APPARENTLY there is a shipping crisis that is threatening our Christmas supplies. It seems there is a shortage of ships, as well as rising shipping costs.
It's time that we Australians reboot our manufacturing industries. In recent times caravan and campervan construction has boomed throughout Australia. If we are capable of building these recreational vehicles, why can we not build electric vehicles? What about clothing and textiles?
I have recently found a source of Australian-made shirts and other clothing. Sure, they are more expensive than imported clothes, but the quality and fitting is superb. I've been beating the drum about buying Australian for years now. Perhaps this shipping crisis will encourage local investors to have a go, thus providing the impetus and funding to create technology based manufacturing. Build and buy Australian.
Stan Keifer, Arakoon
Political fixes are short term
IT is now evident that the world is moving away from fossil fuels at varying rates. Australia is in the slow-mover class and I believe that a lot of this can be traced to our political system. The top priority of most politicians is to ensure that they get re-elected at the next election.
So, it's basically a three to four year plan. Currently Prime Minister Scott Morrison is talking about a plan to 2050 (29 years away) which I doubt will include many of the current politicians. Maybe he's just blowing smoke. Wouldn't a smarter move be to get the major players from the coal industry, the newer players from the green technology sector and the workers together to work out a plan which would start ASAP to replace job losses from the transition away from fossil fuels? It's not that hard, but it needs to happen now.
Neville Morris, Wickham
Switch off stigma on 'snitches'
IN reply to Paul Scott's opinion piece, ("Is snitching un-Australian? Fair dinkum, we're a nation of dobbers" Opinion, 18/10), I didn't know reporting a crime was something that was frowned upon.
Shame on all the witnesses that see a crime and report it to police. If we see an assault should we turn a blind eye instead of being a 'dobber'?
Snitches get stitches is a term used by criminals to put fear into witnesses so they can keep doing crime without fear of retribution. Reinforcing this language in your opinion piece is not only sensationalist, but probably harmful.
Do you encourage people to get away with crime, Mr Scott?
Jacob Jones, Maryland
Complexity must be confronted
I THOUGHT Ian Kirkwood's opinion piece, ("Powering today; Crunching the numbers on energy equation", Opinion, 23/10) was a very good summary, more founded on realities than future technology promises. The opinion covered where renewable technology sits today and the limited ability of battery storage to prop up renewable energies for high demand industries such as smelting. To add to the opinion piece's dilemma are future notions of mass electrical vehicles and distributed green hydrogen electrolysers.
The 2021 levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), in increasing order of cost by generation method are wind/solar, natural gas, geothermal, coal, thermal solar, nuclear and highest; the gas peaker (P.S. don't mention Kurri Kurri).
Each country has to look at its natural resources in order of cost, ability to provide the electricity needed and the emission benefits provided. If a suitable/economic solution doesn't exist in the lower cost technologies, we may have to face the proposition that to get anywhere near net-zero emission we may have to suffer the cost of nuclear generation/waste storage as part of the mix. Electricity costing is a very complex issue, and not just a matter of throwing more renewables into the mix, as revealed by Jon Davies' letter, (Letters, 22/10). I think it is inevitable that net zero comes with a price tag. Hopefully the more learned people working on these issues will prove me wrong.
Paul Duggan, Garden Suburb
Our little changes can add up
I BELIEVE Ian Kirkwood's black armband view of renewables and storage, ("Powering today; Crunching the numbers on energy equation", Opinion, 23/10), is indeed "a gross simplification" as he himself states. He cites Tomago Aluminium as needing 90 Hornsdale batteries to run overnight and by simple multiplication, 900 to run the state. But unlike Tomago, the state needs to use far less power at night than during the day.
