Hansen: Coal Plant Vandals Actions ‘Justified’ Because of ‘Emergency Situation’
All fired up, American climate scientist James Hansen explains why he’s testifying against coal Hansen: Coal plant vandals actions ‘justified’ because of ‘emergency situation’ By EPW Blog Saturday, September 6, 2008
By EPW Blog
Saturday, September 6, 2008
[H/T: to Tom Nelson ] NASA’s James Hansen: Coal plant vandals actions ‘justified’ because of ‘emergency situation’ - Nature.com - September 5, 2008 Excerpt: Q So do you think that these activists were justified in doing what they did? Hansen: The activists drawing attention to the issue seems to me as justified. You should try to do things through the democratic process, but we really are getting to an emergency situation. We can’t continue to build more coal-fired power plants that do not capture CO2 if we hope to solve the problem.
James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, is well known for rattling his nation’s political establishment. This week, the climate scientist was in London, UK, to testify on behalf of activists who defaced a coal-fired power station in Kent. Geoff Brumfiel caught up with Hansen at a London hotel to find out what has got him all hot and bothered. Why did you come to testify?
Nothing could be more central to the problem we face with global climate change. If you look at the size of the oil, gas and coal reservoirs you’ll see that the oil and gas have enough CO2 to bring us up to a dangerous level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
There’s a potential to solve that problem if we phase out coal. If we were to have a moratorium on coal-fired power plants within the next few years, and then phase out the existing ones between 2010 and 2030, then CO2 would peak at something between 400 and 425 parts per million. That leaves a difficult problem, but one that you can solve.
Do you think that leaders like UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown have lived up to their promises on climate change?
It depends on whether they will have a moratorium on coal-fired power. I think that the greenest leaders, like German chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Brown, are saying the right words. But if you look at their actions, emissions are continuing to increase. All of these countries and the United States are planning to build more coal-fired power plants. And if you build more coal-fired power plants, then it is not possible to achieve the goals that they say they are committed to. It’s a really simple argument and yet they won’t face up to it.
So do you think that these activists were justified in doing what they did?
The activists drawing attention to the issue seems to me as justified. You should try to do things through the democratic process, but we really are getting to an emergency situation. We can’t continue to build more coal-fired power plants that do not capture CO2 if we hope to solve the problem.
We need to get energy from somewhere. So if we’re not getting it from coal, then where?
The first thing we should do is focus on energy efficiency. The fact that utilities make more money by selling more energy is a big problem. We have to change those rules. Then there is renewable energy — in order to be able to fully exploit renewable energy, we need better electric grids. So those should be the first things, but I think that we also need to look at next-generation nuclear power.
Some have said you are hypocritical for flying all the way from the US to the UK just to testify. How do you respond?
I like to travel as little as possible, not only because it uses less CO2 but because I prefer to do science. But sometimes there are things which are sufficiently important that I think it makes sense.
What do you think the roll of the scientist should be in the broader societal debate on climate change?
I think it would be irresponsible not to speak out. There is a clear gap between what is understood by the relevant scientific community and what is known by the public, and we have to try and close that gap. If we don’t do something in the very near future, we’re going to create a situation for our children and grandchildren that is out of control.
UK Protestors Occupy Coal Train - wanna chain yourself to a bull dozer?
Democratic [Party] Underground Blog
NICE!!! We need to do more way of this in North America - remember when Gore asked why we weren't chaining ourselves to bulldozers at coal plant sites? Well, why aren't we?Protestors who halted a coal train carrying fuel for Drax power station in Yorkshire, the single biggest source of CO2 in the UK, are settling in to make sure supplies of coal to the power station remain cut off. The protest comes six weeks before the 2008 Camp for Climate Action at Kingsnorth power station - which will also highlight how using coal to supply energy will be a disaster for the planet.Dressed in white overalls and canary outfits, they used safety signals to stop the train on a bridge overlooking the power station, before climbing on board and dumping coal off onto the tracks.http://www.coal-is-dirty.com/protestors-coal ...Anyone want to buy the chains? I know a few bulldozers...
[APPARENTLY, DR. HANSEN BELIEVES THAT INDIVIDUALS CAN TAKE 'JUSTICE' INTO THEIR OWN HANDS WHENEVER THEY BELIEVE THAT THE 'PUBLIC INTEREST' IS AT STAKE. IN THIS REGARD, HIS POLITICAL AGENDA IS NO DIFFERENT THAN THE GLORIFIED BRITISH LORD MELCHETT AND OTHER BIOTECH, ANIMAL RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS WHO WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRIOR INCIDENTS OF LAWLESS/CRIMINAL ECONOMIC SABOTAGE COMMITTED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM DURING THE PAST 10 YEARS AGAINST FARMERS, SCIENTISTS, LABORATORY EMPLOYEES, SHAREHOLDERS AND SHOPKEEPERS (FOOD RETAILERS). SADLY, THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT UNDER FORMER PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR and THE BRITISH COURTS DID VIRTUALLY NOTHING TO PUNISH THE PERPETRATORS WHO CONTINUE TO BELIEVE and ACT AS IF THEY HAVE RIGHTS TO HARM OTHERS AND THEIR PROPERTY. APPARENTLY, CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVISTS FEEL THE SAME WAY, and ARE UNWILLING TO PROVIDE PROOF BEYOND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL (RELIGIOUS & POLITICAL) IDEOLOGY AND THEIR UNSUBSTANTIATED 'FEARS' OF ECO-ARGMAGEDDON. BOTH EUROPEAN AND U.S. BLUE PARTY POLITICIANS AND GRANT-SEEKING, POLITICALLY CORRECT SCIENTISTS ARE TO BLAME FOR THIS. THEY WISH TO CHANGE THE GLOBAL SCIENTIFIC PARADIGM SO THAT HARD SCIENTIFIC and EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE OF PROBABLE HARM OR 'RISK' OF HARM, IS NO LONGER REQUIRED. INSTEAD THEY WISH TO ESTABLISH A NEW 'HAZARD'-BASED PARADIGM THAT MERELY REQUIRES TO SHOW THE 'POSSIBILITY' OF ENVIRONMENTAL HARM. IT WOULD SEEM, THEN, THAT WHEN THEY DON'T GET THEIR WAY, THEY RIOT AND RESORT TO CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. HOW CAN THE FEAR-BASED CLIMATE CHANGE POLITICIANS, SCIENTISTS AND ACTIVISTS NOW BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY?? THEY CANNOT!!]
