Fracking protests play into the hands of Russia and President Putin – Yorkshire Post letters

From: Andy Jones, Costa Way, Pickering.

A fracking rig.

THE opponents to fracking (Steve Mason, The Yorkshire Post, July 16) claim the shale gas industry will not be economically viable in the UK.

The protesters, of which Mr Mason is one, have contributed to the escalating costs to companies and in the long-term consumers by creating expensive delays.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fracking opponents lobby North Yorkshire County Council.

They have not created a situation where we will use any less gas. Instead, they force the UK to import ever growing quantities of gas from Russia. Presently, we import 50 per cent of our gas from a variety of countries at a cost of around £7bn per annum. That figure is set to rise to over 80 per cent by 2050.

Meanwhile, President Putin is building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline into Germany and he will be selling the Germans cheap gas, who will then sell the gas at a profit to the rest of the EU. It is expected that the EU will soon be buying 80 per cent of its gas from Russia and interestingly, we buy gas from the EU.

An aerial view of the Kirby Misperton fracking site.

Once we are all hooked on Russian gas, Putin will have control of our energy supplies and we will be relying on his kindness not to turn off the tap. Mr Mason and friends are forcing us into a situation where we will have no energy security, that’s nothing to boast about.

Imported gas can have double the carbon emissions compared to our own gas. All we are doing is offshoring our environmental responsibilities at the behest of so called environmentalists because we do not count carbon emissions on imports – how convenient.

Mr Mason appears to care more about creating wealth for other countries than jobs, business investment and tax revenues for his own country. Another excuse for us to close down a UK industry only to then import something we can produce ourselves.

He will no doubt say we can use renewables instead. We would need to cover an area the size of England in wind turbines to replace gas but they still don’t work when the wind is not blowing and 85 per cent of homes use gas for heat. What’s that going to cost to convert all those houses to electric heating? Then can we expect the consumer to pay four times the cost of gas to heat using electricity?

Catch up with tree planting

From: Alan Thornton, Forest of Bradford Tree Planting Manager, Bradford Environmental Action Trust (BEAT).

IF Boris Johnson or his acolytes did happen to peruse the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission report trumpeted on your front page, and editorial (The Yorkshire Post, July 16), they’d see that “planting trees, including woodland creation and agroforestry” is a top priority.

We would welcome a visit from the new Defra minister to see how we have been hard at it in Yorkshire for decades. Here in Bradford we’ve planted more than 700,000 trees over the last 22 years, but there’s much more like we’d like to do.

Within the “White Rose Forest”, pioneers like Treesponsibility in Calderdale and Slowing the Flow at Pickering are taking practical and often voluntary action to tackle climate chaos. Government needs to do more to match our efforts. We’d encourage land owners who want to increase tree cover in the county to contact us directly.

Death wasn’t on the cards

From: Mrs C Hird, Bridlington.

SOME time ago you published a letter from a family who were putting up for auction a cigarette case with bullet holes dating back to the 1914-18 war.

I am a 98-year-old lady (with failing eyesight) and I am the custodian of a memento of my father-in-law, Frank Hird, from that period.

He was shot in his chest through two embroidered postcards he was carrying and they bear the bullet holes which deflected the shot upwards which took out his eye and which was left hanging down his cheek only held by the membranes.

Due to the skill of the doctors in those dreadful conditions, who stitched it back in place, it worked in conjunction with his other eye for the rest of his life – although the sight was lost – and no one other than family ever knew he was blind in one eye.

We will never part from this family heirloom.

Worry not

From: Molly Preston, Austwick.

CHILDREN and teenagers, when surveyed, recently said they were worried about various issues. Surely this is normal, and part of growing up? We cannot go through life without worries of some sort. Each generation goes through this situation, different worries for each generation, some the same. We worried in case Hitler invaded Britain after Dunkirk.

Royal dissent

From: Mrs EH Bell, Newland Avenue, Driffield.

HOW I agree with Jayne Dowle’s excellent article (The Yorkshire Post, July 11) regarding the Duchess of Sussex. Wanting one’s cake and eating it never seemed more apt. I would have thought that with her maturity and life experience, she would have realised that it is just not possible to have the best of both worlds. The mind boggles.

Pay solution

From: Beryl Williams, School Lane, Walton, Wakefield.

I WOULD suggest, as a somewhat anti-feminist pensioner, that the BBC, currently haunted by issues of equal pay as well as free licences, could, by reducing the hefty pay cheques of Auntie’s boys to those of the girls, render affordable free licences to all over 75s – and resolve both issues at a stroke.