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: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2018/03/judge_sets_aside_charges_in_pipeline_protest

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: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/sep/11/activists.kingsnorthclimatecamp

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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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

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

rogerthesurf

I wonder if the case will go to appeal?
Cheers
Roger
http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

Fredar

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.

jclarke341

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

Mihaly Malzenicky

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

Protect the world from what?

AllyKat

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

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).

RockyRoad

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

billw1984

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.

Louis

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

“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

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

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.

Barbara

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.
http://www.martinot.info/futures.htm

Ted

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

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

Greg Goodman

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

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.

Ian W

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

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

Leo Smith

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

RIP Dr David Kelly a very courageous man.

Luc Ozade

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

Latitude

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

Gary

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

Taphonomic

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

Craig

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

Clay Sanborn

Indeed

DonK31

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

AZ_Scouser

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

@RockyRoad…
Emphatically agree with that 100%

Sara

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.

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

Bobster

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

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.

s-t

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).

gnomish

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

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

MarkW

The great irony of socialism.

s-t

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

Latitude

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

Sommer

Does this ruling mean that if David Keith’s proposed experiment over Tucson, Arizona brings harm to people, he’ll get off the hook?
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/proposed-test-stirs-debate-solar-geoengineering-180962745/

Old England

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.

s-t

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

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.

Leo Smith

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

billw1984

I believe that appeals are only when the defendant loses.

Retired_Engineer_Jim

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.”

MarkW

This was Boston after all.

Greg Goodman

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

Retired_Engineer_Jim;
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.

s-t

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

mikebartnz

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

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

Bruce Cobb

No, you are wrong. It is Boston Mass.

MarkW

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.

Fredar

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.

philsalmon

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.
https://youtu.be/BL20Y7gC7AA
This is how civilisations die. By air-headed hubris of national power brokers such as judge Driscoll.

Nigel S

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

Leo Smith

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

philsalmon

Nigel
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.

Greg

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.

MarkW

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

Dodgy Geezer

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

Leo Smith

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

Christopher Paino

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

Killer Marmot

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

HotScot

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.

WXcycles

One word.
Ratshot

Harry Passfield

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.

thallstd

“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

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?

gnomish

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

s-t

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

hanelyp

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

MarkW

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

D. J. Hawkins

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

Greenpeace won’t be climbing Kingsnorth chimney again. Pity the chiney wasn’t tall enough for ‘Gordon is a moron’.
http://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/news/boom-kingsnorth-power-station-demolished-180163/

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

Ian Macdonald

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.

Albert

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.

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!

Greg

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.

MarkW

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.

MarkG

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

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.

s-t

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

Leo Smith

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.

Greg

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

MarkW

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

wws

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

What jury?
this decision was the activists alone.

Earthling2

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.

OweninGA

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.

willhaas

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

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.

Leo Smith

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

drednicolson

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.

MarkW

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

wws

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

MarkW

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

@drednicholson;
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.

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

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

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

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

HotScot

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

OweninGA

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

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

StephenP

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

WXcycles

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.

Gavin

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

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?

thallstd

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

Jones

The modelling behaviour is strong with this one…..

Bitter&twisted

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

No judge who isn’t corrupt.

Peta of Newark

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

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…

HotScot

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.

g

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

MarkW

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

Dodgy Geezer

…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…

HotScot

Dodgy
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

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.

gnomish

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.

CheshireRed

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

thomasjk

DRISCOLL, MARY ANN
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 …

Robertv

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’.
https://youtu.be/ewvqEqIXdhU

DR

I had this thrown at me the other day.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/03/15/the-first-climate-model-turns-50-and-predicted-global-warming-almost-perfectly/#fc5300c6614d
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.

DR

I had this thrown at me the other day:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/03/15/the-first-climate-model-turns-50-and-predicted-global-warming-almost-perfectly/#fc5300c6614d
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.

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?

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

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

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

Coach Springer

“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

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

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.

MarkW

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

cedarhill

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.

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

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

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.

techgm

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.

gnomish

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

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.

gnomish

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”
https://www.gq.com/story/john-walker-lindh-afghanistan-captured-taliban
” “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”
http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,187564,00.html

Steve Borodin

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

Steve B: See Greenpeace/Kingsnorth in the post. This defence has also been used successfully in UK for destruction of GM crops by Greenpeace.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2000/sep/21/activists.gmcrops
Lord Melchett of Greenpeace, no relation to General Melchett in the Flanders Pigeon Murderer case as far as I know.

Adam

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

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

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

thallstd

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

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).

HotScot

michael
Top comment. Especially weaving Suggs et al in there.
🤣

R Taylor

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

Stephen Skinner

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

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.”

AKSurveyor

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

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.

MarkW

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

co2islife

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
https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/sanctuary-cities-and-states-should-not-be-allowed-to-sue-in-federal-court-trump-should-nullify-california-vs-exxon/

Reg Nelson

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.

co2islife

“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

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