Snohomish County Courthouse. Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Convicted Climate Criminals Saddened They Are Not Above the Law

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; Arrogant climate vandals want the power to destroy or disrupt vital infrastructure without legal repercussions. Thankfully on this occasion at least, the judge said “no”.

Ordinary people trying to save the world

New film depicts the lives and struggles of climate activists

Patrick Mazza

In 2014, after actively working on the climate issue through conventional, legal means since the mid-1990s, frustrated by the continuing slide toward climate catastrophe, I engaged in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience. Five of us and our friends erected a tripod across a track in front of an oil train at the BNSF Delta Yard in Everett, Washington. The Delta 5, as we came to be known, held position on the tripod for the next eight hours. The action is portrayed in the opening scenes of The Race to Save the World, a documentary focusing on the lives and struggles of grassroots climate activists, including one of my partners in the Delta 5 action, Abby Brockway, who sat atop the tripod 18 feet in the air. (I show up in a few walk-ons through the film.) 

The movie also portrays our court trial, a seminal event in which we presented the first climate civil disobedience necessity defense in a U.S. courtroom, and the second in the world. We argued that though we broke the law, it was necessary to avert the greater harms of climate disruption and oil train explosions. More on that a little later. 

Judge Anthony Howard was persuaded to allow us to present a necessity defense. We brought on a number of expert witnesses on climate and oil train risks. After arguments were completed, he retired to his chambers to decide whether to let the jury consider the evidence. When the trial came back into session, he said, “These defendants are tireless advocates of the kind we need in this society to prevent the kind of catastrophic effects we see coming and that our politicians are ineffectively addressing.”  But he concluded we had not made the case that we had no reasonable legal alternative to breaking the law. In the end, we were convicted of 2nd degree criminal trespass and sentenced to two years on probation. We met members of the jury in the hall afterwards who told us they would have voted to acquit if they had been able to consider the necessity evidence. 

Read more:

The necessity defence makes sense if someone is in immediate mortal danger. If the only way to save someone involves committing an act which would normally be considered criminal, such as breaking someone elses window, or attacking an aggressor to prevent an assault, it is entirely reasonable for someone in those circumstances to be excused for their actions.

But it is utterly absurd to apply this defence to the alleged climate crisis. These climate criminals have no permission from society for their criminal actions, and nobody’s life is in immediate danger.

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May 23, 2021 2:05 am

Great post. Thanks.

May 23, 2021 2:21 am

Eric, I’m afraid that ship has sailed, for the UK at least (London, April 23, 2021):

Extinction Rebellion: Jury acquits protesters despite judge’s direction

Reply to  Jit
May 23, 2021 3:22 am

Previously, the Court of Public opinion gave judgement thusly:

Angry commuters drag XR protesters off top of Tube train and attack them on platform

Climate believer
Reply to  fretslider
May 23, 2021 4:15 am

Yes, a real social justice.

Reply to  Climate believer
May 23, 2021 5:15 am

Safe and effective response by the crowd.

At least two activists will be more thoughtful about future protests.

Reply to  Scissor
May 24, 2021 12:55 pm

Sorry, however, the passengers were not very effective, as these buffoons should have been turned into bio-mass.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Jit
May 23, 2021 8:03 am

The precedent has ben set for all planet saving extremists in the UK unfortunately.

Vegan extremists block McDonald’s distribution sites for a SECOND day before police finally move in to make eight arrests as barricades are lifted

Animal Rebellion had blocked distribution sites in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Manchester

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 23, 2021 4:10 pm

Basingstoke! Sheesh! What a shithole!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 23, 2021 4:52 pm

I think I’ve heard of it. Is it near Newnham?

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
May 23, 2021 5:03 pm

Newnham biggest shit hole on the entire planet

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Skeptic
May 23, 2021 11:15 pm

You havent seen Pwll in Newport, dear oh god.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
May 24, 2021 7:57 am

Try Magdeburg – no wonder people risked death trying to escape East Germany….

By the way, Balloon is an excellent film.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Gerry, England
May 24, 2021 11:28 pm

Seen it. It is good.

