Nuclear power:

John Hunwick writes: Re. “The energy paper’s peculiar logic about nuclear power” (yesterday, item 2). The (Draft) Energy Paper’s use of “peculiar logic” to continue to keep open the option of nuclear power is probably expressing the minister’s unwillingness to acknowledge that Australia’s mineral wealth (coal and uranium) are largely a liability when it comes to dealing with a carbon-free energy future.

While Australia can continue to provide uranium to countries who have chosen this energy path (at least for now) — even that has an uncertain future.

Since Durban, the future of coal is now decidedly on the decline, while uranium for Australia recedes even further out of view. Why? Because no one in Australia with any sense is going to support a government spending billions of dollars to start a uranium industry in this country until at least an equal or greater amount has been spent on geothermal, wind, solar and tidal.

By the time that happens the need for the use of uranium in Australia will have long past, and we will be exporting those technologies, and some of the power they generate to other countries.

Language:

Marcus L’Estrange writes: Re. “Why Australia is too monolingual for our own good” (yesterday, item 11). Why teach foreign languages at school? It is very expensive, most students don’t go on and become fully (or even partially) fluent in the language due to a lack of interest, effort and time, and, in a very crowded curriculum, another subject gets the chop to make way for the latest trend.

Given the appalling lack of grammar knowledge among Australian students, why not introduce a “new” language — English grammar. It would also help students who may want to learn another language to do so after school hours. After all, most students I teach in Asia want to learn English.

Um … yet again why not bring back Latin? It helps greatly with English and of course other languages such as the Romance languages.

Peter Fray

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