The Independent, 9 May 2014:
Your editorial on fracking contains several unstated value judgements. First you assume that a transition to a truly green energy system is unachievable (untrue), second that shale gas is less polluting than coal (not true in the US), and third that energy security trumps climate change as the major determinant of policy (unbelievably short-sighted).
The assumption that we might as well frack because it’s just another type of fossil fuel denies the reality of global warming. We are currently emitting 33 billion tonnes of CO2 annually, which means that we will exceed the 450ppm threshold in about 20 years. In the UK it will take 10 years to establish a fracking industry, at which point the technology will be locked-in for another 30 years and we will be well beyond the point of no return.
When future generations, or what is left of humanity, look back on the failure of mankind to tackle climate change in the early part of the 21st century, your editorial will stand out as a prime example of why it all went so horribly wrong.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire