Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

CHANCE: The dismissal of Newcastle Jets coach Mark Jones has been criticised as disrespectful, with one fan suggesting time and resources will make the difference.

CHANCE: The dismissal of Newcastle Jets coach Mark Jones has been criticised as disrespectful, with one fan suggesting time and resources will make the difference.

THE Newcastle Jets club statement ended: “The club thanks Jones for his efforts”. What a miserable way to part ways with a person. Not Mr Jones, or Mark Jones, but simply Jones. He was us, the public face of our team, and deserves respect and civility.

The management and ownership of the Jets handed Mark Jones a raw deal at the beginning, when he stepped in with only a couple of weeks notice, with raw players not of his choosing and no players matching the top of the A-League. The Jets have had nine coaches in the last 11 years and five in the last four years. Do they really think changing the coach will do any good? I think something is wrong higher up.

I think the poor quality of the Jets’ management was evident at the last home game, against the Western Sydney Wanderers. There was massive support for the visitors, but Jets’ management could only muster a handful of despondent individuals for the Squadron. Our team played with great determination against Sydney FC in the last game of their season, the bottom team playing the top. For a short while a draw was a possibility but eventually the brilliance of the opposition won out. I cannot blame our players, only the management that put them there. What is needed is a clean-out at the top, where the buck stops.

I'm a proud Novocastrian, and hope to see the Jets improve over the next few seasons. I’m not looking for miracles, but I hope a good coach can be found and given the support needed to build a competitive team. It will probably take more than a couple of years to raise the standard, and whoever is appointed must be allowed the time and resources to rebuild the Jets.

Graeme Jameson, New Lambton

Problem with methane

STEPHEN Williams recently repeated the case for the elimination of carbon from our atmosphere (‘ALP must stop 'pussyfooting' on climate’, Herald, 28/2). It is assumed that carbon dioxide is the culprit and transitioning from burning coal to generate electricity to solar, wind and hydro and the storage of electric power will contain global warming.

Like others, he failed to mention methane from coal seam gas production; also methane from the livestock industry and humans. Methane is 80 times more effective as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Another source of methane is the permafrost deposits in the arctic that are being released as the atmosphere warms. The retreat of the glaciers and the melting of the ice sheets is visible and we can calculate the expected rise of the oceans but the extent of methane deposits is probably unknown.

John McLennan, Charlestown

No utopia for all

RON Gibbins is misguided when he gives belief in God responsibility for his perceived utopia in 1960 (Letters, 18/4). Churches are now apologising that they did not protect children from serial abusing clergy; women and children were regularly physically and sexually abused and domestic violence was rife. Until Whitlam introduced Supporting Parents’ Benefit, women and children were locked in abusive relationships: no refuges, no support and police ignored domestic violence. So 1960 may have been ‘the good old days’ for men, but it certainly was not for women and children.

Joan Lambert, Adamstown

Teaching critical thinking

KEVIN McDonald (Letters 13/4) denigrates school scripture and seems unable to acknowledge its benefits. I wonder if the $300,000 public money spent on the SRE review might have been better spent repairing school buildings. If children are to be competent critical thinkers, they should be taught to consider the whole range of evidence and opinions on a subject. So, teaching evolution theory to the exclusion of other possibilities is not good training for critical thinking. Even if some SRE teachers are not perfect, understanding Jesus’ teaching to love one’s neighbour as oneself is a sound ethical basis for a healthy worldview.

As for Noah’s Ark, the scripture account describes a catastrophic climate change event which influenced Earth’s weather for years. Bearing in mind the thinness of the Earth’s crust, the earthquake potential beneath us and the effects of that flood, we have an explanation that fits the geological evidence.

Alton Bowen, Wallsend

Tram transition pain

A RECENT article included interviews with business owners in Surry Hills along the tram route (‘Cafe owner counts cost of light’, SMH, 15/4). Some complained their turnover dropped 50 per cent overnight.

I think business owners along Hunter Street should brace themselves for similar drops in turnover. It just may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for those already struggling. More empty shops, less employment all supposedly in the name of revitalisation.

Add to that the inconvenience of sending buses along Honeysuckle Drive and King Street, with buses that travel into the CBD along Tudor Street having first to turn right into Hunter Street then turn right into Union Street and left onto King Street. Why not turn off Tudor Street into King Street, or are their plans to send some of these services along Honeysuckle Drive? Even the drivers are in the dark.

Nigel Dale, Adamstown

Spinning logic

IT never fails to amaze me how logic can be turned around to fit one’s ideology. Peter Dolan (Letters, 17/4) tells us that if there is no place for religious zealots in public schools, neither then is there any place for secular zealots. Logically this means that if there is a place for religious zealots, there is also a place for secular zealots. However nobody has suggested such a person should take an hour of students’ time every week to promote their beliefs as religious zealots do – perhaps for the sake of balance there should be. After all, they are secular schools. But why should everything be put on hold while any personal ideology is promoted?

Peter also tells us of the famous scientists throughout history who have been religious believers. To others this might simply reflect the power of any kind of propaganda which children are told from birth; or it may be the result of a personal or forced compromise (I am reminded of Galileo having to recant, on the order of the Church, his belief that the Earth orbited the sun). I do not see that a belief in something proves its existence. 

As for transparency, can anyone in the Department of Education tell us why the review into SRE and ethics teaching was not released to the public for over a year?

Anne Killen, Garden Suburb

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