Argument, discussion, debate, conversation or blind belief
Last week as part of our regular forums we asked Port of Newcastle to present on some of the great things that have or are being done around our beautiful port. We were privileged to have outgoing CEO, Geoff Crowe doing the presentation. Geoff has been a great contributor to HunterNet and his team regularly update us on the port’s activities.
During the normal course of proceedings, we randomly post onto social media what is going on; how we are keeping the region’s industries informed on activities within their sphere of concern. From this we get the normal retweets and comments from various corners of the region and occasionally we have one of the media outlets contact us so we can provide a bit more information.
However, it was our second presenter who in our little world really stirred the pot. We were lucky enough to have a presentation on HELE (high efficiency, low emissions) power generation. It was extremely informative and presented some alternatives and possible solutions to the energy volatility we are dealing with in Australia. During the presentation we tweeted – “was this a possible solution to the energy concerns and should HELE be part of the conversation?”
It was from here that we were bombarded with a number of comments and negativity. The replies ranged from “you’ve been scammed”, “it’s a conspiracy from the Minerals Council” to the meaning of HELE to stand for “high emissions, little efficiency”. The original proposition was should this be part of the conversation?
This got me thinking, have we lost the art of conversation or discussion? Is it so engrained in us now that what we believe is gospel? Can we not have a discussion that encompasses all views and alternatives? Is one set of experts better than the others, depending on your beliefs? Is it not productive to listen to all possibilities to be more inclusive in the debate? Dare I say it, we include nuclear into the energy debate, or will that court another backlash of opposition against this possibility.
HunterNet does not advocate for any particular side of the debate. We are very conscious of the needs of our members and will always lean towards the majority view. We are apolitical and have played that card many times when talking to various political groups. We also adhere to that rule when talking to any advocacy groups. However, we do regularly talk of the need to be inclusive and, in regards to the energy debate, we should not lose sight of all options. We all have our own beliefs; however like all of us, we are not always right.
I personally believe in being inclusive and in particular listening to all options. My other view is that we need to have a debate free of hearsay and embellishment of what is the perceived reality – do not be blinded by vagaries.
The response from those who attended our forum has been positive and quite the opposite of what we received on social media. Our recommendation to all is to have an open mind on what is possible and related to the issues we need to resolve. There is no denying that global warming is affecting our planet; we all need to pull together and find solutions.
What we believe today may be an aberration of what is the reality tomorrow?
Wayne H Diemar
Senior Project Director-HunterNet
On behalf of the members of HunterNet
IMAGE | We need to enter the discussion, not just blindly accept.