Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Al Gore's Call for Climate Change Disobedience, UK Court's Climate Change Ruling and Lewis Gordon Pugh's North Pole Kayaking 'Do Monty Python Proud'!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/09/14/do1402.xml

Climate change chicanery

By Christopher Booker


The Independent UK


14/09/2008


Recent events have seen the scare campaign over global warming descend to the level of a Monty Python sketch.
































http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqhlQfXUk7w















Much publicity was given, for instance, to Lewis Gordon Pugh, who set out to paddle a kayak to the Pole to demonstrate the vanishing of the Arctic ice. At 80.5 degrees north, still 600 miles short of his goal, he met with ice so thick that he and his fossil-fuelled support ship had to turn back.

But this did not prevent him receiving a congratulatory call from Gordon Brown, nor boasting that he had travelled "further north than anyone has kayaked so far".


It took the admirable Watts Up With That blog, run by the American meteorologist Anthony Watts, to point out that in 1893 the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen found the Arctic so ice-free that he was able to kayak above 82 degrees north, 100 miles nearer the Pole than our hapless campaigner against "unprecedented global warming".

Then there was the much-publicised speech to Compassion in World Farming by Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pleading for people to give up meat, on the grounds that the digestive methane given off by cattle contributes more to greenhouse gases than all the world's transport.


[IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE 'GASSING' OF ANOTHER, ESPECIALLY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (PRESUMABLY, AS THE RESULT OF ONE'S CARNIVOROUS PREDILECTIONS), COULD TRIGGER A CRIMINAL CHARGE OF 1ST DEGREE BATTERY & POTENTIALLY JAIL TIME. See: Man Charged After Allegedly Passing Gas Toward Cop, CBS News (Sept. 25, 2008) at: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/24/ap/strange/main4476754.shtml ].


Although hailed by the BBC as "the UN's top climate scientist", Dr Pachauri, who holds PhDs in economics and engineering, is nothing of the kind, but just an apparatchik.

A vegetarian Hindu, Dr Pachauri not only used highly tendentious figures to promote his cause but said nothing about the contribution made to global warming by India's 400 million sacred cows, which presumably would still be free to vent wind even if the rest of humanity is converted to eating veggieburgers.

Telegraph.co.uk/earth

There has also been an acclaimed new paper by Michael Mann, the creator of the iconic "hockey stick" graph, purporting to show that the world has recently become hotter than at any time in recorded history, eliminating all the wealth of evidence to show that temperatures were higher in the Mediaeval Warm Period than today.

After being used obsessively by the IPCC's 2001 report to promote the cause, the "hockey stick" was comprehensively discredited, not least by Steve McIntyre, a Canadian computer analyst, who showed that Mann had built into his computer programme an algorithm (or "al-gore-ithm") which would produce the hockey stick shape even if the data fed in was just "random noise".

Two weeks ago Dr Mann published a new study, claiming to have used 1,209 new historic "temperature proxies" to show that his original graph was essentially correct after all. This was faithfully reported by the media as further confirmation that we live in a time of unprecedented warming. Steve McIntyre immediately got to work and, supported by expert readers on his Climate Audit website, shredded Mann's new version as mercilessly as he had the original.

He again showed how selective Mann had been in his new data, excluding anything which confirmed the Mediaeval Warming and concentrating on that showing temperatures recently rising to record levels.

Finnish experts pointed out that, where Mann placed emphasis on the evidence of sediments from Finnish lakes, there were particular reasons why these should have shown rising temperatures in recent years, such as expanding towns on their shores. McIntyre even discovered a part of Mann's programme akin to a disguised version of his earlier algorithm, which he now calls "Mannomatics".

But Mann's new study will surely be used to push the warmist party line in the run-up to the IPCC international conference in Copenhagen next year to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, temperatures continue to drop. The latest Nasa satellite readings on global temperatures from the University of Alabama, one of four officially recognised sources of temperature data, show that August was the fourth month this year when temperatures fell below their 30-year average, ie since satellite records began. The US National Climatic Data Center showsis showing that last month in the USA was only the 39th warmest since records began 113 years ago.
It is high time, however, that we took all this chicanery and wishful thinking seriously - as was evidenced in Maidstone Crown [Kangaroo] Court last Wednesday, by the acquittal of six Greenpeace campaigners tried for criminal damage to Kingsnorth power station.

