This is a disturbing turn of events. I noted to myself, but did not bring it up here, that a UK jury acquitted vandals who attacked a coal plant because it felt that fighting global warming justified their lawlessness.
I bring it up now because it turns out that result was helped to be brought about by James Hanson, the NASA scientist and apple of Al Gore’s eye, who testified for the defense. From the NRO article, byline Henry Payne:
Hansen’s controversial turn stems from testimony he gave this month in a London criminal trial against Greenpeace supporters who were accused of defacing–at a cost of $60,000 in property damage– Kingsnorth, an English coal plant. Hansen testified in support of the defense’s assertion that the Greenpeace members had a “lawful excuse” because they were acting to protect property around the world “in immediate need of protection” from the impacts of global warming– caused in part, they allege, by coal burning.
By crossing the line to the side of destructive violence, Hansen–often hailed as the “the world’s leading climate scientist” by green organizations and praised by Time magazine as one of the world’s “100 Most Influential People”–has seriously damaged the credibility of a movement that has struggled to separate its apocalyptic rhetoric from more extreme environmentalists who demand violent action to match that rhetoric.
This is unconscionable to anyone claiming to be–or is viewed as–a leader in an important social and political movement. And it could lead to severe consequences, as Payne notes:
Hansen’s endorsement is likely to embolden radicals in the United Kingdom and possibly in the U.S., where members of the Earth Liberation Front have torched suburban homes, SUVs, logging trucks, ranger stations, and a ski resort in Vail, Colo., causing many millions of dollars in damage.
“The ramifications are huge,” writes Iain Murray, an environmental-science expert with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Operators of coal-fired power stations in the U. K. have just been stripped of legal protection from the criminal actions of the environmental lobby.”
It is one thing when radicals who live to tear things down act in this way, but when a respected leader validates the acts of criminals–in effect urging them on–we are in very big trouble. What was it Yeats wrote?
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
If that happens, it is because we didn’t have the fortitude to resist. And I must say, the signs aren’t good.