Boston Judge Accepts Climate Necessity Defence, Dismisses Charges

Karenna Gore
Karenna Gore, daughter of former Vice President Al Gore

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Judge Mary Ann Driscoll has dismissed criminal charges against protestors including Al Gore’s daughter on the grounds that their actions were necessary to prevent climate change.

Judge sets aside charges in pipeline protest

Jordan Graham Thursday, March 29, 2018

The protesters, including Karenna Gore, the daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, were facing charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace after climbing into a construction trench. On Tuesday, prosecutors asked a judge to convert the criminal charges into civil infractions, saying in the event of a conviction they were unlikely to ask for any further punishment. After allowing the motion, Judge Mary Ann Driscoll found the defendants not responsible, saying she agreed with their argument that their actions were necessary to combat climate change.

“Based on the very heartfelt expressions of the defendants who believe, and I don’t question their beliefs in any respect, who believe in their cause because they believe they were entitled to invoke the necessity defense, I’ll accept what they said,” Driscoll said.

Read more:

This finding echoes a similar judgement in England in 2008, in which protestors were cleared of causing £30,000 of criminal damage because necessity defence.

Not guilty: the Greenpeace activists who used climate change as a legal defence

Six Greenpeace climate change activists have been cleared of causing £30,000 of criminal damage at a coal-fired power station in a verdict that is expected to embarrass the government and lead to more direct action protests against energy companies.

The jury of nine men and three women at Maidstone crown court cleared the six by a majority verdict. Five of the protesters had scaled a 200-metre chimney at Kingsnorth power station, Hoo, Kent, in October last year.

The activists admitted trying to shut down the station by occupying the smokestack and painting the word “Gordon” down the chimney, but argued that they were legally justified because they were trying to prevent climate change causing greater damage to property around the world. It was the first case in which preventing property damage caused by climate change had been used as part of a “lawful excuse” defence in court. It is now expected to be used more widely by environment groups.

Read more:

If activists take this in my opinion ridiculous court process as a green light to interfere with fossil fuel installations, fossil fuel companies could suffer economic losses.

It might even lead to loss of life – sneaking onto active worksites, jumping into construction trenches, closing valves without warning on high pressure pipelines and scaling smokestacks is dangerous, both for the activists themselves and for any workers caught up with trying to save activists from their own stupidity.

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Phillip Bratby
March 31, 2018 1:05 am

As Einstein said: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe”. If you are stupid, you don’t bother about unintended consequences.

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 31, 2018 1:03 pm

If it’s any consolation, as of this writing all the comments are of the “WTF”? variety.

Reply to  D.J. Hawkins
March 31, 2018 5:20 pm

I wonder if the case will go to appeal?

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
April 1, 2018 2:57 am

That doesn’t sound like an intelligent saying to me. Why is human stupidity infinite? Because stupid people exist and will always exist? In that case, isn’t human intelligence also infinite? How about love? Strenght? Weakness? Good? Evil? Pretty much everything is infinite then.

Reply to  Fredar
April 1, 2018 7:38 am

I think Einstein was making a joke. He could do that, you know.

Mihaly Malzenicky
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
April 1, 2018 8:27 am

It’s just the question of who’s stupid. Anyone who wants to protect the world or who considers his death to be fun.

Reply to  Mihaly Malzenicky
April 1, 2018 3:25 pm

Protect the world from what?

March 31, 2018 1:06 am

So if I commit a crime and say that my belief in “X” required it, and the judge shares my belief, I can get away with said crime?
Yeah, that does not have the potential to cause problems.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 3:20 am

Given the fact that Judge Mary Ann Driscoll found the defendants not responsible for their dastardly devious premediated criminal activity simply because she, Judge Driscoll, “agreed with their argument”, …… is reason enough to appoint a Special Prosecutor or Grand Jury to re-visit the past rulings of Judge Driscoll for other instances of extreme bias and/or bribery that benefitted the defendant(s).

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 31, 2018 6:08 am

Judge Driscoll should be impeached and removed from the bench. Period.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 31, 2018 6:19 am

I read it more as since they believed it (and no harm was done) she would allow it as a defense. Not sure she actually said that she agreed with them.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 31, 2018 9:47 am

Read it again, billw1984. She didn’t just “allow” it as a defense, she dismissed the charges. And in doing so she said, “and I don’t question their beliefs in any respect…” If you don’t question or disagree with someone “in any respect,” are you not agreeing with them?

Jim Moran
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 31, 2018 11:01 am

“Lordy, I am surprised that any self respecting prosecutor would even bring this case to the court and waste the Justice?? departments time”.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 31, 2018 12:57 pm

I think that means that she is not questioning their declarations of what they believe. ie she accepts there word. That does not mean she agrees or holds tha same belief.
The same thing happened in the UK case. The judge allowed their defence because they held their belief in climate change like a religion. This was basically a legal recognition that CAGW is a religion, not science.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 31, 2018 1:26 pm

So complainith: Jim Moran – March 31, 2018 at 11:01 am

“Lordy, I am surprised that any self respecting prosecutor would even bring this case to the court and waste the Justice?? departments time”.

Jim Moran, …… do you know what is actually mean by “criminal charges”, ….DUH, to wit:

Excerpted from Jordan Graham quote:
On Tuesday, prosecutors asked a judge to convert the criminal charges into civil infractions

And JM, …… Judge Mary Ann Driscoll and the Prosecutor are both Officers of the Courts in Boston, Massachusetts, ………. and NOT IN ….. San Francisco or Berkley, California.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 31, 2018 1:48 pm

Renewable Energy Information on Markets, Policy, Investment
Webpage has a bibliography on energy, renewable energy.
Includes Greenpeace activities on the international level.
Scroll through and select any articles.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 31, 2018 2:33 pm

Greg Goodman “This was basically a legal recognition that CAGW is a religion, not science.” Not quite, because if protesters took the same actions due to a (Christian) religious belief, say entering an abortion clinic to prevent murder, they would be prosecuted.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 3:30 am

Its lordy lordship only has to ‘not question’ said belief and it can all go away.
Gosh what a slippery slope.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
March 31, 2018 12:59 pm

Yep, I’m sure that many jihadists also fervently and honestly “believe” in what they are doing and consider they a moral imperative to do it.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
March 31, 2018 4:53 pm

Sounds like we are one step closer to converting our Judicial System into the Ministry of Truth and determining, based on the whim of a few individuals, what is true and what is false and by extension deserving of punishment under the law. Well that is how our science has been handled the past couple of decades. I choose to believe therefore it is.

Ron Clutz
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
March 31, 2018 5:59 pm
Ian W
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
April 1, 2018 2:48 am

Yep, I’m sure that many jihadists also fervently and honestly “believe” in what they are doing and consider they a moral imperative to do it.

Greg, that is the real meaning of Jihad. The belief it is your duty to carry out a particular action.

Bryan A
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
April 1, 2018 7:11 am

Are you saying Karenna Gore et. al. are anti fossil fuel Jihadists?

Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 4:18 am

In the UK we refer to that as the ‘Blair Defense’
First used in defense of his actions up to and including the 2nd Iraq war based on parliamentary approval given because a flawed and doctored intelligence dossier was presented as ‘fact’.
The fact that he was either complicit in deception or an incompetent fool to be taken in, and no one else was ever brought to book except the journalist who exposed the dossier and the government scientist who gave him the facts and mysteriously ‘committed suicide’ in a field two miles from his home…was completely overlooked
Blair’s defense was that he was innocent because ‘he had believed what he was doing was the right thing’
Imagine Nixon trying that on, and getting away with it.
These people are blatant and arrogant in their utter contempt of law, competence, truth or probity and they are utterly without honour, and they are getting away with murder.
I tried to get off a speeding fine by saying ‘I believed I was in a 50mph limit’
If Blair could do it so could I.
Apparently not 🙁

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 1:01 pm

RIP Dr David Kelly a very courageous man.

Luc Ozade
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 8:28 pm

Leo Smith: plus 1
Greg Goodman: Hear, hear.

Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 6:29 am

so I can rob a bank….because I believe I need money

Reply to  Latitude
March 31, 2018 10:14 am

Only if you believe you need it to fight climate change you can believe in.

Reply to  Latitude
March 31, 2018 5:17 pm

Especially if you didn’t intend to do what you did.

Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 6:30 am

Somehow I doubt that Judge Driscoll would extend her logic to abortion protesters.

Clay Sanborn
Reply to  Craig
March 31, 2018 8:22 am


Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 7:15 am

This defense is equivalent to the “He needed killin'” justification.

Reply to  DonK31
April 1, 2018 12:11 pm

Is this ruling equivalent to the ‘save the forest’ folks dangerously spiking trees and injuring lumberjacks?
Did they ever get away with a “necessity” defense?

F. Ross
Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 9:25 am

Emphatically agree with that 100%

Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 10:24 am

I wonder if the judge would like it if the gas company shut off the line to her house because [whatever silly reason can be concocted goes here.]
There’s enough stupid in that court decision to drive a bus through it.

Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 11:13 am

Yup. That Ferrari Testarossa of yours is causing global warming, therefore I’m entitled to seize it.

Reply to  AllyKat
March 31, 2018 3:26 pm

Looks like Sharia law violence against women has just been green lighted in this judge’s jurisdiction.

Reply to  AllyKat
April 3, 2018 9:38 am

RockyRoad said, “Judge Driscoll should be impeached and removed from the bench. ”
Actually, the Constitution says that judges shall serve under Good Behavior. This clause has never been used to remove judges – but it should be. And, it is unspecific enough that I expect all three branches may exercise this authority. As the appointing branch, the Executive (the President) needs to accept the responsibility for carrying out this Constitutional requirement.
I can’t fathom such a ruling as this. To me this is obvious Bad Behavior.

Reply to  Bob Shapiro
April 3, 2018 1:38 pm

Either someone takes unprecedented measure to fix the problem, or we have to conclude the US Constitution is an experiment that failed (after a much longer time than other experiments).

