Six Greenpeace activists who vandalized a coal-fired power station in Britain have won acquittal using the threat of global warming as a defense, reports the Guardian. The activists, who caused more than $50,000 in damage to a smokestack, said they were trying to prevent property damage from the plant’s emissions to locations around the world. The verdict is expected to trigger similar protests.
The defendants cited hurricane damage in New Orleans and ice shelf erosion in Antarctica among the areas threatened by the plant, which emits more carbon dioxide than the 30 least-polluting nations in the world combined. One defendant called the acquittal a “potent challenge” to the British government’s plans for new coal-powered energy plants.