IT has been interesting to read in your newspaper the different points of view on the appointment of Mark Vaile to the position of Chancellor of the University of Newcastle.
The University of Newcastle is a regional university and much of its strength and support comes from Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and Northern NSW.
At the same time this region is also a major battleground for coal, gas and renewables as sources for future electricity generation.
The position of chancellor, as has been pointed out by others, is largely a symbolic one.
But it has to be asked if the appointment of a chancellor with strong connections to the coal industry is the right symbolism for an organisation that seeks to benefit from strong regional support.
Wilton Ainsworth, Kilaben Bay
Why shouldn't offenders be fined?
KAREN Mitchell, (Short Takes, 11/6). Speeding fines are as much revenue-raising as any fine for any offence.
You would have read in my letter that the effect will be medium to long term as repeat offenders lose their licences.
Why did we have warning signs anyway?
We don't have them for any other type of offence.
Bottom line is you only get fined if you break the law, and why shouldn't you?
And for those who come up with the "it's easy to drift over the limit" line - the limit is the maximum, not a compulsory minimum.
Doug Hoepper, Garden Suburb
Other agendas at play with gas
WHY have a gas peaking plant at Kurri Kurri when, in 2021, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has reported that large-scale battery energy storage has become the superior solution.
That would make the decision to go to gas electrical generation a poor decision.
I believe the gas peaking plant is driven by other agendas - to justify extending gas to the east coast and linking to PEP-11 for gas export reasons.
The honorable MP Keith Pitt remains silent on the subject until the Coalition feels electorally safe to push the PEP-11 through.
Gas will be around for some time as a source of domestic and industry heating, but not electrical generation.
Any expansion in gas reticulation should be designed and installed with net zero methane emissions.
Whether gas can provide transport fuels such as hydrogen in quantities needed - the research is a long way from a solution?
All the hype about gas as a future bridge to "clean hydrogen" is just hype.
There is methane emission in making natural gas and the main manufacturing process (SMR) results in CO2 emissions (grey hydrogen) or, by adding carbon capture, (blue hydrogen).
"Green hydrogen" by electrolysis using green energy and water is ambitious when Australian electricity is hard pressed to integrate renewables and meet domestic and industrial needs before adding hydrogen and electric vehicles.
The full roadway is not immediately certain and will develop as technology options are fully proven. Some areas will have no green solutions; working carbon capture technologies are the game changer.
Paul Duggan, Garden Suburb
Money is moving to renewables
FOR some reason Carl Stevenson thinks that producing hydrogen means creating carbon.
Well, no it doesn't.
Hydrogen can be produced from solar and wind power, which is not only carbon free, but completely emissions free and cheaper as well.
Banks won't lend money for new coal mines or coal fired power, simply because it is more expensive than the clean alternative which is renewables and storage.
This wonderful country of ours is blessed with more sun and wind than most and it's free.
Coal isn't free is it Carl?
And it does cause a lot of damage to the environment, but you propose to keep using it.
If investment is moving away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy, then it's time to use some critical thinking, Carl, as to why.
Shaun Beck, Maitland
Time to move away from fossils
WITH the G7 summit in the news, this is Australia's reminder to strengthen our climate commitments and transition away from our dirty fossil fuel driven economy.
Now that the world's seven largest advanced economies have agreed to stop international financing of carbon-emitting coal projects by the end of 2021 and to phase out such support for all fossil fuels, it is in Australia's best interests to move away from coal and gas.
Bucking against international trends is going to leave Australia's economy vulnerable, with billions of taxpayers' dollars stuck in stranded assets.
Transitioning our nation towards cleaner low carbon-intensive industries makes sense to rebuild a strong and resilient post-COVID economy.
Ching Ang, Kensington Gardens
How do we keep our young gun?
THE Jets saved their best for the last game and in doing so no wooden spoon.
What a find they have in Archie Goodwin.
I think he scored the goal of the season and it would not have looked out of place in the English Premier League to curl the ball into the right corner from about 25 metres out.
I think there will be plenty of scouts knocking on his door pretty soon.
I just hope the Jets can retain him for a few more years, but it's going to be a struggle with all the offers that will come his way.
Allen Small, East Maitland
There are jobs in the industry
IN reply to Steve Barnett's query on how jobs are created in the renewable energy industry.
1. The number of people engaged in the manufacture of solar panels I'm not sure but more than one.
2. The truck driver who delivers the solar panels.
3. The solar panel installer.
4. The electrician who wires it up.
There are four for you and we've only used solar.
Of course there are more; sales people and publicity people. But you can get the picture I'm sure.
I don't suggest these numbers represent a true picture of full time jobs, just using the formula used by the government when boasting of employment creation.
Fred McInerney, Karuah
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
MARK Vaile: boy, hasn't this appointment shown how far left universities are? Although I do agree that we have to go to renewables, we still need coal to deliver cheap reliable base load power so our industries can operate successfully. Of course if coal isn't the answer to reliable power there is always nuclear.
Bruce Brander, Belmont
CONGRATS to coach Craig Deans and everyone involved in guiding the Newcastle Jets to a spirited finish to a tumultuous season, in the process consigning Melbourne Victory, one of the richest clubs, to a well-deserved wooden spoon. Almost as satisfying, is the admission by the previous coach that his season was a failure, despite abandoning the Jets for another rich club and poaching many players from rivals. It seems death-riding the Western Sydney Wanderers worked a treat! Let's hope he isn't allowed to pinch some of our young stars.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
CONGRATULATIONS Jets on missing a wooden spoon; thanks to a 16-year-old local boy. Well done, Archie Goodwin.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
WELL, well, well. The VAR kept a low profile. The Jets turned up. The young blokes went for it. The old blokes showed their class. Nice finish for a tough year.
Stephen Willmott, Maitland
WHY didn't our esteemed leaders spend our $50 million (that was spent on Christmas Island detention) helping countries arrest the people smugglers before the boats set sail. If this continues I see more millions being wasted. Happy Birthday Priya. I'm with Kevin Sweeney, ("Bring sorry saga to an end", Letters, 10/6).
Eddie Boards, Kilaben Bay
SATURDAY morning's Herald won't be the same with Jeff Corbett's awesome essay missing. However, readers were very happy with Jeff's second coming when he decided to write one article a week, as he previously had six. Maybe a third coming could be considered, like once a month, say, the first Saturday; or perhaps, surprise all his followers with a book containing a collection of his previous, inspiring articles.
Elaine Street, Merewether
I WISH to send my thanks for the many varied articles penned by Jeff in the Newcastle Herald, and will look forward to his possible resumption in due course.
Thomas Clarke, Kariong
EVERYONE should, if they haven't already, read Hewson's View, Editorial, and Mind Matters, (Herald, 11/6). Three points of view from extraordinary writers.
Peter Selmeci, Murrays Beach
SO the Queensland Premier delayed her COVID vaccine injection because her dog bit her. I wonder if she now should have a needle because Tommy's blue cattle dog bit her badly in the first State of Origin.
Greg Lowe, New Lambton
THIS global warming thingy is going well isn't it?