ON April 17, the day that David Pasley’s letter appeared in the Gazette & Herald extolling the financial benefits of fracking, my first grandchild was born. Two weeks earlier, on April 3, Lorraine Allanson wrote of the supposed reduced carbon emissions of shale gas compared to imported LNG, while also promoting the economic benefits of “home grown” gas.

I wonder what the world will be like in the 2050s when I am dead, but my grandson and his generation will be in their early 30s. Climate scientists tell us we have less than 12 years to make the changes necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and so limit warming to only 1.5 - 2.0°C, but Mr Pasley and Ms Allanson seem oblivious to our planet’s existential crisis. Mr Pasley makes no reference to this whatsoever.

Ms Allanson tells us that carbon emissions from fracked gas will be less than imported LNG, while making no reference to methane leakage during shale gas extraction. With multiple well sites needed for fracking, the risk of methane leakage is significantly higher than from large conventional wells.

Methane has 80 times the global warning effect over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide. So to claim any benefit over imported LNG carbon emission is incorrect and must be vigorously challenged.

Evidence on shale gas extraction in the USA, published by Colorado State University in the journal Science in July 2018, alarmingly showed that methane leakage rates are 60 per cent higher than the US Environment Protection Agency estimates and every year the US oil and gas industry is leaking 13 million metric tonnes of methane.

As well as containing methane, natural gas has other hydrocarbons which degrade local air quality and are bad for human health.

I hope that for the sake of future generations, politicians start to put people and the planet ahead of short-term economic gain. Low carbon alternatives for our energy requirements exist.

We need to develop them more quickly to ensure a healthy planet for those who come after us.

Paul Elliott, Pickering

Make clear choice

WHILE many readers may not approve of the recent direct action of climate change protesters, the motivation for their challenge is sincere.

Schoolchildren’s protests across the globe are prompted by the same hard evidence. Unless we substantially reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, our climate is doomed to irreversible change within our children’s lifetimes.

From the election leaflets that have recently been dropping through our letterboxes we should make a clear choice: between those candidates who are concerned by climate issues such as fracking, and those who would prefer us to remain docile and in the dark.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Get on same page

IT was indeed inspiring to see our MP Kevin Hollinrake supporting the owner of a business which has been shortlisted for an award for tackling environmental issues partaking in a “plastic free” week and an exhibition entitled “Our Earth” reflecting on the damage that climate change is causing (Gazette & Herald, April 10).

Yet our MP continues to be a “cheerleader” for the fossil fuel industry which is poised to industrialise our beloved Ryedale with 10 wellpads per 100 kilometers.

In a recent House of Commons debate on Permitted Development and Shale Gas exploration Mr Hollinrake said he was on a “slightly different page from other people in this debate”.

Well Kevin, it is now time to get on the same page as the rest of us and support renewable energy and as you said “be part of the effort to leave a legacy for future generations that we can all be proud of”.

June Smith, Helmsley

You are not alone

THIS week marks Maternal Mental Health Matters Week.

As a mum-of-two who experienced low mood and anxiety, I was left feeling unable to cope during my second pregnancy. I realised how prevalent mental health issues are among parents and how difficult it can be to ask for help.

Our recent research shows that over half (54 per cent) of mums with children aged five and under have felt anxious since having a child, 45 per cent have felt low, and over a third (35 per cent) depressed. Worse still, many face these challenges alone, not able to tell others about their feelings.

While I was lucky enough to get the help I needed, I found the information about mental wellbeing quite fragmented. This led me to set up Motherdom (available through motherdom.co.uk and in selected WHSmith stores) a magazine for parents which attempts to fill that gap. Asking for help is by no means a sign of weakness. It is often the strongest thing you can do. By speaking out I hope we are able to let people know they are not alone.

Anna Ceesay, founding editor of Motherdom