Sir Roger Gale
Member of Parliament for North Thanet (Margate, Herne Bay & The Villages)
MP joins Eco-warriors
October 26th, 2008
North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, has this weekend joined Greenpeace and their campaign vessel Rainbow Warrior in the Thames Estuary to view the Kentish Flats (Herne Bay) windfarm and the Kingsnorth Power Station.
The trip was organised to give Greenpeace the opportunity to make their case to local and national politicians (Gale was the only MP on board) and the campaign group offered a series of briefings on global warming and related issues.
"You would not expect me to share or endorse all of the Greenpeace views and policies" says Roger Gale "and I do not. I am, for instance, a supporter of a next generation of nuclear power stations as a potentially significant contributor to our future energy needs. Nevertheless I think that the Greenpeace team are doing a great public service in seeking to highlight the very real threat of continuing global warming and the resulting climate change and, therefore, the urgent need to adopt sources of clean and renewable energy.
I do not, personally, quarrel with the building of new coal-fired power stations but if they are to be built then it must be on the basis of 100% carbon capture: I do not wish to see new installations of any kind built in this country on the cheap and without the maximum available state of the art safeguards. That applies not only to coal but to nuclear and other forms of energy.
We have a clear responsibility to provide, for our children and grandchildren, the power supplies necessary to keep our hospitals and schools open, to light and to heat our homes and to service business and industry. We also have a duty to hand on a planet that is as safe and as clean as existing deterioration allows it to be. And I am satisfied that if we continue down our present path then a dramatic and escalating change in climate with the resulting rise in sea-levels, the flooding of large areas of low-lying land in Kent and the loss of species is inevitable. I do not buy into the argument that "this has happened before and change is cyclical". What is happening now is very different but it is something that we can address if nationally and globally we have the political will.
That is why I support, for example, the development of windfarms and why I wish to see the London Array and other local projects proceed with all possible speed. We do have to recognise, though, that there is no one solution or quick fix to this problem: we have to use all of the resources and measures available to us if we are to succeed - and at least in the short to medium term that means an efficient and reduced domestic use of power on the one hand and nuclear and clean coal as well as renewable sources on the other."