They were attempting to stop a new coal-fired power station being built, to produce 1,600 megawatts of electricity (two and a half times as much as is generated by all the 2,300 wind turbines so far built in Britain).

As gleefully reported on the front page of The Independent, and at length by other promoters of warming alarmism such as the BBC and The Guardian, the jury agreed that the damage they had perpetrated was lawfully justified - because the damage done by the new power station, in raising global sea levels and contributing to the extinction of "a million species", would be far worse.

The court was swayed to this remarkable verdict by the evidence of two "expert witnesses" for the defence: Zac Goldsmith, one of David Cameron's envrionmental policy advisers and a prospective Conservative MP, and James Hansen, head of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Dr Hansen, who has been the world's leading global warming campaigner for 20 years (along with his ally Al Gore), claimed that the proposed Kingsnorth power station alone would be responsible for the extinction of "400 species".

It is extraordinary that two such partisan witnesses were accepted by the court in this role, since the rules, as defined by Mr Justice Cresswell in 1993, insist that the function of an "expert witness" is only to give "objective evidence". He must not be an "advocate" for one side or the other on any issue on which experts are divided.

This should have ruled Dr Hansen out at once. Question marks are raised over his institute's temperature data. Last year he was forced by Steve McIntyre to revise his figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as Hansen claimed, but the 1930s. He has also campaigned tirelessly for the scrapping of all coal-fired power stations.

Yet we are critically dependent on coal-generated power: it supplies 35 per cent of Britain's needs and 50 per cent of America's. Thanks to EU rules, we will be forced to close six coal-fired power stations before long, and without new ones, such as that proposed for Kingsnorth, our economy will judder to a halt.

David Cameron could well be prime minister by then. That one of his closest advisers believes that criminal damage is justified to stop coal-fired power plants being built is just as alarming as that the British courts now seem to agree with him.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants
Sep 24, 2008 3:29pm EDT

By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental crusader Al Gore urged young people on Wednesday to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon.
CAN YOU SPOT THE LOONEY?





The former U.S. vice president, whose climate changedocumentary "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Academy Award, told a philanthropic meeting in New York City that "the world has lost ground to the climate crisis."

"If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause.


"I believe for a carbon company to spend money convincing the stock-buying public that the risk from the global climate crisis is not that great represents a form of stock fraud because they are misrepresenting a material fact," he said. "I hope these state attorney generals around the country will take some action on that."


[THE STATEMENT THAT, "THE RISK FROM THE GLOBAL CLIMATE CRISIS IS GREAT" IS A 'MATERIAL FACT'??? ANY PUBLIC DISAGREEMENT WITH THIS SO-CALLED 'MATERIAL FACT' IS EQUIVALENT TO FRAUD?? MR. GORE, ARE YOU AWARE THAT MUCH OF THE PUBLIC THINKS YOU ARE A LOONEY?]
The government says about 28 coal plants are under construction in the United States. Another 20 projects have permits or are near the start of construction.

Scientists say carbon gases from burning fossil fuel for power and transport are a key factor in global warming.

Carbon capture and storage could give coal power an extended lease on life by keeping power plants' greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere and easing climate change.
But no commercial-scale project exists anywhere to demonstrate the technology, partly because it is expected to increase up-front capital costs by an additional 50 percent.

So-called geo-sequestration of carbon sees carbon dioxide liquefied and pumped into underground rock layers for long term storage.

(Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Christine Kearney and Xavier Briand)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Al Gore Urges 'Civil Disobedience' Toward Coal Plants

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Al Gore called Wednesday for "civil disobedience" to combat the construction of coal power plants without the ability to store carbon, Reuters reported.
The former vice president, whose efforts to raise awareness of global warming have made him the most prominent voice on that issue, made the comment during a session at the fourth annual Clinton Global Initiative in Manhattan.
"If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," Gore said, according to Reuters.
It wasn't clear what specific action he intended by "civil disobedience," which calls for the intentional violation of laws deemed to be unjust.
Since leaving the White House after losing to George Bush in the 2000 presidential election, Gore has turn his focus to environmental issues, a longtime passion. The 2006 documentary based on his lecture, "An Inconvenient Truth," won an Oscar. In addition, he received a Nobel Peace Prize for his climate change work.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[WE MIGHT HAVE AN IDEA REGARDING THE TYPE OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS MR. GORE HAS IN MIND].
See, e.g., Liz Veazey, NC Youth Stop Coal Plant Construction: 8 arrested!, STUDENT ENVTL. ACTION COALITION, Apr. 1, 2008, available at: http://www.seac.org/node/296 (“Shortly after activists locked themselves to construction equipment, police arrived on the scene and used pain compliance holds and tazers to force them to unlock themselves. 8 young people were arrested. We’ve talked to one of them from jail and they seem to be ok.”); Steven Mufson, Coal Rush Reverses, Power Firms Follow: Plans for New Plants Stalled by Growing Opposition, WASH. POST (Sept. 4, 2007), available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/09/03/AR2007090301119_pf.html ].

["What is most disturbing about these legal and illegal grassroots initiatives, as the Mayor of Missoula, Montana and the Florida Public Service Commission had previously found out, is that they were encouraged overwhelmingly by current and former high-level U.S. politicians of predominantly one political persuasion. In the case of Montana and Florida, local popular doubts over the wisdom of going forward with new coal plant builds arose as the result of strident public opposition voiced (a “warning shot fired”) by U.S. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid while, in North Carolina, illegal student protests were triggered by statements made by Former Democratic Vice President Al Gore."
See: Lawrence Kogan, The Extra-WTO Precautionary Principle: One European “Fashion” Export The United States Can Do Without, 17 Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review 2 (2008) at pp. 586-87, at: http://www.itssd.org/Kogan%2017%5B1%5D.2.pdf ].

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greenpeace Kingsnorth trial collapse is embarrassing for Gordon Brown

Earthlog - Charles Clover's weekly column that takes an inside look at the environment

Telegraph UK
11/09/08

Whatever you may think of the anti-nuclear environmental group Greenpeace, the collapse of the case against its activists for causing criminal damage to a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent is embarrassing to the Brown Government, for it leaves it looking, well, browner than ever.

Six activists admitted trying to shut down the station and painting "Gordon" down the chimney in a protest at EON's plans to build an even bigger coal-fired station next door.

But a jury of nine bought the activists' argument, supported in person by James Hansen, the US climate scientist and director of Nasa, that Greenpeace were legally justified because they were trying to prevent climate change causing greater damage to property around the world.

The jury, in other words, took at face value pronouncements by ministers such as Hilary Benn, David Miliband, and Gordon Brown himself, and by Sir David King, the former chief scientist, that that global warming is with us and that the proliferation of coal-fired plants in China, at a rate of two a day, risks dangerous climate change. Proliferation of coal fired plants in China is damaging, but not apparently proliferation in Britain.

[NO EVIDENCE REQUIRED!! BRITISH JUSTICE REQUIRES ONLY ATTESTATIONS BY 'DISTINGUISHED' PUBLIC FIGURES, NOTHING MORE - RULE BY MEN, NOT RULE OF LAW!! ]

John Hutton, the Business secretary, who is expected to take a decision on whether Kingsnorth should go ahead after the party conferences, is absolutely right that Britain needs coal to keep the lights on and give stability to its electricity grid.

But he has got himself into an incredible muddle over when and how carbon capture technology should be fitted to coal fired stations.

Hutton's department and the power utilities believe they must build unabated coal plants and let them pollute for years in order to push up the price of permits to pollute to a level sufficient to make carbon capture and storage commercial. This is madness.

The Conservatives, Lib Dems and Governor Schwarzenegger in California are all right, there should be no new coal plants without carbon capture.
[WE WONDER WHETHER THE GOVERNATOR AND LIB DEMS ARE 'CLOSET' MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY. BASED ON ITS EMBRACE OF EURO-STYLE 'ENVIRONMENTALISM' CALIFORNIA CAN EASILY PASS AS THE 28TH E.U. MEMBER STATE!]
If you hold the views the Government has expressed on global warming (and there are plenty of people in the world, for instance Sarah Palin who don't) then it should be a matter of principle. Now a jury appears to think so, too.

