I share Scott Marmion’s passion for looking at the Moon landings 50 years ago (Moon landings should inspire our future, July 16).

All the lunar astronauts described one of their most powerful experiences as the moment of looking back at the Earth. The photos they took transformed humanity’s collective understanding of the beauty and fragility of the blue sphere we call home in the vast infinity of space.

The decades since have heightened that awareness. The satellites we have launched into orbit enable us to chart climate change, biodiversity loss and the subtle truth that, viewed from space, there are no frontiers between nations. There is only one planet.

Let us paraphrase one of JF Kennedy’s greatest speeches to inspire action to face the greatest challenge and opportunity of our times.

We choose to tackle climate change. We choose to tackle climate change in this decade. Not because it is easy but because it is hard. Because that goal will serve to organise the best of our energies and skills. Because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

Cllr Christian Vassie,

Chair of City of York Council’s Climate Change Committee,

Blake Court, Wheldrake, York

Why won’t MP back a ban on fracking?

The recently-published manifesto of the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) pledges that a ‘ban on fracking is overwhelmingly sensible’. As one of the 41 Conservative MPs who are members of the network, Ryedale’s MP Kevin Hollinrake has signed the CEN Declaration.

However, on his constituency website he says ‘there is one policy in the manifesto upon which I disagree. I should make clear that I am not in favour of a ban on fracking’.

The question arises as to what motivates him in continuing to speak on behalf of the fossil fuel industry?

As the manifesto points out, ‘over twice as many Conservative voters believe that we should generate power from onshore wind than from fracked gas’. Mr Hollinrake seems to think we need more fossil fuels, yet the manifesto makes clear that ‘gas from fracking offers little in the way of economic opportunity, and much more in the way of stranded assets’.

A fellow enthusiast for fracking is Jim Ratcliffe, the majority owner of the petrochemical company Ineos – and Britain’s richest man.

His giant plant in Grangemouth uses ethane from imported shale gas to make one third of the UK’s plastic. The plant consumes massive amounts of electricity in addition to being a major burner of fossil fuels, indeed it is estimated that by 2050, plastic production will be responsible for 15 per cent of global carbon emissions.

The CEN Manifesto takes a decidedly negative stance against plastic pollution, yet this is another anomaly in Mr Hollinrake’s position as he champions fracking in order to create yet more plastic.

Dr Peter Williams,

Newbiggin, Malton

Tour de Yorkshire would be a casualty of fracking

I note MP Julian Sturdy’s promise (The Press, July 11) that ‘my party needs to show that (we have) a vigorous commitment to conserve our irreplaceable natural inheritance for future generations, something particularly vital in the beautiful surroundings of North Yorkshire’.

Stirring words indeed. Since Ineos arrived in Yorkshire they have announced their intention to frack the picturesque village of Harthill. Since nesting birds get in the way of fracking Ineos have sawed hedgerows in half and littered fields with plastic ribbons. The villagers are trying to oppose this.

Ineos also wish to frack in another South Yorkshire village of Woodsetts. This is now the subject of a public inquiry.

The fracking pad operated by Cuadrilla near Blackpool is about the size of two football fields. Ineos and other operators plan hundreds of these across North Yorkshire.

I am glad my MP Mr Sturdy seems ready to try to support the people of North Yorkshire in preventing our beloved county from turning into an industrially blighted land. The Tour de Yorkshire would be an early casualty.

Chris Clayton,

Hempland Drive, York