Researched by Allison Murray
Jurors ruled that global warming activists were justified in causing damage to a coal-fired power station in England in order to prevent greater damage caused by climate change. Kingsnorth power station in Kent, England was the center for mass protests by climate activists and last year, three protesters managed to paint Gordon Brown’s name on the plant’s chimney, which cost £35,000 to remove. As coal produces ore 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. The six Greenpeace activists weree cleared of criminal damage because of the defense of “lawful excuse” under the Criminal Damage Act 1971. This 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.
“Cleared: Jury decides that threat of global warming justifies breaking the law” Michael McCarthy, The Independent, UK, September 11, 2008