YP Letters: The majority didn't oppose fracking bid in Ryedale

From: Lorraine Allanson, Allerston, Pickering.

A shale fracking rig,

IN response to AN Burlack’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, May 17), I have yet to understand how any group or individual against shale gas can claim that their ‘cause’ has the majority of support in Yorkshire.

It would be more correct to say that local people overwhelmingly did not oppose Third Energy’s plans in Ryedale. This conclusion is supported by a similar method of calculation as that applied by AN Burlack to the county council election results.

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At the time of publication of the planning officer’s report on May 4 2016, North Yorkshire County Council had received over 4,200 letters/emails of representation.

Of these, just under 27 per cent or 1,048, were clearly against aspects of the actual application and could be assumed to have made an effort to read the documents; 73 per cent were general representations and not specific to the application!

They just wrote in general against hydraulic fracturing. Even if all of the 1,048 representations specifically against the project, or the 3,907 against hydraulic fracturing in general were local (which they were not, they were from across the nation), they would represent a tiny proportion of the population: in Ryedale just two per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively of the 52,000 population.

In North Yorkshire, that would be just 0.17 per cent and 0.65 per cent respectively of the 600,000 population. Also, 65 per cent were template letters prepared by campaign organisations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, 38 Degrees and Frack Free Ryedale.

After three years of a highly vocal and public campaign in the media the opponents are not convincing the public on three main issues which UK Shale gas could help provide the UK – energy security; economic benefits and affordable energy.

From: Glyn Wild, Highfield Terrace, Swinton, Malton.

THEIR manifesto makes it quite clear – vote Tory and you will get fracked. No mention of clean renewable energy, no mention of the devastating effects of climate change. A party truly living in the past.

Why not ditch the second car?

From: Mrs M Thompson, Chester.

MR Boyes writes (The Yorkshire Post, May 16) that he is worried about CO2 emissions from diesel vehicles and yet he and his wife have a car each. He could halve his worries and the CO2 emissions at a stroke if he just had one.

Words misused and overused

From: Brian H Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

FURTHER to the topic of bad English, pretentious speech is damaging our language by misuse or overuse of certain words.

The misuse of “unique” has been well documented in these columns. “Disinterested” (impartial) commonly usurps “uninterested” (not paying attention). “Fortuitous” (random or by chance) has sadly become a synonym for “lucky”. “Basically” has been so overused as to become meaningless.

Some words are both misused and overused. “Literally” has become one of the most frequently heard words in the language when it should only be used to emphasise that one is not speaking figuratively: “the company is literally being bled to death” is arrant nonsense, the intrusion of the word “literally”, ostensibly for effect, destroying a perfect metaphor.

I take a fairly sanguine view of Americanisms in our language; after all it is the eclectic mixture of tongues that makes English so versatile. However, America is to blame for the overuse of the word “awesome”, a once-powerful word meaning “inspiring wonder and reverence verging on fear” now frequently a replacement for “great” or “super!”

From: Jack Cooper, Ilkley.

REgarding Tom Richmond’s recent comments on the misuse of the word ‘absolutely’ by BBC sports presenter George Riley. The other morning, Mr Riley used the phrase “absolutely in the box seat” to describe a football team that had won the first leg of a play-off by the odd goal. How is this different from ‘in the box seat’? BBC, do tell.

Think again on ticket office

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

I WAS annoyed when, in 2016, I heard the news that Virgin were planning to close the excellent staffed ticket office at York railway station and to put in wall-mounted machines, have a “customer zone” and alter the appearance of the railway station buildings.

Virgin claim that this is what their customers want. I totally disagree. York railway station (not train station) is an iconic building and should not be “modernised” in a splash of red. If you are elderly, foreign, disabled, not “technically switched on” or only occasionally travel by rail, it is very difficult to work out train times, routes, prices, fair deals, relevant cards unless you can speak with one of their excellent, friendly, patient, understanding staff. Please Virgin, re-think your long-term plans for York and other stations.

Real issue of animal cruelty

From: Arthur Quarmby, Mill Moor Road, Meltham.

SEVERAL letters were recently published objecting to any return to fox hunting, on grounds of cruelty.

And yet people don’t care about the far, far greater cruelty every day of the week and throughout Britain, where the rule that animals must be pre-stunned prior to slaughter has been abandoned by the RSPCA to appease first Jews and, more recently, Muslims.

The restoration of pre-stunning instead of the lingering death by kosher or halal should be the aim of all concerned with animal welfare.