Jake Sinclair
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 23, 2021 4:12 pm

for Pete’s sake, beef is plant based nutrition for healthy minds and bodies

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Jake Sinclair
May 23, 2021 9:37 pm

And coal, oil and gas are 100% naturally sourced. All organic.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Jit
May 23, 2021 11:15 pm

Yet here they were convicted.

The judge should have overruled the jury in the first case, he has to enforce law, and juries do not make law.

B Clarke
May 23, 2021 2:24 am

” These defendants are tireless advocates of the kind we need in this society to prevent the kind of catastrophic effects we see coming and that our politicians are ineffectively addressing.”  

As I commented on a article last night the judges and institutions are all on board with the climate lie.

” catastrophic effects we see coming ” so this judge can see into the future , he/she is basing a summing up in a court on speculation, plus we see the “Royal we” used as a type inference that “we” are all on board with speculation and “we” can all see into the future.

Well I can only conclude that the judge has been brainwashed, into believing climate models can predict the future ,thats assuming he understands climate models are a tool with no proven track record of predicting anything.

Its not totally the judges fault, the world wide msm have pushed this propaganda/ agenda for years ,with no balanced counter narrative.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  B Clarke
May 23, 2021 2:38 am

“catastrophic effects we see coming”! Wow, do you know what make of crystal ball they are using, is it discounted anywhere, Walmart maybe??? I am getting rather confused, is it a climate disaster, crisis, catastrophe, armageddon, or what??? ;-)) I think I’ll get my old Thesaurus out to look up some more adjectives!!!

B Clarke
Reply to  Alan the Brit
May 23, 2021 2:53 am

Yes the company is called “scrying” ,a device used by soothsayer, witches and the like to try to convince ( a often gullible) audience to believe in a future outcome ,the practitioner and device are often associated with magical,religious mumbo-jumbo (like climate models) are primarily designed to convince the gullible.

Reply to  B Clarke
May 23, 2021 6:19 am

Sounds like Weepy Bill is scrying non-stop

Reply to  Alan the Brit
May 23, 2021 3:02 am

The Judge can only act on the evidence provided. If the defence wheeled in ‘experts’ and the prosecution didn’t, the Judge has no option but to consider climate change a threat.

Reply to  HotScot
May 23, 2021 4:11 am

Yes I did wonder why none of the abundant counter evidence wasn’t presented.

Reply to  HotScot
May 23, 2021 5:29 am

You hit the nail on the head. As far as I know, no court case relating to climate change has tackled the issue head on and mounted a defence arguing about the absurdity of this man made climate change religion, e.g. all the predictions have been wrong, the models have been off target, the hockey stick graph was falsified, etc.

Reply to  Alan the Brit
May 23, 2021 3:43 pm

No, he must have. Pre-cogs as in ‘minority report’.

Reply to  B Clarke
May 23, 2021 1:29 pm

Sounds like the only “experts” the judge allowed to give evidence, were those who were willing to lie about the dangers of CO2. No realist experts were permitted, nor will they ever be.

B Clarke
Reply to  MarkW
May 23, 2021 1:56 pm

The experts from the defence thier submissions were also not taken into account by the jury ,so the judge directed the jury to find on a lesser charge which they did. Safe ground for the judge.if they were found guilty on more serious charges then a appeal would no doubt insued, pitting the prosecution against the defendents having to bring in thier own experts to argue against the main defence “necessity ” which the author of this article and fellow posters have already shown would be a easy case to win for the prosecution.

This would of been unacceptable in the current green climate , the protesters would of lost the argument of ” necessity ” for future protests.

The judge and his comments which I commented on is the key to this case it showed bias with a leaning to advocating this sort of behaviour, hence the outcome of the trial. This was a show trial ,a deal done behind closed doors by all parties involved.

Coruption through the courts.

Gary Pearse
May 23, 2021 2:29 am

How come people who do this kind of stuff are named “Abby Brockway”?

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 23, 2021 3:01 am

And why are they mostly so ugly?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
May 23, 2021 5:25 am

Because, other than using a pork chop, it is the only way for them to get any attention.

