Fossil fuel needs

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Carolyn Taylor chastises me for daring to tell the “green zealots” that they will never wean the world off fossil fuels (Letters, 15 November).

A fossil fuel, namely coal, drove the industrial revolution and allowed the Western world to prosper.

India has vowed it will use coal to bring its people out of poverty, like China is doing.

It is ironic that America is the only country in the world to have reduced its CO² levels by using shale gas and exporting its “dirty” coal to Europe and China for them to burn.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that, even in a wildly optimistic scenario, the world will get just 3.5 per cent of its energy needs from solar and wind by 2035 at a cost of $100 billion in annual subsidies.

Today, according to the IEA, the world gets 82 per cent of its energy from fossil fuels and in 21 years’ time it will still be more than 79 per cent.

The poor half of our world needs cheap energy, the majority of which will be produced from coal.

Would Ms Taylor deny them? Ms Taylor must surely realise that fossil fuels will be essential for many decades.

Clark Cross

Springfield Road

Linlithgow

Carolyn Taylor talks about “The negative impact of CO² emissions on the planet” when replying to a letter from Clark Cross (Letters, 15 November). Why then has there been no 
global warming for 18 years despite rising CO² levels?

She may not be aware that in 2012 shale gas in the USA reduced emissions three times more than all the solar and wind in Europe.

Gas, although a fossil fuel, emits about half the greenhouse gases of coal and has reduced America’s CO² emissions to their lowest in 20 years. Unlike wind and solar, shale gas and underground coal gasification (UCG) requires no subsidies.

Why then do we not embrace shale gas and UCG, which would immediately give the CO² reductions that Carolyn Taylor desires?

Dan Arnott

St Brycedale Court

Kirkcaldy

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