Arboretum not needed
Arboretum not needed
THE fire-prone Bush Capital needs an arboretum at huge public expense like a hole in the head.
The vast amounts of land on each side of Tuggeranong Parkway that were cleared after the 2001 firestorm should have been used for affordable housing.
The upper reaches with extensive views (except the highest hill) should have been sold to rich people - with the money used to finance public housing in lower areas close to Civic.
Trees can't feel the pain of being homeless, but people can. Canberra's refuges can't cope. Young people couch-surf at friends or sleep rough. Old men have perished alone in midwinter in bush humpies behind the War Memorial. Our troops didn't die for an arboretum adorned with public art.
Graham Macafee, Latham
THAT the CSIRO is a dysfunctional organisation in its management style is distressing but nothing new. That was the experience of a friend of mine almost 20 years ago. Fortunately, it does not stop scientists doing good science, and contrary to Judy Ryan (Letters, February 3) it has no bearing on the evidence related to global warming and climate change.
The evidence for climate change is cumulatively overwhelming, which is why it will keep being discussed.
Doug Hynd, Stirling
JUDY RYAN (Letters, February 3) has her arguments back to front. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is far from being discredited.
Its predictions of global warming have been remarkably accurate. Its predictions of global sea-level rise and of sea-ice loss in the Arctic have, however, been underestimates.
Oil states like Kuwait have managed to water down IPCC reports. Of course, NASA research covers a wide range of subjects, including solar science. However, anyone who thinks NASA has lost interest in climate should check www.giss.nasa.gov.
Management of CSIRO leaves much to be desired. Climate scientists were bullied during the Howard government when their findings on human-induced climate change were inconvenient for a government in denial. Bullying appears to have continued since then, largely as a result of management's wish to be more commercial. However, I am not aware of any allegations that climate scientists have been bullied for suggesting that anthropogenic climate change is not real.
Professor Murry Salby has not provided solid evidence that burning fossil fuels and emitting gigatonnes of CO2 does not increase its concentration into the atmosphere, but that other mechanisms somehow result in an increase which coincides with those emissions.
Paul Pentony, Hackett
DR JUDY RYAN (Letters, February 3) is missing the point over the debate on climate change. Here's a little analogy in an attempt to clear the air, if you'll pardon the pun. If you're like me, and you like a bit of sugar in your tea, if you continue to add sugar the tea eventually becomes sickeningly sweet and unpleasant to drink. This is what's happening on a planetary scale, if you replace tea with our atmosphere and give greenhouse gasses the role of the sugar.
To think anthropogenic changes aren't happening is to just keep on drinking increasingly sugary tea. You can say no harm done there, just a bit of added weight and rotted teeth. But diabetes, obesity and other health issues are just beyond the horizon. The levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere continue to climb, this is irrefutable, and eventually the air won't be fit to breathe.
Bill Hall, Page
Breast is best
SCRAP that expert when it comes to evidence of the benefits of breastfeeding (''Keeping abreast of milk for baby'', Focus, February 3). If it is the ideal food for pre-term babies, how can it not also be ideal for full-term ones? It provides the exact nutrition the baby needs, it comes at the perfect temperature, and the amount is naturally regulated.
Medical researchers are divided on the value of formula compared with breast milk. To claim that there is ''no evidence'' is evidence that Dr Hartmann is not well informed. Dr Hartmann is also not right about the effects of ''a few feeds of formula''. That is the surest way to interfere with the new mother's supply. The evidence-based ''formula'' for breastfeeding is ''supply equals demand''.
So, don't use the formula product, get some advice from someone who has successfully breastfed on how to increase the supply. The Australian Breastfeeding Association, for example, has such experts. Or a friend, parent or grandparent who has breastfed.
To reassure mothers about the chances of infection being passed on, the only concern was with HIV. It has since been found that HIV is not passed on through the milk itself. It may be passed on if there are lesions on the breast.
Dr Lisa Amir has a point when she says it is a worry if people are profiting from providing breast milk. It is a good principle and should also be applied to formula producers. It should also be applied to the research they fund proving the benefits of formula.
Jenny Hobson, Spence
JACK WATERFORD, in his scathing criticism directed at Queensland (''Queensland opens floodgates'', February 3, p17) seems to think Australia is a single entity. It is not. It is a federation of independent sovereign states each with its own government and head of state.
Under the Australian constitution, the powers of the federal government were strictly limited, but for more than a century central governments of all persuasions have sought to increase their powers at the expense of the states, and in this they have had considerable success by wielding the ''power of the purse''.
Up to 1915, the states levied their own income tax. In 1915, the federal government began to levy additional income tax to cover increased wartime expenses. Between 1915 and 1942, both states and the Commonwealth collected income tax, but thereafter the rate of income tax levied by the Commonwealth was so high as to make it inadvisable for the states to continue collection.
State leaders were then required to go cap-in-hand to the premiers' conferences to plead with the federal treasurer for the return of state funds to finance state functions.
By withholding or granting funds, the Commonwealth could influence state policies on matters outside its constitutional jurisdiction.
So, it is not a matter of Queensland accepting grants of Commonwealth money when natural disasters strike. It is a matter of revenue collected from Queenslanders being returned to them to cover essential expenditure.
F. Lamb, Lyons
THE total prize money for the Lodge on the Lake design competition is $110,000. The sponsors of the competition are the University of Canberra and the Gallery of Australian Design.
This is a hefty amount of taxpayers' money, in spite of there being no notification from any federal government agency that a design for a new Lodge is required. I regard this as irresponsible spending of public money.
Given this is just a fun project for architects and designers, I don't see any need to give monetary prizes and the Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects should think twice about endorsing this exercise. Any prize money offered should come from them.
John Holland, Dickson