March 31, 2018 1:07 am

not exactly a green light; more a Letter of Marque .
2 wrongs make precedent.
1000 makes tradition.
and you build on that.
those are waypoints on the journey to socialist paradise.

Smart Rock
Reply to  gnomish
March 31, 2018 5:48 am

If you tried this kind of thing in a socialist paradise, you would find yourself disappeared.

Reply to  Smart Rock
March 31, 2018 7:04 am

The great irony of socialism.

March 31, 2018 1:10 am

This needs to be treated as seriously as terrorism. Military courts for the activists.
(Possibly also for these judges.)

Reply to  s-t
March 31, 2018 8:48 am

absolutely…..every one of these activist judges need to see some jail time

Reply to  s-t
March 31, 2018 9:23 am

Does this ruling mean that if David Keith’s proposed experiment over Tucson, Arizona brings harm to people, he’ll get off the hook?

Old England
March 31, 2018 1:14 am

In essence this Judge has set aside the rule of law.
If strongly held belief’s are now taken by a judge as sufficient to over-rule and ignore the law when people choose to break it then the rule of law no longer prevails.
I strongly believe that climate change is a hoax – and so presumably , under this Judge’s ruling, whatever i do to disrupt or prevent warmists from promoting their message – even when it entails breaking the law – is perfectly ok and I will not face any sanction or punishment.
Heaven help us.

Reply to  Old England
March 31, 2018 1:47 am

If Manafort and his pro-Russian (*) buddies in team Trump are guilty of “conspiration against the US” for preventing some US administration of preventing “money laundering” that is trying to evade taxation, what is that judge guilty of?
(And BTW, who has never prevented the US gov of applying some bizarre so called law by hiding stuff?)
(*) advised a pro-Russia Ukraine President or something

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Ulaanbaatar
Reply to  Old England
March 31, 2018 2:05 am

Strongly held beliefs such as ideas about the heathen and witches could then be used to justify any action imaginable. What’s next?
Oh, wait, we already had the stakes band the burnings and beating the ‘native’ out of indigenes.
Obviously the suspension of laws is required to admit such a defense. Surely then, opposition to civil disobedience is also justified on the same grounds. That is how civil wars start.

Reply to  Old England
March 31, 2018 4:21 am

Was this a high court (supreme court) decision? It should be taken there on appeal.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 6:22 am

I believe that appeals are only when the defendant loses.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 8:27 am

No, prosecutors can, in some jurisdictions, appeal. But not, I believe, in the US.
But these prosecutors were complicit in this decision. “On Tuesday, prosecutors asked a judge to convert the criminal charges into civil infractions, saying in the event of a conviction they were unlikely to ask for any further punishment.”

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 8:32 am

This was Boston after all.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 1:12 pm

Irrespective of their climate beliefs, I would not want to see people getting a criminal record and ruining their life for a sit-in protest in a muddy trench. Throwing the book at people like this for simple trespass quickly becomes suppression of the right to demonstrate and free speech.

Tom Judd
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 2:09 pm

How right you are. The prosecutors were entirely complicit in this case. By asking a clearly sympathetic judge to drop it from a criminal to a civil case they ensured that everybody got off the hook. I’m guessing here but I believe a court recorder is always necessary in a criminal case but probably not so in a civil case. Thus there’s no counter argument to any arguments that existed since you can’t argue a lapsed memory. There’s going to be no written ruling to appeal. I’ve seen this game in civil court.
Think about what really probably happened. Al Gore’s daughter got off the hook. The elite and politically connected got their child out of trouble. The argument was reframed. For the judge and prosecutors either retaliation will not be forthcoming or some form of gift will. This is was not kindness on their parts. It was classic corruption.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 9:30 pm

“I would not want to see people getting a criminal record”
Many people get a criminal record for victim-less so called crimes.

March 31, 2018 1:15 am

What the hell is wrong with the courts in the USA.
Years ago a guy chose to sit outside at a restaurant and got stung by a bee. He sued the restaurant and git around a million. That in a normal court is considered an act of god so the restaurant owner would not be held responsible. This happened about 15 years ago so the USA court system has only got more fucked up.

Richard of NZ
Reply to  mikebartnz
March 31, 2018 6:11 am

I think you will find that this is Boston, not Boston Mass. Boston (without any qualifier) is in Lincolnshire, England.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Richard of NZ
March 31, 2018 6:55 am

No, you are wrong. It is Boston Mass.

Reply to  mikebartnz
March 31, 2018 7:06 am

There was a case a number of years back when someone trying to break into a store fell through the skylight.
He sued the company and won.

Reply to  mikebartnz
April 1, 2018 3:01 am

Weird. Did the restaurant have beehive nearby or something and they didn’t clear it out? Or was it just random bee from nowhere? In that case, that is pretty stupid.

March 31, 2018 1:16 am

While US judges indulge in activist adventures giving celebrity teenagers a green light to destroy nation national infrastructure, Russia meanwhile moves decisively ahead of the US building nuclear powered missiles with almost unlimited range, a sphere of technology from which the US is forbidden by its politically correct priesthood.
This is how civilisations die. By air-headed hubris of national power brokers such as judge Driscoll.

Nigel S
Reply to  philsalmon
March 31, 2018 1:29 am

Russia’s GDP is smaller than Italy’s and Italians make better cars. Get on with fracking to defeat Russian and Saudi meddling.

Reply to  Nigel S
March 31, 2018 4:22 am

Fracking and nuclear power is the best weapon against Russia.,
That is why the communist Greens hate it.

Reply to  Nigel S
March 31, 2018 10:54 am

Indeed – remind me which Italian company it is that makes nuclear driven cruise missiles that can stay airborne for a day or more. O yes I forgot – it’s Zanussi, of course; senior moment! Those Russians should be careful not to cross the EU countries, or they’ll end up having dishwashers dropped on their heads from Airbus airliners.

Reply to  Nigel S
March 31, 2018 1:15 pm

I know you’re getting on a bit Leo but in case you missed the memo , Russia is not longer run by communists and the Soviet Union fell apart a few decades ago. Time to update the anti-commie rants.

Reply to  Nigel S
April 1, 2018 10:07 am

The same guys who ran the communists, still run Russia.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  philsalmon
March 31, 2018 2:46 am

If this was the UK, they’d have called it “Rocketty McAnnihilationFace”…

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
March 31, 2018 4:24 am

For our american chums who might miss the point..comment image

Christopher Paino
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
March 31, 2018 8:07 am

Given the choice, the people will always vote for Boaty McBoatface.

Killer Marmot
March 31, 2018 1:21 am

So it comes down to how sympathetic the judge is to your cause.
That’s an astonishingly bad decision. One set of laws for those whose cause is deemed just, and another for most other people.

Reply to  Killer Marmot
March 31, 2018 2:18 am

Perverting the course of justice.
A serious crime in the UK, but inevitably applied in both the US & UK now as a matter of course in the interests of climate hysteria.
This judge has committed a crime in her own court by entirely ignoring criminal events, and acquitted on the grounds of an unproven hypothesis.
As someone pointed out earlier, we can now round up all the crazy old dears we believe to be witches and burn them, because we believe they are witches.

Reply to  Killer Marmot
March 31, 2018 2:24 am

One word.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Killer Marmot
March 31, 2018 3:13 am

I was wondering if Gore himself got to the judge.
The AG (is that the correct route for the USA?) needs to review this decision.

Reply to  Killer Marmot
March 31, 2018 7:38 am

“One set of laws for those whose cause is deemed just, and another for most other people.” Echoes of Eric Holder and Obama who chose to only enforce the laws they agreed with. This judge was just following suit.

Carl Friis-Hansen
March 31, 2018 1:22 am

Robin Hood did the same thing. He believed strongly in the need of the poor, only the sheriff of Nottingham was against this policy. Back then, in that imaginary world, the authorities were more honest – or what?

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
March 31, 2018 1:31 am

maybe it just seems that way cuz there was greater transparency?

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
March 31, 2018 1:35 am

Rebelled against taxation.
These thugs are certainly for a “carbon tax”.

Reply to  s-t
March 31, 2018 12:12 pm

Too many forget that the Rich in the story of Robin Hood were entirely people with connections to the Government of the day.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
March 31, 2018 7:09 am

I seriously doubt any court would have excused Robin’s actions had the sheriff succeeded in catching him.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  MarkW
April 2, 2018 10:06 am

I’m not sure about that, but he would have had a much better chance at advancing the “imminent harm” defense than these chuckle-heads.

Nigel S
March 31, 2018 1:22 am

Greenpeace won’t be climbing Kingsnorth chimney again. Pity the chiney wasn’t tall enough for ‘Gordon is a moron’.

March 31, 2018 1:25 am

I found it necessary to kill the ceo of exon your honour. Fair enough, case dismissed.

Ian Macdonald
March 31, 2018 1:25 am

Could it not equally be argued that action taken was necessary to prevent a fraud? Which could justify the use of force against activists. A fraud is, after all, an identifiable crime. Changing the climate is not.

March 31, 2018 1:38 am

Looks like prosecutors dropped the ball and “climbing into a construction trench” just wasn’t a very big deal. Also sounds like they spent some time in jail and everybody’s happy with calling that good. Tempest in a teapot.

Reply to  Albert
March 31, 2018 2:30 am

Looks like prosecutors dropped the ball and “climbing into a construction trench” just wasn’t a very big deal. Also sounds like they spent some time in jail and everybody’s happy with calling that good.

Climbing into a construction trench violates the company’s OSHA commitment for site construction safety. The company then becomes liable when the trespassers gets hurt – which IS the Eco-terrorists’ goal!

Reply to  RACookPE1978
March 31, 2018 1:21 pm

The word terrorist loses all meaning if it simply applies to anyone you disagree with. Some Anti-fa activists qualify but sitting in a ditch … na.

Reply to  Albert
March 31, 2018 7:10 am

Conviction with the penalty being time served would have been justice. Dismissing the charges altogether tells everyone that what they did wasn’t a crime, and that sets a precedent.

Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 9:47 am

Not to mention bringing the law into disrepute, which is a much, much larger problem. If the people conclude that courts exist only to protect criminals against their victims, our whole society will rapidly go to hell.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 31, 2018 1:40 am

Whatever the judges summing up and direction may have been, the fact is that the jury decided the question of guilt. It is perhaps symptomatic of the hold that the irrational green religion has over public discourse and beliefs that a jury came to this decision. Even if the judge gave strong directions to the jury for acquitting the defendants, a jury could have decided otherwise and in the past brave juries have done just that against a judges clear instruction.
I hope that there will be an appeal against this idiotic verdict, but given how spineless government has become against eco-idiots that seems a remote prospect.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 31, 2018 1:51 am

The jury is responsible? What about the judge allowing that absurd defense to be presented?

Reply to  s-t
March 31, 2018 4:44 am

Indeed. Appeal the decision.
Or was it the public prosecutor?
Oh. It was.
The public prosecutors dropped the charges
If they would convert to civil infractions and then as I understand it she cleared them of those as well.
Smacks of behind the scenes stitch up.

Reply to  s-t
March 31, 2018 1:23 pm

Yes Al Gore apparently threatened to make another movie if his daughter did not get let off.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 31, 2018 8:31 am

If the charges were dismissed, then the case didn’t go to a jury.

Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 11:59 am

Exactly – when this Judge dismissed the charges, he told any jury to go home, they weren’t going to be allowed to even listen to the case.

John Robertson
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 31, 2018 12:25 pm

What jury?
this decision was the activists alone.

March 31, 2018 1:40 am

The fossil fuel/pipeline companies were operating under proper permitting and rule of law in regards to their activities. How can an activist Judge over rule everything that society has properly approved without being overturned by a higher court? If allowed to stand, it makes a mockery of democratic civilization itself. Taking the law into your own hand has never been a proper allowable defence in a premeditated action. Especially one that is political in nature, i.e properly approved infrastructure opererated under a statutory permit issued by the appropriate Authority.

Reply to  Earthling2
March 31, 2018 9:49 am

If it were a civil action, the pipeline company could appeal the dismissal. But, since this is a criminal complaint, once the judge throws the charge out, there is no appeal. The only question then becomes whether it was dismissed “with prejudice” or not. If not, then the prosecutors “could” re-present the charges in another case if they were so inclined.

March 31, 2018 1:44 am

The reality is that the climate change we have been experiencing today is daused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. Their actions can have no effect on climate.

Michael Kelly
March 31, 2018 1:46 am

The traditional bar for successfully using this defense is much higher than a climate Nazi could have topped. In particular:
* there was a specific threat of significant, imminent danger
* there was an immediate necessity to act
* there was no practical alternative to the act
* the defendant didn’t cause or contribute to the threat
Significant, imminent danger? By the time the judge made this “decision,” did a climate catastrophe occur? If not, the “imminent” part can’t be invoked. Particularly since we’ve passed so many dates by which the climate Nazis had predicted doom that this argument should have been laughed out of court.
And “the defendant didn’t cause or contribute to the the threat” when applied to Algore’s daughter by itself probably invalidates the defense. The Fat One himself has a bigger “carbon footprint” than some small nations.
I actually think that a judge like this presents a greater imminent threat to civilization than any AGW ever could. But it’s small comfort that if the climate Nazis succeed in destroying industrial civilization with her help, and she suffers the same consequences as the rest of us, that we can say “I told you so.”
But seriously, I think the real fault was on the part of the attorney(s) for the plaintiff. Defeating the necessity defense shouldn’t be very difficult, no matter how biased the judge.

Reply to  Michael Kelly
March 31, 2018 4:27 am

Yup. And it needs to go to appeal – or whatever the US equivalent is.
With a crowdfunded legal pot.
I’ll donate £$

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 7:50 am

There’s no appeal for the prosecution. That’s double jeopardy, explicitly prohibited in the Constitution.
The exception is when the state and federal governments both have jurisdiction, in which case each may try the defendant on the same charges.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 8:33 am

Double jeopardy would apply if they were tried and found innocent.
They weren’t tried, the charges were dismissed.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 31, 2018 12:00 pm

But the prosecution generally cannot refile charges once a judge has dismissed them.

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 1, 2018 10:09 am

Depends on how the charges were dismissed, if they were dismissed with prejudice, then yes.
Many times the judge just tells the prosecutors to get their case in order and re-file.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Leo Smith
April 2, 2018 10:11 am

It’s NOT double jeopardy. Double jeopardy only attaches if the defendant goes to trial. Under the right circumstances, the prosecutor could bring the same or slightly amended charges at a later date. Practically speaking, not likely to happen given the political inclinations of the prosecutor and judge.

Reply to  Michael Kelly
March 31, 2018 11:02 pm

Indeed. That “defence” had double-decker bus sized holes in it. Any competent and committed prosecutor would have demolished it in five minutes flat.
“Imminent threat” my a*s!! On the total lack of “imminent threat” the entire defence disintegrates.
The judge, in my opinion as an ordinary person to whom the law and justice is supposed to be transparent and its application supposed to be common sense, is completely out of order to allow that “defence”; and to have done so using the language she did.

Pop Piasa
March 31, 2018 1:52 am

Insanity in the court. Condoning criminal vandalism for purposes of subversive socio-political cause, erstwhile
allowing the defendant to profit from its notariety.

George Lawson
March 31, 2018 1:57 am

The stupid Judge Driscoll should be brought before her professional body to explain her actions. She should be removed from the Judiciary for siding with the beliefs of criminals.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  George Lawson
March 31, 2018 2:02 am

Did you think even for a minute that they were going to throw the book at Gore’s daughter? 😀 lol

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
March 31, 2018 2:39 am

“Daddy, Daddy, those horrid men arrested me for a criminal offence. Make them go away please Daddykins”.

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
March 31, 2018 9:52 am

No, but a criminal conviction with a sentence of “time served” would have set the table nicely.
Now I am waiting for the defendants to sue for unlawful arrest.

Mark - Helsinki
March 31, 2018 2:01 am

They certainly got the right judge 😀
Stacked in favour for these loons all day long, Gore’s daughter guaranteed this was going to be dismissed ffs. There was never a chance of a conviction

March 31, 2018 2:15 am

No doubt Jihadi John was sincere in his beliefs, so does that mean the judge would accept his excuse for beheading his victims?

March 31, 2018 2:18 am

In Russia they’d fire warning shots, point a gun in their race, imprison them for a month or two and deport or exile them for life.

March 31, 2018 2:26 am

I’d like to be there if/when someone chains their self to her car to prevent her from damaging the planet 🙂

A C Osborn
March 31, 2018 2:33 am

As noted above this sets a very dangerous precedent, that the cause or ends justify the means even to breaking the Law.
Can this be elevated to a higher court?

Reply to  A C Osborn
March 31, 2018 7:43 am

I would say that this does not set a precedent but follows that set by Holder & Obama.

March 31, 2018 2:38 am

The modelling behaviour is strong with this one…..

March 31, 2018 2:38 am

There should be an appeal against this blatant miscarriage of justice.
And the dimwit judge should be disbarred.

March 31, 2018 2:45 am

No judge who isn’t corrupt.

Peta of Newark
March 31, 2018 2:51 am

Its rather symbolic and poignant innit, climbing into a hole in the ground.
When all said & done, what’s the difference ‘tween a construction trench and a grave?
Leading by example. So sweet of them. Really.
and PLEASE say I’m not the only one to make that connection or are my ravings re: sugar, carbs and booze justified?

Dodgy Geezer
March 31, 2018 3:09 am

I think that most commentators do not understand the particular point of law which the activists are making use of here.
In British Common Law, and in legal systems derived from it, there is a specific ‘get-out’ clause from the charge of trespass and criminal damage. This is meant to cover emergency situations where someone has to do something illegal in order to obtain a higher good. For instance, if a fireman breaks down a door to rescue someone from a fire, that would normally be ‘criminal damage’. It is not, because the fireman honestly believed there was imminent danger, and breaking the door was the best way to rescue people. If the fireman had slashed the tyres of their car, however, he would not have had that defence.
For the defence to work, the person causing damage has to honestly believe that they are doing good in an emergency. That is all. So the fireman who breaks the wrong door by mistake is also covered. And this law is necessary.
The problem here is that the politicians cannot go public and say there is NO imminent danger, otherwise they lose face, and votes. So, under these circumstances, it is quite correct for activists to damage CO2-creating equipment. They have the politicians supporting their actions by claiming that there really is a danger – and I hope we all believe in democracy and the rule of law?
The answer is to get the politicians and the schools to agree that there is no immediate danger, and publicise this so that such a belief would not be reasonable any more. Good luck with that…

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
March 31, 2018 5:28 am

Dodgy Geezer
Good argument but there is no evidence mankind is changing the climate. In fact, there’s considerable evidence to suggest increased atmospheric CO2, however emitted, is doing much good, with the planet greening by 14% over the last 30 years.
Now that’s solid evidence, whereas this woman seems to base her judgement on the planet being in immediate danger from man made CO2 emissions which, estimated at 2ppm per year, are inconsequential. Her personal beliefs are coloured by, largely, media influence and she didn’t bother to acquaint herself with the facts.
All this in light of the Exxon case being all but kicked out of court on the first day, which she should have been familiar with, other than there has been no media coverage.
As I understand it, US judges are politically appointed and don’t have the luxury of operating independently with rule of law paramount rather than political interests.
Having said that, they still cocked up over the Gordon incident.