My solar hot water system has cut my energy use by about 49 per cent, reducing demand on so-called baseload power which uses off-peak night rates and electric heaters to soak up waste energy from inflexible coal generators. Multiply that saving alone by the number of such rooftop systems. Of course batteries are only one form of storage; pumped hydro is a far better method for overnight storage and benefits from free energy each time it rains. But Mr Kirkwood is still correct in that we need a huge effort to clean up our energy grid and slash greenhouse pollution. Get on with it.
Michael Gormly, Islington
Storage isn't total sticking point
ON reading Ian Kirkwood's article, ("Powering today; Crunching the numbers on energy equation", Opinion, 23/10), I am very disappointed.
Mr Kirkwood neglects that when the sun does not shine often the wind blows, so electricity is generated by wind farms so you do not need thousands of batteries to keep power on the grid.
Of the great minds that estimate the required electrical storage for the grid, most conclude there is very little storage required even if the grid is supplied by 60 per cent renewables. If the federal government did not try to stop renewables being used in the grid for the last 12 years, I think we would be in a better position with renewable electricity power generation.
I further note Mr Kirkwood's article talks of electricity price spikes, but he fails to mention the high number of times wholesale electricity prices go negative due to renewables, which is why electricity retailers have decreased their prices to consumers.
Agner Sorensen, Teralba
We don't have power over them
PETER Devey (Letters, 22/10), makes clear that he is an unashamed spruiker for the use of coal as the best option for the world at large. This is not so. In large parts of Asia and Africa there is a fuel that has traditionally been used - dried cow dung. This fuel has numerous advantages for traditional societies such as the fact it is low-cost, readily available, completely renewable and so on. Its use continuously removes from the environment something which would otherwise become a problem.
It is a case of "horses for courses". Who are we to tell them to use coal instead? Coal is more costly and has to be imported and transported over great distances. This is an example of we in the west prescribing what is "best" for them, which just happens to be good for our own bottom line.
Mati Morel, Thornton
BRAVO Ian Kirkwood, ("Crunching the numbers on energy equation", Opinion, 23/10). Perhaps you might also care to crunch some more numbers for an all-electric economy, including a 100% electric vehicle fleet ... and convert the results into the number of wind turbines we might see off our coastline?
Karel Grezl, Charlestown
SURELY we aren't expected to believe the waffle about the Newcastle 500 race being a benefit to the city. Sure some businesses made a few bucks, but that doesn't benefit people who have to live with this ridiculous interruption to their lives. I would imagine the East End residents don't agree with the waffle. Also, City of Newcastle commissioned the survey.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
FOR the images of well respected doyens of rugby league, Norm Provan and Arthur Summons, to be despoiled at post grand final celebrations says little for player miscreants Stephen Crichton and Nathan Cleary. The latter especially, as he had been penalized previously for a lock-down breach ("Panthers pay price for poor behaviour", Herald 20/10)
Bob Allen, Hawks Nest
ON global warming and climate, I think part of the problem is that there are so many interrelated disciplines that it would take a Leonardo or an Isaac to pull all the threads together. Too many people seem to be trying to solve the whole problem with a solution from their own specialised field, provided that the government gives their university a suitable grant. 50 years ago big tobacco produced a number of well credentialed experts to prove that smoking was not injurious to your health. In their case the universities would not have been involved, and the funding would have been more direct.
Peter Hay, Islington
ANYONE naive enough to believe that the group of Luddites known as the Nationals have any interest in, or intention of moving towards green sustainable energy or net zero should immediately seek a health check from a qualified medical practitioner ('Climate deal earns Nationals cabinet seat', Herald 26/10).
Mac Maguire, Charlestown
BRITISH Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delivered his "green industrial revolution" policy that will save Britain from climate change. I believe the reality however, revealed by government documents, is that the British people will see "new taxes from the transition, lower revenues, assessing mortgages on climate change criteria, road pricing, and more investment in nuclear power". While more investment in nuclear power is a logical policy, other green initiatives will cost the British people heaps in less expendable income and living standards. Again, the biggest polluting countries are laughing all the way to the bank.