May 23, 2021 2:29 am

The real criminals are the alarmists. The ones who employ ipcress on the young and less well educated.

to prevent the kind of catastrophic effects we see coming 

Recently I was made aware of some frightening ‘facts’ by the Narrative Driven Media:

“The climate crisis is very likely to put millions of homes at increased risk of subsidence, according to new data from the British Geological Survey (BGS). The hotter and drier summers being driven by global heating mean the ground under houses will shrink and crack, scientists said.

The key areas affected are London, Essex, Kent, and a swathe of land from Oxford up to the Wash. This is because the clay formations underlying these areas are most vulnerable to losing moisture.”

Living as I do on the clay of South West London, I was much amused by this latest scare and rightly so:

It is sad to see what used to be a serious, scientific body prostitute itself to global warming scaremongering:

A study three years ago analysed the number of subsidence insurance claims, and found that they have actually been dropping since the 1990s:

New BGS Data 
These days any old model will do – no matter how detached from reality it might be. 

Trebles all round

Reply to  fretslider
May 23, 2021 3:48 am

Back in 1975 and 1976 in the UK we had a particularly long dry period.
A hydrologist acquaintance researching soil moisture found that the moisture content of soil below a metre didn’t change.
His conclusion, make proper foundations and you reduce the risk of subsidence to virtually nil.

Reply to  StephenP
May 23, 2021 4:08 am

In 1976 the pubs ran out of beer. I remember that well. A really hot summer.

And everybody enjoyed it.

Last edited 1 year ago by strativarius
Reply to  fretslider
May 23, 2021 9:12 am

I remember it too: longer and hotter than any Summer since in the UK. My parents had to install their bed in the garden to get any sleep.

Strangely enough, no one ascribed it to CC back then.

Ed Zuiderwijk
May 23, 2021 3:10 am

Were they sent to jail? I know of a suitable one in Murmansk. It has cells without heating and is open for guests in winter.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
May 23, 2021 9:14 am

Some Greenpeace clowns spent several months there after invading a Russian oilrig. Greenpeace haven’t messed with the Russians since.

Bruce Cobb
May 23, 2021 3:58 am

Of course, the real climate criminals are the ones who perpetuate the Big Lie about manmade climate change, or what they now like to call the “climate crisis”.
Paraphrasing George Monbiot, “when we’ve finally gotten serious about the [Lies about a “climate crisis”], when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 23, 2021 4:18 am

You’re thinking of David Roberts, Grist, 2006:

“It’s about the climate-change “denial industry,”… we should have war crimes trials for these bastards – some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

It seems obvious to me that while XR and friends think they are the Rebel Alliance, they’re actually the Galactic Empire.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Jit
May 23, 2021 9:15 am

It seems obvious to me that while XR and friends think they are the Rebel Alliance, they’re actually the Galactic Empire.

Actually they’re just ignorant fools with no understanding of fundamental logic. Nearly all of their beliefs are flawed by logical fallacies.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 23, 2021 3:07 pm

I’m sure there will be a ‘Climate Nuremberg’, just not the one the alarmists are expecting….

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
May 23, 2021 5:30 pm

I expect to see Climate Change POLICY crimes against humanity trials
To be held in the poorest country in Africa denied reliable power
With a jury of people kept in subsistence farming by green imperialists.

I will donate to that

Steve Richards
May 23, 2021 5:00 am

Off thread but I thought you may like to see how the British media is reporting on the state that California is in:

Ron Long
May 23, 2021 6:03 am

Reminds me of the video of the Timber harvest protestors in Oregon, where I grew up. A protestor had settled into a platform about 50 feet up a large Douglas Fir, The logger started the wedge-shaped falling cut, then went around for the final cut. He looked up and shouted to the protestor “hold on real tight”, whereupon the protestor scrambled down from the tree.

May 23, 2021 6:08 am

Legal experts, please help me out:
Does this pass the smell test?

….retired to his chambers to decide whether to let the jury consider the evidence.

…concluded we had not made the case that we had no reasonable legal alternative to breaking the law.

…members of the jury in the hall afterwards who told us they would have voted to acquit if they had been able to consider the necessity evidence.

