Washington State Judge Denies Climate "Necessity" Defence in Ecoterrorism Case

Oil Pipeline Pumping Station in rural Nebraska
Oil Pipeline Pumping Station in rural Nebraska. By shannonpatrick17 from Swanton, Nebraska, U.S.A. (Trans Canada Keystone Oil Pipeline) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Washington State Judge Michael E Rickert has caused green heads to explode, by ruling that climate change is a matter of debate.

Judge in environmental activist’s trial says climate change is matter of debate

Controversial statements angered environmentalists who insist courts have an obligation to recognize the science about manmade climate change

A Washington state judge has sparked outrage for remarks questioning the existence of climate change and the role of humans in global warming.

During the high-profile trial of Ken Ward, a climate activist facing 30 years in prison for shutting down an oil pipeline, Judge Michael E Rickert said: “I don’t know what everybody’s beliefs are on [climate change], but I know that there’s tremendous controversy over the fact whether it even exists. And even if people believe that it does or it doesn’t, the extent of what we’re doing to ourselves and our climate and our planet, there’s great controversy over that.”

The Skagit County judge made the comments on 24 January while addressing Ward’s request to present a “necessity defense” in court, meaning he would argue that the grave threat of climate change justified civil disobedience.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/31/environmental-activist-trial-judge-questions-climate-change-ken-ward

Ken Ward allegedly admits he committed the acts for which he is being charged – according to a statement published on the climate disobedience website;

Statement of Ken Ward at his Arraignment


Statement of Ken Ward at his Arraignment on Charges of Burglary, Criminal Trespass, Sabotage and Assemblages of Saboteurs

October 20, 2016 in Mt. Vernon, WA

I have been charged by the Prosecuting Attorney for Skagit County, Washington with four crimes – burglary, criminal trespass, sabotage and assemblages of saboteurs – for my action last Tuesday, closing a safety valve on the TransMountain pipeline and blocking the flow of Canadian tar sands oil from Alberta to the Anacortes refineries.

There is no question about what I did – I livestreamed it, and you can see the video at shutitdown.today and on my FaceBook page, facebook.com/kenward.brightlines. The only question is whether what I did was an appropriate and practical response to what President Obama recently described as “terrifying” climate change conditions.

Read more: http://www.climatedisobedience.org/ken_ward_arraignment

I’m not a legal expert, but my understanding is a “necessity” defence is normally accepted only when an otherwise illegal action is the only way to prevent imminent severe injury or loss of life.

Even if climate change is as serious a threat as Ken Ward believes, his actions likely endangered lives, rather than preventing imminent loss of life. A close family relative used to work in an oil refinery, my understanding is abruptly closing the emergency shutdown valve on an oil pipeline can cause the pipe to rupture, which can lead to life threatening fires and other serious consequences.

The following is an activist video of Ken Ward’s actions;

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Ron Clutz
January 31, 2017 7:22 pm

Here’s some context and some additional parts to the story:

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  Ron Clutz
January 31, 2017 9:27 pm

This just in…
After a long and often disappointing search for a judge who can actually follow the law, President Trump considers Skagit Judge Michael E Rickert for his SCOTUS nominee.

george e. smith
Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
January 31, 2017 9:49 pm

Sorry Mate; but you are just a common garden variety terrorist.
And the only thing that is “necessary” is for you to be thrown in the slammer for a long time; well how about long enough to prove that climate change which NOBODY disputes, is likely to do you some harm if we let you out again.
That’s just my opinion of course; as is my opinion that climate changes. Well it at least changes if you move from Sunnyvale to Los Gatos.

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
January 31, 2017 11:23 pm

“climate activist facing 30 years in prison”
Ironic how he may be put away for as long as it takes to distinguish “climate” from “weather” (☺)
And just one question about his arraignment statement, who is this “president obama”?

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
January 31, 2017 11:53 pm

(obama who?)

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
February 1, 2017 1:10 am

Is he the president of Kenya ?

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
February 1, 2017 1:49 am

Sorry Mate; but you are just a common garden variety terrorist.

don’t be so stupid. However ill-informed and misguided he may be his aim was not to induce fear or terror into anyone. He is in no way a “terrorist”.
reserve that word for people machine-gunning schools and cafes, not everyone who you don’t agree with.

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
February 1, 2017 6:26 am

When he made the arraignment statement, Obama was still president.

Reply to  Ron Clutz
February 1, 2017 1:36 am

It’s a pity Judge Rickert wasn’t on the bench at the Kingsnorth Power Station trial where activists, aided by Hanson, claimed the necessity defence. Kingsnorth has now been demolished instead of having clean burn equipment installed.

Reply to  Ron Clutz
February 1, 2017 4:01 am

Ron, your blog is always great to visit. Your analysis on the legal tactics the Climate Jihad is using is spot on and raises a disturbing point that presents a real challenge.

Ron Clutz
Reply to  hunter
February 1, 2017 10:43 am

Thanks hunter. The challenge is better confronted by understanding the activist game plan.

January 31, 2017 7:22 pm

comment image

Reply to  ossqss
January 31, 2017 7:27 pm

I see this as attempted murder. Let alone the environmental damage possibilities. How would you feel if they took the emergency brakes off of the elevator at the Empire State Building and cut the power to prove a point. Lock him up and set the precident.

Reply to  ossqss
February 1, 2017 1:54 am

He was probably ignorant of the alleged risk of shutting off the value that is claim in this non expert WUWT article. His intent was to temporarily shut of the flow of “carbon” as a symbolic gesture.
It may be criminally negligent , it certainly is not attempted murder.
BTW he would probably get a lot less time in jail for attempted murder than he seems likely to get if found guilty as charged.

Reply to  ossqss
February 1, 2017 4:57 am

He was probably ignorant of the alleged risk
Then he is dangerous. The first rule in any process facility is don’t touch anything.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  ossqss
February 1, 2017 5:28 am

Greg, …… just what is it that you hope to accomplish via your silly, asinine, idiotic acts of “evo-terrorism” …… which you intentionally avert your eyes and mind to their existence …..so that you feel no guilt whatsoever for the dastardly devious destruction of personal property and bodily harm for which you are responsible for?
It is obvious that you and yours truly believe that “killing the patient” is the solution to “curing cancer”.
You and yours should not be allowed to “run loose on the streets” without strict adult supervision.

Reply to  ossqss
February 1, 2017 4:20 pm

I agree ossqss, this guy needs to go away for a long time. Human caused climate change is an open question that has never been tested against reality. All the far-left has is their hand in the till of the Federal Treasury, while denying money for objective research. Things are about to change, big-time.

Peter C
January 31, 2017 7:24 pm

30 years jail would send a very appropriate message to Green ativists

george e. smith
Reply to  Peter C
January 31, 2017 9:51 pm

Well it takes 30 years to make any headway in figuring out the climate; damn thing keeps changing all the time.

Reply to  george e. smith
February 1, 2017 6:23 pm

You know, living in an area where the temperature can go as high as 104 F in the summer and down to -24 F in the winter only 6 months later, an 0.02 degree average temperature change in the whole earths temperature is hardly climate changing. Reality speaking, the climate changes from winter to summer and everywhere in between two times a year, year in and year out and we all survive. Amazing how fast we adapt!

Reply to  Peter C
February 1, 2017 3:25 am

If he mounts that defence then it proves that he might do it again, hence he must go to jail because of the need to protect people and property.

Reply to  climanrecon
February 1, 2017 6:03 am

The judge was right to throw out that defense, but he could have worded it differently. The assertion that climate change is caused by humankind and the magnitude of that change, if it exists, is a conjecture, since it is not verifiable by controlled, repeatable scientific experimentation. An equally plausible explanation for climate change is that it is caused by natural forces. Therefore the whole matter is open to debate.

January 31, 2017 7:26 pm

what a shame that a probably nice bloke, probably egged on by his less brave colleagues, did this at a time when it was a forgone conclusion that Hillary would win and his crime was be recognised as a world changing act.

Reply to  diachat
January 31, 2017 9:34 pm

he can always sue the folk who inspired him with misinformation.. It’s the responsibility of those in positions of authority to convey facts – Similarly I’d imagine a teacher who deliberately taught utter falsehoods would be liable to be sued by their students.

Reply to  Karl
January 31, 2017 10:14 pm

He’ll end up with plenty of time to sue, but what satisfaction will he get?
A little contrition might serve him much better just now.

