Friday, October 14, 2011

Know the Tenor of the Opposition

"Those who write the rules are those who profit from the status quo. If we want to change that status quo, we might have to work outside of those rules because the legal pathways available to us have been structured precisely to make sure we don't make any substantial change."

-- Tim DeChristopher, who was sentenced to two years in federal prison and a $10,000 fine for 'disrupting' a Bureau of Land Management auction in 2008.

Strong words. What did Tim do?

DeChristopher decided to participate in the oil and gas lease auction, signing a Bidder Registration Form and placing fake bids to obtain 14 parcels of land.

DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents, taken into custody, and questioned. He did not steal anything or hurt anyone. For that, on July 26, 2011, Judge Dee Benson sentenced DeChristopher to two years in prison and the $10K fine, according to Wikipedia

That seems like overkill, a particularly harsh reaction for something that in another context or another time could be called a stupid prank. It makes one wonder about the opposition to a clean energy economy.

Perhaps it is naive for anyone to imagine that the opposition -- seemingly the fossil fuel industry -- is anything but fierce and obstinate. It appears they are very likely unreasonable; beyond negotiation and persuasion. When people advocating for clean energy say 'climate change is the fight of our lives' it can feel a shade dramatic, but no, I guess it's spot on.

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