Reply to  HotScot
March 31, 2018 9:01 am

**Good argument but there is no evidence mankind is changing the climate**
Except it appears that the judge has not read this part.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
March 31, 2018 7:14 am

We are not ridiculing the point of law.
We are ridiculing the notion that climate change fits under it.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 8:15 am

…Good argument but there is no evidence mankind is changing the climate. ..We are ridiculing the notion that climate change fits under (the law)…..
I think that both of you miss the point.
There does not have to be any ‘evidence’ that mankind is changing the climate for this law to operate. All that is needed is for a ‘reasonable person’ to hold a ‘reasonable belief’. In the case I gave above, if a fireman breaks down the wrong door, there can be no evidence that it was right – because it was frankly wrong. Nevertheless, the firemen is held to have a ‘reasonable belief’ that he was acting to prevent a greater harm – so he is not guilty of criminal damage.
What is needed here, as I said, is for the excuse of ‘reasonable belief’ to be negated. At the moment, a ‘reasonable person’ could well believe that we are close to the tipping point to Armageddon – there are a lot of assertions of this in the press and by public figures. They are all lies, but I cannot see that it is unreasonable for someone who has been subjected to the barrage of climate propaganda to believe in it.
If I were prosecuting the case, I would probably try to show that the duty to inform oneself about the realities of the situation should be considered important if a criminal act was being considered, and that the activists took no steps to consider the arguments that climate change was a fraud, which they should have done. But I don’t know how well that would fly in a Boston court with a Vice-President’s daughter in the dock…

Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 10:10 am

I understand your point entirely, but there can be no reasonable comparison drawn between a fireman kicking down or otherwise opening the correct, or incorrect door, in the event of a fire, which represents immediate threat to life; and the notion that human induced climate change is anything but an unproven hypothesis, the effect of which is in any event, man caused, or otherwise, a gradual and not immediately life threatening event.
It could also be argued, convincingly judging by historic warming periods, that mankind flourishes with a warmer climate. Indeed, it appears man emerged from warmer parts of the world, like Africa, so living in colder climates like the UK is unnatural for us.
But humans are adaptable, resilient and innovative, so we take advantage of the prevailing benefits of our location and circumstances.
The human race is not in immediate danger therefore the decision is a travesty of justice.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  MarkW
April 1, 2018 5:18 pm

Dodgy Geezer:

In the case I gave above, if a fireman breaks down the wrong door, there can be no evidence that it was right – because it was frankly wrong.

I don’t know if it’s actually in the law, but there should be another point considered: whether the person’s actions, were his belief true, were reasonably necessary to prevent the perceived harm. In the case of the fireman, if someone were behind that door in danger from fire, then breaking down the door is not only reasonable, but a necessary act to protect life. There is no “perhaps” or “may” here, people trapped in burning structures actually die on a regular basis. Firemen are not just allowed to break down doors, they are required to do so when circumstances indicate, and trained and equipped accordingly. Not that we want them to smash doors indiscriminately, but we forgive the occasional mistake because their sanctioned role is so vital.
This brings us back to one consideration which appears to have been absent in the judge’s decision — imminence. The fireman’s actions are necessitated by the immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger to human life if someone is left trapped in a burning building. If Al Gore was right about the immediate danger from global warming, then we would be on a one-way trip to hothouse Venus right now (we passed his 10-year “tipping point” several years back).
If there actually is a danger from global warming, it is coming slowly enough that Karenna Gore has time to put together a campaign committee to run for Congress, host several hundred fund-raisers and get into office where she can actually work within the provided process to change the law. But I see she is the director of the “Center of Earth Ethics” at Union Theological Seminary. Hmmm, where have we seen an ethics director with a penchant for breaking the law before?
Maybe she can take a shortcut into office via a term as Ethics and Compliance Officer for the Clinton Global Initiative Fund.
Sorry, this is another case of those charged with upholding law giving a pass to thugs they happen to agree with.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
March 31, 2018 8:40 am

drama uber alles! there is simply an insatiable demand for gothic horror-
danger (especially if it’s comfortably fake) is a Great Frisson!
why, if the pope announced there were no hell where souls suffer for eternity- it would bring no joy; only disappointment.

March 31, 2018 3:13 am

I was under the impression Mankind had progressed from the days of Galileo’s Inquisition? Apparently not.

March 31, 2018 3:22 am

By: Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff August 1, 2001
West Roxbury Division Boston Municipal Court 535 E. Broadway South Boston, MA 02127 (617) 268-8305 Born: March 30, 1943, Boston Year admitted to bar: 1974 Year appointed/elected: 1990, by Gov. Michael S. Dukakis …

March 31, 2018 3:24 am

We knew this would happen when you let women enter the workforce. Just look how much problems you have with kids of single mothers. It’s all about ‘feelings’.

Reply to  Robertv
March 31, 2018 9:44 am

I had this thrown at me the other day.
Modeling the Earth’s climate is one of the most daunting, complicated tasks out there. If only we were more like the Moon, things would be easy. The Moon has no atmosphere, no oceans, no icecaps, no seasons, and no complicated flora and fauna to get in the way of simple radiative physics. No wonder it’s so challenging to model! In fact, if you google “climate models wrong”, eight of the first ten results showcase failure. But headlines are never as reliable as going to the scientific source itself, and the ultimate source, in this case, is the first accurate climate model ever: by Syukuro Manabe and Richard T. Wetherald. 50 years after their groundbreaking 1967 paper, the science can be robustly evaluated, and they got almost everything exactly right.
The Earth and Moon, to scale, in terms of both size and albedo/reflectivity. Note how much fainter the Moon appears, as it absorbs light much better than Earth does.

Reply to  DR
March 31, 2018 9:45 am

I had this thrown at me the other day:
Modeling the Earth’s climate is one of the most daunting, complicated tasks out there. If only we were more like the Moon, things would be easy. The Moon has no atmosphere, no oceans, no icecaps, no seasons, and no complicated flora and fauna to get in the way of simple radiative physics. No wonder it’s so challenging to model! In fact, if you google “climate models wrong”, eight of the first ten results showcase failure. But headlines are never as reliable as going to the scientific source itself, and the ultimate source, in this case, is the first accurate climate model ever: by Syukuro Manabe and Richard T. Wetherald. 50 years after their groundbreaking 1967 paper, the science can be robustly evaluated, and they got almost everything exactly right.
The Earth and Moon, to scale, in terms of both size and albedo/reflectivity. Note how much fainter the Moon appears, as it absorbs light much better than Earth does.

March 31, 2018 3:45 am

I’m not sure what Judicial Review procedures are available to prosecutions in the US but this is clearly bad law and needs to be challenged. The consequences of this are far more serious than even your commentary suggests. If narcissistic subjective world views are to afford a defence to serious criminal acts like criminal damage why can’t it be a defence to acts of assault or worse on employees of Fossil Fuel companies?

Reply to  Chris Lynch
March 31, 2018 8:40 am

As long as the endangerment clause remains in place they will have a defence. Mr. Pruitt?

March 31, 2018 3:58 am

It seems that this CO2 viral infection damages the synapses in the brain rendering the logical networks substandard. We definitely need a suitable vaccine. It is reaching pandemic levels.
I can understand why Al Gore’s daughter is riddled with the infection; but surely a judge should have taken precautions.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  cognog2
March 31, 2018 12:01 pm

Al Gore uses up all the oxygen in any room he occupies. Doubtless his daughter suffers from infant CO2 exposure.

Coach Springer
March 31, 2018 4:11 am

“I believe they believe strongly” is a justification for nearly every malicious act in the history of mankind. Legally, at a minimum,.it is a growing precedent for future decisions including swaying a jure of peers. Can you say mobs, civil chaos, genocide and lynching any better than “they are justified because their beliefs are heartfelt”?

Mike Restin
Reply to  Coach Springer
March 31, 2018 5:29 am

This sounds like great news for the black lives matter cop killers.
They truly believe all white cops are evil.
Now, find the right judge and it’s “Katie bar the door”.

Coach Springer
March 31, 2018 4:13 am

So where was the clear and present danger and the defense they were to receive? Sorry for the double dip, but this is the most outrageous and dangerous thing I’ve read this month – and it’s been a long month.

Reply to  Coach Springer
March 31, 2018 7:15 am

There’s almost 24 hours left, it could still be topped.

March 31, 2018 4:38 am

So sue in civil court for triple damages. And name the Judge as a co-defendant. Use the RICO laws and allege he’s biased/paid off by the Greens due to zero proof that hydrocarbons are anything but a net plus for humanity.
The companies need to budget a percent of their revenue for suits like these. Skip the criminal case except to testify but go all in on civil damages.

March 31, 2018 4:40 am

Judge Mary Ann Driscoll clearly does not understand the importance of Rule-of-Law. Judges like Ms Driscoll are so utterly incompetent that they should be dismissed.
We have seen too many examples of this sort of irrational conduct in society:
– A citizen disagrees with national foreign policy and places a bomb in public to protest – NOT ACCEPTABLE.
– A citizen disagrees with excessive police violence against civilians and shoots some cops – NOT ACCEPTABLE.
These are extreme examples, but they illustrate the point – Rule of Law matters, and it cannot be bent and broken at the whim of a foolish judge or extremist thugs. As imperfect as our legal system is, and it is highly imperfect, it is what separates the rich countries of the world from all the rest.
Ask yourself “Why are the Magna Carta countries so much wealthier that the rest?” The answer is Rule-of-Law.
When we allow extremists and criminals to influence and control our societies, our economies and our freedoms are harmed. That happened in the USA under Obama and would have been much worse under Hillary.
It is happening now in Europe, where the EU has fallen under the power of Russia due to its reliance on incompetent green energy policies. Any rational person could have foreseen this outcome decades ago. That was probably the objective of pro-Russian leftists in Europe, and their counterparts in North America.
Ask yourselves why the radical enviros adopt policies that clearly favour uneconomic and unreliable green energy schemes, and promote policies that clearly harm the environment? Their objectives were intended to cripple western economies, and have nothing to do with improving the environment.
These people are not pro-environment – many of their programs such as clear-cutting of tropical rainforests to grow biofuels, draining the Ogallala aquifer to grow corn for fuel ethanol, clear-cutting eastern US forests to provide wood pellets for British power plants, erecting huge wind power towers to slice up birds and bats, etc are ALL anti-environmental.
Anti fossil fuels, anti pipelines, anti fracking, anti oilsands, pro green energy, etc. etc. – all promoted by the same people, all deliberately harming our economies while wrapping themselves in the cloak of phony environmentalism.