Reply to  Karl
February 1, 2017 2:28 pm

“The only question is whether what I did was an appropriate and practical response to what President Obama recently described as “terrifying” climate change conditions.”
Mr. Obama has inspired a multitude of bad actors. This idiot is just one more. It would be nice if Obama were to take some sort of responsibility for his poor leadership.

January 31, 2017 7:35 pm

There is no question about what I did – I livestreamed it, and you can see the video at shutitdown.today and on my FaceBook page, facebook.com/kenward.brightlines. The only question is whether what I did was an appropriate and practical response to what President Obama recently described as “terrifying” climate change conditions.>/blockquote>
He needs to sue Obama. That’s where the deep pockets are. Sure beats being the ‘wards bitch’.

Reply to  eyesonu
January 31, 2017 8:03 pm

Back to the test page for me

Reply to  eyesonu
January 31, 2017 8:43 pm

If this clown/eco-terrorist gets away with this then the next ISIS terrorist that blows up a pipeline can claim the same defense and where will that lead? Bridges, railways, airports, power stations, power lines, sub stations, oil refineries, etc., etc.. It’s got to stop somewhere and soon.

Reply to  eyesonu
January 31, 2017 11:54 pm

Many people agree that it is necessary to shut down the climate Mafia. Do they really want to go where this idea of “necessary to commit crime to get the job done” leads? It is what is called a “target rich” field, after all.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  eyesonu
February 1, 2017 5:35 am

The wacko evo-terrorists desperately want a “get-out-of-JAIL-free” card but the Judge denied their request.

January 31, 2017 7:36 pm

Good on the Judge for speaking the truth . When people start screwing with pipelines they fall into the derailing of trains and other serious crimes category . Real environmentalists don’t do this crap .
Anarchists do .

Reply to  Amber
January 31, 2017 7:48 pm

Amber. I completely agree, except with that anarchists part. Anarchy does not mean no rules, just no rulers. I will admit there are plenty of stupid people who call themselves anarchists, but have no idea what it means. Regards

Reply to  Andre
February 1, 2017 7:27 am

My Funk & Wagnalls; anarchy = lawlessness. My Roget’s; laws = rules.

Reply to  Andre
February 1, 2017 7:53 am

With no rulers, there are no rules.

Reply to  Andre
February 1, 2017 9:01 am

Yes! An end to all Rulers. We’ll start by throwing out the yardsticks. ^¿^

Reply to  Andre
February 1, 2017 10:25 am

Since man is the measure of all things, we have no need for artificial measuring devices.

Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
Reply to  Andre
February 1, 2017 2:34 pm

Can I throw out my slide-rule? Never could figure out how to use it!

Reply to  Amber
January 31, 2017 7:52 pm

They are not the actions of anarchists, they are the actions of terrorists or the mentally ill.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  phaedo
January 31, 2017 10:03 pm

Thank you phaedo.

Reply to  phaedo
February 1, 2017 2:04 am

How do you conceive shutting a pipeline value to be an act or “terror” . That means an act intended to influence others by instilling fear and terror by your actions. Who was he intending to “terrorise” by temporarily shutting of the flow of oil ?
This is same redneck kneejerk BS several here have adopted.
Somewhere you need to be able to tell the difference between driving a 40t truck into a crowded market and slowing down oil production for a day or two. Get real.

Reply to  phaedo
February 1, 2017 2:11 am

Those who are trying to change the behaviour others by inducing fear and terror are the AGW propagandists, including many academics.
This guy is a victim of that since he seems to believe it is necessary to risk a lengthy jail sentence in order to make this rather insignificant gesture of direct action.
There seems to be a lot of particularly younger people who have been spoon fed this apocalyptic BS since kindergarten and are truly in fear of imminent collapse of the natural world on which we all depend.
They have been “terrorised” .

Reply to  phaedo
February 1, 2017 7:07 am

The very first requirements to be an anarchist is ignorance and insanity. First, the first insanity NO government. Government is organic in that it is generated naturally. The human family evolved because it gave the best means of survival of the species. The family is the only place where communism actually works. In the family there are rules or if you like call them laws. Chief among those laws is parents provide for the children. A society is made up of families. Anarchists have rules. The group enforces those rules. The group is government.
From the anarchist point of view you are what you believe yourself to be. Anarchist committed Murder lighting the fuse to WWI.

Reply to  phaedo
February 1, 2017 8:49 am

I recommend Hoppes “Democracy, the God that Failed” for well researched views on Governments and Anarchy. You may believe that governments are organic, and I may concede that, however so far in ?civilized? times no particular form of government has proved stable. There’s no government over the governments so countries are anarchic towards each other. While you contend that anarchists triggered WWI it was the governments that postured and prosecuted the war; unless you consider millions of dead citizens a benefit of government. To ad, you find that citizens are far more likely to be killed by their own government than by outside invaders.
My opinion is Family/Tribal governments remain stable where the “government” has sovereign and joined interest in the tribe. Anybody beyond the tribal interest usually finds themselves eventually victimized. Governments do not scale up particularly well

Reply to  phaedo
February 1, 2017 9:27 pm

My legal dictionary defines “Terrorism” a bit more broadly than above —
The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property in order to coerce or intimidate a government or the civilian population in furtherance of political or social objectives.
I think this mook qualifies under that definition.

January 31, 2017 7:44 pm

In Alaska even the University President is aiding illegals, saboteurs of TAPL and nefarious elements for personal gain of cash, drugs and prostitutes (male because the UA President is a Queer who sees himself at the GREATEST HUMAN BORN TO EARTH)! Sad but true. It’s U.

Reply to  RBom
January 31, 2017 8:03 pm

Please consider if you want to make a good point or if you want to indulge yourself.

Reply to  hunter
January 31, 2017 8:38 pm

Have you, hunter?

Reply to  hunter
January 31, 2017 9:44 pm

It’s possible to do both, you know.

Reply to  hunter
January 31, 2017 11:22 pm

The term “Queer” is self-selected, as the ‘Q’ in LGBTQ, so it’s not necessarily a slur, in fact I refuse to treat it as one. Thanks, I feel liberated!

Reply to  hunter
February 1, 2017 9:24 am

So now ‘queer’ is a thing separate from all the other orientations in LGBT?
They’re just going to keep adding new divisions until every special snowflake has his very own category, aren’t they?
I can’t even act surprised, It’s how the Left works. Convince smaller and smaller groups of people that they have been suppressed by a larger group and that the only way they can get ‘justice’ is by giving power to the leftists. Then KEEP them all divided and suspicious of each other so they can’t work together to change things.

John MacDonald
January 31, 2017 7:54 pm

And how did these folks get to these four remote ESD valve station? Well, of course, they drove in gasoline powered SUVs. So now we know that CO2 also causes hypocrisy.

The Original Mike M
Reply to  John MacDonald
February 1, 2017 7:01 am

YESSS! That was also one of my first thoughts. You’d think that if they had had the brains to examine the credibility of their own motives they would have opted for going on horseback to block the shipping dock of a spark plug factory as a “symbolic gesture”.

January 31, 2017 8:01 pm

Good for the judge and even better for justice. It is long past time that these self righteous misanthropic twits meet the real world.

Killer Marmot
January 31, 2017 8:05 pm

Ecoterrorists have decided that they are so right that the laws passed by our democratically elected governments do not apply to them. They must be held accountable for every … single … crime … they commit, and punished like anyone would be punished.

William Bradford Grubel
Reply to  Killer Marmot
February 1, 2017 12:34 am

That doesn’t make him an eco terrorist. Just another Democrat.

Reply to  Killer Marmot
February 1, 2017 6:30 am

Sort of like Hillary deciding to use a private e-mail server so she can avoid FOIA requests.

January 31, 2017 8:06 pm

Thankfully logic still has a place in society. Another the ends justify the means statement put to bed. The save the world eliminate people meme is sociopathic.

January 31, 2017 8:11 pm

comment image
There’s ZERO “imminent threat” of climate change.

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  Eric Simpson
January 31, 2017 9:33 pm

To pick a nit…I think you meant,
The climate is changing (alway has and always will). There is zero real, non-model evidence that it is man-caused and zero evidence that it is in any way dangerous or “terrifying” to normal people with sound reasoning skills.

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
January 31, 2017 10:06 pm

Good points.
Although … looks like there’s been zero temperature change.
I know we like to be politically correct and say “the climate is changing.” Doesn’t seem like that’s the case to me.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
February 3, 2017 10:04 am

I think the phrase “non-model evidence” is redundant. Models are not “evidence” of anything; they are merely reflections of the input assumptions. As it was once so eloquently said, “Computers are very stupid things; they do EXACTLY what you tell them to do.”

