FRACKING won’t bring down energy bills.

Better insulation will.

The Advertising Standards Agency’s recent U-turn regarding a Greenpeace advert “after careful consideration of all matters raised” indicates official acceptance of the fact that shale gas is not expected to reduce energy bills.

Better insulation of our buildings carried out a through a thorough government programme can massively reduce the need for gas, cut bills, improve health and together with renewables, LED lights and energy efficient appliances can reduce UK carbon emissions dramatically in order to meet this country’s agreed climate targets without any need for a new fossil fuel industry.

This approach, fully implemented, would create a million jobs according to calculations, boost the economy and pay for itself relatively quickly.

Now that China and the USA have ratified the international Paris Agreement on climate change, the UK as the world’s sixth largest economy, has a moral obligation to set a good example in taking urgent and meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gases.

Thankfully, we are seeing an increasing number of institutions “divesting” ie moving their investments away from fossil fuels but above all, it’s the government that needs to act. Most people’s lives will be improved so why not make these feasible changes?

Josephine Downs, York & Ryedale Friends of the Earth

Beauty in poetry

NEW words are added to our dictionary each year, but the new word ‘fracking’ we don’t want to hear.

Yorkshire, God’s county, to spoil no doubt, drilling for gas, we can do without.

Our beautiful villages and country lanes, will not be able to sustain the strains Of heavy lorries, several times every day, spoiling our verges, expecting us to “give way”.

Monetary compensation for KM8 – if it ever comes, will be too late.

The damage will have already been done – reducing house prices: buyers there will be none.

And why spoil our country with windmills everywhere, nuclear stations and large drills? It’s not fair.

We are an island, surrounded by sea, the tide is a constant and should provide our electricity.

Technology can surely harness this gift of power to provide energy every day, every hour.

Relying on the wind, and drilling our earth – it is not safe, in my opinion, for what it’s worth.

G Cosens, Thornton-le-Dale

Please nominate

THE National Autistic Society is looking for local people and organisations making a difference to the lives of autistic people and their families.

We want to share their stories so we can increase public understanding of autism and inspire others to improve their own practice.

Perhaps it’s a teaching assistant who has helped a child to achieve something great, or a business that has made adjustments for autistic employees.

If any readers know of an inspirational individual or organisation, please nominate them for the Autism Professionals Awards 2017. Go to autismprofessionals

Carol Povey, director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism

Lead theft cost

THE article appearing in the Gazette & Herald last week gave the impression that the value of the lead stolen from All Saints Church Slingsby was high, possibly up to £20,000.

Historic England is anxious that this is corrected quickly to avoid encouraging other petty thieves from believing there are rich and easy pickings to come from removing lead roofing from historic churches.

The total scrap value of the lead stolen on three separate thefts in the last few weeks from Slingsby Church would be little more than about £1,500. It is now clear that the cost of coping with the resulting damage, together with the cost of replacement will be in excess of £25,000. Only a small amount of this is covered by insurance, due to the difficulties in obtaining full cover for lead theft.

Across Ryedale, the cost of this type of crime is impossible to bear for small congregations like at Slingsby. They already support the considerable cost of maintaining these buildings, many of which are very old and are important village features and repositories of local history.

It is a commonly held view that the Church of England or the Government pays for them. This is not the case at all: no funding comes direct from the Church of England or the Government, and all costs of routine building maintenance, repair and updating have to be raised by small groups of local people through sheer hard work.

As stated by a police spokesperson in the original newspaper article, attention and vigilance by the public is a positive way of creating security and preventing this this sort of crime from taking place.

Margaret Mackinder, member of Slingsby Parochial Church Council