YP Letters: Flooding – what can, and should, be done?

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From: Tony Hargreaves, The Coppice, Lindley.

AFTER watching the river and canal merging to one massive torrent at Elland Bridge on Boxing Day, I asked myself if there was more water in the environment these days.

Yes, there is. Any sharp minded student taking GCSE chemistry will confirm that the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels (petrol, diesel, gas) produces water vapour. The process makes a greater volume of water vapour (as steam) than the volume of carbon dioxide. And that vapour condenses in the clouds, adding to the rain already there.

Seems to me that we should pay more attention to our steamy emissions when we ponder the pollution problem from hydrocarbon burning.

From: Bill Marsh, Beadle Garth, Copmanthorpe.

MOST of us want to do our bit to help others who are struggling. As a country, this generous inclination results in us giving away £1bn in foreign aid every month. You might argue the merits or otherwise of doing this in good times but when we now have serious flooding affecting many thousands of people, it’s surely right that we look after our own first?

The Government is talking about spending £2.6bn over the next six years on flood defences, money that has to be found amongst tight budgets. All that’s really needed is the political will to divert just three months of that foreign aid to pay for the whole thing and enable us to get on with it tomorrow (GP Taylor, The Yorkshire Post, December 23).

From: Barbara Penny, Valley Drive, Harrogate.

WE are, I am sure, all feeling huge sympathy for the recent victims of floods. It should be yet another wake up call that we have to do our bit in our efforts to avert even worse climate change. Austerity cuts have no place when it comes to saving our planet or to saving our communities and infrastructure. It is pointless pleading we have spent more on flood defences this year when we know that spending on flood defences was cut by 30 per cent after 2010/11 and many projects have been cancelled or delayed.

These are serious problems which need to be addressed by everyone pulling together. Past mistakes must be admitted and the best brains on all sides must be harnessed and given the money to make a difference.

From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.

MY heart goes out to the people whose homes have been destroyed by the flooding, the people of Yorkshire and Lancashire have not got a lot of chance of a satisfactory outcome. The people of Doncaster who were flooded in 2007 were out of their properties over 12 months after the water subsided. Dump the HS2 project and start work on the rivers at the sea end and work inland. The wider and deeper it gets at the mouth, the more pressure relieved further upstream.

Where were coal backers?

From: Ron Firth, Woodgarth Court, Campsall.

I WOULD agree with John Allott (The Yorkshire Post, December 22), that coal was indeed responsible for kick-starting the Industrial Revolution in the UK, enabling the many talented individuals to power their machinery and factories thus keeping us at the forefront in technology globally as well as heating our homes. But that was before the advent of North Sea oil and gas and nuclear power which, for the first time, created stiff competition for coal as the major source of energy.

To stay in the race coal had to reduce production costs by closing the most inefficient, often most dangerous pits, and give priority to the richer seams available at the modern larger collieries, which gradually became capable of supplying the dwindling demand for coal. Domestically, housewives preferred the cleaner more easily controllable gas or oil for heating which even spread to the miners’ concessionary allowance being taken in cash rather than coal.

The industrial market for coal was decimated by the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike which forced major customers such as power stations and factories to switch to oil and gas to provide them with the reliable source of energy vital for their future existence. Of course, the present Government should be supporting financially the carbon capture scheme making use of the very significant coal supplies available. But where were the unions and Northern MPs when Ed Miliband, as Energy Secretary and MP for a constituency including Hatfield Colliery, set out his intention to bring an end to fossil fuels as a source of energy within the next couple of decades and introducing emission levies on coal whilst pushing strongly for subsidies for on-shore wind?

Where were they when Ed Davey, the coalition Energy Secretary, declined to support the Don Valley CCS (considered by the EU, the best, most advanced scheme in Europe with a EU grant available)?

Treated badly on prayer call

From: Patricia Garrick, Fountayne Road, Hunmanby, Filey .

ON the afternoon on Christmas Eve, my husband took me to York Minster. When we arrived, there were two women outside the door. One asked me if I was there for the carol service which was starting in an hour’s time.

I said no, I had come to have a “word with God “in the form of praying. I was told to wait until she had asked someone if it was okay for me to go into the Minster to pray.

I was rather embarrassed at having to justify my going to church for a quiet word with God.

I told her not to bother, the Catholic church would not turn anyone away and promptly left.

I am hurt to think York Minster is only concerned with the commercial side of Christianity and not with real people.