Reply to  Eric Simpson
January 31, 2017 10:17 pm

Climate Change is very dangerous. Where will Canada go when our nice little warm spell runs out and the normal glacial conditions return.
I would have loved it if the Judge had said that!

January 31, 2017 8:18 pm

These Ecoterrorists sound exactly like ISIS jihadists when they speak. They use the same language about feeling “Serene” before an attack, their slavish dedication to dogma and their use of sabotage and violence to achieve their goals.
These people and anyone associated with the Global Warming Jihad are beyond dangerous….. For jihad it has become when you see this kind of fanaticism.
They need to be dealt with harshly to set a counter example….. Otherwise the propaganda of their actions will stir more Ecofascists to violence.

Stephen Greene
Reply to  J.H.
January 31, 2017 9:21 pm

It’s an addiction. I swear their limbic system is out of whack (I know, very scientific)

John M. Ware
Reply to  J.H.
February 1, 2017 2:00 am

I prefer the new term “ecothugs,” which I just now made up.

Reply to  J.H.
February 1, 2017 3:57 am

Ron, your posts are always interesting and thoughtful. The post you have on this latest legal gambit by the climate concerned raises a very disturbing point.

Reply to  J.H.
February 1, 2017 6:33 am

Although I agree that the comparison to actual Jihadi terrorism is a bit extreme, it is interesting to note that both movements rely on the existence of “useful idiots” to achieve their goals. Deluding oneself into believing that a moronic act like closing a valve will have an impact on the climate debate is akin to blowing oneself up in the certainty of going to heaven. By the way. What’s the warmist equivalent of Allahu akbar? Did the defendant utter it as he closed the valve? Just asking.

Reply to  Trebla
February 1, 2017 7:55 am

“What’s the warmist equivalent of Allahu akbar?”
All hail ManBearPig?

Reply to  Trebla
February 1, 2017 9:41 am

I can’t find the video of the wild eyed Climate Faithful chick screaming ‘There’s a Consensus!’, but if there IS a ecothug (thanks john) battle cry, that’s it.

Reply to  Trebla
February 1, 2017 2:38 pm

save the planet

Janice Moore
Reply to  Trebla
February 1, 2017 5:48 pm

@ DonM — BINGO.

Louis LeBlanc
January 31, 2017 8:19 pm

Another unintended consequence of taking the election for granted. I can hardly catch my breath before the next one pops up.

January 31, 2017 8:19 pm

If the pipeline was really such a dnager to the public Ken Ward could have gone to court and gotten a court order to have the pipeline shut down but, no, he defied the court and tryed to take the law into his own hands. The existance of Internet sites like this one is testamony that the AGW conjecture is very contraversial. Even it the AGW conjecture was at least mostly true, Mr. Ward’s actions would have had no real affect on climate also Mr. Ward’s actions helped no one. If the climate change defense does not work maybe next Ken Ward can try the Twinke defense.

Reply to  willhaas
February 1, 2017 7:56 am

Say that his actions affected no one would be false. Anytime oil production is interrupted the cost of fuel goes up to the areas and that Facility Services. So many people were affected by short-lived price increase. The people that work there were affected has her hours were increased or decreased which increases or decreases their pocketbook. I think many times academics forget about the people that work there along with the people who rely on the people that work there.

Louis LeBlanc
January 31, 2017 8:22 pm

Another unintended consequence of Democrats taking the election for granted. I can hardly catch my breath before the next one pops up, courtesy of the Donald.

Reply to  Louis LeBlanc
January 31, 2017 9:46 pm

The Democrats haven’t been this angry since the Republicans took away their slaves.
(And for anybody who doesn’t know their history, Abe Lincoln was the first Republican president and the US saw the loss of ~640,000 soldiers freeing the slaves. The vast majority of slave owners were Democrats in the South.)

Reply to  RockyRoad
February 1, 2017 3:40 am

But the Democrats have changed since those dark days, long ago.
They no longer discriminate, they will now enslave anyone, irrespective of their colour.

Reply to  RockyRoad
February 1, 2017 6:10 pm

Rocky Road – “and the US saw the loss of ~640,000 soldiers freeing the slaves. ”
Not exactly. The United States saw the loss of about 260,000 soldiers, nearly all of whom were fighting to preserve the Union, not free the slaves. The Confederate States lost about 160,000, few to none of whom were fighting to free the slaves. It is true that 640,000 AMERICANS died during the war, which DID NOT free the slaves. The 13th Amendment did that in 1865.

Reply to  RockyRoad
February 1, 2017 6:17 pm

Darn typos – 360,000 and 260,000. Total of around 620,000 by some accounts.

Reply to  RockyRoad
February 1, 2017 10:00 pm

Bob, the emancipation proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863 by President Lincoln. If you study the Civil War, you’ll discover that the North wasn’t very successful waging the war until that point, then they were.
Coincidence? I think not, although I concede the war was originally waged to preserve the union, as you say.
I used the ~640,000 death toll to include Americans on both sides, a figure some debate might be much higher. But to ignore the South’s sacrifice is a truly cowardly act of journalism.

Reply to  RockyRoad
February 3, 2017 8:18 am

I am sorry but people that think the Civil War ( which is badly named as is was not a civil war for control of America but a war for the independence of the south so they could continue being slave owners apart from the north) was about anything but slavery are fooling them selves. Some will say it was about state rights but the only state right that was in question and worth going to war for was slavery. We did not kill 600,000 plus people in the name of tax tariffs or trade agreements. It was from start to finish a war about the right to keep another person as property. And yes the democrats changed. first to the divided south that enslaved people thru economies,the fear of the KKK, a democrat created group, and segregation. Only to be followed with the planned destruction of the black family and black business thru welfare and social programs that turned intercity into ghettoes. Oh yeah they have changed so much .

J Mac
Reply to  Louis LeBlanc
January 31, 2017 10:34 pm

Democrats haven’t been this angry since Everett Dirksen authored the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Republicans passed it into Law on a straight party line vote, with ALL democrats opposed. Same thing again in 1967.

Steve Borodin
Reply to  Louis LeBlanc
February 1, 2017 12:18 am

Can we stop calling the anti-democrats Democrats please.

Reply to  Steve Borodin
February 1, 2017 7:04 am

The left has moved so far left that classical liberals are now voting conservative. How much socialism is enough socialism? Progressives helpfully explain: “Shut up!”

January 31, 2017 8:24 pm

Is there anything that doesn’t “spark outrage” for lefty?
In other news a left coast judge with an ounce of common sense.

Reply to  Logoswrench
January 31, 2017 10:05 pm

Logoswrench — I am outraged at your suggestion that everything sparks outrage among leftists.

Reply to  BallBounces
January 31, 2017 11:29 pm


Reply to  BallBounces
February 1, 2017 3:25 am

That’s outrageous!

Reply to  BallBounces
February 1, 2017 6:35 am

In another case, a judge has ruled that a student expelled by Amherst for sexual misconduct can’t appeal his case because it would be emotionally traumatic to the victim.

High Treason
January 31, 2017 8:32 pm

Don’t we all just love the way the Left seems to have this air of entitlement to do whatever they believe without going through due process (obeying the laws of the land.) Since Mr Ward decided without any legal sanction to do as he pleased, he is personally liable for all damage caused.
30 years in the slammer for blatant disregard for property and potentially life threatening fires is reasonable. It will send the message out to other prospective environmental cowboys (or cowLGBTQIA whatevers) that their lives are effectively over if they do this sort of thing.
Some blame must also go to the bodies that fund the eco-terrorists, such as George Soros.
Sorry, no tears for him as he rots in jail

Reply to  High Treason
January 31, 2017 8:49 pm

No knee pads either.

Reply to  High Treason
January 31, 2017 8:51 pm

High Treason “30 years in the slammer…”
The eco-terrorist probably thought he could plea bargain it down to a few hours of community service or probation. You wonder about his level of freak out if the law is actually followed and he gets that 30 year sentence.

Steve Case
Reply to  High Treason
January 31, 2017 9:03 pm

Some blame must also go to the bodies that fund the eco-terrorists, such as George Soros.
Huh? Ken Ward should be given immunity if he can successfully finger Soros. I would love to see that 80 year old POS carted off to the slammer in chains.

Reply to  High Treason
January 31, 2017 9:41 pm

Where is the justice for those who had their convenience stores, pharmacies, and such destroyed from this in their hood from outsiders? I hope this link works as it is plagued with Google as part of it. Remember other highly visible protests when you read this…….

