The GOOD 100: The Kingsnorth Six

Doing Justice to Climate Activism Michael Wolkind is the lawyer who defended the Greenpeace activists for disrupting operations at a British...

Doing Justice to Climate Activism

Michael Wolkind is the lawyer who defended the Greenpeace activists for disrupting operations at a British coal power plant.

In October, 2007, six Greenpeace activists climbed the chimney at the Kingsnorth power station, a coal and oil plant, in Kent, England. The dramatic 650-foot ascent was followed by a frightening rappel down the side to paint a political message.

They did it as a protest against a dirty plant and a shocking government policy to build a second plant at the same site, one which could emit as much carbon dioxide as the world's 30 least polluting countries combined.

They did it knowing that they were bound to be charged with criminal offenses.In September, 2008, their high-profile trial began, with the defendants charged with causing criminal damage, or, as I described it to the jury, "six of the nicest defendants ever to be in a dock and accused of trying to save the planet."

Their defense was to argue their right to cause damage while the world was under threat. Jurors must have been moved as they were shown how flooding could affect their own towns, their own homes.

I had to acknowledge that a vociferous minority continued to deny the evidence for climate change, so I "flirted" with a juror wearing a Frank Zappa T-shirt by quoting the brilliant musician: "Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe."

Our jury was not stupid.

The statutory defense I adapted relied on the idea of emergency trespass and incidental damage, such as when you break down a neighbor's fence to extinguish a fire in their garden.

I asked the jury to accept that "the defendants acted to put out the coal fire and save the Earth because so much is in danger and immediate action is called for. Not tomorrow, but now."

The jury accepted the Greenpeace position that "every ton of carbon dioxide burnt makes a difference; it makes an immediate contribution to the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and a long-term, irreversible contribution to the greenhouse effect."

The "establishment" may have expected easy convictions at trial. The actions of the Kingsnorth Six, and their acquittal, have brought comfort to activists and encouraged them to stand by their own convictions.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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