Trek seems to treat the PD as a suggestion more than a hard and fast rule. We hear a lot about it's the highest law a starship Captain must obey, but right and left it gets violated and tossed in the trash for the sake of the story.
Until Star Trek Into Darkness when Kirk actually gets demoted for violating it.
The consequences, at the end of the day, are not very strong in STiD. It comes across more as flimsy plotting than an actual consequence. It is literally 17 minutes in the movie that Kirk goes from being Captain of the Enterprise
, to Cadet, to First Officer, back to being Captain of the Enterprise
. It's hard to not solve a problem when you can. It's hard not to stay out of the conflict of other worlds when you have a heart, but it must be done.
As for why this is in the Insurrection
thread, I will never know. The Prime Directive doesn't apply; that is what Dougherty says. I believe that is splitting hairs, it's more about destroying land we annexed.
We seem to forget that there is other life on the planet besides the Bak'u. The bird, the little pet of Artim's, etc. They would die without an evacuation. It's an ecological nightmare. It's exactly what we do to have computers and electricity. I think that's why they show so much life on the planet that isn't the Bak'u.
So it saves ourselves, makes our lives better, but it ruins an entire planet worth of life.