Protesters showed up to march and stage a demonstration outside the offices of Madison Gas & Electric in Madison, Wisconsin last week. They were pushing back against a new rate structure change put in place by the energy provider which they claim was intended to act as a disincentive to the use of renewable energy. The marchers set up camp, and as part of a messaging campaign, they deployed a huge balloon in the shape of what they seem to imagine a coal fired power plant looks like. But the key part of the display was that the balloon would be inflated using solar and wind energy. (Actually it was a solar panel backed up by a couple of batteries which one protester claimed he charged using wind power the night before.)

A short time later, the message went a bit… limp.

CoalBalloon1

A reporter on the scene asked what had gone amiss.

Reporter: The same protesters who opposed MG&E for not using more renewable energy admitted they would typically plug the fan into a gas powered generator, or into an outlet that would likely be powered by a reliable energy source like MG&E.

Protester 1: This is the first time we’ve ever done it this way.
Protester 2: We’d usually use generators or they’d hook it up to an electric outlet.

Here’s the video. Enjoy.