Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Monday, August 14, 2017

RENEWABLES: If energy companies go down the path of renewables, rather than coal, they need to be understand what that means for reliability, argues one contributor.
RENEWABLES: If energy companies go down the path of renewables, rather than coal, they need to be understand what that means for reliability, argues one contributor.

DO the people at AGL not understand that the size of the wind and solar panels that they are proposing will go only a tiny way in providing enough power for what is called the "base load", which is the lowest amount of energy required to provide the minimum (or base) amount of energy that is needed to allow the energy system to operate (‘New dawn’, Herald, 11/8).

This does not even take into account at all the amount of energy that is needed at peak times. These systems will break down, as seen recently in South Australia.

We have massive amounts of coal that will be available for many, many years and yet, despite huge advancements in clean coal technology they are looking to go down a path that has already been proven to fail.

If our coal-powered stations are to be closed down within the decade then the government are certainly not doing what they should (a little forward thinking would help) and that is building energy facilities that will take us into the future with a secure and powerful energy system.

Phillip Mallows, Stockton

Messing up marriage

I agree with Clive Jensen (Short Takes, 11/8). Traditionally, it has always been understood that marriage between a human man and woman is required, or at least expected, before offspring are considered.

I am one of 11 offspring by the same married man and woman. I fully understand the process. The humans that created me were programmed to be very good Catholics and popped us out like sausages.

I admire and respect any male and female human that treat each other well, create new life in their own image and successfully raise them to become useful citizens with a positive mindset. However, the dumbest of all animals has no trouble in finding a suitable mate and producing and successfully raising offspring. Marriage and/or religion have exactly nothing to do with it.

It's only human beings that seem to mess the whole process up. I believe that, generally speaking, humanity is now a genetic basket case.

Patrick Kiem, Walllsend

Questioning vote plan

IT is understood Australia Post will be trusted to deliver the opportunity to each person to vote and to have that person’s vote returned so that it does in fact count.

Over the past 12 months my wife and I have posted various letters and parcels from recognised offices of Australia Post and never have they reached the addressee, nor have they been returned to the endorsed sending address.

Another uncontrolled security issue – voter mail boxes, particularly in high rise buildings are well known targets of thieves who rob people of their unopened mail giving further rise to the voting public being disenfranchised and to corruption by persons illegally having more than one vote.

I believe the matter of voting through Australia Post is very much open to corruption and has a high potential of disenfranchising the Australian individual from their voting entitlement.

Richard Barnett, Hallidays Point

Tribute to Merv

FORMER students who attended Newcastle East Primary School in the 1960s were saddened to hear of the passing of our former teaching headmaster, Merv Hall.

Last year, many of us were so glad Mr Hall, who organised the 150th anniversary of Australia’s oldest school in 1966, was able to attend the bicentenary celebrations. We even managed an ale or two reminiscing and overlooking Newcastle beach.

Mr Hall, besides teaching us the basics to ensure the majority of us made it to selective schools, expanded our minds with lessons in chess, musical instruments and public library historical research. Forty years after finishing at the school he could ring me and discuss in detail the successes of any of my classmates.  

The words of Sir Thomas More apply to the teaching career of Mr Hall that included his last posting as principal of the largest primary school in the Hunter Valley, Wallsend South. When asked who would know a great teacher, he replied: “You, your pupils, your friends, God. Not a bad public.” 

May Merv Hall rest in peace and condolences to his family from the thousands who benefited from his dedication to the teaching profession.

Tony Nicod, Collaroy

No business of church

WHY is Alan Kendall "surprised and disappointed" at the lack of protest from churches about marriage equality (Letters, 10/8)? After all, what has it got to do with the Church? If you are a Christian and you follow a strict interpretation of the Bible you may hold beliefs about marriage equality, but why would religious institutions have any special right, or obligation, to comment? 

The role of Christian churches (which I presume Mr Kendall is alluding to) is to promote love and understanding in the spirit of the teachings of Christ, so to publicly come out against the extension of basic rights to some people who might not fit precisely with some Bible interpretations of human relationships would be counter to their principal role. 

And in view of the almost endemic nature of sexual abuse of young children, both boys and girls, among clergy across all denominations it would indeed be hypocritical for the Church to single out gays for censure. 

As for politicians, I suspect that in many cases their church attendance is more likely to be related to their political conviction than to any religious conviction and, even if they are genuinely religious, their faith should not influence the exercise of their responsibilities in the secular parliament. 

And finally, it is really none of the Church's business (nor mine, nor Alan Kendall's) if gay couples want to have their union recognised as marriage. 

I have never heard a gay person criticise my, or any other, heterosexual marriage and I certainly would have no right to criticise or question the relationships of my gay friends or any other gay couples. 

John Ure, Mount Hutton

Off the rails

REGARDING the NeW Space race (‘Wheels that won’, Herald, 11/8): An awesome experiment. Extremely sad though, rail trip would have been 11 minutes from Warabrook to Civic, while light rail down the corridor from the interchange would suggest no more than another five minutes. What a huge sham (oops) shame?

Elaine Street, Merewether