IN reply to Nick Hardman and Lorraine Allanson. We know that we have more than enough fossil fuel reserves to push us past a survivable temperature rise.

We neither need more gas reserves not can we afford to burn them. With leaks at all stages of extraction, processing and distribution, the levels of methane from fracking are already having a devastating effect on climate breakdown globally.

The USA fracking boom has enabled a huge increase in production of the single use, throwaway plastics that are already clogging our oceans. If we allow INEOS to frack in Yorkshire, this can only lead to more plastic waste.

The USA is often offered as a place that demonstrates clean and safe fracking yet multiple research papers show a clear relationship between living near fracking wells and very significant health impacts.

Those with vested interests refer to the authors as “mad professors” and cry foul at the scientists normal precautionary language when they rightly say “more research is needed”.

We should require the gas companies to prove they can do it safely rather than wait decades, as we did with tobacco, to recognise significant and inevitable harms.

As a grandfather and experienced family doctor I cannot stand back and accept this process being rolled out without recognition of the problems found elsewhere, without any baseline recording of health and no monitoring programme to detect adverse effects with our regulation and engineering.

We should not be exploiting a new fossil fuel. The Conservative Environmental Network manifesto found little to commend fracking, describing it as woefully unpopular among Tory voters and called for a ban. Perhaps I am now a mainstream voice.

Dr Tim Thornton, Pickering

Climate fears

THERE was a bitter irony that Ms Allanson and her supporter had letters published on July 31 strongly advocating a new English fracking industry to produce yet more fossil fuel to burn and to produce yet more single use plastic.

That was the day that intense rainfall, consistent with man-made climate change, caused devastating floods in North Yorkshire, while vast tracts of Siberia burned and Arctic sea-ice melted at record rates concurrently. Similar floods have damaged a reservoir near Whaley Bridge, threatening the whole town.

How late in the day will we accept that climate change must be raised above everything else as the single and most imminent threat to all life on earth? It requires major lifestyle changes and carbon reductions individually and collectively.

The ever-increasing burning of fossil fuels (including fracked gas) since the start of the industrial revolution has pumped ever-increasing CO2 into our atmosphere to create a warming effect. On a daily basis, we are now suffering the effects of this additional trapped energy dissipating itself with catastrophic effects worldwide. Nature’s balance has been unbalanced. The scientific evidence is overwhelming and incontrovertible.

The current planning and delivery of new industries, homes, transport, energy supplies and associated infrastructure will impact on carbon reduction or increases for decades to come. How will we reverse this unfolding catastrophe without dramatically reducing emissions right now? Starting to turn a speeding supertanker full of oil is too late if it’s already approaching the rocks.

Cllr Mike Potter, Pickering

Figures don’t match

I WOULD like to reply to the opinions expressed by Peter Williams in his “suspicions raised”.

Peter Williams quotes the Conservative Environment Network manifesto that makes the claim that twice as many Conservative voters believe we should generate electricity from onshore wind rather than from gas. I do not know how they have arrived at that those figures but it doesn’t match events within the Conservative constituency where I live.

In the East Yorkshire area where I live, we have an onshore windfarm operated by EnergieKontor UK Limited and an oil and gas exploration site operated by Rathlin Energy Limited, the sites are within two miles of each other.

When both companies wanted to expand their operations at their sites, planning applications were submitted to the East Riding of Yorkshire County Council. The windfarm extension received 282 objections, the drilling of a second exploration oil/gas well received 121 objections.

Peter Williams also tries to link UK shale gas with Ineos and the manufacture of plastics. Ineos currently imports ethane from the US to manufacture plastic at their Grangemouth site.

Analysis from the UK shale rock formation and gas obtained from Cuadrilla’s fracked well has revealed that the gas content is made up of 96 per cent methane, of the other four per cent mix of various gases only 1.6 per cent is ethane. It would appear from those results that shale gas from the UK would be very suitable for electricity generation but not for plastic manufacture.

John Harrison, East Yorkshire