Saturday, September 06, 2008

James Hansen defends people who deliberately did £30,000 damage to a power plant

All fired up : Nature News
[Q:] 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.

[Q:] 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.

[Q:] 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.
Kingsnorth protest: Activists to use climate change as defence for £30,000 tower damage | Environment | The Guardian
Five activists, with food and water to stay four days, climbed the 200-metre chimney at Kingsnorth coal-fired power station near Hoo, Kent, last October. They had planned to daub "Gordon, bin it" on the outside of the chimney, but only got as far as painting the name "Gordon" before they came down after 30 hours, a jury at Maidstone crown court heard yesterday.

Huw Williams, 41, from Nottingham; Ben Stewart, 34, from Lyminge, Kent; Kevin Drake, 44, from Westbury, Wiltshire; Will Rose, 29, from London; and Emily Hall, 34, from New Zealand are all charged with criminal damage to the chimney. Tim Hewke, 48, from Ulcombe, Kent, who the prosecution says helped organise the protest from the ground, is also charged with criminal damage. None of them deny causing the damage and they also accept the estimated costs of repairing the damage.

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