11 Sep 2008:
Greenpeace Activists Acquitted
After Using Global Warming as A Defense
A British jury yesterday acquitted the so-called “Kingsnorth Six,”
saying that the Greenpeace activists were justified in attempting to shut down a large coal-fired power plant because they were trying to prevent greater damage being done to the planet from climate change. In a decision that could encourage increased environmental activism against energy and utility companies in the U.K., the 12-member jury accepted the activists’ defense that they had a “lawful excuse” for their actions as they were preventing "immediate" harm to other property. That property, defense lawyers argued, included various places around the earth, from the low-lying Pacific Island of Tuvalu to Greenland, threatened by rising sea levels and other effects of global warming. Among those testifying at the trial was noted U.S. climate scientist James Hansen, who said utility companies and the British government are ignoring incontrovertible evidence that burning coal plays a dominant role in the creation of greenhouse gases. The six defendants were accused of causing criminal damage by painting the smokestack of the Kent plant as part of an effort to shut it down.
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