Perhaps the key aspect of the Kingsnorth 6's defence was the testimony from NASA scientist Jim Hansen. One of the most prominent climate scientists on earth, he made clear that we have little time to scale back our carbon emissions, so plans to increase them were not far short of murderous. He's subsequently offered to help people who blockaded a coal plant in America.
Strange, then, that this week he's spoken out against activists opposing Heathrow's third runway.
The number of runways you need for your airports depends on their traffic. You don't want to be so restrictive that you end up burning more fuel because planes are having to circle and wait to land because of lack of runway space.
Heathrow is already running at near-capacity. The whole point of building a third runway is to double the number of flights, which is far worse than any circling could be. The emissions from the extra flights readily compare to a large coal-fired power station.
Hansen could similarly argue that you don't want to stop new coal-fired power stations as it would mean older, less efficient, ones were kept in service leading to greater emissions.
The crucial point, as he's an order of magnitude clever enough to know, is that we cannot carry on with certain high-emitting activities. If the government were to get its way and double aviation capacity in the UK then by 2030 that sole industry would be likely to exceed our carbon budget before we touch a lump of coal.
Additionally, as he's also surely aware of, like Kingsnorth Heathrow is a flagship. It leads the way for other similar projects. If this first project gets stopped then it makes it much less likely that the ones queueing up behind it will go ahead.
"Coal is 80% of the planet's problem," he said. "You have to keep your eye on the ball and not waste your efforts. The number one enemy is coal and we should never forget that."
He is clearly right on that. But the thing is, most of the activists involved in fighting Heathrow are fighting coal too. There is a culture of action around climate change, one thing inspiring another.
There are a handful of industries that need radical change. Passenger transport, food production, power generation, heating, freight, they all have alternative methods and technologies to help us make the change. Aviation alone has no alternative. It is the one industry that needs to wither to almost nothing. Fortunately, also unlike those others, it is the one that is a complete luxury that we can live without.
As Hansen told the court, obstructing Kingsnorth prevents carbon emissions that kill. Blockading runways to cause flights to be cancelled does exactly the same thing.
In a heavy-handed pun, the article closes
Aviation was not a danger, and he would not fly to the help of those who disrupted airports and flights, he stressed.
He would, of course, fly into Heathrow. It is extraordinary that a climate scientist can take such a stand. The only reason I can think of is that he flies a lot himself and wants to avoid thoughts that make him stop.
He's not alone. The campaign against the third runway has got Greenpeace to gather and coach several celebrities, including Emma Thompson who, laying into Transport Secretary Buff Hoon, said,
They're planes! Give me a break! They use up a lot of energy, they let out CO2 emissions! Not even Mr Hoon can hide that from us.
Hiring celebs against flying is like hiring dogs against arse-sniffing. It's a gift to the aviation lobby that they're bound to enjoy. And sure enough, Hoon responded
"She has been in some very good films. Love Actually is very good, but I worry about people who I assume travel by air quite a lot and don't see the logic of their position, not least because the reason we have got this problem in relation to Heathrow is that more and more people want to travel more and more," he said.
He added: "BAA do not wake up in the morning and think 'we need a bigger airport' and airlines do not say 'we need to put on more flights' unless there is a demand for it. So the point is about not just Emma Thompson, but lots of people.
Hoon's assertion that the aviation industry don't advertise or lobby anyone to increase business is almost as mad as his belief that Love Actually is a very good film.
But anyway, Thompson said that he had 'completely missed the point' and that - get this one - 'this is not a campaign against flying'.
Er, right. Show me anyone who flies whose emissions are sustainable. I'm willing to put a hefty bet of my personal body parts that Emma Thompson's aren't.
Unless you are against the runway from the perspective of the localised impacts of noise and demolished houses, it is surely all about stopping people flying. How stupid and hypocritical can she get?
The answer came the following week
The government is treating us as if we're stupid. They're asking all of us to reduce our energy consumption while they build another runway at Heathrow. I think it's the most egregious piece of hypocrisy I've seen in a long time.
One person on the Greenpeace email list asked if this meant Emma Thompson wouldn't be flying any more and got the reply
We are not campaigning to stop people from flying altogether, but we do want to prevent the number of flights from growing to dangerous levels
This is clearly implying that Greenpeace believe present levels aren't dangerous. They could do with talking to a proper climate scientist. Though they'll need to find one not blinded by his own hypocrisy.