The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage. Read the entire article.
The problems of the UK seem to be multiplying. Britain suffers from an aging system of electrical production and a government that has dithered over its fantasy love affair with non-carbon technologies for over a decade. As the EU Referendum states, the end result is a real possibility of the "lights going out" in the forseeable future. This situation, already quite serious, just got worse. A group of greens who did tens of thousands of pounds in damage to a coal fired electrical plant has been cleared of the charges upon jury trial. The defense turned the trial into a referendum on global warming. The jury accepted the defense. The defense was supported on the witness stand by Zach Goldman, a Tory candidate for Parliament, who argued that civil disobediance was justified in this case.
This from the Independent:
Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a "lawful excuse" to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent to prevent even greater damage caused by climate change. The defence of "lawful excuse" under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage – such as breaking down the door of a burning house to tackle a fire.
The not-guilty verdict, delivered after two days and greeted with cheers in the courtroom, raises the stakes for the most pressing issue on Britain's green agenda and could encourage further direct action.
. . . During the eight-day trial, the world's leading climate scientist, Professor James Hansen of Nasa, who had flown from American to give evidence, appealed to the Prime Minister personally to "take a leadership role" in cancelling the plan and scrapping the idea of a coal-fired future for Britain. Last December he wrote to Mr Brown with a similar appeal. At the trial, he called for an moratorium on all coal-fired power stations, and his hour-long testimony about the gravity of the climate danger, which painted a bleak picture, was listened to intently by the jury of nine women and three men.
Professor Hansen, who first alerted the world to the global warming threat in June 1988 with testimony to a US senate committee in Washington, and who last year said the earth was in "imminent peril" from the warming atmosphere, asserted that emissions of CO2 from Kings-north would damage property through the effects of the climate change they would help to cause.
He was one of several leading public figures who gave evidence for the defence, including Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park and director of the Ecologist magazine, who similarly told the jury that in his opinion, direct action could be justified in the minds of many people if it was intended to prevent larger crimes being committed.
. . . During the trial the defendants said they had acted lawfully, owing to an honestly held belief that their attempt to stop emissions from Kingsnorth would prevent further damage to properties worldwide caused by global warming. Their aim, they said, was to rein back CO2 emissions and bring urgent pressure to bear on the Government and E.ON to changes policies. They insisted their action had caused the minimum amount of damage necessary to close the plant down and constituted a "proportionate response" to the increasing environmental threat.
. . . He added: "This verdict marks a tipping point for the climate change movement. When a jury of normal people say it is legitimate for a direct action group to shut down a coal-fired power station because of the harm it does to our planet, then where does that leave Government energy policy? We have the clean technologies at hand to power our economy. It's time we turned to them instead of coal."
Ms Hall said: "The jury heard from the most distinguished climate scientist in the world. How could they ignore his warnings and reject his leading scientific arguments?"
This is all rather breathtaking in its ramifications for Britain. Energy policy in Britain, already in the hands of the fantasy based folk, has now been handed to the loons to do with as they will. The protection of law has just been removed from every coal plant in Britain. And it has occurred with the blessing of a Tory candidate for parliament. Iaian Murray has much more on the ramifications at NRO.
The Judge allowed the defense to turn his court into a circus from the sounds of it, and into a referendum on global warming itself. This can only turn out very badly for Britain. It makes an utter mockery of the law.
But beyond that, the fact of a Tory candidate coming out in support of the defense just boggles the mind. It is certainly suggestive that the degree of seperation betwen the hard left Labor party and the Tory party is but a few degrees at most. Its tough to have a working adverserial system when the opposing parties have no differences in policy. I await to see how the boy wonder, Tory party leader David Cameron, responds to this one.
EU Referendum has much more commentary and links.
The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage.
Read the entire article.