[THIS JURY DID NOT WEIGH ANY EVIDENCE, ONLY RHETORIC. THEREFORE, THE JURY VERDICT SHOULD HAVE NO VALIDITY OR STANDING AS A MATTER OF LAW. THIS BRITISH LEGAL FORUM WAS NOTHING LESS THAN A KANGAROO COURT].
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greenpeace activists cleared of damaging UK power plant

By Eoin O'Carroll

Christian Science Monitor

09.11.08


A British court cleared six Greenpeace activists Monday of causing more than $50,000 of criminal damage to a coal-fired power plant. The court ruled that, by shutting down the plant, the activists were preventing greater property damage from climate change.

Five of the activists scaled the 650-foot smokestack at Kingsnorth power station with the intention of painting “Gordon bin it” on it (that would be British English for “Prime Minister Gordon Brown, throw it out”). They got as far as writing “Gordon” before someone climbed up there to serve them a court injunction.

The activists argued that they possessed a “lawful excuse” for trying to shut the plant down, because they were trying to prevent the coal plant from causing greater property damage around the world by way of global warming. An example of lawful excuse, as cited by the prosecution and quoted in a Greenpeace blog, would be breaking a window to rescue a child from a burning car.


The Guardian details the expert testimony marshaled by the activists:
The court had heard from Professor Jim Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, that the 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted daily by Kingsnorth could be responsible for the extinction of up to 400 species. Hansen, a Nasa director who advises Al Gore, the former US presidential candidate turned climate change campaigner, told the court that humanity was in “grave peril”. Somebody needs to step forward and say there has to be a moratorium, draw a line in the sand and say no more coal-fired power stations.”

It also heard [opposition leader] David Cameron’s environment adviser, millionaire environmentalist Zac Goldsmith, and an Inuit leader from Greenland both say climate change was already seriously affecting life around the world. Goldsmith told the court: “By building a coal-power plant in this country, it makes it very much harder [to exert] pressure on countries like China and India” to reduce their burgeoning use of the fossil fuel.

The court was told that some of the property in immediate need of protection included parts of Kent at risk from rising sea levels, the Pacific island state of Tuvalu and areas of Greenland. The defendants also cited the Arctic ice sheet, China’s Yellow River region, the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica, coastal areas of Bangladesh and the city of New Orleans.

The jury was told that Kingsnorth emitted the same amount of carbon dioxide as the 30 least polluting countries in the world combined – and that there were advanced plans to build a new coal-fired power station next to the existing site on the Hoo peninsula.

The jury – nine men and three women – found the testimony compelling, and found the six activists not guilty.

Greenpeace is delighted at the ruling. “This verdict marks a tipping point for the climate change movement,” said Ben Stewart, one of the six defendants, as reported by Reuters:

“If jurors from the heart of Middle England say it’s 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.”

Emily Highmore, a spokeswoman for E.ON, the German energy firm that operates the plant, told the BBC that she was less than thrilled at the outcome.
She said: “We respect people’s right to protest, but what Greenpeace did was hugely irresponsible. It put people’s lives at risk and that is clearly completely unacceptable.”
[ALSO, IT DIRECTLY VIOLATED E.ON's PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS WHICH, IN THE UK, APPARENTLY ARE 'POSITIVE' RIGHTS CONDITIONED UPON THE GENERAL WILL, OR IN THIS CASE, ON GREENPEACE'S RIGHT TO PROTEST / EXERCISE ITS RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.]

Ms Highmore called for an “open and honest debate” about the challenges of energy and climate change, but added: “That’s a debate that shouldn’t be taking place at the top of a chimney stack.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cleared: Jury decides that threat of global warming justifies breaking the law


By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

The Independent UK

11 September 2008

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.
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 'GREENPEACE 6']

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.

Kingsnorth was the centre for mass protests by climate camp activists last month. Last year, three protesters managed to paint Gordon Brown's name on the plant's chimney. Their handi-work cost £35,000 to remove.


