Day 4 Recap #ClimateTrial

Oh Dearests,

Dr. James Hansen is here along with Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel and scholar Tom Hastings. North Dakota barred the truth from its courts this morning, denying the motion to allow their expert testimony. In response we held a press conference on the lawn, watch here. Seriously, go to the Facebook page and look at all the crazy cool stuff we did today, it’s off the hook.

In court we learned a lot about what we already know. Michael Foster went to North Dakota and shut down the Keystone Pipeline! We heard from a manager from TransCanada’s liquids pipeline control center. Emily Johnston says he looks like Clark Kent, and he does. He’s cute and well suited and exudes a friendly Canadian air. He’s also been flanked all week by TransCanada’s lawyers, both with stern visage.

Clark Kent’s testimony was rife with euphemism: operational upset, high consequence area,  pipe integrity program, worst case discharge, the liquids. There are 44 manual valves in the Keystone pipeline, it takes 28 minutes for the pipeline to shutdown, and it takes 8 hours to get it running again, and that process costs the company about 1.2 million dollars. We learned that TransCanada keeps all company clocks on Mountain Standard Time, which when pressed several times for clarification Clark Kent responded emphatically, “the control center doesn’t convert time for anybody.” And that was the tenor of his testimony, the spokesperson for a corporation that is outside of time.

There were more videos. Motel rooms, Michael speaking to the camera, “We're going to go with bolt cutters and cut the padlock on the gate, and walk in, and call the company, and let them know we’re there. And we’re gonna say you better shut down the pipeline because we’re going to shut off the valve. Turn the valve, it’s so simple.” Yup. It is. And it was difficult to suppress laughter at the prosecution’s triumphant big reveal.

“The State rests.” And then both Hoffman and Kirschner moved for acquittal on one or more of Sam’s and Michael’s charges, all denied after the judge took fifteen minutes in chambers to consider.

We are grateful and honored to spend this eve in the company of movement giants. Imagine us, huddled in a hotel room that we’ve transformed into a film studio, capturing interviews and the would-be depositions of Tom Hastings, Rebecca Voelkel, and Dr. James Hansen. While they didn’t testify in open court, the message is reverberating around the country.

In Ethical Spectacle,

Nicky Bradford

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