THE concept that fracking will industrialise the countryside has been thoroughly rebutted many times and it is important to consider the history of the onshore oil and gas industry (Paul Andrews, The Yorkshire Post, August 16).
Most people don’t know that over 2,100 wells have been drilled onshore in the United Kingdom, and that the several hundred wells standing at less than two metres tall are operating quietly today producing energy for the UK. These sites are typically not even noticed by passers-by.
By contrast wind and solar are very visible and the UK’s Committee on Climate Change has forecast a potential trebling of onshore wind capacity, and an order of magnitude increase in onshore solar farms.
Coun Andrews is wrong to think that we can just develop wind offshore and that wind can replace our gas requirements. Many opponents to a shale gas industry promote onshore wind and solar installations as preferable to a small well pad. Both these renewables would be very visible, require vast tracts of land and major infrastructure of roads, pylons, sub stations as well as the battery farms required to store the power.
Will Coun Andrews oppose these projects given the potential land use requirements? In order to minimise the land use required per unit of energy in the UK, shale gas development is the best onshore technology solution to meet the UK’s energy needs.
His suggestion that we could re-open the coal mines at the drop of a hat if Putin turns off our gas tap beggars belief. We have closed nearly all coal power stations to save the planet because coal is by far the worst way to generate electricity for CO2 emissions. I question whether Coun Andrews is really living on the same planet as the rest of us?
From: Paul Brown, Sheffield.
IT was once conventional wisdom that rain clouds were produced by drops of water accumulating around particles of soot or dust in the atmosphere. The closure of the coal industry, and the associated heavy engineering in this country, has resulted in a clean-up of the atmosphere.
This has had the entirely predictable result that rather than the dull, drizzly weather which was once a feature of British life we now have dry weather until the level of water vapour in the atmosphere reaches saturation resulting in a deluge of heavy rain. In my opinion, this is a result of changes in policy which have nothing to do with climate change.
From: Jean Dann, Stainland, Halifax.
WITH regard to the comments on climate change by Arthur Quarmby (The Yorkshire Post, August 10), it should be noted that change happened much more slowly in the past, giving time for adjustment. Now things are speeded up and it behoves all of us to heed the warnings and take more care of our planet.
In Craven’s footsteps
From: John Jewitt, Ilkley.
HAVING always enjoyed John Craven’s TV programmes, I was interested to read your interview with him (The Yorkshire Post, August 10).
I was pleasantly surprised to read that he grew up in Grimthorpe Street in Headingley. I lived in Winston Gardens, two streets away from him. I can only think that I never met him because he is six years older than me.
I then read that he had a morning paper round at Stirk’s newsagent, and memories of Sidney Stirk, his wife Olive, his daughter Barbara and grandson Michael came flooding back as I also did a paper round there. I began to feel a bit uncomfortable when I then read of his work at Headingley Cricket Ground collecting cushions after games, as I too did that, and I had a Phillips record player!
The Lounge cinema (1s/3d in the stalls in those days – 6p in today’s money) and Brett’s fisheries were also favourite haunts for me – memories of Charlie Brett and his daughter Jane came flooding back.
I really found it almost unbelievable that he went to Leeds Modern School as did I, but the real killer blow came when I read that he left there to take up a commercial apprenticeship at Yorkshire Copperworks – yes, you’ve guessed it – so did I, albeit at 18 in my case.
It seems by now quite natural to finally read that he had earlier attended Bennet Road County Primary School where the headmaster was Mr Pepper. I wonder if he was taught by Mr Sinclair and Miss Johnson as I was during my time there?
Just to round the coincidences off, I later lived in Otley for a few years and therefore share John’s affection for the Chevin. I then spent quite a few hours contemplating what seemed a real case of “deja vu”!