I HAVE previously had letters published in support of fracking and have just received – anonymously – a Friends of Earth Scotland policy briefing paper full of one-sided statements aimed at frightening people.
One statement in particular deserves challenge: “The recoverable resource is small, extraction is expensive and climate emissions are likely to be much higher than North sea gas.” Britain is sitting on top of a trillion-pound shale gas bonanza, which would yield vast new reserves of cheap, clean energy. Shale gas reserves identified so far are enough to keep the lights on for 141 years.
In the United States, energy prices are half what they were three years ago and are half of energy prices in Europe. American CO2 emissions have been reduced due to shale gas being used in power plants rather than coal. America has so much shale gas that it will soon be exporting it, alongside coal, to Europe.
When he was with WWF, the Friends of the Earth Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon was a great fan of wind turbines and ignored their environmental impact, the bird and bat massacres, the human health hazards in Britain and China, the soil contamination and the economic impact on our escalating energy bills and the additional fuel poverty caused. He is quick, however, to stir up the old and scientifically disproved shale gas “ogres” about health, earthquakes, soil contamination and water contamination. The US has no such problems.
The final paragraph of the pamphlet says fracking will “wreck our climate commitments, and blight communities and our countryside for many years to come”. As for “climate commitments”, perhaps Friends of Earth has not noticed that 87 per cent of the world have made no climate commitments but are growing their economies and CO2 emissions.
As for “blighting communities and our countryside”, then FoE should be turning its attention to wind turbines and their destructive march across Scotland.
Linlithgow, West Lothian