Letters: We should wait for more knowledge before fracking

Have your say

I was more than a little horrified to hear that shale gas exploration – or “fracking”, as it is known – could be on the cards in the Lothians (Frackers eyeing up Lothians, News, December 14).

There isn’t enough yet known about the consequences of extracting this natural gas, and previously it has been linked to causing earthquakes. It could also be a danger to the environment, since chemicals are poured into the earth during the extraction process, thereby poisoning the surrounding air, water, food and climate.

What worries me is that it may be in some people’s interest that damaging evidence is hard to come by, since any new source of energy is bound to be extremely profitable. Will it be a case of drill first, deal with the consequences later? And what reassurances will be offered to the unfortunate souls whose properties lie on land where shale gas exists? Can they expect the same sort of treatment from insurance companies that those living in flood zones already receive?

Shale is not man-made and therefore will run out eventually, just like coal and gas. Surely we should be concentrating on finding infinite sources of energy, like wind or tidal power, which are more kind to the environment and which could last as long as mankind.

G Fraser, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Solo drivers are cluttering roads

I was waiting at St Johns Road bus stop for a 31 
service to East Craigs. The tracker indicated 13 minutes.

To pass the time, I did a count on the single occupants in cars going westbound. I was surprised to find that over 90 per cent had only the driver.

I accept it was a dark, wet night in midwinter and a small study and a larger more comprehensive exercise may find a different result, but if my study is typical then it is a major cause of traffic congestion in Edinburgh.

With congestion charging ruled out and integrated public transport years away, Transport Convener Hinds has got her work cut out to solve or even ease the city’s traffic 
problem in the next few years.

George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh

Let public see First Scotrail evidence

If it is the case that the RMT union is trying to use the public as a lever to force First Scotrail to take back the member of staff who was dismissed for “unacceptable behaviour”, then surely the public are entitled to see the visual evidence to support the action.

Does the company or the union have a case?

CJR Fentiman, 34 Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh

Problems inevitable with fewer beds

Re waiting lists, times and shortage of beds in hospitals, the health board in their infinite wisdom closed down eight hospitals in Edinburgh and built a so-called “state of the art” hospital with fewer beds than the original Royal 
Infirmary. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the maths.

The people who built the new Royal were told before they laid a brick that it was too small, not for purpose and wouldn’t be able to cope with the increasing population of Edinburgh. As usual the facts were ignored in the name of profit, not patient care.

The people of Edinburgh got the short straw while the PFI consortium made mega bucks.

The ironical thing is all the people who signed off on the sale of the old Royal all jumped ship with golden handshakes before the proverbial hit the fan. Like every so-called public body, such as the health board, Scottish Government, Edinburgh council, their priority is to themselves not the people they are supposed to serve. Profit and apathy rules everywhere.

Name and address supplied

Thank you from SANDS wrap team

Thanks to the opportunity provided by Ocean Terminal management, the total raised for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) Lothians between December 16 and 18 is £932.88.

We set up a charity gift wrapping station and many shoppers had their gifts wrapped by the team of volunteers.

The generosity of those who donated without having any parcels wrapped is also much appreciated.

The money will be put to very good use – the counselling and befriending service that parents and families of our lost babies need.

Jane Lockhart, on behalf of the wrapping team