You have to ask what drives someone to climb a 250 metre (820-foot) smokestack to make a statement. But then you have to ask what drives society to spend money converting power stations to coal when we know our planet is choking on CO2.

Here's an unusually detailled glimpse behind the scenes of a Greenpeace Non-Violent Direct Action, this one in Porto Tolle (Rovigo) Italy. It gives a sense of the kind of attention to detail, safety precautions, skill and bravery it can take to make some waves.

enel.jpg

This plant was slated for conversion to coal as part of a plan from Italian energy giant ENEL that would have raised Italy's coal dependence from 17 to 24%.

In an inexplicable outbreak of sanity, the Italian government agreed to turn down ENEL's request for an increase in their carbon emissions cap. In effect, this means the Porto Tolle plant will get no emissions license and cannot convert to coal.

The agreed cap will, however, allow the conversion of a second ENEL plant near Rome. If I were them, I'd watch my roof.

--b