Fracking risks

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I would suggest to Professor Trewavas (Letters, 28 January) that people from all walks of life, not just the rich, protest when they perceive the possibility of personal risk.

Perhaps those who have the benefit of higher level education are instrumental in galvanising public opinion, but you don’t have to have a university degree to understand the concerns raised by the campaign group Environment America, whose recent analysis showed the unimaginable extent of damage to the environment and to health caused by fracking.

Our safety regulations may be more stringent than in the USA, but we are also a much smaller country, with less space between areas of population and potential fracking sites. It’s a hazardous industry, and no amount of professed concern for those living in fuel poverty will alter that reality. It’s the big energy companies that have control over the relative warmth of the nation.

Ofgem has said its profits could rise to £114 per household this year, up from £77 a year ago, thanks to lower wholesale prices. In contrast, the proposed cuts to gas tariffs for consumers are extremely modest, to say the least.

If our life spans were much longer than the average three score and ten, and we could envisage a future spanning several hundred years, perhaps our attitude towards our impact on the environment would be radically altered.

As it is, 100 years from now, none of the contributors to The Scotsman letters section will still be around to voice their opinions on questionable human activities.

This failure of imagination results in short-term solutions.

Carolyn Taylor