George Lawson
March 31, 2018 7:36 am

Absolutely correct Mr Macrae. As a minor group of people in our society, the Green movement has done more to damage the world economic progress than anything in our history. Having persuaded gullible governments, who want to be seen to be responding to this very vocal minority, they have successfully managed to ruin our electricity producing industry, and in so doing increase the cost of electricity to every user of this vital resource. They have also been responsible for adding huge costs to our vehicle and oil industries for very questionable health reasons. They are now about to embark on a programme of ruining our plastic packaging and drinks industries by introducing draconian measures for controlling the production of plastic packaging simply because David Attenborough and his Green cohorts made the silly statement that plastic in the seas could kill a million fish or crustaceans every year. He totally ignores the fact that the deep sea fishing industry takes billions of fish and crustaceans from the seas across the world each day and every day of the year as a valuable food source for humanity, and overlooks the fact that fish, mammals and crustaceans live by predating on other animals in the oceans for their own survival, yet he seems to think that everything living in the sea is going to change their diets by eating plastic bottles! But governments simply ignore these facts and always take the word of the anti-humanity Greens as indisputable and without question.
A huge packaging and drinks industry will be seriously damaged if Governments don’t have the courage to take a sensible line against these irresponsible people who cry ‘wolf’ every time a minor occurrence gives them a platform from which to voice their illogical opinions, opinions which are always supported by the irresponsible news outlets such as the BBC who rarely question the opinion of the Greens regardless of how stupid that opinion might be.

Leo Morgan
March 31, 2018 4:45 am

With a single bang of her gavel, Judge Mary Ann Driscol has abolished all reason for society to maintain judges.
Rather than being an unbiased umpire, she became a partisan of one side. She did not rule in accordance with law or justice.
The effect of her ruling is the legal precedent that no-one has protection under the law for their life or property from climate cultists.
This was not just judicial misbehavior, and a travesty of justice, it was another sharp cut creating divisions within your country.
The message from Judge Driscoll’s ruling is that the law doesn’t matter. You cannot turn to it to seek justice. That she disregarded law, and replaced justice with her political preferences, demonstrates her unfitness of the office she holds.
What options do you have in your country? In addition to appealing the decision, which will be an expensive effort with no gain in justice nor deterrence, but must be done to abolish Driscol’s wrong-headed ‘precedent’, don’t you have impeachment and recall elections?
It’s a great deal of effort, but if you believe their should be a legal system above partisanship, you must do those things. It’s a matter of necessity.

March 31, 2018 4:59 am

Declaring necessity and expressing belief in a cause was/is sufficient justification to break the law and to trespass/damage with impunity? Smacks of Sharia.

Reply to  techgm
March 31, 2018 8:45 am

the parents of the american taliban- out there in the bay area- were lawyers.
they said they were glad he found something to believe in.
this has been long foreshadowed.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  gnomish
March 31, 2018 12:12 pm

I will assume you are correct about the lawyers as I don’t know. It seems fairly incredible to me that lawyers, for whom truth is always relative, would have any regard for the faith and belief of their child. It reminds me of a number of minister’s kids I knew who seemed to be determined to act up as much as possible.

Reply to  gnomish
March 31, 2018 7:23 pm

don’t believe anything you hear on the internet …lol
his daddy frank:
” He lives on a quiet tree-lined street in San Rafael, in Marin County, and rides the bus every morning across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco, where he is the general counsel for the California Public Utilities Commission and oversees a sixty-five-lawyer legal division. He recently remarried, this time to a man”
” “Everyone’s assuming John’s guilty of the worst crime in our history. And now here’s his father not apologizing. But I can’t apologize for something that’s not true. I can’t feed into that myth. He’s a really good person.” He pauses and takes a halting breath. “I’m proud of my son.””
mommy was into all the progressive new ageness…(spirituality is fashionable in da bay)
“Marilyn Walker was a stay-at-home mom who kept her maiden name.”
” Marilyn Walker had left Catholicism and become a Buddhist”,8599,187564,00.html

Steve Borodin
March 31, 2018 5:15 am

I don’t think we allow anarchists to be judges in the UK. Oh, I’m sorry. You call them Democrats don’t you?

Nigel S
Reply to  Steve Borodin
March 31, 2018 5:43 am

Steve B: See Greenpeace/Kingsnorth in the post. This defence has also been used successfully in UK for destruction of GM crops by Greenpeace.
Lord Melchett of Greenpeace, no relation to General Melchett in the Flanders Pigeon Murderer case as far as I know.

March 31, 2018 5:22 am

So, it appears we’re now legally justified to blow up Al Gore’s private jet.

Reply to  Adam
March 31, 2018 8:56 am

Shouldn’t have to blow it up. All one needs are a handful of “capitalists” to chain themselves to the wheels. But I’m sure Gore has fencing and guards to keep everyone away from his plane. Think you could find a judge to side with that demonstration? It should, however, be challenged. The US legal system is running the country. And this judge is 75 yo!

michael hart
March 31, 2018 5:25 am

When the judges start showing contempt for the law then you have a serious problem.

Reply to  michael hart
March 31, 2018 7:55 am

We h ad 8 years of a President and Attorney General showing contempt for the law. During that time they nominated a Supreme Court judge who, in her congressional vetting process declared that she felt it was important to be able to show empathy for the victim’s situation. Rather than declaring her unfit to judge anything, let alone sit on the Supreme Court, her nomination was approved.
McDonalds gets sued because their coffee is too hot. One of the metroliners (NY Subway I believe it was) gets sued because a drunk fell in front of the train and was dismembered. Both suits won, along with many other equally ridiculous cases.
The serious problem began long ago and will not be undone any time soon, if at all. This case is little more than a pimple on the elephant’s butt.

michael hart
Reply to  thallstd
March 31, 2018 12:46 pm

I can certainly accept the intricacies of Tort-Law when something bad happens and there is a process of arriving at who’s fault it is, if anybody’s.
But when a judge sides with the argument of “Sure, I broke the law because my personal beliefs about something decades or centuries in the future, that might not actually happen at all, allows me to do just what ever I want today”, then that seems like One Step Beyond (appropriately sung by the UK pop group “Madness” back in the 80’s).

Reply to  thallstd
March 31, 2018 2:10 pm

Top comment. Especially weaving Suggs et al in there.

March 31, 2018 5:37 am

Society is more efficient when the political class works seamlessly with the judiciary. Boston is learning from Zimbabwe.

Stephen Skinner
March 31, 2018 5:44 am

It’s simple. To keep things balanced the defendants must now go to all countries where there are oil and gas pipelines and get them shut down: Russia; Iran; Iraq; Qatar; Nigeria; Venezuela; Saudi Arabia; Libya; UK; Norway. A few of these places have the rule of law which I would have thought might be a problem, but as of now the rule of law should be no obstacle.

Original Mike M
March 31, 2018 5:48 am

Cut off Judge Driscoll’s fossil fuels. Stop selling her gasoline, “Sorry your honor but it’s necessary in order to teach you a lesson about law and order.”

Reply to  Original Mike M
March 31, 2018 8:34 am

I concur Mike, using that defense I should be able to go over to the fine activist judge’s house and shut off her power, gas, and put her car up on blocks. She could be causing imminent danger in the future, to me and my loved ones. Off the rails, recall this judge, Boston, you can do better.

Stephen Skinner
March 31, 2018 5:48 am

lets not mess around with ‘earth hour’ lets have ‘earth week’ or even ‘earth month’ and see what so called ‘saving the planet’ actually looks and feels like.

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
March 31, 2018 7:18 am

They could try an “earth lifetime”. I believe it was once called the stone age.

March 31, 2018 6:15 am

Activist Judges are tearing this country apart. They are justifying and enabling criminal behavior and anarchy.
Sanctuary Cities and States Should Not Be Allowed to Sue in Federal Court; Trump Should Nullify California vs Exxon

Reg Nelson
March 31, 2018 6:15 am

To clarify a couple of thingss:
1) The original criminal charges were reduced to civil infractions:
Boston – A long awaited local trial of 13 environmental activists, arrested in 2016 for their civil disobedience in protesting a major new fracked gas pipeline in West Roxbury, was suddenly and surprisingly canceled late last week by the prosecuting attorney. The original charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace were reduced to “civil infractions,” basically the equivalent of a parking ticket.
2) The Judge retired in 2013 at the age of 70 and was working on a temporary basis — basically she had nothing to lose.
3) Bill McKibben was slated to be an expert witness if the original charges were brought to trial.
I’m not a lawyer, but dismissing the equivalent of a parking ticket doesn’t set any kind of legal precedence.

March 31, 2018 6:17 am

“2) The Judge retired in 2013 at the age of 70 and was working on a temporary basis — basically she had nothing to lose.”
That selfish view is the problem, her actions undermine confidence in the entire judicial system, and in turn, our stability as a Nation.

J Mac
Reply to  co2islife
March 31, 2018 8:04 am

Al Gore and green sympathizers brought in a ‘ringer’, to save his little sweet’ems from facing the consequences of her deliberate criminal actions???

Gunga Din
March 31, 2018 6:20 am

From here:

Mary Ann Driscoll is a retired justice of the Boston Municipal Court, serving on recall status. Driscoll retired when she reached the mandatory retirement age in 2013, but she took recall status after retirement. Justices on recall status perform trial court duties on request, in assignments that may last no more than 90 days each.

My question is, “at who’s request?”. The court’s? The defendants’?
Did she get the case because she’s already retired and could make an outrageous ruling with impunity?

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
March 31, 2018 6:55 am

I found the answer to my question by following the footnotes.
(This is Massachusetts law)

Section 14: Services of retired justices
Section 14. (a) A retired justice of the trial court whose name has been placed on the list of retired justices pursuant to section sixty-five G of chapter thirty-two may be assigned by the chief justice for administration and management to perform, during his term of eligibility, such of the duties of a trial court justice as may be requested of him and which he is willing to undertake, provided that no such single assignment shall be for a term longer than ninety days.

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 31, 2018 8:00 am

So according to this, judge Mary Ann Driscoll is a man?

