North Dakota Sentence

6 February 2018

James Hansen

Michael Foster (see How Does It Feel) was sentenced today to three years imprisonment with all but 360 days suspended, after his conviction (see North Dakota Conviction) on three of four counts, two felonies and one misdemeanor. 

Judge Fontaine ruled out use of the “necessity” defense prior to the trial, and she also would not allow me to inform the jury about factors affecting Foster’s state of mind and his action.  However, I subsequently presented the Judge a letter pleading for leniency in his sentencing and an expert report explaining the urgency of actions to phase out fossil fuel emissions.

The letter to Judge Fontaine and How Does It Feel are my summaries of the situation and its larger context.  If I had to put it in one sentence, it might be: the older generations, the people in power, are failing to protect the rights and the future of young people. 

Frankly, I do not see how we can fix the situation without making America America again. 

Young people will need to provide the leadership to achieve that.  The best that older people who care can do is make clear what we have learned.  That is what I am trying to do in “Sophie’s Planet.”  I am making good progress, but need a little longer to finish it.