LETTER: We owe it to our children to take responsibility

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Paul Deacon spoke with some feeling when he said, “It is vital that people express their opinion in public” following his recent acquittal at Brighton Magistrates ‘Court, where he was one of several people tried for obstructing the highway last July, during the protests at the Balcombe drilling site.

However, most people in Mid Sussex cannot express an opinion about shale oil/gas drilling, because they still do not know what is entailed.I would plead with everyone in this district to waste no time in finding-out just what is about to be visited upon them, as the oil industry’s plans are rolled-out later this year.The people of Balcombe have been exceptional in their active pursuit of information about “fracking” - and its consequences in Australia, where it started and thereafter in the United States. Their website, (www.frackfreebalcombe.co.uk - useful Information), gives us the benefit of their research and is an excellent introduction to the concerns felt by those who oppose this industry operating in residential areas. It includes a study of the geological implications of drilling in Balcombe - and all over the south of England by Professor David Smythe, a former advisor to the British government.The South of England is the most densely populated region in Europe - and therefore the risks to human life and health are far greater than in the deserts and remote regions where oil drilling has traditionally taken place.We owe it to our children and grandchildren to take responsibility for the integrity of our environment and drinking water; because once the water supply is contaminated, it is irreversible - perhaps for centuries.There will be no second chance for the generations to come - we are the guardians of their future

Gillian Maher

Bylanes Crescent, Cuckfield