HOW gullible I have been over the past few years. Such a relief to read the letter from Robert Payne (August 7) that has made me aware of my weakness.

I should have realised that the 1,500 scientific studies on the adverse health and climate impacts of fracking are not true. Perhaps I had not grasped that when the industry talks about “fracking” it refers only to the few hours of fracturing the rock rather than the whole process of gas extraction.

I have long been worried that in 2017, in the US, 81 oil and gas extraction workers died on the job. Fracking is classed as mining and the figure represents 72 per cent of fatal injuries in this sector, which has a fatality rate nearly four times the national average.

Now I can rest easy as this is nothing, it seems, compared with UK wind farms where total casualties amount to 130 among which some died (number unspecified).

I naively believed the DECC, as it then was, when it said in 2013: “Cuadrilla is the only operator in the UK so far to use high volume hydraulic fracturing”. I can see now that they got it wrong.

I will be unable to benefit from cheap gas as our village is not connected. I do, however, have a niggling doubt when I hear experts like Lord Howell telling me that gas prices will not fall and others saying that on shore wind is now the cheapest form of energy generation.

How reassuring to know that the burning and flooding in our world has nothing to do with human activity. The 97 per cent of climate scientists who think that it does, really need to contact Mr Payne.

In fact, I am now thinking of subscribing to the Flat Earth Society.

Peter Allen, Cawton

Ignorance of facts

Your correspondent Mr Payne is hoist by his own petard.

Surely a frequent visitor to Ryedale can scarcely be unaware of the debate hosted in your letter columns over the last five years, or of the profound anxiety we, “the gullible”, feel as our so-called government pushes the fracking agenda in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that fracking historically entails unacceptable health, environmental, social and economic risks, as well as contributing to climate change and global warming.

Perhaps Mr Payne has not encountered the “Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking”, the sixth edition of which last month summarised 1,500 reports on the health impacts of fracking.

Perhaps he is also ignorant of the April 2015 and July 2016 Medact reports which recognise the health and environmental effects of fracking.

Indeed the education provided by Mr Payne’s Ryedale experience and your columns does not seem to have persuaded him that man has had a considerable hand in precipitating the climate emergency of which he is unaware.

Your correspondent displays astonishing ignorance of the facts around fracking (and climate change) while impugning the integrity of those not so ignorant, the “gullible”. His approach to climate change is defeatist. He prioritises the continuation of our selfish lifestyle over the needs of humanity and the planet and, to cap it all, resorts to ad hominem criticism of a much-respected man.

Your columns deserve a higher standard of debate than that which we encounter here.

David Cragg-James, Stonegrave

We need to adapt

Robert Payne, in his letter completely undermines his own argument.

He starts by criticising Dr Tim Thornton as being “un-scientific” in his approach to shale gas fracking, yet he ends by totally disregarding the scientific consensus (including the UN) that by continuing to burn fossil fuels humans are making the climate more unstable.

Onshore wind is now our cheapest form of energy generation and if we want to address fuel poverty then building super efficient housing and using our plentiful supply of renewable energy (combined with battery storage) will help considerably.

All this technology is readily available and would create well-paid jobs.

I am afraid that we are going to have to adapt to a changing climate (and mitigate it if we can) but I believe this can be done in a positive way that can result in a cleaner and more considered lifestyle.

Glyn Wild, Swinton

Thanks for help

RE: 100th Thornton-le-Dale Show after show party.

I would like the opportunity to thank all the organisations and businesses of Thornton-le-Dale.

They showed last Wednesday evening that community spirit is very much alive in our village.

The tremendous support they gave to this very memorable event, held in the marquee last Wednesday after the show, was amazing.

Contributions of food and helpers flowed in to make the evening’s event a party we will all remember for many years to come.

A very big thank you to all who helped.

Gena Douglas, Marishes