Letters: Parkes pool and climate still on the agenda

Parkes pool and climate still on the agenda for our readers

Get the ball rolling on heated pool

In response to the story 'Talk on the need for a heated pool resurfaces in Parkes' published April 30/May 1 and Facebook comments published May 13/14.

Dear Editor

I was pleased to see the flood of letters campaigning for a heated pool.

For the past 21 years the town of Griffith (admittedly larger than Parkes) has a heated, three pool centre also consisting of a fully equipped gymnasium, a crèche plus toilets etc. Now with a new 10 lane Olympic pool just opened, the complex is magnificent.

It would not be necessary for Parkes to have a gymnasium but it would be a great option, the operation of which could be leased out to private enterprise.

I sense that council sees the construction cost as doable with government grants etc, and their main concern is the operating cost.

I think that these concerns are somewhat suspect and I am sure there would be options to save. For example the heated pool could be closed during three or four of the hottest months of the year. I am sure the boffins in council could come up with other measures to reduce costs.

In closing, could I suggest that our mayor get the ball rolling on this community supported, vital need for our town which is on the brink of great development, because, if he doesn't, his tenure as mayor will simply be remembered as the "mayor of photo opportunities" and not for any significant achievements for which he championed.

Boyd Chambers, Parkes

Rex Aubrey and renaming the aquatic centre in his honour

Dear Editor

I thoroughly enjoyed reading [May 7's] back page story saying farewell to Parkes' first Olympian, Rex Aubrey.

Rex was a very successful swimmer before his Olympic peak of swimming in the final of the 100m freestyle in Helsinki. He represented his town of Parkes for many years in local, country, state and national championships.

My father, John Treloar, was a teammate with Rex at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. I remember my dad telling me of the regular calls he had with Rex over the years. Rex kept in touch with his fellow Olympians and with many family and friends in Parkes.

Visitors to Rex in America always commented on the many Australian memories and artefacts around Rex's home. His nickname at school and university in America was 'Kangaroo'.

As Parkes' first Olympian and a successful son of the town, it might be appropriate to rename the Parkes Aquatic Centre the Rex Aubrey Memorial Swimming Centre. There is time to make this possible with an official opening when the pool reopens in October.

I believe it is a fitting honour for such a successful swimmer, who kept Parkes in his heart even when on the other side of the world.

Rex is still well known across Parkes and the district. Having Rex's story and name on the pool will encourage young swimmers of today and in the future to follow Rex's lead.

John Treloar, Sydney

Climate an important matter

Dear Editor

Boyd Chambers writes (Champion Post 30 April 2021) that "...when the sun goes down for roughly 12 hours, the temperature drops until the following day when it usually rises again. That is the only climate change to which I subscribe."

A good friend contacted me once and asked me to listen to an interview with astronaut Walt Cunningham on climate change. My friend and I held opposing views on climate. He was pretty sure that I would listen to Cunningham because he knew about my interest in space exploration and my respect for astronauts.

During the interview Cunningham says that "anyone who argues against climate change has got to be an idiot". He locates that accusation just after accusing scientists of trying to control the nomenclature.

And then he says something truly extraordinary: "climate is changing all the time, every hour, every minute, every second". The benign interviewer chips in saying he noticed the climate changed "three or four times last year", and they laugh.

Climate does change continuously. But climate is a long-term statistical average of weather for a defined region (e.g., a state, a continent, the planet). You cannot notice climate changing hour-to-hour let alone second-to-second. And what does the interviewer mean when he says that climate changed three of four times last year?

Broken Hill has a hot desert climate and Townville has a tropical savanna climate (Kppen climate classification). If it rained heavily at Broken Hill while you were visiting you would not - based on a weather event - say that the region's "climate" changed to tropical savanna or monsoonal while you were there.

Cunningham and the interviewer are referring to "weather" when they say "climate". They seem to want to use just one word for everything climate and not distinguish between weather, climate, climate change, global warming, and anthropogenic global warming? They accuse scientists of trying to confuse ordinary people by using too many complicated words! Cunningham and the interviewer are trying to create confusion and doubt, not provide clarity.

We experience weather day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute. To forecast weather a few days ahead with reasonable accuracy requires sophisticated sensors (e.g., satellites, radar, ocean buoys) and super computers, such as those controlled by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

To know the history of climate depends on having accurate, reliable instrumental records that go back for over 150 years, and proxy records that are found in rocks, tree rings, ice and sediment cores that go back millions of years. Such records are held by organisations that focus on climate science (e.g., bureaus of meteorology, NASA, universities). Some good quality instrumental records of temperature and rainfall are held by Australian farmers!

