Energy folly
Alba MP Kenny MacAskill claimed that fracking and nuclear aren’t required or wanted in Scotland (Scotsman, 15 September).
One could argue against fracking on the basis that it unearths a fossil fuel, although of course such fuel is only a problem when someone burns it without safely disposing of the CO2. True, some greenhouse gases will be emitted in the fracking process, but that applies to all industrial operations. In fact it’s doubtful that much methane can be extracted via fracking.
More nuclear power may not be wanted by some but it is certainly required as an environmentally-friendly way to provide base load electricity. Alba’s and the SNP’s opposition to nuclear is incomprehensible. The idea that it is expensive is a myth. Its cost is competitive with other forms of electricity generation and its system costs are very much lower than for intermittent renewables. The cost of decommissioning and waste disposal is included in its overall cost.
The claim that 97 per cent domestic electricity consumption here came from renewables is misleading. The Scottish Government estimates that, in 2020, only 56 per sent of the electricity consumed here came from renewable sources (30 per cent was from nuclear and 13 per cent from fossil fuels). Mr MacAskill’s claim that we can “supply ourselves almost entirely from locally sourced renewables” is sheer fantasy.
Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh
I wish to take issue with Dr Richard Dixon, who says that fracking uses toxic chemicals, creates poor health, low birth weights, poor health and childhood leukaemia and a risk of earthquakes (Scotsman, 15 September).
The public have been brainwashed by the anti-fracking brigade and Friends of the Earth (FoE). FoE was accused of scaremongering and making false claims in a leaflet campaigning against fracking, saying fracking used toxic chemicals, caused cancer, caused water to catch fire, poisoned underground water, increased radioactivity and caused “earthquakes”. The chemicals used can be found under every kitchen sink. Liverpool University equated the tremors experienced during fracking trials as equivalent to sitting down heavily on an office chair – not exactly earthquake material.
The Advertising Standard Authority ordered FoE to never again make such unproven and scaremongering allegations so why was the charitable status of FoE not removed? Friends of the Earth, a registered charity, avoided this by claiming that the anti-fracking campaign was carried out by a non-charitable company called Friends of the Earth Limited.
Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

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