The plan to build a successor to the power station is likely to be the first of a new generation of coal-fired plants. As coal produces more of the carbon emissions causing climate change than any other fuel, campaigners claim that a new station would be a disastrous setback in the battle against global warming, and send out a negative signal to the rest of the world about how serious Britain really is about tackling the climate threat.

But the proposals, from the energy giant E.ON, are firmly backed by the Business Secretary, John Hutton, and the Energy minister, Malcolm Wicks. Some members of the Cabinet are thought to be unhappy about them, including the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, and the Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn. Mr Brown is likely to have the final say on the matter later this year.

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.

The acquittal was the second time in a decade that the "lawful excuse" defence has been successfully used by Greenpeace activists. In 1999, 28 Greenpeace campaigners led Lord Melchett, who was director at the time, were cleared of criminal damage after trashing an experimental field of GM crops in Norfolk. In each case the damage was not disputed – the point at issue was the motive.

[See: Lawrence Kogan, Economic sabotage a form of free speech?, New Zealand Rural News (6/28/05) at: http://www.itssd.org/Publications/Rural%20News%20--%20Rural%20News_co_nz.pdf ].

The defendants who scaled the 630ft chimney at Kingsnorth, near Hoo, last year were Huw Williams, 41, from Nottingham; Ben Stewart, 34, from Lyminge, Kent; Kevin Drake, 44, from Westbury, Wiltshire; Will Rose, 29, from London; and Emily Hall, 34, from New Zealand. Tim Hewke, 48, from Ulcombe, Kent, helped organise the protest.

The court heard how, dressed in orange boiler suits and white hard hats bearing the Greenpeace logo, the six-strong group arrived at the site at 6.30am on 8 October. Armed with bags containing abseiling gear, five of them scaled the chimney while Mr Hewke waited below to liaise between the climbers and police.

The climbers had planned to paint "Gordon, bin it" in huge letters on the side of the chimney, but although they succeeded in temporarily shutting the station, they only got as far as painting the word "Gordon" on the chimney before they descended, having been threatened with a High Court injunction. Removing the graffiti cost E.ON £35,000, the court heard.

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.

Speaking outside court after being cleared yesterday, Mr Stewart said: "This is a huge blow for ministers and their plans for new coal-fired power stations. It wasn't only us in the dock, it was the coal-fired generation as well. After this verdict, the only people left in Britain who think new coal is a good idea are John Hutton and Malcolm Wicks. It's time the Prime Minister stepped in, showed some leadership and embraced the clean energy future for Britain."

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?"
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not guilty: the Greenpeace activists who used climate change as a legal defence
Protesters cleared of damaging power station · Rare defence may boost other environment groups

by John Vidal, environment editor

The Guardian UK

September 11, 2008

----------------------------
Kingsnorth trial: Coal protesters cleared of criminal damage to chimney

The trial of the six Greenpeace UK activists was the first case in which acting to prevent climate change causing damage to property formed part of a 'lawful excuse' defence

by John Vidal, environment editor
Guardian.co.uk

September 10 2008

Six Greenpeace climate change activists have been cleared of causing criminal damage at a coal-fired power station in a verdict that is expected to embarrass the government and strengthen the anti-coal movement.

The jury of nine men and three women at Maidstone crown court cleared the six, five of whom had scaled a 200m tall chimney at Kingsnorth power station at Hoo, Kent in October 2007.

The activists admitted trying to shut down the station by occupying the smokestack and painting the world "Gordon" down the chimney, but argued that they were legally justified because they were trying to prevent climate change causing greater damage to property around the world.
It was the first case where preventing property damage caused by climate change has been used as part of a "lawful excuse" defence in court. It is now expected to be used widely by environment groups.

The court had heard from Prof James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, that the 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted daily by Kingsnorth could be responsible for the extinction of up to 400 species.

Hansen, a Nasa director who advises Al Gore, told the court that humanity was in "grave peril". He said: "Somebody needs to step forward and say there has to be a moratorium, draw a line in the sand and say no more coal-fired power stations."