Reply to  High Treason
February 1, 2017 2:20 am

It should be done BLIGT (Bisexual, Lesbian, Intersex, Gay & Transvestite)
Pronounced blight.

Reply to  Hivemind
February 1, 2017 8:17 am

[snip – thanks but…let’s not start a food fight over this – mod]

Reply to  Hivemind
February 1, 2017 9:15 am

It’s their problem, they get to name it. As much of a blight as it is, they have chosen LGBTQ. ( “Queer”, for short.)

Janice Moore
January 31, 2017 8:47 pm

Skagit County, Washington, USA is my home county! And I know Mike Rickert. He is an excellent, seasoned, judge, tough but fair, with a sterling reputation in his home county.
You are correct, Eric. The Necessity defense did not apply here.
Very proud of our Judge Rickert!

Reply to  Janice Moore
January 31, 2017 9:17 pm

Thanks Janice for that info, although I am totally blown away by the fact there is a judge in Washington State with his integrity! (Thank God).

Janice Moore
Reply to  asybot
January 31, 2017 10:02 pm

My pleasure, Sybot. If it weren’t for the larger cities of Washington, where so many of the “safety-in-numbers,” easily duped, group-thinkers, live, Washington would have victories on personal liberty/free market/private property/truth-in-science issues far more frequently.
IOW: lots of good judges in Washington State. 🙂

Janice Moore
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 31, 2017 9:55 pm

Okay, Eric. If I see/hear of anything, I will. Thank you for bringing this to our attention (I don’t pay much attention to local news).
Here is the local online newspaper account (jury deliberated until 4:30pm today, Tuesday, 1/31/17, then adjourned for the evening):

… Judge Michael Rickert ruled before the start of the trial that climate scientists and civil disobedience experts defense lawyer Ralph Hurvitz planned to call as witnesses were not relevant and could not testify in the case, according to court documents.
While questioning Ward during his testimony, Hurvitz referenced climate change and climate science. He shared charts depicting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, carbon emissions from fossil fuels and projections of sea level rise.
Hurvitz said Ward was influenced in his attempt to shut down the pipeline by science, family, his job history and the success of previous acts of civil disobedience. Those involved with the Boston Tea Party are remembered as patriots, rather than criminals, Hurvitz said.
“Just as they are patriots, Ken Ward also is a patriot,” he said.
Skagit County deputy prosecutor Sloan Johnson alluded to Ward’s actions as being comparable to those of a terrorist group. He said Ward put his personal beliefs above the safety of others.
“He didn’t happen to hurt himself or others, but he certainly could have. He put himself and others at risk,” Johnson said. …

(Source: https://www.goskagit.com/news/local_news/jury-begins-deliberations-in-trial-of-man-accused-of-trying/article_83d9b7cc-316f-5f66-95cb-2a28097f9ae5.html )
The Boston Tea Party — eye roll. Criminal defense attorney grasping at straws. Pitiful.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 1, 2017 5:14 pm

Well, here’s the disgusting news:

MOUNT VERNON — The jury deliberating the case of Kenneth Ward has failed to reach a verdict. … a hung jury was announced Wednesday afternoon.

It only took one (don’t know how many) feelings-over-reason jury member to wreck it for the rest (vote must be unanimous).
Now, the prosecutor must decide whether to re-try or not.
Public education is VITAL.
Soft-pedalling AGW by lukewarmists (and brainwashing by hard-liners, too, of course) results in exactly what happened to today in that courthouse.

“Oh, I don’t know,” furrowed browed, I-vote-with-my-nerves, dupe whines, “he was guilty, but, not really, because he cared SO MUCH about the planet.”

Janice Moore
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 1, 2017 6:53 pm

UPDATE (on “Disgusting News”) —

MOUNT VERNON — The jury deliberating the case of Kenneth Ward failed to reach a verdict, and a mistrial was declared Wednesday in Skagit County Superior Court. ***
It is now up to {Deputy Prosecutor Sloan} Johnson to decide whether to retry the case, Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney Rich Weyrich said. A decision is expected within the next few weeks. …

(Source: https://www.goskagit.com/news/crime/mistrial-for-man-who-broke-into-pipeline-facility-in-name/article_1498f7e5-3559-5d04-b926-305650d17983.html/#utm_source=goskagit.com&utm_campaign=related-by-section&utm_medium=direct&utm_term=mistrial%20for%20man%20who%20broke%20into%20pipeline%20facility%20in%20name%20of%20climate%20change)

Reply to  Janice Moore
February 1, 2017 8:18 am

My mother was raised in Sedro Wooley. I know the area pretty well from childhood visits to my grandparents (I should say knew – last was back for my Uncle’s funeral 3 years ago and it has changed quite a bit since the 70s). All my Washington state relatives would be right with this guy in the dock if they had been there. I try never to talk politics with the west coast branch of the family – it never ends well. Love them dearly and will help them out of trouble however I can, but I don’t talk policy with them – ever.
I am surprised a judge in that part of the country didn’t buy the defense as a natural right. Maybe there is hope for Washington State after all.

Janice Moore
Reply to  OweninGA
February 1, 2017 5:42 pm

Hi, Owen,
Nice to hear from you. Well, your relatives are typical of the tree-hugger (i.e., non-thinking environmentalist, not a principled, science-saavy, conservationist) type of liberal Washington state is infested with. I must say, though, that in Skagit County (unlike King County), until about 10 years ago, the average judge (or jury member) is a realist and eager to see the law upheld.
What happened today (hung jury), nevertheless, could have happened 30 years ago (not 50, though). All it took was one old flower child who never grew up or the like to destroy a unanimous verdict. There are still plenty of those giant-peace-sign-on-my-house nuts around here — and their children and grandchildren (skips every other generation, for the most part). And the defense attorney (who did the voir dire for that jury) knew that.
Just like the Casey Anthony murder case. Out of their own mouths, the jury members who did not vote “guilty” condemned their action: their remarks after the trial to reporters showed that they essentially created their own “any doubt at all” standard (versus “reasonable doubt” — i.e., a doubt for which you can articulate a rational reason) and, thereby, CA walked.
So, too, here. Someone “just felt like he shouldn’t be punished” and COMPLETELY IGNORED THE JUDGE’S INSTRUCTIONS (to NOT consider the bogus AGW “necessity” defense).
Arrgh! I am so disgusted!!!!! Thank you for letting me vent!
Yes, the area has changed a LOT since the 1970’s when I was a little kid. It doesn’t feel like home to me anymore. The natural beauty is still here, though. Boy, do I love that!
Lol, when you said “tarheel,” I thought of the upriver folks who came mostly from North Carolina to the Sedro Woolley/Concrete neck of the woods long ago. Some of them STILL talk that way. And their twang is fun to listen to — my “STILL” is just re: that the twang hasn’t died out in this area of the country, so far from the “south” (passed down, now for at least 3 generations in some).
I hope that you got to hike in the Cascades…. to walk one of the beaches and see a pretty sunset…. to hear the Trumpeter Swans flying over……. to eat fresh strawberries….. AND GO AT LEAST 5 OVER THE SPEED LIMIT (grrrr — now, so MANY people around here — what is their problem??? — on average, drive the limit or UNDER, and I mean UNDER UNDER, like 40 in a 50!).
Wishing you well from about 2 miles west of Sedro Woolley,

Janice Moore
Reply to  OweninGA
February 1, 2017 5:45 pm

re: “when you said ‘tarheel'”
That was a couple years or so ago, when you referred to yourself as one here on WUWT (and we both know that was NOT a putdown to your intelligence 🙂 ).

Owen in GA
Reply to  OweninGA
February 2, 2017 5:39 pm

Too bad about the hung jury. Unlikely the prosecutor will retry due to the expense and the likelihood of the same result in that environment.
Last time I was up I took my mom for a ride up the 20 to North Cascade Visitor Center. Apparently a rock slide closed it farther up several years ago and they decided not to reopen it (at least at that time). Went up to the upper hydrodam on the North fork of the Skagit river and just enjoyed the scenery. I have always loved it up there in the Cascades as well as down by Deception Pass. The drive really helped my mom in the grieving process, too as childhood memories were tied to much of the route. While we were driving up the valley it was gray and misty as only that area can do, but as we climbed up the clouds parted somewhere 20 miles east of Concrete and we had absolutely fantastic views of the mountains. We started to go up to see Baker Lake and take a good walk but it got late on us too fast on that warm winter day and we returned to the hotel in Mt Vernon to get ready for the service the next day.
It is beautiful country, but I can’t even think of living there because of the politics. I’d wind up in jail for losing my temper at the inanity.

