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"threat of global warming justifies breaking the law"

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cleared-jury-decides-that-threat-of-global-warming-justifies-breaking-the-law-925561.html
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.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think there's already a thread on this.

    I'm not sure myself. What damage did they actually do?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They tried to shut down the station and painted 'Gordon' down the smokestack.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Doesn't sound very damaging to me. £35k to remove a word from a wall? Which orifice did they pull that figure from? If they'd damaged it in any meaningful way, then sure. But since the chimney still works whether it has Gordon written on it or not, I'm not too arsed about it. I suppose technically they should be found guilty though.

    Incidentally, as I understand it, the principle behind this law is that you can break someone's property to prevent something worse happening. Or you can park illegally if you're helping someone who's collapsed, for example. Now firstly, writing a word on a chimney doesn't prevent anything bad from happening. And secondly, if the power station is operating legally, then I don't see how you can justify illegal actions against it on the grounds that it's for the "greater good." My understanding is that we have a democracy that decides what is for the greater good or not, and this democracy has decided that this coal power station has the right to operate.

    What are we going to have next? Animal rights activists breaking into farms to prevent farmers going about what they are legally entitled to do? Maybe a terrorist defending an attack on military targets on the grounds that he was preventing the deaths of citizens of countries that those troops were to be deployed in? In fact, does it not essentially give the green light to pretty much any vigilante that fancies his chances? The law is quite clearly designed to give immunity from prosecution for people making immediate decisions about a particular situation, when time is an issue. You know that a terrorist has a bomb, and it going to set it off in one minute. You would be justified in killing them. You know that a terrorist attack was planned for next week. You personally execute the person planning the attack. You would not be justified in killing them, because there is more than enough time to inform the authorities. Global warming by definition can never be the former, and so shouldn't be protected by this law. It sets a very dangerous precident imo. I could even understand them being found guilty and being given very lenient sentences because of the relatively minor scale of the offence in comparison to the problem they were highlighting. But to find them not guilty is ridiculous.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Good.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's a disgraceful verdict. They broke the law, and they should be punished for it. It's a classic example of why confidence in the legal system is so low.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    I think it's a disgraceful verdict. They broke the law, and they should be punished for it. It's a classic example of why confidence in the legal system is so low.
    Just because a law exists, does not mean that it is somehow morally justified.

    Do you remember the Ploughshare Woman? They were cleared of criminal damage for using household hammers to screw up hawk jets which were headed for East Timor.

    They plead not guilty on the grounds that they were actiong to prevent British Aerospace from aiding genocide. At the time (mid 1990s?), Britain has signed a £500 million arms contract with the Indonesian government and this included jets like the one they broke.

    If somebody is breaking a law, to prevent other people from getting hurt, or our planet from being destroy (which will leave people being hurt), is it not justified?

    We do not need any new coal stations, our government is claiming it wants to cut carbon emissions by 60%. These people were acting for the good of the human race and our planet and I hope in the future, more people will be acting like them (and I will be one of them if I have the money and time next year to go to Climate Camp).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
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