Drawing attention to the threats of global warming and the continued burning of coal, 2,500 demonstrators blockaded a coal-fired power plant that produces energy for the U.S. Capitol. The blockade lasted four hours and prompted a large show of force by police at the plant, but no arrests. NASA climate scientist James Hansen was one of the leaders of the protest and was joined by climate change activists such as Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, and actress Darryl Hannah. Publicity about the demonstration may have played some role in last week’s announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking the Capitol Architect to switch the Capitol Power Plant from coal to natural gas by the end of this year. The demonstration followed a weekend conference in Washington, Power Shift 2009, at which 12,000 high school and college students discussed strategies for slowing global warming.