January 31, 2017 9:01 pm

I hope the Trump Administration, or better: Donald himself, heard about this case and duly recommends that all judges presiding over similar acts of misanthropic behaviour and green lawlessness, or, IOW: terrorism in future, are to take advantage of the full force of the law when passing sentence… I.e. 30 years, no parole.

Reply to  Alan Vaughn
January 31, 2017 9:18 pm

Yes I hope he follows through and sets a precedence.

Joe Shaw
Reply to  asybot
February 1, 2017 5:24 am

The precedent of having the President tell judges how to decide cases is not one that I would welcome. Would that have been a good thing under Obama? I think not.

Reply to  asybot
February 1, 2017 6:38 am

Try reading the comment before commenting on it.
He said nothing about the president influencing the verdict. His comment was in regards to the penalty phase.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Alan Vaughn
February 1, 2017 12:52 am

Just a suggestion: send the story to Breitbart. Banning might get to hear of it, and then….

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Harry Passfield
February 1, 2017 12:53 am


AGW is not Science
Reply to  Alan Vaughn
February 1, 2017 8:01 am

Interference with railroads and pipelines, in particular, is interference with “interstate commerce,” and thereby should be a FEDERAL offense, thus something the POTUS/Congress can influence. How about we drop those “mandatory sentences” for non-violent drug possession cases, and ratchet up mandatory sentences for “civil disobedience” BS that is based on “climate change” fantasies?

Frank K.
January 31, 2017 9:02 pm

“The only question is whether what I did was an appropriate and practical response to what President Obama recently described as “terrifying” climate change conditions.”
Ahhh – the “Obama made me do it” defense!

Reply to  Frank K.
February 1, 2017 3:49 am

To which the obvious answer is no – even if he had succeeded, and even if you believe the Alarmist claims, it would have made not one iota of difference to what the climate is going to do.
I don’t understand how his defence can possibly work.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Phoenix44
February 1, 2017 8:04 am

It can’t – the “climate change” BS is purely speculative, and the SUPPOSED but actually non-existent danger is nowhere NEAR “imminent.” Fear of something that MIGHT occur 100 years from now IF a bunch of poor assumptions and psuedo-science were correct is hardly “actionable” in a legally defendable way TODAY.

Stephen Greene
January 31, 2017 9:24 pm

Felonies to all violent political acts. Especially violence during “peaceful” protests.

January 31, 2017 9:46 pm

This “defense” is identical to religious nutcases that claim they have to do some specific violent act to prevent the wrath of their god from descending on the world. It’s right up there with fundamentalist Christians bombing abortion clinics and killing abortion-providing-doctors or fundamentalist Moslems killing “unbelievers”. “Unbelievers” can be strictlly defined to mean not-in-your-particular-branch; e.g. historical wars and burnings-at-the-stake between Catholics and Protestants, as well as the equivalant bloodshed between the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam.
If this “defense” is allowed, it’ll eventually be used to justify killing “nonbelievers” of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. This is one of those areas where we MUST “draw a line in the sand”, with “zero tolerance” for crossing that line.

Reply to  Walter Dnes
February 1, 2017 3:12 am

it’s much simpler than you imagine.
the guy violated the rights of somebody.
case closed.
the only thing left is restitution, reparation, compensation.
did you think the courts were there to send messages? are judges social media pundits?
are you aware of the concept of rights at all?
when did you forget that they are the only thing between you and savagery?
but you want to hoot derision cuz it makes you feel so good.
so do chimpanzees.
is there any hope you discover reason?
i ask, because what you propose is more of the tribal angst and none of the sober ratinality that makes civilization work.

Reply to  Walter Dnes
February 1, 2017 3:17 am

sorry, walter- i got my comment in the wrong place.

Reply to  gnomish
February 1, 2017 2:47 pm

I was wondering what the hell you were talking about … 🙂

John V. Wright
January 31, 2017 9:49 pm

Lock him up.

Reply to  John V. Wright
February 1, 2017 3:03 am

you’re the lucky one today…lol
‘lock em up!’ you say? at whose expense?
will that fix something? will it undo damage?
will it cost more and whom will you steal from to pay for that cost?
is rage signalling now a virtue that justified predation on passersby?
why not charge the person for the damage done?
idiotic reactions are obviously not the exclusive province of any tribe – they are a distinguishing characteristic of all tribes.
so you imagine that one can counter stupid with more stupid?
exponential stupid will reach a limit – do you care what that limit is?

January 31, 2017 10:08 pm

Ken Ward at his Arraignment on Charges of Burglary, Criminal Trespass, Sabotage and Assemblages of Saboteurs. Ken Ward at any time in history or in any country would be a low life criminal full stop!
Climate is an excuse to carry on with his true nature!

January 31, 2017 10:09 pm

Lock them up and throw the key away.

Reply to  karabar
February 1, 2017 3:13 am

that worked with OJ, too, right?
tell me what did work, then.

January 31, 2017 10:19 pm

If your doing civil disobedience you don’t go to court and argue, “you can let me off because this is just civil disobedience.” If it’s real civil disobedience you gotta take the lumps for what your doing or it’s just theatre – out of place anywhere but the stage.

John M. Ware
Reply to  HankHenry
February 1, 2017 2:10 am

Excellent observation! I am old enough to remember the civil rights strife in the 1950s and 1960s. I even took part in a campus event (i.e., listened to an impassioned speech by Wyatt “Tee” Walker, who I think is still alive and who was a Board member at the university where I taught from 1991 to 2001). The primary figure in the 1960s was Martin Luther King, who willingly spent a decent amount of jail time for his civil disobedience (see his Letter from Birmingham Jail). King surely had his faults, but he knew that civil disobedience had logical and necessary consequences, which he was willing to undergo. Many others in that time did the same; in spite of the urgency of the cause, there was no “necessity” defense.

Eugene S Conlin
Reply to  HankHenry
February 1, 2017 3:31 am


Reply to  HankHenry
February 1, 2017 3:51 am

Absolutely. These social justice warriors want to show how virtuous they are but are totally unwilling to accept the consequences.
If you believe you are doing what is right, then be prepared to go to jail, lose your job whatever.

Reply to  HankHenry
February 1, 2017 6:40 am

Civil disobedience without consequences is just virtue signaling.

Johann Wundersamer
January 31, 2017 10:21 pm

“Judge in environmental activist’s trial says climate change is matter of debate
Controversial statements angered environmentalists who insist courts have an obligation to recognize the science about manmade climate change.”
Courts have an obligation to recognize if “science about manmade climate change” is to tackle by courts – or to treat and decide by –

M Courtney
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
January 31, 2017 11:54 pm

If it weren’t a matter of debate then it could be demonstrated to be clearly so in the Court.
(And we would learn which IPCC scenario is considered indisputable).
The fact that the activists find the request for evidence to be so unreasonable demonstrates that they don’t have the evidence to present.
It is clearly a matter of debate.
The reaction show it.

William Bradford Grubel
Reply to  M Courtney
February 1, 2017 12:43 am

I’m not sure, but I think you just showed it is clearly not a matter of debate. If you can’t present evidence proving your point it is disproved in court. I think the judge should press them to prove man-made warming in court or declare it a legal fraud. Watch heads explode with that.

January 31, 2017 10:22 pm

Can county judges sentence people to lengthy terms of imprisonment?
It’s a weird justice system .

Janice Moore
Reply to  gnome
January 31, 2017 10:38 pm

They are only following the state legislature’s sentencing guidelines (as interpreted/supplemented by case law). If I understood you correctly, you were under the mis-mpression that they mete out sentencing ad hoc.
To give you an idea of what sentencing guidelines look like, here is an example from the state of Washington, USA:

Felonies defined in Title 9A and Title 9 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) fall into one of three
classes: Class A, Class B or Class C. The class of these felonies is either defined explicitly as part of the
definition of the offense, or implicitly, based on the statutory maximum period of incarceration. A felony
washout period (RCW 9.94A.525(2)), vacation of conviction record (RCW 9.94A.640), status as a violent
offense (RCW 9.94A.030(54)) and statutory maximum period of incarceration are functions of offense class.
Felonies Defined in Title 9A RCW
Felonies defined by Title 9A RCW have an A, B or C class designation explicitly stated. These felonies
carry the following maximum penalties (RCW 9A.20.021):
Class A Life in prison, $50,000 fine
Class B Ten years in prison, $20,000 fine
Class C Five years in prison, $10,000 fine
Felonies Defined Outside Title 9A
Some felonies are defined outside Title 9A RCW without an explicit felony class. The 1996 Legislature1
enacted RCW 9.94A.035, establishing the classes of such offenses for SRA purposes. The class is based on
the maximum period of incarceration provided for the first conviction of violating the statute creating the
Class A 20 years or more
Class B Eight or more, less than 20 years
Class C Less than eight years …

Source: http://www.cfc.wa.gov/PublicationSentencing/SentencingManual/Adult_Sentencing_Manual_2015.pdf
I’m too tired to go read it, now, but, the defendant appears to be accused of a Class A Felony, thus, the 30 year max. sentence possibility.

