Friday, June 13, 2008

Climate Change Protests Halt Coal Train in UK

Climate change activists have halted a train laden with coal as it headed towards Drax power plant, the largest coal plant in the UK and second largest carbon source in Europe.

Leave it In The Ground is apparently one of the groups involve although The Coal Hole are also connected. [UPDATE: The Climate Camp are also involved the question will soon be who isn't involved!] And a nice simple message that is to! It feels a bit more solid than asking for emissions trading, doesn't it? Cap and trade looks like the system that will be replicated the world over, but gaming of the system seems to be a very real probability. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is a somewhat less tricky system when it comes to assessing the success.

James Hansen, NASA's chief climate scientist has stressed the necessity of stopping the exploitation of coal reserves, which if burnt--even over centuries--will release enough carbon to completely destroy the stability of Earth's atmosphere.

I had an interesting email exchange with Donald Brown of the Rock Ethics Institute about the moral case for taking non-violent action against coal power. I think that this argument, for illegal but highly moral action is strong. That being said I'm not going to endorse such action; that wouldn't be smart.

The BBC and Observer have picked up on this story and hopefully we will see more press as the day goes on. [UPDATE: Bibi from the Guardian has now penned a sympathetic piece.] [UPDATE 2: The Times have just published a piece and Indymedia coverage is improving].

The press association has also just done a story, i particularly like the following quote:

The activists say they will not leave the train until Drax's chief executive
Dorothy Thompson explains how the company's emissions of 20 million tonnes of
CO2 a year is compatible with tackling climate change.

What are the people behind this audacious stunt thinking?

What does it look like on the scene?

[UPDATE 3: Merrik has produced a rundown of where this latest action finds itself in the general battle over coal in the UK]

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