Green Party stall at Freshers Fair

3 October 2018

South East Dorset Green Party members met students when they held a stall at Freshers Fair, held at Bournemouth University, on 22nd September.

There was lots of engagement from the students, an interesting combination of ones who had never had the opportunity to vote before, and those who had voted for the first time last year. It was busy from the word go with a good number of students showing interest in our stall and signing up or taking leaflets.

Green Party members had a mix of conversations answering questions such as "why vote Green and not Labour?" "Why won't you support nuclear energy?" and "How do you propose to keep the NHS in the public hands?"

Some students also signed Fossil Free Dorset postcards asking MPs to shut down polluting oil wells like Perenco's Kimmeridge well. The Environmental Agency is reviewing the permits now. The regulatory system is permitting gross levels of pollution in direct conflict with legally binding climate change commitments. Climate vandalism is being tolerated at a time when we are being warned by thousands of scientists that humanity must leave fossil fuels in the ground. Already many millions are displaced or on the move and the situation will deteriorate as climate change proceeds.

Theresa May has been advised that climate breakdown is a greater threat than foreign invasion, EU directives and terrorism. So HOW are we being protected and WHERE is the campaign to alert us all?

Green Party member Stuart Lane has had good press and BBC coverage of his warning of "atmospheric vandalism" over the legal, long-term cold venting of methane pouring into our collective atmosphere from Kimmeridge. Friends of the Earth’s Angela Pooley was also on South Today. There was a Julian Clegg radio interview on 19th September interviewing Stuart, Doug Parr of Greenpeace and the Green MEP Molly Scott Cato.

Molly pointed out climate change is an "absolute emergency" as Jeremy Corbyn did in his recent conference speech. She said how disappointing it was that the MPs in Dorset turned down the Navitus Bay Wind Farm when it was the modern way to go and would bring clean jobs. Fossil fuels are set to become unviable. She sees much better progress in Europe in clean energy. She says, "The dinosaurs of the conservatives in Britain are holding us back".

She pointed out it is very important to shut off the methane which is thirty times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

There has also been good Echo coverage of the demos on the beach against Corallion's proposed offshore oil rig. In a headline Echo letter the council leader, John Beesley, has spoken against the rig.

However there has been a good deal of criticism of John Beesley's restated opposition in his letter to the Navitus project which would have brought enough clean energy to power 790,000 homes, as well as popular jobs to Dorset and the impecunious Isle of Wight. Vestas blades are being internationally exported from Newport but could have benefited many more local workers.

We will need vast quantities of local clean energy in the years to come. Since the UK is the Saudi Arabia of wind this is a good time to revisit the idea of a windfarm, especially as lucky Brighton gets Rampion, just 8 miles out, up and running. Students are largely in favour of a windfarm.

Overall the conversations were all positive and the students walked away more informed on what we do and why we do it. A large number of them signed up to be supporters on the day. There were also some expressions of interest of wanting to take a lead on a young greens group within the University.