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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Climate Change on Trial in Case of Delta 5 Oil Train Protesters

© RisingTideSeattle / Facebook
Five environmental activists who blocked a train carrying crude oil for eight hours are allowed to use the “necessity defense” in their trial which began this week.

The protesters, known as the Delta 5 and part of the group Rising Tide Seattle, tied themselves to a 25-foot tripod on a rail line in the US state of Washington to block a train carrying crude oil.

Following an unprecedented ruling by the presiding judge, Delta 5’s legal team can argue their actions were necessary to prevent the greater harm caused by the fossil fuels, including climate change.

When they blocked the train near the city of Everett, they shut down work at its destination railyard which is used to transport crude to nearby oil refineries and export coal to Canada.

The group are charged with criminal trespass and blocking a train.

As part of their defense, they will call Richard Gammon, a University of Washington scientist who will help lay out the argument that climate change is more dangerous than the group’s alleged crimes of trespassing and blocking a train.

This is an argument that Delta 5 must lose if there is any sanity left in the world. The great pause in global warming (18.6 years now with no global warming) ought to be proof that the 'science' of global warning is completely wrong and man's contribution to it is in serious doubt.

Prof Murry Salby makes an excellent case for the idea that CO2 doesn’t drive the temperature, but the temperature drives CO2. His meticulous research reveals that increased CO2 follows increased temperatures rather than the reverse. 

He calculated that 96% of CO2 that enters the atmosphere comes from the ground, not man-made activity. He also determined that the amount of CO2 that comes from the ground is determined by the temperature, and to a lesser amount, the moisture content of the ground.

Research Lord Christopher Monkton for much, much more on the global warming scam.

“Conduct is justified if it is necessary and appropriate to avoid harm clearly greater than the harm which might result from such conduct and the situation developed through no fault of the actor,” argued the defense.

Only days before the trial, the judge rejected their use of the necessity defense based on previous cases, but after a Motion to Reconsider was filed, the decision was reversed.

“We are thrilled that we’re able to argue the necessity defense,” Abby Brockway, one of the five defendants and member of Rising Tide Seattle, told the US program Democracy Now! “This is our last chance to actually argue this… so we’re going to move forward with a week-long trial and talk about why we had to be trespassing… in the rail yard.”


The group wants a rejection of permits for all new fossil fuel projects in the state of Washington and a halt to the transport of fossil fuels through the Pacific Northwest.

The group are concerned over the transport of oil, particularly the highly-volatile Bakken oil carried by the derailed train that exploded and killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec in 2013.

A report by the Sightline Institute says “Northwest oil train terminals" could produce an extra 114,000 barrels per day, resulting in 30 million tons per year of carbon dioxide, "the equivalent of doubling the number of cars on the road in Oregon and Washington”.

“There came a point where I could no longer sit back and wait for the politicians to act,” said Delta 5 member Patrick Mazza told Grist. “I had to put my body on the line to demand not talk, but action on a massive scale to rapidly replace fossil fuels.”

I won't argue that it wouldn't be good to replace fossil fuels with cleaner, less dangerous sources of energy. It certainly would be good to get oil trains, and oil tankers off our rails, roads, and oceans, but the urgency of doing so is dramatically hyped. It will make no difference in the global temperature.