If I’ve parsed that correctly, members of the jury, after convicting these criminals, stated after the trial was over, that they would not have convicted if they had considered evidence that they were not allowed to hear at trial.

I’ve been selected to serve on a jury once. I swore an oath that I would consider the evidence and judge it according to the law and my conscience. Evidence that we were not allowed to hear, we never heard. Evidence that was given to the jury we considered according to the judge’s instructions.

These whiners claimed that they’d had some substantial testimony that the court decided wasn’t at all useful to the alleged offense.

Of what significance is a hallway conversation with an alleged, discharged juror, no longer under oath, on the importance to the trial of non-evidence that was not presented?

Sounds like climate justice to me.

Last edited 1 year ago by dk_
Reply to  dk_
May 23, 2021 8:31 am

Sounds like bullshit to me.

Reply to  Mr.
May 23, 2021 1:13 pm

I think Mr., that we are probably in violent agreement. Climate Justice doesn’t make sense. If not an oxymoron, it is still foolish word play. I would appreciate analysis from a constitutional scholar, but until proven otherwise, anyone who uses that term sincerely has identified themselves as the enemy or as a green fool. I choose to assume the former.

Last edited 1 year ago by dk_
May 23, 2021 6:27 am

Following the links, from the first article, included in reviews of the film:

Testimonials have come in from climate leaders including scientists James Hansen and Michael Mann, Bill McKibben, Greenpeace leaders Jennifer Morgan and Annie Leonard, Post Carbon Institute Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg, and Denis Hayes,

Aren’t these seven of the ten least credible greencreeps list?
Recipients of Rockefeller and Bloomberg green goon money, all!

Steven Miller
May 23, 2021 6:56 am

I was assigned to a ladder truck long ago. We once responded to a secured area of our local sea port after some eco-freaks hung a huge banner and themselves off of a giant conveyer belt assembly using rope and climbing equipment. They hung themselves on the bottom of the banner to keep it from being cut down. They completely stopped the loading of coal onto a cargo ship for several hours. Everything was hunky dory until the wind came up and started violently flapping their giant banner and them and puting them in danger. So then it became the fire department’s responsibility to help them down.

After the ordeal nothing was done to them, none of their equipment was confiscated, and none of them were charged with trespassing, creating a nuisance, diverting city resources, or disrupting port operations which obviously cost someone a lot of money.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Steven Miller
May 23, 2021 9:24 am

After the ordeal nothing was done to them

That’s because large numbers of people ignorantly consider them to be heroes. Clearly their activism is more important than the lives of those who saved their lives. There is something wrong with that formula. The Darwin awards were intended as posthumous reminders of their hubris.

Paul Johnson
May 23, 2021 9:23 am

“I engaged in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience”.
This is a popular claim of “activists”, harkening back to Ghandi and also the U.S. Civil Rights era. In committing an act of Civil Disobedience, however, one is intentionally violating an unjust law and must be willing to be tried, convicted and sentenced to draw attention to the injustice. It is disingenuous to claim the mantra of Civil Disobedience and then present a necessity defense for an act of eco-extortion.

George Daddis
Reply to  Paul Johnson
May 23, 2021 10:11 am

This applies also to the social justice warriors that claim they burned, looted and violently resisted arrest but expect to get off because it was for a “righteous cause”.

Unfortunately our current US VP agrees and helped raise funds for bail. The DAs in many of those cities refused to press charges.

May 23, 2021 9:42 am

As China is the world’s largest emitter of CO2 and continues to increase emissions, I fail to understand why these people aren’t perpetrating these action in China.

There must be some kind of a reason.

May 23, 2021 9:48 am

8 hours to clear the tracks of an obstruction is a problem. Why that long?

May 23, 2021 10:08 am

Alveda King, Martin Luther Kings niece, said that during one of the protests she attended with her uncle, she saw another protester being attacked. She attempted to help defend the protester and both were arrested and jailed. After spending the night in jail, she asked why nobody bailed her out. The response was that she knew that the protest were to be completely non violent and she violated that rule so they had no obligation to bail her out.