J Mac
Reply to  gnome
January 31, 2017 10:40 pm

The criminal terrorist admitted his crimes. He had his crimes video taped and publically aired.
He sentenced himself to a lengthy term of imprisonment, by his own admitted and documented terrorist acts.

Johann Wundersamer
January 31, 2017 10:39 pm

“Judge in environmental activist’s trial says climate change is matter of debate
Controversial statements angered environmentalists who insist courts have an obligation to recognize the science about manmade climate change.”
Courts have an obligation to recognize if “science about manmade climate change” is to tackle by courts – or to treat and decide by –

January 31, 2017 11:32 pm

Slowly, but slowly, the worm is turning. This is precedent! WUWT is playing a yuuuge role. It’s not unlikely the judge had perused this forum along the path to “there’s tremendous controversy” over the role humans might be playing in a never-static climate.

January 31, 2017 11:33 pm

Deluded (insert appropriate adjective) *SMH*

Reply to  4TimesAYear (@4TimesAYear)
January 31, 2017 11:35 pm

Not the judge – the criminals (thought I’d better clarify, lol)

January 31, 2017 11:38 pm

Tucker Carlson, on Fox News, was interviewing a Sierra Club rep a few weeks ago, and the asked him (as I recall) “If the science is settled, tell me what the average temperature will be, within a tenth of a degree, say, thirty years from now. Oh, you can’t say for sure? Why not, if the science is truly settled? That should be easy.”

M Courtney
Reply to  brians356
January 31, 2017 11:59 pm

Tucker Carlson, on Fox News is an idiot. He does sceptics a disservice by blundering like that.
Weather is not Climate. The answer would be that the Mean difference in temperature relative to a known baseline would be x.
That’s not the same as saying the weather on any given Sunday will be y.
Of course, the stated accuracy of the Mean difference in temperature relative to a known baseline is ridiculous. And the “experts” have no proven predictive power.
But those arguments are missed due to Fox News not understanding what they are talking about.

Reply to  M Courtney
February 1, 2017 1:22 am

Tucker Carlson is not an idiot. He has only put his finger on the wound of the priests from the last days in a transposed sense. These do not speak of predictions, but of scenarios. Just like the ideologues of the Church in the Middle Ages, who also open doors, the extent of purgatory, and how long the individual can expect this purgatory. The religion of anthropogenic warming is the replacement religion of the new age for fundamental atheists, who are nevertheless afraid to step before their God. Like Stalin, who cruelly killed people, persecuted the church and Christians, but, on his last days, summoned a priest to the last ransom, they sought substitute treatment. But wrongly, as wrongly as the Church of the Middle Ages. Einstein said the sentence: I do not know what is greater, the stupidity of people or the universe. And Einstein knew what he was talking about. He also fought against the “mainstream” often enough.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  M Courtney
February 1, 2017 6:09 am

Carlson’s point is valid.
Why run all those models if not to predict what earth’s temperature is likely to be in 30, 60 or 90 years? Or is their purpose simply to justify a political agendum now?
Clearly, the models lack predictive ability. Their error bars are so enormous as to render them worse than worthless.
Thirty years from now, it could be cooler than now or warmer by just a few tenths of a degree. The odds are hugely against anything like a degree C. Thus, no settled science and now worries, except in the case of cold.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  M Courtney
February 1, 2017 6:20 am

Assume that earth is one degree C warmer now than in AD 1850, when CO2 was allegedly at 280 ppm. It isn’t, but please play along.
Thus, to achieve the supposedly dangerous two degrees C warming by 2100, when CO2 is expected to have doubled to 560 or higher, we’d need to reach around .36 degrees higher within 30 years. Since the curve is logarithmic, even more warming than that should occur in the next 30 years rather than the 53 years after that until 2100.
So, if the science be settled, and ECS be only two rather than three degrees C, a consensus advocate should be able confidently to predict at least 0.4 degrees warmer in 30 years than now. If TCS rather than ECS be considered to rule over three rather than eight decades, then the warming should still be at least in this ball park, since the canonical ECS is three degrees, not two.

Reply to  M Courtney
February 1, 2017 8:59 am

You missed Carlson’s point entirely. He must move very quickly on his show, too many guests and not enough time, thus his rapid-fire delivery. The Sierra Club guest was there to decry EPA nominee Scott Pruitt, and along the way he mentioned the “97%” and “settled science”. Carlson’s mission at that moment was not to show he knew more about climate science than the Sierra Club talking head, it was to ridicule the “settled science” mantra, quickly, and move on. The segment was not about the science of AGW, and Carlson could not allow it to get sidetracked by that. It was about the knee-jerk resistance to Pruitt’s nomination, and mindless green talking points, one of which Carlson skewered rather deftly. But thanks for being there!

February 1, 2017 12:00 am

It will be weird if in a year or two President Trump gives clemency to Ward on condition he recants his criminal behaviour on the grounds he was unduly encouraged by President Obama and climate madness surrounding this issue. more green heads spinning and a meme busted.

Reply to  KenB
February 1, 2017 12:55 pm

Or Trump could ask Ward to admit he voted illegally 3 million times. 😉

February 1, 2017 12:23 am

He’s just another useful idiot. Best give him a strait-jacket and a padded cell.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 1, 2017 2:30 am

For 30 years.

February 1, 2017 1:07 am

I’d like to see this moron get a very long sentence.

February 1, 2017 1:35 am

“climate activist facing 30 years in prison”
How will he feel when the sun drops to its minimum output around 2030 and/if the temperature plummets?
A good way to learn to appreciate fact-based rather than faith-based science. Too bad.
What about the people who deluded him? Are they accomplices inciting an illegal act?

Reply to  Jon
February 1, 2017 1:01 pm

This brilliant kook ranks only slightly higher in intelligence than the chap who laid down in front of a slow-moving munitions train in Oakland, CA, assuming it would stop, and lost both legs for his trouble.

Peta from Cumbria, now Newark
February 1, 2017 2:14 am

Let’s take ourselves, in the UK, to almost any Wetherspoon pub at 8 or 9 in the morning.
And we will see in almost every one, single men sitting around on their own, staring into the middle distance and a pint of beer in front of them. (Mostly cider these days as its cheap)
And what are they doing – what is going on in their heads?
Having been there done that bought the T-shirt nearly killed myself – I know exactly.
They are engaged in Magical Thinking. They are thinking about their jobs, wives, girlfriends, money and they are thinking *so* hard about those things that their thoughts become real. They believe their marriages are fine when they’re not, plenty money when it all goes on beer/horses/slots. They think and really believe their jobs and work are fine when patently they are not (how come they’re in the pub at 9AM?)
If they have a really intractable problem, they again think so hard that they really do convince themselves that it is someone else’s fault. In their minds there is simply no other way.
In other words, they convince themselves totally that idling away in the pub all day is actually good, that they are productive and useful members of society. And they see others around them doing the same, so it *must* be true.
In actual fact as most of us can see, they are doing irreparable harm not only to themselves, but to the rest of society. They will become a costly burden, fortunately not for too long while they turn yellow, their interior organs liquefy and fall out of their own backsides.
What causes this crazy behaviour?
Addiction to a depressant substance – in their case alcohol.
Now see these pipeline people. They are *utterly* convinced of their cause, they totally ignore their hypocrisy in driving a gasoline car, wearing (hi-viz) plastic clothes, enjoying all the energy/resources that went into making their cell-phones then broadcasting it on utube.
What causes these people to behave similarly to the drunks and what is so often quoted as a remedy for Climate Change?
Just as your social drinking alcoholic friend will *insist* “Oh go on, have another drink and you’ll be fine” they will say, “Eat more carbs and we’ll all be fine”

February 1, 2017 3:06 am

This is one case. In this case a judge doubted that the science is settled.
In a case in a higher court, judges sided with the consensus:

Federal judges lack the scientific, economic, and technological resources an agency can utilize in coping with issues of this order. link

Juries are an even bigger problem.
As President Trump appoints judges to the SCOTUS, we can hope that some of these cases make it there and set precedents that are binding on lower courts.

