Dept. of Schadenfreude

(h/t Ipse Dixit)

This is just too good. It appears that the environmental group Greenpeace may have fallen afoul of environmental regulations.

Greenpeace charged with violating environmental law

Associated Press writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Lawyers selected a jury Monday that will decide whether Greenpeace and its contract ship were criminally negligent by failing to have the proper oil spill response paperwork during an anti-logging campaign.

The environmental activist group, the captain of the Arctic Sunrise and the ship’s agent all are charged with misdemeanor criminal counts of operating a vessel without a spill contingency plan or proof of financial responsibility in case of a spill, as required by state law.

Opening statements were scheduled Tuesday in state District Court in the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan. Because the case involves misdemeanor charges, it will be heard by only six jurors and two alternates.

“We feel good about the jury and feel confident they’ll listen to all the evidence and render a fair verdict based on the evidence presented in court,” said Greenpeace attorney Tom Wetterer.

State environmental regulators cited Greenpeace Inc., Arctic Sunrise Capt. Arne Sorensen and ship agent Willem Beekman last July for not filing a spill response plan or having a financial responsibility certificate. According to court documents, the ship was carrying more than 70,000 gallons of “petroleum products” when it arrived in southeast Alaska for the protest campaign against logging in the Tongass National Forest.

In Alaska, non-tank vessels larger than 400 gross tons must file an oil spill response plan application five days before entering state waters.

The group contends the paperwork oversight was a mishap that was quickly corrected. Those on board didn’t know such documents were required, Wetterer said.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse! Damn, but it would be funny if they lost the case.

And in similar news, animal rights activists are now conflicting with conservationists:

Conservationists Kill Pigs to Save Fox

The Associated Press
Monday, May 2, 2005; 2:13 AM

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, Calif. — Norm Macdonald rises each morning with the sun, grabs his .223-caliber rifle and slips into the passenger seat of a tiny, doorless helicopter for another day of shooting pigs.

As the chopper skims over rugged terrain, Macdonald scans dozens of simple fence traps he’s set up for the thousands of wild swine that have overrun this Southern California island.

When there are pigs in the traps _ and there always are _ Macdonald leans out and pumps two bullets into each animal: One for the heart and one for the head.

Each pig’s death brings conservationists one step closer to their goal of saving the tiny Santa Cruz fox, an endangered species found only on this 96-square-mile island off Santa Barbara. Experts believe it’s the best way to mend the island’s delicate ecological web, which was torn when domesticated pigs escaped from now-abandoned ranches as early as the 1850s.

The killings have angered animal rights groups and forced the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy, which co-own the island, to explain why groups dedicated to protecting animals are instead paying $5 million to kill them.

Norm Macdonald uses a .223, eh? The same “high-powered” cartridge used in the evil AR-15 rifle! This is obviously excessive! (I wonder; does he “spray-fire” from the hip?)

The funny part is that the Nature Conservancy is paying $5 million to a New Zealand based outfit to kill the pigs, when they could just as easily sell pig tags to Californians and make money, but I guess that would mean allowing eeeevil hunters to tramp around on their pristine (and pig overrun) island.

There’s more:

Russell Galipeau, superintendent of the Channel Islands National Park, acknowledges that killing one species to save another puts his agency in an awkward position. The pig eradication, he says, fits his agency’s mission of restoring the island to its natural state while saving native species and protecting archaeological sites.

Federal and state law prohibits relocating the pigs, which may have pseudorabies and cholera, to the mainland. Sterilization and contraception aren’t practical because the plan would fail if biologists miss only a few pigs _ the fast-breeding pigs can rebound from a 70 percent population reduction in just one year, according to Galipeau.

“I’m trying to protect the natural system _ not what humans handed us, but what nature handed us,” he says. “Sometimes you have to do the same amount of disruption that damaged a place in order to restore it.”

Critics have argued that, after so long on the island, the pigs belong as much as the foxes.

One group, the Channel Islands Animal Protection Association, was formed in the mid-1990s after the National Park Service poisoned nonnative rats that were damaging vegetation on nearby on Anacapa Island.

In the current case, the association believes the golden eagles were attracted not by pigs but by the rotting carcasses of feral sheep from an earlier eradication program in the 1980s. They believe the golden eagles discovered the 4-pound foxes _ not the pigs _ and stayed.

“Not only was this story made up, but the pigs are now an established member of the ecosystem,” says association spokeswoman Scarlet Newton. “The public is being totally deceived.”

“I’m trying to protect the natural system _ not what humans handed us, but what nature handed us,” he says.

Right. Humans are not part of nature. No, we’re aliens. A beaver dam is “natural,” the Hoover Dam is not. Termite mounds are “natural,” skyscrapers are not. Living as vegan gatherers is “natural,” civilization is not. Eagles killing foxes to extinction “natural,” humans shooting pigs is not.

It’s not much of a stretch from that attitude to “humans are a disease on Mother Gaea.”

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