Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Climate scientist James Hansen arrested in mountaintop removal protest

SUNDIAL, West Virginia, June 23, 2009 (ENS) - West Virginia State Police today arrested at least 29 demonstrators, including government climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, actress Daryl Hannah, and 94 year-old former West Virginia Congressman Ken Hechler, for tresspassing on the property of a mountaintop removal coal mining company to protest the destructive practice.

The protesters deliberately entered the Goals Coal plant owned by coal giant Massey Energy to draw public attention to the destruction of mountains immediately above the Coal River Valley community of Sundial in Raleigh County.

The demonstrators attempted to deliver a letter of demands to the company regarding this facility, which they say threatens the students at Marsh Fork Elementary School.

"I am not a politician; I am a scientist and a citizen," said Hansen, who is the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

"Politicians may have to advocate for halfway measures if they choose. But it is our responsibility to make sure our representatives feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not what is politically expedient," Hansen told a crowd of about 350 people gathered at Marsh Fork Elementary. "Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, should be abolished."

Also arrested were Michael Brune, executive director of the nonprofit Rainforest Action Network; and Goldman Prize winner Judy Bonds, co-director of the nonprofit Coal River Mountain Watch, along with dozens of Coal River Valley residents and allies. …

Climate Scientist James Hansen Arrested in Mountaintop Removal Protest

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