Land belonging to prominent climate change sceptic Matt Ridley has been stormed by protestors seeking to shut down England’s largest open-cast coal mine.
A dozen protestors blocked the main entrance to the site by lying in front of the gate, while four protestors climbed into the Shotton mine and fastened themselves to a 500 tonne excavator, according to the Guardian.
The actions mirror those of German protestors who broke into the Tagebau Garzweiler brown coal mine in August this year, following an initially peaceful protest.
Unlike the protests in England, confrontations in Germany soon became physical with police firing teargas and allegedly assaulting the protestors with batons.
One million tonnes of coal have been extracted from the Shotton surface mine, equating to at least eight per cent of all coal mined in the UK.
Ridley has been vocal about his doubts over climate change science, stating “although the world has certainly warmed since the 19th century, the rate of warming has been slow and erratic…scientists agree that the extra carbon dioxide in the air has contributed to an improvement in crop yields and a roughly 14 per cent increase in the amount of all types of green vegetation on the planet since 1980.”
An on-site spokesman for Banks Mining, Mike Dowdall, believed that coal was still necessary as the UK transitioned towards a low-carbon economy.
Investment in coal, he argued, was needed to maintain electricity powered in schools, hospitals, homes and businesses.