YP Letters: Fracking is a threat to agriculture

From: Malcolm Hara, The Meadows, Cherry Burton, Beverley.

Protesters outside County Hall, Northallerton, when North Yorkshire County Council backed fracking at Kirby Misperton.

WITH reference to the pro-fracking column by Lorraine Allanson (The Yorkshire Post, September 10), there is so much spin that she should be playing for Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

There is a big difference between conventional drilling, which has occurred in the UK for some time, and toxic high volume hydraulic fracking.

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Whenever this has been tried, mainly the USA and Australia, it has brought terrible consequences for the local people. In addition, the population density of the UK is far greater than in the USA and Australia.

Ms Allanson seems to gloss over safety. With regard to “jobs and apprentices”, there is evidence from Victoria, Australia, that more jobs could be lost in agriculture than those created by fracking. Any jobs created would be short-term, but with long-term consequences for the environment and local people. Tourism could also suffer as well as agriculture.

Don’t let our beautiful rural Yorkshire become a sacrifice zone for the benefit of a few.

From: Christopher Pickles, Gilling East.

IN reply to Lorraine Allanson, I would applaud her attractive description of the technology but would point out that an economic development of shale gas would require blanket coverage both at depth and on the surface – 10 to 20 one-hectare hectare drilling pads on a 10 x 10 km square licence block with 10 wells on each pad (industry figures). This would utterly change the countryside as we know it.

If we are to fulfil our obligations under the Paris Climate Change Treaty, we shall have to phase out the use of fossil fuels as soon as possible.

This effectively rules out the development of fracked gas, since it would take at least 10 years to bring shale gas into full production, by which time it would be necessary to close it down anyway.

Is there an alternative? It is true that, as Ms Allanson says, we shall need a mix of energy sources but, by using a judicious mixture of wind, solar and tidal generation, it will be possible to cover most of the gaps.

I would not claim that renewable energy is free from drawbacks, but I would claim that it could supply a rapidly increasing proportion of our requirements sooner than most people think.

From: June Smith, Helmsley.

WHATEVER the views Lorraine Allanson has on fracking, once this dirty, greedy industry is let loose in our country, and in particular our stunningly beautiful North Yorkshire, our countryside, our lives and that of our children would never be the same again.

The Australian state of Victoria has banned fracking as “the risks involved outweight any potential benefits to Victoria”. It is crucial we make a the same stand now to protect our health, countryside and way of life.

From: Peter Allen, Cawton York.

RESPONDING to Lorraine Allanson, it is hugely significant that the state of Victoria in Australia has announced a total ban on fracking. This state relies heavily on agriculture and tourism, very similar to Ryedale.

Victoria’s agriculture, like our own, depends on a reputation for high quality produce which would be jeopardised by possible contamination of water and grassland. Evidence also showed that for every eight jobs created in fracking, 10 were lost in agriculture.

Grammars make grade

From: John Dodd, Belton, Doncaster.

ALTHOUGH I don’t always agree with the sentiments of Neil McNicholas, especially when he once wrote of his annoyance at people who call you by your first name when they haven’t been formally introduced, I fully concur with his sentiments regarding grammar schools (The Yorkshire Post, September 12).

The 11-plus was not an exam to see what you had learned, for which you could be privately primed by rich parents.

It was an IQ test to find your level of ability to take in knowledge and assimilate information, by solving puzzles both written and numeric.

I took mine in 1949 and was awarded a place at Doncaster Grammar School, but as I was more technically minded and, to a lesser extent, more interested in football than rugby, I asked my mother to see if I could attend the Technical High School.

The answer was in the affirmative.

As it was, I kept in touch with lots of my friends who were very successful in later life, so disproving the winners and losers argument. Doncaster Technical High School was a brilliant school.

Room at the inn for us

From: Michael Gilmartin, Hertford.

WE recently drove from Hertford to Berwick-upon-Tweed. When we stopped in Leeds, we found all campsites full (we have a campervan). We were at the Arabian Horse pub in Aberford and threw ourselves on the mercy of the landlady.

She allowed us to stay overnight in her car park and so we did our bit by buying a few drinks and a meal.

I have never known a more friendly pub. Even though we had southern accents, we were treated like locals.

Good beer and food. What more could you ask for?

This is the best pub I’ve ever been to. Please give it a try.