The editorial on November 28 by Kate Hawkesby about the recent $23 million to schools to enable kids to learn cycling skills showed a complete lack of appreciation of what the programme was about.
Hawkesby said it was ridiculous to try and get kids back on to bikes in 2018 after they had been weaned off them by the car lobby for the last 30-odd years.
Hawkesby was derogatory to Julie-Anne Genter because she advocated for cycling by riding her bike to hospital to give birth and saying that cycling is so '80s and should be forgotten.
It was ironic that Hawkesby chose the '80s, as at this time scientists became convinced that CO2 emissions were responsible for rising global temperatures and one of the major causes of these increased emissions was increased vehicle use (New Zealand ranks fourth in the world with 774 per 1000 people).
Hawkesby then reckons that it is turning back the clock to return to cycling as a mode of transport, but cycling — and walking — will have a positive effect on general health and obesity rates, which were 10 per cent in 1980 but up to 32 per cent in 2018.
This also relates to the point that Hawkesby makes about the roads in the '80s being safer, because there were fewer cars, but as car numbers increased parents worried about children's safety and more and more drove their kids to school, making it even less safe for biking.
I also suspect that Hawkesby and Mike Hosking love their cars and hate the idea that cycles are allowed on roads.
They must be so lacking in logic that if more people are on cycles, particularly on their own paths, the fewer cars will be on the roads.
Another grizzle from Hawkesby was her horror at $23 million being spent on cycling.
I'd like to remind her that $23 million will provide, at 80km/hour, less than 2 seconds driving in the Waterview tunnel, a mere 39 metres of tunnel, at around $600,000 a metre.
Prejudice and other weirdness
D Partner (December 3) opines that he has "total respect for those Maori who have become assimilated into (his) society but no time for those others"— meaning, he has no time for those who do not think just like him. The policy of assimilation had its day over 100 years ago, and this opinion examples its "ethnocentricity" and is itself a simple racist rant.
P. Smith (December 3) also opines a similar racist theme — suggesting that it was time "Iwi joined NZ or found a more congenial country". An excellent idea, but misdirected. I agree, go back to where you came from, you people that do not want to "join with NZ in the 21st century". If this came about, not an "iwi"would so much as twitch, but there would be a dearth of racist opinion in this column.
G R Scown (December 3) caps the previous egregious opinions with his take on Donald Trump. His understanding here is as weird as his subject's.
According to both of them, the CNN (and world press ) are all wrong — that this POTUS is not a poultice bringing out the worst in his society, while his greatest achievement is his handling of "the Left Wing Press".
To advance this as your opinion says quite a lot about you, things that you would not usually celebrate.
Grid demand plateaus
In reply to Nelson Lebo's letter (November 9): I'm sorry, Nelson, but you have to take a bit of criticism when, in my opinion, you are not giving good, balanced advice when telling the public it is not viable to put in solar photovoltaic panels on their roof.
Not long after I wrote a letter to the editor, an article in the Chronicle (November 6) read:
"Trustpower is unlikely to invest in a significant new generation build in the near term . . . Major generators have been holding off new developments amid flat demand and rising domestic solar installations."
Have all these people been sucked in? I think not.
In 1979, out flatting, my power bill was $10.50 per month. In 1995 it was $70, now it would be $140.
What does the EECA senior technical adviser say about the expected price of electricity in 10 years' time and 20 years' time?
Accompanying photo to Nelson's letter shows his hot water cylinder being pre-heated using PV cells.
So he knocks my letter but is using solar panels, which is what I explained you do once your batteries are at full charge.
I did have to chuckle, as the hot water cylinder is out in an open space without an extra insulative wrap around it.