Reply to  commieBob
February 1, 2017 3:40 am

The other thing that President Trump will fix is friendly lawsuits by environmentalists.

… these deals are made “behind closed doors” and designed so that “the agency being sued settles the lawsuit by agreeing to move forward with the requested action they and the litigants both want. link

These lawsuits take the heat off the EPA by making it look like it is being forced by the court and has no choice. In reality, the EPA doesn’t put forward a competent defence, it’s the legal equivalent of taking a dive.

February 1, 2017 3:29 am

I wish they had done this 10,000 years ago, then we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Bloke down the pub
February 1, 2017 3:51 am

The action of this idiot has echoes of the green activists who released hundreds of captive mink, from fur farms, into the wild. Done in the name of animal rights, it led to the death of millions of native species, as the mink ran amok.

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
February 1, 2017 4:33 am

It’s true. Here’s an American example where the felons face ten years.

February 1, 2017 3:53 am

‘who insist courts have an obligation’
LOL. It is the plebes before the court who have obligations.

Gloateus Maximus
February 1, 2017 4:42 am

In the ’60s those engaging in acts of civil disobedience knew that you had to accept the risk of arrest and imprisonment, following the example of Thoreau.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2017 4:51 am

I’m not a legal expert, but my understanding is a “necessity” defence is normally accepted only when an otherwise illegal action is the only way to prevent imminent severe injury or loss of life.

IANAL either, but I’ve had classes on lawful use of deadly force.
The general standard is “imminent and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily injury”. At least that’s when using deadly force against another human being. There would be a lower standard if deadly force is used against an animal and a lower standard still for property damage.
The other thing about a self-defense plea is it is what the law terms an “affirmative defense”, which means first that if the jury believes the defendant’s actions were reasonably necessary to prevent death or grave bodily injury in the totallity of circumstances and knowing what the defendant knew at the time, then they must acquit and the judge will so instruct them. But second, it means the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to show by preponderance of evidence that use of deadly force was reasonably necessary. This will mostly likely entail the defendant taking the stand as witness, which opens up severe jeopardy in cross-examination. You’d better have a credible story that you can maintain in spite of everything the prosecution can bring up.
How this would apply to property crimes I could not say except that if allowed, the defendant would assume the burden of proof and would have to show the criminal actions were reasonably necessary to prevent some imminent and greater harm. Smashing into a pharmacy for bandages to stop someone bleeding out on the street is clearly justified on these ground. The danger is clear, immediate and not subject to debate.
The judge ruled against allowing a necessity defense in part because the alleged threat was not imminent:

It does need to have some immediacy, some imminence, more so than this particular threat and harm, which is climatic change, global warming, whatever.

I did not read the entire ruling, so the judge may have had other grounds.
Since the necessity defense has been ruled out, it appears these guys are screwed. Most criminal defense is either “SODDI” (Some Other Dude Did It) or “TODDI” (That Other Dude Did It). Both are absolutely voided by the evidence: they live streamed themselves committing the acts. They have two hopes left: jury nullification and prosecutorial wimpiness (plea-bargain to do community service by making climate awareness videos for children). This is Washington state, so I wouldn’t rule out either.

February 1, 2017 4:52 am

abruptly closing the emergency shutdown valve on an oil pipeline can cause the pipe to rupture
Waterhammer is very dangerous, and that’s EXACTLY how you get the worst form of waterhammer.

Reply to  PiperPaul
February 1, 2017 5:59 am

As well as over pressurization due to pumps continuing to operate. Was a good test, yet risky, of the relief valve/shutdown arrangement built into the system.

The Original Mike M
Reply to  eyesonu
February 1, 2017 9:20 am

“over pressurization due to pumps continuing to operate” Irrelevant in comparison to the pressure of suddenly blocking the momentum of tons of moving liquid from having anywhere to go. Besides, pumps are designed with over pressure relief valves and shutdown sensors.

Bloke down the pub
Reply to  PiperPaul
February 1, 2017 7:13 am

A local milk processing plant used to shut off their water valve on occasion and more than once the result was a broken water main, leading to flooding and destruction.

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
February 1, 2017 7:56 am

That’s what expansion chambers are for.

February 1, 2017 5:20 am

Whether the act woud have resulted in dangerous situations, the notion that Ward, in shutting down the pipeline , could have logically believed that his act would have prevented carbon emissions is totally absurd. Not one single automobile would have driven one less mile because of a shutdown.
The issue is not only that there was no neccessity to reduce carbon emissions, but that his act could not have possibly accomplished any reduction in any case. So one can label Ward as THE most complete and ineffectual idiot we have seen. The greenies are low-IQ folks, that’s for sure.

Reasonable Skeptic
February 1, 2017 5:23 am

I think there is some merit to his defense. Obama himself supports his cause. Put the blame where it should go, not on some well meaning guy.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Reasonable Skeptic
February 1, 2017 5:42 am

You are espousing a watered-down version of The Nuremberg Defense. Didn’t work then or since: individuals cannot escape legal responsibility for known criminal acts by hiding behind higher authority.

The Original Mike M
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2017 7:34 am

“You are espousing a watered-down version of The Nuremberg Defense.”
Not really, these people are not associated with government in any way so there can be no claim that anyone ordered them to do it.
As RS stated “Obama himself supports his cause. Put the blame where it should go, not on some well meaning guy.” Indeed, community organizer Obama made several points in his 2013 climate address that supports that claim, these in regard to urging a “courageous fight”:
* ” So the question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late.”
* “..a plan to lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate. ”
This to intentionally frighten people in nebulous terms:
* “And we have to all shoulder the responsibility for keeping the planet habitable, or we’re going to suffer the consequences — together.”
This one underscoring immediate urgency:
* ” … but I don’t have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real. We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.”
When you look back at that speech it becomes easy to see just how dangerous a lying US president can be to domestic tranquility if only a tiny number of people believed him.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2017 8:14 am

Original Mike:
Let’s distinguish between “blame” and “guilt”. I was speaking of “guilt” as a finding of due process under US law, which is what I thought RS was addressing by saying “I think his defense has some merit”, in response to my comment opining that the judge was correct to rule it out.
In that light, if RS is saying the necessity defense “has some merit” because “Obama himself supports the cause”, he is effectively saying the president’s endorsement removes guilt from the defendants and puts in on Obama, which is a watered-down Nuremberg Defense.
As you note, the very limited circumstances when the Nuremberg Defense can be used include being under legal obligation to obey orders from a superior, which is lacking here. Also required is not knowing at the time the ordered act was illegal — also lacking here.
So if RS’s comment was about guilt, it is wrong, with the qualification that I am not a lawyer.
If you want to shift the discussion to blame, then you can blame anyone you want: Obama, James Hansen, Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, the parents, etc., You could even blame The Devil. That has nothing to do with legal guilt. But I still disagree; people are responsible for their own actions. Unless they claim to be mentally incompetent to make their own decisions and just do what some authority figure directs.

The Original Mike M
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2017 9:54 am

Alan – Let’s distinguish between “blame” and “guilt”.
I am no lawyer either but feel that all of those you mentioned, Obama et. al., (not including the parents though, and their likely dead anyway by the look of it….) are actually guilty on the basis that they caused these people to panic no differently than those who trample others to death in the course of exiting a crowded theater after someone falsely yelled “fire”. The person who falsely yelled “fire” is the guilty party. CAGW indoctrination has been going for years falsely claiming the equivalent alarm as a fire. This kind of egregious/criminal behavior to “fight climate change” would not have occurred at all if AGW had instead been presented truthfully dressed only in scientific clothing as simply what it is, an interesting theory. Instead, the progressives dressed it in political clothes, kept ramping up reasons for everyone to be afraid and these perhaps “well intentioned” people were faithfully listening to them – brainwashed true believers of the CAGW cult. The followers of the People’s Temple would have never killed themselves if there had never been a Jim Jones to indoctrinate them in the first place.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2017 12:26 pm

