A local district attorney in Massachusetts surprised parties on all
sides on Monday after he sided with two climate justice activists who
employed a "necessity defense" to justify their use of a small lobster
boat to block the path of an enormous coal freighter trying to dock at
the Brayton Point Power Station in the town of Somerset last year....
... For the brazen act of civil disobedience both O'Hara and Ward faced many
thousands of dollars in fines and as much as two years in jail, but it
was Bristol County DA Sam Sutter who decided that all charges in the
case would be dropped after he determined that their expressed
purpose—to put an end to the carbon-spewing pollution directly related
to the current climate change crisis—was an adequate and defensible
position. Sutter dropped all charges against the two.... read more here
......Despite the railroad industry’s many advances, some problems have
persisted for years, frustrating rail engineers. Bearing failure that
often leads to derailments is one. Accidental decoupling is another. So
are poor truck designs.
The good news is that innovative
companies from outside the railroad industry have devised solutions.
The bad news is that these solutions have been shunned by an industry
hostile to those outside its closed culture. This stonewalling puts
American lives and freight at risk. Congress needs to intervene. Consider
the strange case of Columbus Castings, of Columbus, Ohio - a railroad
industry outsider, despite being the nation’s largest steel foundry.
Columbus Castings created a product called the Z-Knuckle, which
prevents accidental uncoupling.
The Z-Knuckle met the railroad
industry’s newly created standard for such devices. But in an
inexplicable twist, because the Z-Knuckle was the only device that met
the standard, the industry refused to authorize its use. Instead, it
simply chose not to enforce its own standard...... read more here