We must embrace renewable energy

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We have to get ourselves off fossil fuels (primarily coal and gas) as quickly as possible to avoid the increasingly damaging effects of climate change.

As our global climate hots up we will see more crop disease, loss of housing land and farmland, and millions of people around the world having to move to higher ground (more immigration?).

The answer is to stop using gas and coal and switch to renewable energy as quickly as possible.

Sadly, too often, people choose between solar farm or no solar farm, or wind turbine or no wind turbine.

But these are the wrong choices.

Instead, people need to compare all that could be on offer – solar, wind, fracking, hydro, tidal, coal, gas etc and THEN make a considered choice between them.

I would prefer a combination of rapid house insulation programme (which the coalition Government slowed down), better energy efficiency measures, solar farms (which, with decent hedging cannot be seen at ground level, wind turbines (positioned away from communities) and coastal tidal schemes to reduce our current dependency on gas and improve our UK energy security.

The alternative, shale gas, is too horrifying to contemplate, as evidenced by a report published by DEFRA recently which warns of a fall in house prices near fracking plants, increases in insurance premiums to cover the risk of explosions, traffic congestion, declines in nearby rural businesses, greater noise and air pollution, pressure on local services, burdens on waste water treatment and industrialisation of the countryside.

It will not bring down energy prices, and there will be very, very few jobs for local people.

The results of the government’s 14th round of onshore gas licensing will be announced soon, in which all of South Yorkshire is up for grabs to fracking companies.

This week, Lancashire County Council turned down two planning applications for fracking, stopping the industry in its tracks.

We should do the same when they try to come here.

In the meantime, embrace sustainable, renewable energy. Please.

David Burley

Amory’s Holt Road, Maltby, Rotherham