To have some idea of what climate might do in the future we need to know what has happened in the past, and why.

I submit that Cunningham and the interviewer try deliberately to cause confusion about the words "climate" and "weather". After watching the interview, I set out to discover something about the Heartland Institute, the source of the interview. Authors Oreskes and Conway claim that organisations like Heartland are funded by vested interests to be merchants of doubt. "Merchants of Doubt" is the title of a book the pair co-authored.

In their book, Oreskes and Conway have a chapter on tobacco. They report a tobacco executive to have said: "Doubt is our product". Raise enough doubt and, even if what you are doing is harmful, you will probably not be stopped from doing it. The tobacco industry did just that with great success for years. They have since been brought to account by lawyers and parliamentary inquiries (e.g., US Congress).

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology reports on its website that:

"Australia's weather and climate are changing in response to a warming global climate. Australia has warmed on average by 1.44 0.24°C since national records began in 1910, with most warming occurring since 1950 and every decade since then being warmer than the ones before. Australia's warmest year on record was 2019, and the seven years from 2013 to 2019 all rank in the nine warmest years."

Mr Chambers' letter has brought an important matter to a public forum. For that, I am grateful.

The Heartland interview mentioned, you can still find here: https://www.mrctv.org/videos/former-astronaut-discuss-global-warming-heartland

Ken Engsmyr, Parkes

Pentecost this Sunday

Dear Editor

I wish to draw attention to the importance of this upcoming celebration on Sunday, May 23, being Pentecost. What is it? Why is it important? 47 years ago I was an active Ordained Methodist clergyman having served for seven years in theological training, pastored churches in the Lake Macquarie West region, stationed at Morissett, NSW for three years, then transferred to the Federal Methodist Mission appointment at Mt Tom Price in the North West of WA as the outback Padre of the Hammersly Patrol where I served the years 1969-1972. Covering an area of 120,000 sq miles including the towns of Tom Price, Wittenoom, Paraburdoo, Dampier, Roebourne and all areas east to Newman including Jiggalong Aboriginal community.

It was a vast area, of lonely ministry and I never did count the number of nights I had to camp in the open Desert Bush.

In 1973 the Federal Methodist Conference, appointed me to the O'Connor Methodist Church in the National Capital of Canberra. What a change from Australia's vast outback, which I loved and had taken to it as a duck to water.

However, when I brought my wife Doreen, our five children Mark, Elizabeth, Catherine, Jennifer and Rebecca, to Canberra, I was nothing more than "a dried up old biscuit of a Methodist Minister". Now I've said all that to introduce you to why Pentecost is so important.

The bible, especially throughout the whole of the New Testament is very clear on the subject of Baptism; both in water, and in the Spirit! John the Baptist baptised in water for repentance, I indeed baptise with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry, He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matt:3:11.

The Gospels all make it clear that Jesus IS the one who baptises in the Holy Spirit; Mk:1:8, Lk:3:16-17, Jn: Chs:14,15,16. I read the four Gospels through and not once do I read where Jesus baptised His Disciples in the Holy Spirit. However, in John:20:22, "He breathed on them, and said, receive the Holy Spirit". But they weren't all there, Thomas was missing. There was a time in the very near future when they would all be baptised in the Holy Spirit, His final word to them in Luke 24:49, "Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but wait in Jerusalem until you are endured with power from on high".

Pentecost is all about every believer in the church living in the presence of Jesus' power here on earth. And that anointing comes straight from the resurrected Lord Jesus from Heaven. And so I come to the Book of "The Acts of the Apostles". From the first to the last chapter it's all about what Jesus the Baptiser is doing through His Holy Spirit that arrived in power from heaven at Pentecost to be with His church forever.

I guess there may be much preaching on Sunday about the "Birth of the Church", when I believe it should be about living in the power of the Holy Spirit, in other words; living on earth the Jesus life; He said; "the works that I do you will do and greater works than these will you do, because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." Jn:14:12-14.

Living the Pentecost life is reality, please don't make Pentecost a formality, which is so typical of religion; boring and repetitive, when the life of Jesus is Pentecostal reality. Boldness, blessed assurance, guidance, leadership, power, miracles, fruit, gifts, unity, when Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed.

In closing, my life as a "dried up old biscuit" of a minister ended on the 14th February 1974 in the O'Connor Methodist Church, when Jesus immersed me in His Holy Spirit. This occurred after 12 months of being personally prayed for by members of the congregation every morning at 6am in the church. From that moment my life was changed forever.

Bishop Harry Westcott, Parkes

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