RAPID RESPONSES

J.K., not Rowling

Chris Hulme should read J.K. Galbraith [True owners bear risks and rewards, last Thursday]. For over thirty years he argued that corporations are run by senior executives mainly for their own benefit and not for that of shareholders.

Like Hulme, I hope the Kay report reveals how unnecessary share trading is destroying value for holders of such as unit trusts and crucially pensions.

Chris Hawkes

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#shalefail

I was alarmed to read Corin Taylor’s article [Going green isn’t easy when we’re so far in the red, last Thursday], because the focus of the article was to sell the concept of shale gas, while omitting to point out why it might blow apart any pretence at de-carbonising society. Shale gas was originally considered to be a greener alternative to oil, coal and conventional gas. However, there is now considerable concern that shale gas could be as bad to the environment as burning coal. In a letter by Howarth, Santoro and Ingraffea it is estimated that 3.6-7.9 per cent of total well production is lost to the atmosphere as methane. This is 30 per cent greater than, and perhaps twice as much over a well’s lifetime, as a conventional gas well. While shale gas might be a short-term solution for energy companies, it still does not look like a long-term solution for society.

Mark Hoskin