Letters: Zero contamination no certainty with fracking

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I refer to councillor Cameron Rose’s letter of August 30 regarding fracking.

A nice rosy picture he paints (no pun intended) that dismisses any dangers that might be associated with this procedure of gas/oil extraction. What can one expect from a Conservative when they get a sniff of a possible huge financial 
kill?

Fracking involves the drilling some two miles deep into the earth through the sandstone that holds any gas or oil reserves, then the drill bit turns almost at right angles and drills up to a further two miles in a horizontal direction.

Water and an assortment of chemicals, one of which is hydrochloric acid, are then pumped in at an unbelievably high pressure to fracture the sand stone, thus forcing the gas/oil out.

However this process not only forces oil/gas out of the ground, but also contaminants such as heavy metals and other unwanted nasties that have to be safely collected and 
disposed of.

We don’t even know for sure what effect applying high pressure deep below the earth’s surface will have, such as creating earthquakes or major land subsidence.

Allegedly the water and the assortment of chemicals used in the process will be recycled and used again in the process and by using risk management (whatever that means), any contamination of the environment will be contained . . . horse droppings! This can not be guaranteed.

No-one, I repeat no-one, can be certain of zero contamination. Existing offshore oil rigs are a danger to the environment every day since they are still having major accidents all over the world.

Using America as an example of success is apples and oranges. Unlike America, the UK energy companies (many of which are not even UK owned) are largely much dependant on recourses from Europe, mainly Russia.

As far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out on this industry and I’m not convinced of its safety record and the possibility of a major environment 
disaster.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven Main Street, Edinburgh

Brush and shovel won’t get very far

I would love to see how long Lesley Hinds would last, cleaning Edinburgh with a 6ft long shaft brush and a small household shovel.

Stan Mutch, Portobello

Capital has more to offer than festivals

Now that the Festival crowds have all but melted away and the town has returned to relative calm, it does seem a shame that for just two months of the year – August and December – when there are festivals and attractions, there is a real spike in the number of visitors to the city.

Edinburgh cannot expect to be bursting at the seams all the time but I wonder if more could be done to encourage more visitors to the city all year round as opposed to just a couple of months, when the place goes 
crazy.

There is of course intense competition these days for tourists and the fact that Edinburgh city centre has resembled a war zone over the last couple of years has not helped, but looking to the long-term future, perhaps now is the time to start promoting the Capital as a city which would be well worth a visit at any time of the year.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

No-car zones won’t teach kids road sense

There was a suggestion of closing streets adjacent to schools when pupils were arriving or leaving.

Pupils have to learn to live with 
traffic at any time and anywhere in the world. If they, or adults, intend to cross, they must make sure that the driver reacts to their presence. If not, stay.

If I can stay out of trouble, after 70-plus years, so can 
anybody else.

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh

Blair has left behind a legacy of mistrust

After the humongous pack of lies that Tony Blair told parliament in 2003 to “justify” the invasion of Iraq, David Cameron has found out that never again will parliament or the British people simply “go with the flow” and take a prime minister’s word for it that intervening is the “right thing to do”.

David Cameron has blown it, his authority as Tory leader is ripped to shreds and any other prime minister in the future will be under the same scrutiny for “proof” after the lies Blair told in 2003.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian

Refugees should stay in first ‘safe haven’

The pro-immigration lobby is complaining that posters at the Immigration Office in Glasgow are racist.

The posters read “Ask about going home”.

One Church of Scotland minister said “Asylum seekers come to this country from situations of untold 
persecution and fear”. Positive Action in Housing is equally vehement, despite most of its charity funding coming from taxpayers.

Those who complain should ask why these people are in Scotland, or in fact other parts of the UK.

The immigration laws are quite clear. Asylum seekers and refugees must apply for asylum in the first “safe haven”.

Yet these people travel across Europe crossing numerous borders to get to the UK.

They have therefore forfeited any right to remain in Britain.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow