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A Washington State judge uses doubt on climate change as legal cause to block a climate activist’s defense

text-cat-question

 

Would  any judge question a  medical expert’s evidence in the way that this judge doubts the evidence of the world’s climate scientists? Then again – they do say that “the law is an ass”

Judge in environmental activist’s trial says climate change is matter of debate
Controversial statements angered environmentalists who insist courts have an obligation to recognize the science about manmade climate change,
Guardian,   31 Jan 17, A Washington state judge has sparked outrage for remarks questioning the existence of climate change and the role of humans in global warming.

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

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

Rickert’s controversial statements, along with his decision to block Ward from arguing that his pipeline protest was necessary to prevent harm to the planet, angered environmentalists who insist that American courts have an obligation to recognize the science and consensus among researchers about man-made climate change.

“I thought it was shocking and deeply worrisome for my case,” said Ward, 60, of Corbett, Oregon, who temporarily shut off the safety valve of the TransMountain pipeline in Skagit County. “We are in the late stages of global collapse, and to have someone who is presumably as knowledgeable and aware as a judge should be blithely dismissing the biggest problem facing the world is chilling.”

Ward, whose trial began on Monday, is part of a group of activists that targeted oil sands pipelines in Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota on 11 October 2016. The coordinated #ShutItDown actions – which have led to a dozen criminal cases and threats of hefty prison sentences against activists and journalists – was aimed at stopping 15% of US crude oil imports for a day.

He later added that with climate change, there’s “great controversy” with “over half of our political leaders”. (Critics have slammed the GOP as the “only major party in the advanced world” to deny climate change)……. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/31/environmental-activist-trial-judge-questions-climate-change-ken-ward

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February 1, 2017 - Posted by | climate change, Legal, USA

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