Original Mike:
I am trying from an informed layperson’s understanding to explain how the law actually works, not how I feel it ought to work.
The two cases you cite are qualitatively different. First case (shouting “fire” in a crowded theater) is generally accepted to be highly likely to induce panic. I’m not aware of any controlled studies which back that up, but I suppose with all the funded research these days I should not be surprised if there are some. But for the purposes of discussing permissible restrictions on freedom of speech, we simply accept the premise that panic will ensue.
Shouting “we’re all going to die because of climate change” has demonstrably not resulted in general panic. Quite to the contrary, polls indicate most people don’t worry about climate change threats. We just had an election where a whole lot of people were shouting we would all die if Trump got elected, if not from climate change or nuclear war, then because we would all lose our healthcare. Far from inducing general panic it seemed to have induced more apathy and depression; total voter participation was lower than any election since 1996.
Just because people shout untrue and even outrageously untrue things does not mean they have any greater power than you or I to induce belief. There is also a clear legal barrier between urging people to “take action to fight climate change” and inciting them to commit illegal acts. And that’s a good thing because otherwise anyone who advocates change can be charged for crimes by others which “might have been influenced” by their statements. You can’t have personal freedom without accepting personal responsibility and sane people ultimately chose what they believe.
Your second example (Jim Jones & People’s Temple) is also very different. Those people were effectively held prisoner (Jones confiscated their passports) and were cut off from other sources of information. He really did control their entire environment. Plus, he passed out the poison — absolutely unambiguous guilt. Ward and the others were not kept prisoner or cut off from other information; they chose either to not seek it out or to dismiss it. WUWT is proof that alternative views are available.
So Ward et. al. cannot escape legal guilt by blaming Obama, unless they claim they are not competent to make their own decisions or manage their own affairs. Saying they have no power to resist their interpretation of Obama’s call to action is just slightly down the scale from “I must obey the voices in my head” claim, otherwise known as the insanity plea.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Reasonable Skeptic
February 1, 2017 1:19 pm

Reminds of the PeTA-type (Animal Rights) people that defended ALF back on the old AOL “Pet Care Forums”. I’ve even heard some of them claim that ALF is non-violent because no one had been harmed when they burned or vandalized research labs and such.
Some even defended ELF.
(I wonder if this guy was ever a member?)

February 1, 2017 5:55 am

A much more appropriate sentence would be for this person to spend thirty years doing actual research on climate change, fulfilling written assignments, research reports, homework papers, … honing his knowledge of actual facts (how tortuous !), starting a speaking tour, TV-appearance schedule, spreading the word about how cost/benefit analysis of one’s actions is a necessary ingredient in any righteous cause.

February 1, 2017 7:22 am

Why is the news reference to this a British newspaper? Why aren’t we seeing this story in the New York or LA Times? Where is the Huffington Post?

February 1, 2017 7:30 am

This is not the first time Ken Ward has tried to get a judge to rule that the “Necessity Defence” can be used to excuse “anti-CAGW crime” — https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/us/charges-dropped-against-climate-activists.html
Under Homeland Security guidelines, he may qualify as a terrorist.

The Original Mike M
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 1, 2017 7:47 am

Oh… THAT Sam Sutter DA! http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20150520/NEWS/150529208 (didn’t stop him from going back to private practice though … http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20160427/NEWS/160426238 )

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 1, 2017 3:40 pm

So it is his second trip to court for this type of action. And his defense is that it is a moral imperative that he did what he did.
He will have a difficult time at sentencing now saying “I made a mistake and I learned from it … please give me probation … I’m sorry it was a mistake and I now realize that there are better ways to call attention to the problem and for me to save the world. My moral base has changed completely in the last 4 months and I am now a nicer guy.”
He is likely very screwed.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 2, 2017 5:31 am

Sometimes is envy the efficiency at which the American inmate storage system keeps retards in. In Europe they merely recycle the inmates. I mean, you can in EU kill someone on purpose and nastily, and you’ll still get completely freed up in 15 years (your mileage may vary). And if you kill two, you’ll get a discount (two bodies for the price of one) as long as you can’t be proved to be mad enough to be packaged. It’s very difficult to end up like that.
It is interesting how the European system may however become very serious if the crime is considered taboo, like Breivik’s, who apparently got a life sentence even if that should not have been possible. Well, even greenies have their limit.

Bruce Cobb
February 1, 2017 7:35 am

Their best defense strategy would be to plead climate insanity. Climate insanity: an inordinate, irrational fear based on a quasi-religious belief system, mostly afflicting those already prone to hysterical emotionalism and the desire to be with others of the same beliefs.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 1, 2017 8:19 am

Would that type of insanity be temporary, and passing on its own, or permanent, requiring involuntary commitment to an institution for the criminally insane?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2017 9:48 am

It would depend on the particulars, however Ward’s previous actions would lead one to believe the latter in his case. However, without a thorough psychiatric examination, a proper diagnosis can’t be proferred. Climate insanity is a fairly new field, and further research will be required.

J Mac
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2017 12:48 pm

I suspect it would be cyclical, fading as the seasons cooled into Fall and Winter, then expressing itself with increasing ardor as Spring again warmed into Summer……

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 1, 2017 10:39 am


February 1, 2017 10:38 am

How else could have the Judge ruled?
That due to climate change any person or any group is free to commit sabotage, destroy property, ignore peoples rights, basically commit any mayhem they feel appropriate due to the climate necessity. Sure that’ll work, rule to provide legal justification for breaking the law and individuals rights.
Any judge who would have ruled differently would have to be disbarred and committed to an insane asylum. That the greens are upset at this decision proves how intensely narrow minded and foolish they are.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Alx
February 2, 2017 12:22 pm

‘That due to climate change any person or any group is free to commit sabotage, destroy property, ignore peoples rights, basically commit any mayhem they feel appropriate due to the climate necessity. Sure that’ll work, rule to provide legal justification for breaking the law and individuals rights.’
Don’t kid yourself – that’s exactly how he COULD have ruled. I live in the Northwest, and I’m frankly astonished he didn’t. And my guess is this judge might actually find himself in hot water. People aren’t rational out here anymore.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Joel Snider
February 2, 2017 12:32 pm

East of the Cascades is a world apart from the teeming masses west thereof, driven mad by their proximity to mass insanity.

February 1, 2017 10:41 am

Still, you have to wonder how a change of venue to California might have turned out. There is that lingering doubt based on venue insanity.

Kiwi Heretic
February 1, 2017 3:31 pm

The car they were driving in… was powered by what? Fossil fuels by chance?

February 1, 2017 7:33 pm

I’ll bet the good judge is as good as his word. When his kids can’t sleep when his air conditioner stops working in August, he probably gives them a couple of more blankets.

John Paul
February 1, 2017 10:01 pm

Very stupid action
It is not possible however to close down a pipeline with a gear operated valve fast enough to cause any significant pressure surge or damage to the pipeline

February 2, 2017 9:33 pm

From the interview on Ken Ward’s FB page:
“- One of the charts that they looked at was the Skagit area and how under water it would be in such a very short time. So they had things to look at.
“- They had a graph In the jury room as big as a wall, that they could look at and see their street, their house, and whether or not they would be under water this century. So.
“- Not just this century; in the next 30 years.
“- In the next 30, 40 years, right.”
Okay, I’m not sure how that make-believe map made its way to the jury room. The greatest flood danger to Skagit County by far is the periodic 30 feet of river rise. Or several inches of simple precipitation which regularly submerges the valley as far as the eye can see. Then Glacier Peak, one of the most dangerous volcanoes in America, is poised to bury all the Skagit inhabitants under a gigantic lahar. Then there’s the Cascadia tsunami, don’t get me started. So how scary could 6, 8 centimeters of sea level rise be?
So what’s the solution? Preparedness. Which you don’t get under a regimen of energy starvation.

February 4, 2017 11:10 am

True Believers think they know better and have a right, given by God or the Marxist version, to run others’ lives.
Recall the fem who was hiding in BC after helping burn down a ski lodge in Colorado because developments in the wilderness there would drive the Canadian Lynx to extinction. Never mind that Colorado is at the southern limit of its vast area of viability.
Did authorities ever catch the person(s) who destroyed a radio station tower just off Highway 9 east of Everett WA? (I forget the name of the town there.) That was done in the name of a shadowy eco-group, might have been a ruse (there’s no organization to confirm or deny involvement).

Reply to  Keith Sketchley
February 4, 2017 7:55 pm

Tthat was the towers between Monroe and Snohomish. 10 mile from my place. They rebuilt the towers in a few month. Worthless act. We have had new construction burned by eco terror groups in this area 9 times in the last 10 years. mink and turkeys released to be ran over in the road later in the day. Just last month a guy was setting leg traps in area set aside for duck hunting to injury dogs and hunter. One dog had his leg broken and required $4000. in vet bills. When the guy was caught by the dog owner and ODFW he not only admitted to it but told ODFW that it was because they would not stop the hunting that he had complained about. I have talked to other hunters that have found 2×4 with nails on boat ramps just below the water line that are weighted in place. It goes on and on with anti hunters here in the PNW.

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