If these protestor are unwilling to pay the price for their actions, they have no business protesting because they don’t completely believe in what they are protesting for. The way to win any argument is not to present the strongest case but to expose the weakness in the arguments of the other side. Martin Luther King did this with non violence. Unfortunately the warmers will not listen to our argument so without knowing it, they have already lost. If they should win, it will only be the result of making more noise and not because they are correct.

Reply to  Wiltsie
May 23, 2021 12:27 pm

Dang, you beat me to it! Shoulda refreshed before adding my own two cents of MLK.

May 23, 2021 10:34 am

Perhaps they should read MLK Jr’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, where he discusses how going to jail is what shows how seriously you take your actions.

If you aren’t willing to go to jail to show how serious you are, and how serious you think the problem is, then it really isn’t all that serious, is it?

Just like rejecting nuclear power shows how little you believe we will reach the tipping point of no return in 10 years, whining about going to jail shows it even more so.

I believe in all sorts of things, like self-ownership, government incompetence, and the non-aggression principle. If I truly thought a short spell in jail would improve liberty, for myself and others, I’d be banging on their doors demanding to live in jail.

May 23, 2021 10:47 am

“These defendants are tireless advocates of the kind we need in this society to prevent the kind of catastrophic effects we see coming and that our politicians are ineffectively addressing.”

I can tell the future too. If you pay me for my time, I will tell you what your future holds 100 years from now. Don’t worry, it will be correct as none of my predictions has ever failed. I have a money back guarantee too, so you have nothing to worry about.

Back in 1983, a friend of mine bet me $100 that there would be a nuclear war in 20 years. I immediately took the bet for two reasons. 1) I would never have to pay if I lost the bet. 2) No one can predict the future. He grudgingly paid up in 2003 after learning his lesson.

Reply to  Doonman
May 23, 2021 4:56 pm

Well, I hope you would have had the decency to feel foolish, and realized the errors in your logic, if India had nuked Pakistan, then …

Clyde Spencer
May 23, 2021 10:56 am

Where these righteous, self-appointed protesters fail is in recognizing the difference between a possibility with low-probability, and a high-probability event. Also, if a high-probability event appears to me imminent, then there is a greater justification for taking immediate action and not waiting for legal processes. However, the time-scale for the theoretical events is such that few of the protestors will even be alive. Because the science is not really settled, there is little confidence that the forecast events will ever happen. The track record for such forecasts is apparently not even as good as a carnival fortune teller! Thus, there is no legal or moral justification for acting as though they are above the law.

May 23, 2021 12:15 pm

Yes, “necessity” is only valid when there is a “clear and present danger.”

These idiots are playing with fire. There is valid necessity for immediate termination with extreme prejudice of those involved in many of their antics. (Such as blocking fire and/or emergency vehicles, sabotaging a natural gas pipeline, etc.)

May 23, 2021 3:12 pm

I can foresee that one of these “Delta 5” though their callous and infantile actions will be injured or even killed to the the unforeseen consequences of their actions, thus all should be locked up in an detention facility to protect themselves from their cavalier actions and to protect society from any and all potential that such actions may cause injury or the death of others.

May 23, 2021 5:18 pm

6 months in jail would have better, and set a precedent for stupid people to think about before being stupid.

Pat from kerbob
May 23, 2021 5:18 pm

“ and nobody’s life is in immediate danger.”

Nobodies life is in danger in the future either.
The worst the actual scientologist alarmism points to is that GDP will be slightly less massive than it otherwise will be and even that is conjecture.

How can people’s lives be in danger if GDP is going to double?

Pat from kerbob
May 23, 2021 5:24 pm

A few years back some free peace ecotards canoed on the Athabasca river into Suncor and caused some false trips of gear, then chained themselves to conveyors and other apparatus.
Lucky for them suncor has procedures so operators inspected the system instead of just hitting restart to see what happens, which could have been very messy

That too would have been a valuable lesson

Pat Frank
May 24, 2021 7:32 am

a number of expert witnesses on climate

None of whom had expert knowledge of climate.

May 25, 2021 9:59 pm

Jurors are falling for this crap, aren’t they.

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