Obviously Carolyn Taylor (Letters, 4 February) is a very cautious person who can afford to take a standpoint that logically would never have permitted the development of our coalfields and the ensuing industrial revolution.
But for better or for worse, we are now faced with the urgent problem of filling a huge gap in our energy needs and the development of the shale gas reserves on our doorstep is a logical and sensible short-term solution to the problem.
Of course, the serial doubters who always want to stop the clock at their chosen point in history will demur, as will those who believe that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy will pay the bills as they pull the duvet over their heads.
But the hard fact is that we cannot afford not to get fracking and the sooner our spineless politicians face up to that blindingly obvious fact the better it will be for both Scotland and Britain.
So if you build vast numbers of wind farms and you get a windy month then you get more wind energy (your report, 4 February). What a surprise!
However, despite the hundreds of millions of pounds poured into the destruction of our wild lands, for seven days in January apparently there was insufficient power to provide electricity to all houses.
On one day 73 per cent of houses would have had no power if we had relied solely on wind power.
Instead of providing nonsense figures for imaginary houses supplied with electricity the contribution of wind farms to total industrial commercial and residential consumption in Scotland would be much more relevant.
On the least productive day only 12 per cent of our total electricity consumption came from wind farms – hardly a ringing endorsement of this hyped-up, subsidy-driven so-called green industry.
Mr Lang Banks of WWF boasts of how many homes wind energy notionally “powered” last month.
The figures quoted actually refer only to domestic electricity, which represents about one quarter of the energy consumed in homes.
Furthermore, domestic electricity is only about a third of total electricity consumption. On the two coldest days of winter so far, 19 and 21 January, UK peak electricity demand was about 52GW.
The country’s entire stock of wind turbines were producing around 0.5GW on both occasions, only one percent of electricity requirements.
The test of any engineering system is not how it performs under the most favourable conditions, but under the worst.
(Prof) Jack Ponton, FREng
Scientific Alliance Scotland
North St David Street