Letters to the editor for the week ending September 23

Changes before coal burn

With reference to recent letters in the Post concerning ‘Politics in the Pub’: in fairness to Barry McDonald I would like to comment.

The simple statement that 97 per cent of scientists believe human emissions cause the climate to change has been around for so long now it is worn out and meaningless. These are the scientists from the IPCC, and other government institutions, who are paid to work and promote such a belief. Former lead author with the IPCC, Michael Oppenheimer, says they use volunteer environmentalists within their ranks.

There is an abundance of independent scientists around the world who refute this doubtful theory. But, of course, they are allowed little, if any, media exposure because of political correctness.

Both Oppenheimer and Barry Pittock, former senior scientist with CSIRO, have expressed serious doubt regarding the climate models put forward. In his book, Pittock states that climate models are often erroneous and the projections and predictions are based on scenarios extrapolated from assumption, presumption, supposition and even opinion. He goes on to say that often assessments seem biased towards the desired result.

If anyone is to talk about climate change, they should firstly study the history of the earth’s past climate fluctuations that occurred will before we started to burn coal.

Patrick Graeber, Goulburn

A chorus of farewell

The Board, executive team, staff, students and alumni of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium wish to express our sorrow at the passing of Pauline Strasser. Pauline was a long-term member of the teaching staff who made a valued contribution to the Board of the GRC and upon her retirement was invested as a Life Member of the Conservatorium. She played an important role in the music education of hundreds of young musicians and never failed to impart her passion for music and her commitment to the importance of music education. Pauline was an amazing person: driven, dynamic, full of ideas and imagination. The GRC, the Sydney Conservatorium and music education in Australia are the richer because of the work of Pauline Strasser. We send our deepest condolences to her husband Les (Laszlo) and extended family. Vale Pauline Strasser, a masterful musician and teacher. A life in music is a treasure and a gift.

Paul Scott-Williams, Goulburn

Bridge debate with union

As the protracted and increasingly heated debate over same sex marriage continues, perhaps it is time to look at the option of civil unions. Could not the Commonwealth Parliament legislate to change the Marriage Act to the Civil Unions Act, with concurrent changes to other pieces of legislation which refer to the Marriage Act?

Ministers of religion and others, such as celebrants and ships' captains, would still be empowered to act in a civil capacity to formalise a union between two people, but not compelled to officiate at a union of the same sex if they did not wish to do so. Marriage would cease to be a state sanctioned ceremony, but retain its religious significance. The civil union would be state sanctioned. A couple could still be married by a minister of religion after which they would complete the appropriate paperwork associated with the proposed Civil Unions Act (as for the Marriage Act). Alternatively, a couple could opt for a civil ceremony with no religious associations.

In this way, no person involved in the formalisation of a relationship, including ministers of religion and others empowered by the state, would be compelled to act against conscience, and the couple would be free to choose the ceremony most appropriate to their union. In the event that Parliament decides to hold a plebiscite on the issue of same sex marriage, perhaps an option of civil unions could be included amongst the alternatives presented to the people.

James Harker-Mortlock, Bango

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