YP Letters: Selectivity of anti-fracking movement

A fracking rig.
A fracking rig.
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From: Sam Grant, Huntington Road, York.

In Lancashire, anti-fracking protesters recently forced the closure of the A583 for four hours prompting much local anger and criticism, including from the police.

Last year a study by the University of Cincinnati found a theoretical lifetime cancer risk of 2.9 per 10,000 near some fracking sites – higher than US regulatory limits allow.

Despite flaws being found in the study and there being multiple other studies that did not find the same result, anti-fracking groups used it to push cancer scare stories into the Press.

Several months later an error in a spreadsheet formula was discovered.

The figure was out by an astonishing 725,000 per cent. The corrected paper (Paulik, Environ. Sci. Technol, 2016) reported the risk of cancer close to the fracking sites was actually 0.04 in a million.

The UK anti-fracking movement never issued a retraction and never apologised, even though this anomaly was reported widely by many US medical professionals and journalists.

Now the Advertising Standards Authority finds that Friends of the Earth’s arguments on the ‘dangers of fracking’ are unsupportable, despite them having 14 months in which to present any evidence (Craig Bennett, The Yorkshire Post, January 16).

It seems that they are very quick to jump on negative studies, no matter how poor their quality, and very slow to react to anything that proves them wrong. If the protesters wish to claim to be society’s guardians, they must accept being held to the highest scientific standards.

From: Coun Mike Potter (Lib), Ryedale District Council, Derwent Ward, Pickering.

YOUR correspondent Lorraine Allanson made a determined effort to scare Ryedale residents about the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp.

In my capacity as a district councillor, I have personally visited the camp to discuss a range of issues: waste, litter, sanitation, parking etc. 
With first-hand knowledge, I have found Ms Allanson’s 
claims to be almost wholly inaccurate.

I have been welcomed in a friendly and polite manner by intelligent, articulate and well informed people. One has to admire their determination and resolve to be camping out at such a hostile time of year.

I earn my living from tourism and am far less concerned with one small camp than the effect on existing industries from the very real prospect of thousands of fracking wells spreading across Yorkshire, with the inevitable industrialisation, traffic, noise and light pollution, massive water consumption and waste water transportation and treatment. Those are the undeniable consequences of the fracking industry. The imminent climate effects of burning new sources of hydrocarbons are, however, quite certain.

Come to table on devolution

From: Vernon Wood, Leeds.

EVER since devolution was proposed for Yorkshire, it seems the concept has been enveloped in a dense fog of obfuscation, contradiction, indecision and a disgraceful display of bare-faced political manipulation and disagreement (The Yorkshire Post, January 14).

Conflicts of organisation from county-wide cohesion to city region disputations, with mayoral or management team leadership remain unresolved, presenting to the country and Government a region of squabbling self-centred peasantry.

It is time that the decision-makers buried their differences and come to the table with a proposal that recognises the history and heritage of Yorkshire’s ancient Ridings – a proposal that groups all the broad acres deserted by Sheffield’s disparate and disaffected “South Riding” constituents.

To encourage a more co-ordinated approach may I suggest that future devolution progress is pursued under a “Yorkshire – all or nowt” policy.

Happy Easter by snail mail

From: Miss JE Eggleton, Linton Avenue, Spofforth Hill, Wetherby.

ABOUT two years ago I wrote a letter to the Wetherby News headed ‘Letter arrives by Snail Mail’.

This letter took 92 days to reach the destination at the Rowans Wetherby.

Well, to my shock I received a phone call on Saturday, January 14, from a friend in Lazenby Drive, Wetherby, who told me last year’s Easter card had arrived.

I wonder where this card has been all these months?

Star of racing mourned

From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby.

ONCE again the BBC have shown that they are grossly biased against equestrian sports.

On the day that former England football manager Graham Taylor died, a gallant, brave National Hunt jockey by the name of Brian Fletcher passed away.

He won the Grand National on three occasions, twice on Red Rum.

He was a brilliant horseman – quiet, unassuming and highly respected.

Brian never sought publicity but he did, on his death, deserve at least a mention from the BBC.

Another fine mess?

From: Mr JC Penn, Holcroft Garth, Hedon, Hull.

IN the last century, we had great comedians, from Laurel and Hardy to Morecambe and Wise. What have we got in the 21st century?

Will it be Trump and Putin in the End of the World Show? I hope not.