Rosemary Penwarden was found guilty of forgery on Wednesday June 14, in connection with a letter she sent to the Oil Producers Association. She faces up to ten years in prison.
Her little joke could cost her dearly! In September 2019, 64-year-old Rosemary Penwarden played a practical joke on New Zealand’s fossil fuel lobby. This facetious environmentalist from Dunedin, in the archipelago’s South Island, wrote to the delegates of Pepanz (the Association for Petroleum Exploration and Production) posing as the organizer of their annual conference. The letter announced the postponement of the meeting, which was in danger of being disrupted by protesters.
Except that one of the recipients had doubts about the letterhead, sent from the address email@example.com. Seven months later, police raided Rosemary Penwarden’s home and seized her computer. On Wednesday, a district court found her guilty of forgery. Sentencing is scheduled for September 8.
“As if I were a threat…”
Rosemary Penwarden faces up to ten years in prison. As if I was a threat to the oil industry. But for God’s sake, I’m 1.52 and weigh 52 kg. I’m up against the most polluting companies in the world. I just wanted them to hear the voice of little grandmothers”, reacted the interested party, a little distraught by the turn of events. Her letter was sarcastic, it never pretended to be authentic”, agrees her lawyer, Ben Smith, who will be pleading for a waiver of sentence.
The 60-year-old is anything but an unknown. Last year, she attracted the attention of the local media after converting a 29-year-old Honda into an electric vehicle with her own hands. In the process, she covered over 23,000 km and “saved” tons of CO2.