It also heard David Cameron's environment adviser, millionaire environmentalist Zac Goldsmith, and an Inuit leader from Greenland say that climate change was already seriously affecting life around the world.

The court was told was that some of the property in immediate need of protection included parts of Kent at risk from rising sea levels, the Pacific island state of Tuvalu and areas of Greenland. The defendants also cited the Arctic ice sheet, China's Yellow river region, the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica, coastal areas of Bangladesh and the city of New Orleans.

Goldsmith told the court: "By building a coal-power plant in this country, it makes it very much harder in exerting pressure on countries like China and India to reduce their burgeoning use of the fossil fuel."

The jury was told that Kingsnorth emits the same amount of CO2 as the 30 least polluting countries in the world combined – and that there are advanced plans to build a new coal-fired power station next to the existing site on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent.

Greenpeace used the court's decision to pile pressure on government to abandon plans for a new generation of coal-fired plants.

"Today's acquittal is a potent challenge to the government's plans for new coal-fired stations from jurors representing ordinary people in Britain who, after hearing the evidence, supported the right to take direct action in order to protect the climate," said Ben Stewart, Greenpeace's communications director who was one of the six acquitted.

The others were Will Rose, Kevin Drake, Tim Hewke, Huw Williams and Emily Hall.

"It wasn't only us in the dock, it was coal-fired power generation as well. The only people left in Britain who think new coal is a good idea are business secretary John Hutton and the energy minister Malcolm Wicks," said Hall.
"It's time the prime minister stepped in and embraced a clean energy future for Britain."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Power station protesters cleared

BBC News

September 10, 2008

Six Greenpeace activists have been cleared of causing criminal damage during a protest over coal-fired power.

The activists were charged with causing £30,000 of damage after they scaled Kingsnorth power station in Hoo, Kent.

At Maidstone Crown Court Judge David Caddick said the jury had to examine whether protesters had a lawful excuse.

The defendants said the protest was lawful because it aimed to prevent damaging emissions. Energy firm E.ON said lives had been put at risk. [????]

Five people who scaled the chimney - Huw Williams, 41, of Nottingham; Ben Stewart, 34, of Lyminge, Kent; Kevin Drake, 44, of Westbury, Wiltshire; Will Rose, 29, of London; and Emily Hall, 34, from New Zealand - were all charged with causing criminal damage.

'Gordon, bin it'

Tim Hewke, 48, from Ulcombe, Kent, accused by the prosecution of organising the protest from the ground, also faced the same charge.

Jurors heard how protesters painted the name "Gordon" on the 200m (650ft) chimney on 8 October last year, in a political protest against the redevelopment of the plant as a coal-burning unit.

They had planned to daub the words "Gordon, bin it" on the stack in a reference to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but were threatened with a High Court injunction and arrested.

After the hearing, E.ON spokeswoman Emily Highmore said the firm, which is planning to build a coal-fired unit at the plant, was "hugely disappointed".

She said: "We respect people's right to protest, but what Greenpeace did was hugely irresponsible. It put people's lives at risk and that is clearly completely unacceptable."

Ms Highmore called for an "open and honest debate" about the challenges of energy and climate change, but added: "That's a debate that shouldn't be taking place at the top of a chimney stack."

She added: "Our men and women who work at Kingsnorth have a right to go to work to do their lawful business and to do it safely, so we're very concerned indeed about today's outcome."

This is a huge blow for ministers and their plans for new coal-fired power stations [said] Ben Stewart

Outside the court, activist Mr Stewart said the verdict was "a tipping point for the climate change movement".

He said: "When 12 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?"

Mr Stewart called for "clean technologies" to be used instead of coal.

And he said: "This is a huge blow for ministers and their plans for new coal-fired power stations."


There has been no government response to the verdict.

Activists scaled Kingsnorth power station in Hoo in a protest over a coal-fired power plant.

2 comments:

sandrabullock said...

Earning money online never been this easy and transparent. You would find great tips on how to make that dream amount every month. So go ahead and click here for more details and open floodgates to your online income. All the best.

ciara said...

Earning money online never been this easy and transparent. You would find great tips on how to make that dream amount every month. So go ahead and click here for more details and open floodgates to your online income. All the best.