be difficult to build a snowman in Whitefish in the middle of winter underscores the need for national climate policy, according to Robin Paone, co-leader of the Flathead Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL).

“While the snow was ideal for us last year, I don’t know what we’ll be working with this weekend,” Paone said. “It might be more like making slushy snow cones instead of snow people. But we plan to be there no matter what. People will just have to draw snow people on signs if they can’t make them out of snow.”

The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization is hosting a Snowman Protest on Feb. 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to entertain local families and teach community members how to contact members of Congress and advocate for climate action on the federal level.

The CCL works on a national level to support climate-related legislation, such as placing a fee on carbon pollution and allocating the revenue back to U.S. Households, known as “carbon cash-back.” This kind of policy would complement the clean energy investments funded in the Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022, according to Flathead Valley CCL chapter co-leader Bret Luedke, while helping the U.S. reduce emissions 50% below 2005 levels within six years.  

“Here in Montana, we’re already feeling the impact of a warming climate. Our average temperature has risen nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950. We’re seeing a longer fire season and more frequent extreme weather events, such as drought and rain-on-snow events that impact snowpack levels and subsequent snowmelt,” Luedke said in a statement. “Events like this help educate members of our community and show our members of Congress that we’re ready for climate policy action.”

Last year more than two dozen snow people were built in Whitefish’s Depot Park during the event, and Paone hopes for a larger turnout this year. CCL volunteers will be on hand at the snowman protest to instruct attendees about how to contact Montana’s congressional delegation and discuss the myriad climate-related solutions currently being discussed at the federal level.  

“We are an organization that welcomes everyone and really focuses on optimism,” Paone said. “We always look at the glass half full, and we know that we’re making a difference for our climate.”

CCL will host its Snowman Protest on Feb. 3 at Depot Park in Whitefish from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and snowman-making supplies will be provided.

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