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
March 31, 2018 12:13 pm

Could have been at one time, maybe. 😎
But actually, pre-PC English is being used. You know, the English used for centuries before Gloria Steinman and the other feminist got their panties in a wad.

March 31, 2018 6:26 am

These “protesters” were acting childishly, and the judge accepted that. As almost anyone would, he dismissed criminal charges on the basis that the protesters held childish beliefs, but really believed them, as do little children when they do something incredibly stupid (to us) because “if i didn’t nail the closet door closed, the monsters would come out at night!”

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 31, 2018 12:18 pm

Would the monsters die from closet warming due to increased CO2 if they didn’t get out?

March 31, 2018 6:32 am

Well trespass is usually a civil not a criminal matter isn’t it? If they broke something it would become criminal. They still haven’t got away with it yet.

Reply to  Jasg
March 31, 2018 7:40 am

Look up criminal trespassing.

March 31, 2018 6:36 am

Judges should be elected to afford at least an opportunity to replace those that feel a lifetime appointment gives them the right to judge by their opinions rather than by the law. It is perhaps wishful thinking that the Boston judge would be voted out of office, however it would be some consolation to try.

Reply to  dahun
March 31, 2018 7:20 am

The problem is that it would the citizens of Boston who would be electing the judges.

Keith Sketchley
Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 7:32 am

Judges in Massachusetts are not elected they are appointed.

Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 8:36 am

Reading comprehension is your friend. You should try it some day.
The post I was replying to stated that judges should be elected.
Care to try again?

Keith Sketchley
Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 9:13 am

Don’t have to try again, my post was factual.

John M
Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 9:32 am

Boston citizens are also citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and are eligible to vote in elections of the Commonwealth.
Factual but immaterial to the comment.
There, that was easy.

Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 12:22 pm
Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 12:25 pm

P.S. The judge retired a few years ago but signed on as a Reserve Judge, meaning she can try cases that will last less than 90 days in Ma.
I can Imagine that the Ma AG gave her a call to take the case….

Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 12:36 pm
Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2018 12:47 pm
Also click on link to civil disobedience center in above article. There is no questions that someone pulled strings to have this judge try the case…

Reply to  MarkW
April 1, 2018 10:18 am

It may have been factual, it was also irrelevant.

March 31, 2018 6:42 am

Now let’s hear how it happens that shutting down a pipeline has any effect whatsoever on the demand and use of gasoline and oil products, like heating oil. Judgesa re often totally incompetent and unqualified to render decisions.

March 31, 2018 6:47 am

This is why it is so important to demonstrate that the pseudo-science of the “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” is a fraud. Otherwise, you’ll let these hooligans get away with murder and wanton destruction of other people’s property.

March 31, 2018 6:57 am

The end justifies the means. What could go wrong?

March 31, 2018 7:02 am

Leftists have always considered themselves to be above the law.
No it’s official.

March 31, 2018 7:12 am

It’s legal to shoot someone in the act of doing harm to others. Anyone who messes with a pipeline should simply be shot on the spot.

Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 7:12 am

By accepting the necessity defence, judge Driscoll displayed either incompetence or a stunning lack of appreciation for our laws, and the judicial system. The bar for the necessity defense is set high in the US, higher than the one in the UK I believe.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 12:30 pm

They picked a retired judge and had a closed door meeting to explain what the best outcome would be after they delayed it as much as possible. We are supposed to believe that politics does not influence the law. Politicians don’t respect that rule, or many others.
What do we suppose Bill Clinton wanted to talk to Loretta Lynch about that required a secret meeting instead of a phone call at a time when his wife should have been facing federal criminal charges?

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 2:26 pm

I guess it’s a debate for the professionals, but I understand US Judges are political apontees. I also believe Judges in the UK have no political association and represent the law only.
I’m no authority so accept any informed comment on the matter.

Gunga Din
Reply to  HotScot
April 1, 2018 5:58 am

In the US Federal judges are nominated by the President then approved or rejected by the Senate.
It’s up to each state how their own judges, local and state, are chosen. IE In Ohio, they are elected. In Massachusetts, they are appointed.
(Scroll down to the map to see how each state selects its judges.)

March 31, 2018 7:46 am

So now there legal precedence for tearing down bird and bat choppers and busting the mirrors at the bird fryers?
Really I have no idea about the laws of the crown but it seems to me that there should be a civil route to getting these miscreants if the criminal route doesn’t work.

Bob Denby
March 31, 2018 7:56 am

‘..The protesters, including Karenna Gore, the daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, were facing charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace after climbing into a construction trench…’
Is it possible that the charges were wrong? Seems there should have been a lawsuit claiming property damage and other possible losses seeking monetary restitution.

March 31, 2018 8:22 am

A better report on this “trial” is this “Well, that’s not quite what happened in court on Tuesday. The prospect of a jury trial was rendered moot when prosecutors reduced the defendants’ charges from criminal misdemeanors to civil infractions (like a parking violation). ”
Another states “Neither Ms Driscoll [the judge] or the court clerk was available for comment. However, one member of the court’s staff who asked not to be named, confirmed to The Independent the judge had found them not responsible. The person denied, however, that the judge had made the ruling on the grounds of legal necessity.
in other words, the whole eco-terrorists narrative that the judge accepted “legal necessity” is either FALSE or minimally, unconfirmed.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 31, 2018 8:41 am

Re-reading what she said – “Based on the very heartfelt expressions of the defendants who believe, and I don’t question their beliefs in any respect, who believe in their cause because they believe they were entitled to invoke the necessity defense, I’ll accept what they said,” Driscoll said.
So: 1. She “doesn’t question their beliefs”. What do their beliefs have to do with anything, and why should the court, or indeed anyone care whether she questions them or not? Red herring much? 2. This one gets tricky: Because a) “they believe they were entitled to invoke the necessity defense” and b) because “they believe in their cause”, c) she’ll “accept what they said”. What kind of twisted, circular reasoning is that?
But yeah, technically, she doesn’t actually say that the necessity defence applies here, only that they BELIEVE it applies. So that makes it alright, I guess.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 9:40 am

There IS a valid defence of necessity, and the test is whether the accused BELIEVES they were faced with a ‘lesser of two evils’ situation.
In this case the prosecution should have attacked the ‘reasonableness’ of that belief. If someone was truly concerned about the future of the planet, I would argue that it would not be reasonable to only view assertions from one side. If these activists had really looked at both sides of the question and come to the conclusion that there was an immediate danger, then the defence should be open to them. If, however, they had only followed one side of an argument to justify their beliefs, I suggest that this is not the action of a reasonable person, and that defence should not be open…

James Walter
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 1:02 pm

“‘Necessity’ is the plea for the infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.” William Pitt 1783

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 2:47 pm

Whilst it’s necessary for any judicial process to examine both sides of the argument, a judge has the responsibility to examine the reasonable circumstances inherent within the case.
Trespassing and causing criminal damage, in the face of humanities contribution over generations to increasing CO2, would not forestall the effects of climate change, even were it man made.
There are innumerable legal processes these people could have pursued before resorting to civil disobedience, but it seems the celebrity and political influences contributed by one particular protester are enough to frustrate the legal process.
However, I think we should all be careful about calling out a legal official over her decision. These people, in my experience, are anything but daft.
There are, of course, exceptions to every expectation.

March 31, 2018 8:26 am

It’s looks like the breakdown of law and order.

March 31, 2018 8:28 am

Seeing as how the US Constitution has been supplanted by 235 years of “precedent” it gets closer each day to, “Katie bar the door”. God help us.

March 31, 2018 8:36 am

I’ll have to take the judge’s car(s) away from her to prevent her from driving them and causing global warming… Otherwise known as car theft, it’s not because I’m doing it for a good cause. … and the parts will be of use to the less fortunate.

Chad Jessup
March 31, 2018 8:36 am

In our legal system, the judge was permitted to render that decision however much we deplore it. A jury could have also ruled likewise. The option of suing the defendants in civil court is still available to the company.

March 31, 2018 8:41 am

Looks like we will need a Canadian border wall to go along with the Mexican wall, though I’m not sure folks here in the US would provide a smarter jury, nor judge, for that matter. I’ve got to stop watching “Idiocracy”, too many correlations and it’s not even the year 2500 yet!

Reply to  JimG1
March 31, 2018 8:44 am

Should have been Massachusetts border wall. Though probably the Canadian one is a good idea too.

Reply to  JimG1
March 31, 2018 8:48 am

Hell, now that I think about it more maybe just large city border walls.

Reply to  JimG1
March 31, 2018 10:18 am

Canadians are going to need a border wall to keep out the refugees fleeing here when ‘Civil War 2: It’s Back And This Time It’s Personal’ starts in a few years. There’s no way we can survive another hundred million liberals up here.

March 31, 2018 8:50 am

So sad! If we are currently in danger, it is from activism, not lethargy, not complacency, not intransigence.

J Mac
March 31, 2018 9:06 am

The ‘fix was in’.
That’s the way socialist democrats mete out ‘social justice’ in ‘sanctuary cities’ like Boston MA.
Please note that the state of MA has had a looong history of harboring criminals and illegal aliens. Senator Ted Kennedy directed refuge for illegal aliens from Ireland in MA for decades, after letting then-pregnant Mary Joe Kopechne drown when he drunkenly ran his car off of the Chappaquiddick island bridge in 1969.
Social Justice for Socialist Democrats Matters In Massachusetts….

March 31, 2018 9:16 am

This is where the Left is taking us … replacing common law where man derives inherent rights from God … to the “morality” of Gaia. The new Leftist Gaia law says everyone and everything is subservient to Gaia. Good luck with that. The last time man worshipped Gaia … virgin girls were tossed into volcanos to appease the Fire God. Not only are Gaia worshipers taking us back to 12th century technology … they are adopting the religions of primitive peoples.

Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 9:43 am

I believe Driscoll has invented a new defence: the “Belief Defence”, wherein as long as you believe something is necessary, you get to skate. They believed they were “saving the planet”, and that, apparently is enough for her. Talk about a slippery slope.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 10:00 am

Somehow, I don’t think this new defense would work for those who have the opposite belief. It’s a one-way street. Anyone engaging in damaging protests against environmental groups because they believe they are damaging the planet for future generations would have to pay in full and probably serve jail time. No judge would give them mercy for their “beliefs.”

J Mac
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 10:05 am

Yes – it exonerates every form of sociopathic criminality….. and it preserves their ‘self esteem’ as well.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 31, 2018 10:29 am

And the Tsarnaev brothers strongly believed they needed to stop drone strikes, with all possible means.
Can he use the ‘Gore’ defence to get of death row?

March 31, 2018 10:17 am

Ethicals lying in the trenches? I guess so.
“Karenna Gore, director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, was not one of the defendants, but she was among those arrested in 2016 for a “mass graves” protest against the pipeline where activists dug then lied in trenches.”
“Gore and the Climate Disobedience Center hoped their colleagues’ case would go to trial where they could test using the “necessity defense” to block or sabotage fossil fuel projects in the name of stopping global warming.”

March 31, 2018 10:38 am

This judge is inviting and sanctioning mob violence. If one group can damage or destroy the property of another group simply because they “believe” such actions are proper, where does it end? Why bother finding someone guilty in a court of law before punishing them? Just get a mob together and exact the punishment you believe they deserve. Take revenge on someone simply because you believe they deserve to be punished. The courts have now begun to sanctioned such actions. No limits have been specified. So, apparently, lynching people is not out of the question if you believe it to be necessary. Your beliefs do not have to be proven correct, just sincere. Does this judge realize that she could be putting herself out of a job? If people can punish others and destroy their property without a court order and without allowing them to seek redress in a court of law, why do we need judges or courts? We can just act on our own, based on our beliefs. But first you had better make sure that your mob is bigger than their mob. How can a civil society survive under such conditions when gang violence is the order of the day?
“No man will contend that a nation can be free, that is not governed by fixed laws. All other government than that of permanent known laws, is the government of mere will and pleasure.”
— John Adams
“Even the best of men in authority are liable to be corrupted by passion. We may conclude then that the law is reason without passion, and it is therefore preferable to any individual.”
— Aristotle

March 31, 2018 10:44 am

Worth mentioning is that Obama left something like 140 federal judgeships vacant after he left Office. No doubt, Obama was not in a hurry to appoint these judges because he thought Hillary would follow him and complete the job of appointing a bunch of leftists to the Court.
But No! Trump won the election and now Trump gets to appoint all those judges to the federal bench. Trump thanked Obama for this gift in his last speech the other day.
Trump has already appointed many federal judges with many more to come.

March 31, 2018 10:45 am

So they can stop climate change?
Funny I thought there was only One God.
Guess I didn’t get the memo.
That ordinary people can be gods too.
And all it takes is a Judge to Ordain it.
Can I be a God too?
Probably not. They already said they want to send me to climate denier he–.
And, Google Maps still can’t find a place called climate denier he–.

DC Cowboy
Reply to  Noman_Arizona
March 31, 2018 11:26 am

LOL< I remember the PBS series, "I, Claudius" in which all Roman Emperors of the time were considered Gods. IN the end of the series, when Claudius died, he was visited by Caligula, who had embraced the 'divinity'. His comment, "I'm not a God, could have knocked me over with a feather when they told me."

March 31, 2018 10:57 am

A very interesting blog post, but, from my position of sloppiness, as I have to admit, as I am going purely in and by the means of memory, and all in this point depends on how good the memory serves me when so many years gone by…..
Eric please do understand that I am relying only in my memory without double checking.
Eric you have drawn a parallel line between a time in the past UK court decision and a fresh USA court decision, or a verdict , in a similar matter of green activists actions.
As far as I can tell, that is a very striking valid similarity….if my memory serves me right, where actually the UK case was very much weighted in the given position of the Prosecution, where a clear and unacceptable action in the part of prosecution became also a public scandal, where the prosecution was found to have illegally withholding crucial evidence from the defense and the court.
So as according to my memory, if this happens to be the case, I think you got to clarify this, as this happens to be your blog post and your responsibility.
But then again if it happens not to be as I think it is, according to the above you have no much substance in trying to draw parallels in between these two cases, because that possibly only contemplated in the position of the prosecution, when in the UK case the prosecution gravely mishandled the case, and in the USA case the prosecution maybe overreacted, similar, even when not same.
I hope that you Eric take the time and pain to clarify this, as per my position I think that if a clarification needed, than you really have to take it seriously, as otherwise it could be very misleading.
Still, I must say, that all this from my prospect is based only in the clause of “how good my memory serves me”, as I at this point am not relying in my own search and double checks…..

March 31, 2018 11:14 am

because they believe they were entitled to invoke the necessity defense, I’ll accept what they said,” Driscoll said.
I hope that works with the IRS.

CD in Wisconsin
March 31, 2018 11:23 am

MarkW @ March 31, 2018 at 7:02 am:
“Leftists have always considered themselves to be above the law.
No it’s official.”
There appears to be a type of mindset in the U.S. among self-righteous elitists which has emerged recently. The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president has perhaps triggered it. These elitists have apparently awarded themselves licenses to selectively cherry-pick when laws are to be enforced and when they aren’t in different issues, cases or situations. We are seeing it not just with this case in Massachusetts, but in the sanctuary cities issue for undocumented aliens as well.
The judges, state and local politicians and activists who are riding on this high horse of self-righteousness, virtuosity and morality with their display of arrogance and elitism does indeed lead them to place themselves above the law. The belief system or ideology they embrace which they use to decide when laws apply and when they don’t only serves to undermine the very purpose of our legal system and its effectiveness. The potential danger involved from seeing this come about would of course depend on how far they intend to go with it and how successful they might be.
The application of selective cherry-picking to the enforcement of the law by these individuals is no doubt triggered to some degree or other by their dislike (hated?) of Donald Trump. The problem here is that when emotional devotion to belief systems kick in and are used this way, we humans have history of going down a road that has a bad outcome. Some might argue that we are already on our way to seeing it in California.

Lance of BC
March 31, 2018 11:52 am

Sooo, the next logical conclusion is it’s ok to sacrifice(kill) someone for the good of the planet in eye of the law? Or maybe just imprison them evil souls before proper disposal?
Only problem is the “unsustainability” of virgins to through into the volcano. Maybe a virgin tax will help? 🙂

Reply to  Lance of BC
March 31, 2018 12:00 pm

Lance of BC
March 31, 2018 at 11:52 am
Lance, witch hunting still is witch hunting, regardless the color of the witch….and hunting is the main clause when civility and civilization considered!
The civility cares and address the “hunt” much more seriously than with a case of a “witch” or whatever else associated with it,,,, the “hunt”.

March 31, 2018 12:41 pm

“It’s not a crime if you believe it, Jerry.”

March 31, 2018 12:44 pm

It is ironic that this happened in Boston. Under this Judge’s analysis, I suppose the Boston Marathon Bombers were also innocent.

March 31, 2018 1:23 pm

Note to the fossil fuel industry: follow all laws exactly and jump through all regulatory hurdles precisely, regardless how mendacious and time consuming, or be subject to debilitating legal and social retribution. And by the way, at the end of the day we can, of course, choose to shut you down anyway because feelings & justice & stuff.
Note to eco-terrorists: don’t worry, we got your back.
It’s past the point of absurdity now. I am becoming genuinely afraid. What recourse will a private consultant – like me – or a business with multiple employees have when an activist destroys the equipment necessary to operate? The courts, both criminal and civil, appear to be heading to the position wherein the destruction of my livelihood will be allowed simply because an eco-terrorist “believes” that what they are doing is necessary to prevent some undefined potential future problem.

March 31, 2018 1:37 pm

As far as can be told at this time, the judges decision has not actually been issued, made public, or published.
Advocates for the protesters have claimed a certain result — which according to The Independent (UK) is NOT TRUE.
The criminal charges were dropped and they were in the end charged with to “civil infractions” (like a jaywalking ticket).
The judge then [maybe] found them ‘not responsible’ — why we don’t know yet — the ruling will be published and filed as a official act. Until then, we just don’t know.
This similar to the cheering from skeptics in the ExxonKnew San Francisco trial, where claims were made the the judge had issued a partial ruling the dismissed part of the case. That too is apparently Not True.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 31, 2018 3:05 pm

I Wouldn’t belive anything published in the Independent. Nor any other newspaper in the UK. They are all infused with the same left wing, chicken licken bias.

Reply to  HotScot
March 31, 2018 3:37 pm

Hot ==> The purpose of the quote is that some reporter actually tried to get an official confirmation of the “verdict”…. and got someone in the court to talk and wrote “However, one member of the court’s staff who asked not to be named, confirmed to The Independent the judge had found them not responsible. The person denied, however, that the judge had made the ruling on the grounds of legal necessity.”
So, yeah, as I said — we will have to wait for some official statement or document to be released…otherwise we are dealing with RUMORS.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Kip Hansen
April 2, 2018 2:30 pm

So…the judge found them innocent by reason of insanity because she is also insane? 😎
(SOMEBODY had to say it!)

March 31, 2018 2:04 pm

On the basis of this judgement, anti-abortion activists should be able to shut down abortion providers without legal penalties.

Lance of BC
March 31, 2018 2:19 pm

Ahaaa… a false story about false acquittal Kip? Maybe Russian agiprop? Hehe!
Anywho, by the group photo it makes you wonder how these people meet and plan their trench raid? Do they need a handicab to get there or walker assessable ramps to get into said trench?
We will fight them in the trenches in the level lands and the mole hillz! Oh the horrors of the trench, hilly and maybe muddy and no wifi, fighting for that 1 or 2 degrees in a hundred years or so!!! Which everyway we’ll all be dead!!!! Victory!! 🙂

March 31, 2018 2:35 pm

Honestly how can these judges expect compliance with their orders when they obviously excuse law breaking? Are we all now to choose which laws we disagree with and break them?

