It’s a sad reason to return to the Save Vestas blog after (too long) an absence but I have to report that Patrick Rolfe, one of the young people who kickstarted the Vestas campaign on the Isle of Wight in 2009, died on 10 June 2011 of cancer.
As well as environmental campaigning, Patrick fought cuts at his university (Sussex). He recently started a PhD at the University of Leeds, the topic, naturally, wind farms.
Patrick’s good friends wanted people involved in the Vestas campaign to know about his death, and to have a place to leave comments about or memories of Patrick. This blog is a fitting place, the Vestas campaign being something that he will be remembered for for a long time.
The Vestas campaign made an important contribution to the debate about the future for renewable energy, in the UK particularly, and about workers’ rights within that industry. These are still very hot topics. The Vestas company recently announced it wants to open a factory on another ‘island’, the Isle of Sheppey; again, like the Isle of Wight, a place with relatively high unemployment.
Again, Vestas is looking for government subsidies as the price for setting up operations, and a compliant workforce that is ‘just grateful to have a job’.
This weekend we saw the announcement that a government adviser wants schools to stop teaching about climate change. Patrick would have a lot to say on both these issues.
I remember Patrick Rolfe as a positive and intelligent young man, brimming with energy and enthusiasm for a just transition to a more sustainable world benefiting all. If, like me, you remember him warmly, I hope you will leave a comment in tribute.