Climate change and energy roundup


  • In regard to the “necessity defense”, isn’t this very similar to the anti abortion activists’ claim which has been rejected by the courts 100% of the time?

    • The traditional notion of “justice” is rapidly being replaced by “social justice.”

      What other imminent catastrophes are out there sufficient to justify a criminal act? A whole universe of them, I suspect, just waiting to be discovered by clever lawyers and compliant judges.

      It’s a slippery slope from the M’Naghten Rule to the Twinkie Defense.

  • You can call me a “conspiracy theorist” if you want, but there is a reason that the KGB funded the environmentalist groups in the 60’s and 70’s. There is a reason that the largest part of the Soviet Navy was dedicated to submarines.
    I lived in Pennsylvania when the incident at Three Mile Island happened. When I went to college in 2002-2007 one of my professors explained TMI to us as an example of good design. The people responding to the incident did almost everything wrong and the safety features designed in to the reactor prevented a major catastrophe. It was just coincidence that the movie “China Syndrome” was released at the same time, or was it? When I was in the Navy in the 80’s, we used to have an annual briefing on Soviet intentions. I’d like to have transcripts of those briefings now.

    • Interesting that the Navy has operated hundreds of reactors without incident for 50 years. All run by, mostly, 19-21 year olds.

      • I’m willing to bet that naval reactors are run with far greater discipline than are civilian reactors and with less focus on the bottom line. They are also small and conveniently contained. By the same token, there have been very few problems with research reactors run by scientists. Its not that nuclear reactors are inherently unsafe. The problem is that when power companies run them they get sloppy and cut corners.

        • Actually, the civilian reactors are run by 25 year old former naval nuclear reactor operators. They are still highly skilled and highly disciplined, plus they are working under much simpler circumstances. A huge portion of civilian nuclear power plant employees came from the navy nuclear program.

  • The necessity defense trades on future harms that are debatable and far in the future, but ignores clear immediate harms that result from their actions. Those denied jobs or heat suffer a real and immediate harm.

    • I cannot speak to WA law on the necessity defense.

      However, I have seen a CA trial in which the necessity defense was raised.

      Some points below on your comment that the defense “ignores clear immediate harms that result from their actions”.

      In CA, the harm to be prevented must be immediate, and the defendant must prove that to a judge or jury once the defense is raised.

      What the WA court apparently ruled is that the defense can be raised.

      At least in CA, and possibly in WA, the initial burden for raising the defense is only that defendant satisfy the court that he can produce admissible evidence which supports each element of the defense.

      The defendant’s burden once the defense is permitted, is to convince the trier of fact that each element of the defense is proved.

      What the WA court has ruled is only that the necessity defense can be raised.

      Again, in CA, two more significant elements of the defense are that the illegal act of defendant must not create a greater harm than the harm to be prevented, and the unlawful action must have no reasonable legal alternative.

      Evidence to support those claims might be produced, but that evidence might not convince a jury or judge.

      • Mr. or Ms. Passant (may I call you “En?”), I gather from your remarks that you find the way this works in California to be reassuring.
        I do not.
        Judges, and prosecutors, see e.g. Kim Foxx, are increasingly comfortable with allowing their political beliefs and allegiances to take precedence over their primary duties. It does not help that they frequently are defended by the press.

        If the legislature wants to create such a defense, fine, let them do it and take the consequences.