March 31, 2018 2:35 pm

Honestly how can these judges expect compliance with their orders when they obviously excuse law breaking? Are we all now to choose which laws we disagree with and break them?

Johannes Herbst
March 31, 2018 4:00 pm

on high sea and before court, you are in God’s hands, is an old German saying.
And sometimes he delays action…

March 31, 2018 4:49 pm

Climate change made me do it.

March 31, 2018 5:05 pm

I am sure that ISIS supporters believe in what they do as well.
In fact, ISIS terrorists show more commitment.

March 31, 2018 8:41 pm

The only way we can stop judicial lunacy is to break into this woman’s home and trash it. I sincerely believe this — it’s a necessity, gnome sayin’?

March 31, 2018 9:13 pm

This opens up some ugly possibilities, and it should be shut down before it comes to it’s (il)logical conclusion…
* “climate change activist” comes yelling+screaming at you
* you pull out a gun and fill them with lead
* at your murder trial your defense is that “you feared for your life”
* when judge asks why you didn’t flee and call police, point to this incident as cause for reasonable belief that if “climate change activist” killed you, they wouldn’t be convicted of murder, and therefore they had nothing to fear if they killed you
This decision is the first step to anarchy.

David Cage
March 31, 2018 10:31 pm

I used to believe you were innocent until proven guilty. Why does the judge accept climate change as a defence if the crime of climate vandalism has not been proven in court beyond all reasonable doubt?
This biassed and ignorant judge has accepted climate change as proven when it has never even been tested in court and the nearest thing to it has been thrown out.

Dale S
April 1, 2018 8:24 am

Aside from all the fair criticism generated at this decision, there’s one particularly head scratching element not yet mentioned — Gore et al were disrupting the construction of a *natural gas* pipeline. The increased use of natural gas from fracking has displaced other fossil fuels and caused CO2 emissions to be *lower* — I don’t think that’s necessarily desirable in itself, but since Gore et al certainly do, the necessity defense seems particularly poor. Further, in the absence of a pipeline the demand for gas won’t go away, it will instead be transported by rail and truck — consuming more fossil fuels in the process.
If you were single-mindedly and religiously devoted to reducing the horrifying impact of the world getting slightly warmer very gradually, logically you should support both fracking and pipelines.

Robert W Turner
April 1, 2018 8:54 am

Where are the checks and balance on the judicial branch? Industry needs to fight back and give these morons what they want, no fossil fuels.

Juan Carlos Frederico de Alvarez
April 1, 2018 9:54 am

Weak moraled judge

Reply to  Juan Carlos Frederico de Alvarez
April 1, 2018 10:45 am

A good judge… 🙂

April 1, 2018 10:12 am

Normally, to establish a necessity defense—a tall order—a defendant must prove that:
there was a specific threat of significant, imminent danger’
She wasn’t stopping the threat. She was trespassing and disturbing the peace. Her actions CANNOT be construed as having had any capability of stopping “climate change.”
‘there was an immediate necessity to act’
Not really.
‘there was no practical alternative to the act’
The ballot box. Oh . . . you lost, Honey.
‘the defendant didn’t cause or contribute to the threat’
‘he or she acted out of necessity at all times, and
the harm caused wasn’t greater than the harm prevented.’
She didn’t prevent anything. She was showing her heiny to the world.
‘The defendant must reasonably have believed that there was an actual and specific threat that required immediate action’
What threat was jumping a fence supposed to stop?
‘The defendant must have had no realistic alternative to completing the criminal act’
Going home was a realistic alternative.
‘The harm caused by the criminal act must not be greater than the harm avoided’
No harm was avoided, nor could it be.
‘The defendant did not himself contribute to or cause the threat’
Finding – quickly – two legal definitions of the necessity defense, it appears our judge is out in Left field, applying her policy preferences, and not a legal determination. To wit, as commentators above have said, the court is now free to do whatever it wants.

Reply to  Gamecock
April 1, 2018 2:56 pm

The US is literally descending into anarchy, chaos and lawlessness. It appears that each member of the judiciary now operates as some sort of independent Robber Baron. If you guys don’t start taking these lunatics down there are going to be dire consequences indeed.

Reply to  cephus0
April 1, 2018 7:31 pm

The real problem of course is the stupidocraty. The schools have utterly failed to form citizens with the ability to use reason. Of course many Americans have reason but it’s probably a nice accident that school has not undermined it (it’s probably much worse in Europe).
There is one good reason for rejecting 911 trutherism: it’s BS. Not that bad acts by US agencies are fundamentally implausible. The rate of rejecting of 911 trutherism does not represent the rate of rejection of the ridiculous claims (of “free fall” or “easiest path”); they represent the conjonction of the rejection of the absurd physical claims and rejection of the idea of US agencies conspiring to hide the truth (that I consider more plausible). Same for any ridiculous “Apollo is fake” claim (ignorance and lack of logic). But my musing in the stupidic(*) land of Apollo rejection showed that many people who defended the fact “Moon landings are real” lacked the ability to use logic correctly (some going as far as implying that if you reject the Moon landings, you cannot use any NASA measurement of any probe, ever – and that passed for sound defense of the Apollo missions, among “rationalists”!).
(*) stupidic doesn’t spell check (I just made it up), but neither does “ideation”
But there is no short path to reject trutherism: you need to evaluate the technical claims. Or at least a sampling of it (you don’t have to eat an egg completely to determine it’s rotten).
Why would all claims of NASA re: Apollo be true? They don’t have to be if only because among the piles of documents some minor errors can be made (and I believe one was found as a few Apollo photos had incorrect meta data).
It’s never “ideation” to claim that some claim from an official, well respected (**) body must be false.
(**) The respect for NASA went down, but I believe NASA was quite respected at the time.
But any person with a modicum of common sense and basic physics knowledge should be able to see that some claims by each of these truther groups are preposterous. And conclude that these people are full of it.
The same goes for some ridiculous claims of CDC about the usefulness of some vaccines (sometime against infections that occur at a rate on the order of one per 100,000 children in the US, an implicit claim that serious side effect rate is largely below that level, a ridiculous claim for any drug).
And some SkS claims so preposterous I don’t know how they get away with it (readers of SkS should be some vague understanding of high school physics). I like the SkS claim that while electronic thermometers emit heat, that’s fine because there is thermal isolation around the electronic device: according to that naive description, there would be not way for the heat to escape from the electronic device, ever. The temp should rise to infinity. Literally.
CDC, SkS, truthers, they belong in the same bag. Of course the skepticism of some “skeptic” or “rationalist” groups is more targeted to truthers or the craziest critics of vaccines (“mind control” BS) than to equally dishonest and inept SkS, CDC and other promoters of many drugs with marginal benefits (which is pretty much all drugs used for prevention).
The most abject lack of logic I have witness were among defenders of vaccines, defenders of Apollo, opponents of Apollo, truthers and proponents of “gun control”.

April 1, 2018 11:33 am

So, what about if the protestors destroy the judge’s car or house or whatever, because of climate change. That’s OK, right? Just saying what a slippery slope……..

April 1, 2018 2:48 pm

This totalitarian would-be dictator activist thug-in-a-frock is way overdue for a very long extended visit to the state pen.

April 1, 2018 3:31 pm

* Set fire to the judge’s house, because of all the fossil fuel required to maintain it. One less person’s house contributing to reducing fossil fuel usage means that a threat to using more fossil fuel has been eliminated.
* Disable the judge’s car. Apply a similar line of reasoning as above — a threat to using more fossil fuel has been reduced somewhat, even with one attack. Now trash all the lawyers’ cars involved in defending the Gore girl.
* Rip the cloths from the judge’s body, rendering her naked, because fossil fuel must be used to manufacture them.
By the judge’s seeming own logic, these actions are necessary for the benefit of society.

David LM
April 1, 2018 4:33 pm

Dreadful precedent towards lawlessness and anarchy. Just a matter of time until someone can be justifiably murdered on the basis of their skepticism of climate change.

April 2, 2018 10:23 am

The insanity defense lives.

April 2, 2018 10:27 am

“Yes, Judge Driscoll, I find it absolutely necessary to set up my lawn chair and bring my portable TV into the middle of your courtroom. I need to call attention to the stupidity associated with your previous decision. AND, based on your previous decision, I am free to do so because I invoke the “necessity defense”. It is necessary to interrupt your court room in order to protect the honor and integrity of all other courtrooms in the country. Yes, I do disagree with YOUR stupidity … but I in order to protect others, I have not only the right, but the responsibility to stand up for all other good judges in the country. I believe with all my heart that I am entitled to be here, and that I am providing for the greater good.
“… will you please bring me a beer?”

Joel Snider
April 2, 2018 12:15 pm

Classic example of a hack-judge, basing decisions upon personal prejudice instead of law. THIS is the ‘deep state’ – and it’s also one more mechanism that unscrews the very foundations of our society – since we can no longer trust judges to enforce laws, they simply don’t mean anything anymore.
If the law suits their purpose they enforce it, if not they ignore it.
This is part of the problem in dealing with a movement who’s only goal is destruction of the system – any damage they do, simply furthers the cause. While they simply flout the rules, they hold us to them – binding us, essentially, by our own ethic.
Inherent in ‘higher-cause’ morality.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Joel Snider
April 2, 2018 3:12 pm

Good comment.
I would add that the “Founding Fathers” of the US assumed that a Judge would put the Law as written above their personal beliefs or politics. (“I believe this is wrong but the Law says it’s OK, therefore…)
They made a similar mistake in assuming the runner up in a Presidential Election should be the Vice President. They didn’t see the Two Party System at first but quickly fixed it. (Imagine if Al Gore was GW Bush’s Vice President? (Yeah, I know. The “Vice” part fits.))
Too bad before a Judge can be considered for Fed or State level office they don’t have to pass a reading compression test based on the 1776 definitions of the words written in the Constitution and, more importantly, The Bill of Rights.
It is The Bill of Rights that those flawed but wise men wrote to bring and keep their dream alive.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
You can point fingers at the flaws of the individuals involved back then, but what would you edit out of those words to achieve “The Cause”?