[See: Economic Sabotage IS Free Speech In The UK; Is It Now Also Free Speech In the US?, ITSSD Journal on Economic Sabotage, at: http://itssdjournaleconomicsabotage.blogspot.com/2008/03/economic-sabotage-is-free-speech-in-uk.html ].
[See: UK Lord Melchett: Aristocrat Eco-warrior, BBC News.com, at:
July 27, 1999
UKLord Melchett: Aristocrat eco-warrior
The fourth Lord Melchett is lead away by police Lord Peter Melchett, Labour peer and executive director of Greenpeace UK, is probably experiencing the most inactive period of his adult life.
Arrested for his part in the dawn raid on a farm trialling GM crops and charged with theft and criminal damage, the Old Etonian was refused bail by a stipendiary magistrate in Norwich on Tuesday.
The 51-year-old aristocrat eco-warrior is well-known for his dedication to the green cause, although his political and activist career has tended to be within the law.
He inherited his title aged 23 when his father Lord Julian, chairman of British Steel, died suddenly of a heart attack in 1973.
Greenpeace activists vandalised the trial crops. He toyed with the idea of renouncing it, but instead entered politics as a Labour peer, making his maiden speech in the Lords about cruelty to animals in zoos.
His great-grandfather, then Sir Alfred Mond, and the founder of ICI, had already indelibly linked the family name with both socialism and activism.
As head of the World Foundation of Jewish Sports Clubs, he recommended a boycott of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Sir Peter became a whip, and then a junior minister - in environment and industry under Harold Wilson, and in Northern Ireland under Jim Callaghan.
Voted for abolition of Lords
From 1976-79 he chaired a working party on pop festivals, and still is a regular at Glastonbury.
He withdrew from the Lords when he took up a position on the board of the environmental organisation - but returned to vote for its abolition.
His concern for the environment started in his youth on the family's 750-acre estate, Courtyard Farm, on the north Norfolk cost.
[IT'S NICE NOT TO WORRY ABOUT HAVING ENOUGH MONEY TO EAT, WITHOUT FEAR OF HAVING YOUR LIVELIHOOD DESTROYED, ISN'T IT, MR. MELCHETT??]
He said: "On our farm, partridges went down from their hundreds to tens and you'd see the chicks dead in the fields.
Brent Spar ended in controversy for Greenpeace"I remember being told that it was because of the drought or the weather; now we know it was the pesticides."
His father, Lord Julian and mother, socialite Sonia Sinclair, were keen preservers of hedgerows at Courtyard Farm.
Lord Melchett normally cycles to work at Greenpeace HQ from his home in North London, which he shares with his partner Cassandra and their two teenage children.
He is known for always arriving late - but tends to stay late into the night to carry out the work he has been doing for the past decade, and which often takes him all over the world.
He has seen Greenpeace through its lows - with inaccurate measurements taken from the Brent Spar oil platform - and its highs - the campaign against genetic engineering is the organisation's longest, and it says, the most popular.
Energetic and dedicated
The organisation holds him in high regard. Spokeswoman Mirella Von Lindenfels said: "He does not really regard himself as a leader, he sees himself as a small cog within the worldwide Greenpeace, he does not appear to see himself as an important person at all.
"He is energetic and thoroughly dedicated. He has a great deal of experience and he is indefatigable."
He is known to his colleagues simply as Peter, and like all of its activists will receive legal and moral support throughout his detention.
Ms Von Lindenfels said: "Peter, like the others who were arrested, is highly trained in non-violent direct action, and he will be fully supported by Greenpeace.
"He feels, as so many people do, very, very strongly about the issue of GM crops and technology."
[FORTUNATELY, ECONOMIC SABOTAGE IS NOT FREE SPEECH IN THE U.S.A, AT LEAST NOT YET!]
[See: Eco & Animal Terrorism is NOT Free Speech in the USA!, ITSSD Journal on Economic Sabotage, at: http://itssdjournaleconomicsabotage.blogspot.com/2008/07/eco-animal-terrorism-is-not-free-speech.html; NYSE Finally Musters Courage to Defend Economic Freedom and Defy Animal Extremists, ITSSD Journal on Economic Sabotage at: http://itssdjournaleconomicsabotage.blogspot.com/2008/03/nyse-finally-musters-courage-to-defend.html; Fire ELFs Attack Homes Under Construction in Washington State, ITSSD Journal on Economic Sabotage, ITSSD Journal on Economic Sabotage at: http://itssdjournaleconomicsabotage.blogspot.com/2008/03/fire-elfs-attack-homes-under.html ].
[See also: ITSSD: 'Putting Country First' Means Defending America's Sovereignty, Constitution and Free Enterprise System Against Foreign Incursion, ITSSD Journal on Economic Freedom, at: http://itssdeconomicfreedom.blogspot.com/2008/09/putting-country-first-means-defending.html ].