So much for Canberra's tree-hugging Greens

Caroline Le Couteur complains about the loss of tree canopies in the city and it is an important issue but she and her green compatriots are keeping Andrew Barr in power and seeing all the trees disappear.

The old suburbs like Ainslie, Hacket, O'Connor with lots of trees are (a) about 4 degrees cooler in summer and (b) 4 degrees warmer in winter simply due to the transpiration of the trees.

Canberra's urban forest is declining by about 3000 trees a year. Photo: Karleen Minney

Canberra's urban forest is declining by about 3000 trees a year. Photo: Karleen Minney

While the Greens keep Andrew Barr in power we will continue to see crappy planning and suspect construction and everything green turned into concrete and tarmac.

Horses a problem

The NSW government in passing laws to protect feral horses has failed to look at the big picture. Ginni Flats Wetlands, the largest sphagnum bog in the Australian Alps and bordering NSW, was listed as a Ramsar site of international importance in 1996.

If we do not do something about the horses I can see Canberra's water supply suffering the same fate as neighbouring Yass.

If the NSW government does not overturn its decision maybe it should be made to do a Trump and build a wall! Finally I would like to ask are there any politicians out there that genuinely care for the environment?

Send your opinions to letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au

Send your opinions to letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au

Solar the answer

Peter Campbell's letter (February 7) was an excellent exposition of the advantages of abandoning gas in favour of an all-electric house.

I can certainly confirm that an induction stovetop is cleaner and more energy efficient, putting 90 per cent of the energy into the saucepan compared with gas which puts 45 per cent into the room.

There is another recently available option that Mr Campbell did not mention.

This involves installing an electric water storage heater that operates primarily off solar generated power.

This is a liquid form of solar storage battery which uses solar generated power at a time when there is usually nobody at home.

AFP must change

The situation that Hakeem Al-Araibi finds himself in is another indictment on the Australian Federal Police.

I am still angry that they informed the Indonesian officials of the impending arrival of the Bali Nine, putting them in the hands of a country which supports the death penalty for drug trafficking, instead of stopping them leaving, and subjecting them to the law of this land.

Now they have put a refugee at risk of being sent back to the country from which he fled in fear of his life by passing on to Thailand a Red Notice from Bahrain — a notice which accuses him of a crime of which there is solid proof of his innocence (video evidence he was playing football at the time it was committed), and clearly motivated by his criticism of the ruling regime.

The AFP has a lot to answer for, and this demands an open investigation into its way of working. Something has to change.

History lesson

I was disappointed to see the Sunday Gemini cryptic crossword perpetuating the wrong side of Australia's current culture wars.

18 across: Attempt which led to the discovery of Australia (9), was historically incorrect.

The answer [spoiler alert] Endeavour, should have been clued as A discovery, not THE discovery.

Letter from home

Thanks to Karen Hardy for sharing her beautifully written, loving and insightful letter to her daughter! ("What I want my daughter to know in her last year of school" Relax, February 3, p3).

What privileges?

Some years ago I heard the then chief minister, Kate Carnell, answer a caller's question about why the rates in Red Hill were so disproportionate to the rest of the ACT. Her reply was " well if you choose to live in Red Hill you pay for that privilege".

A little while ago we were the lucky recipients of a brand new bus stop and then almost overnight we received a new hot mix laneway replacing the washed out gravel one from Jansz Cres to Monaro Cres.

Unfortunately, this grand gesture did not extend to those on the other side of the street. The laneway from Hicks St to Monaro remains a dangerous area for even the most fleet footed among us.

Well we recently lost our bus service and it appears we have also lost the basic right to have a safe and usable laneway. Now don't get me wrong as I'm eternally grateful and feel privileged to get my garbage picked up every week but I'm still a little confused about the other privileges we are paying for.

Emission control

CSIRO and the NSW Department of Primary Industries have expressed doubt about whether the Coalition government's emissions reduction fund is actually having any effect on Australia's emissions ("CSIRO questions if Australia's emissions reductions are real", February 6, p6).

Tony Abbott's emissions reduction fund pays land users to make changes such as allowing native plants to regrow and limiting cattle grazing. The two agencies have pointed out that land users may be being paid for doing something that is happening naturally.

This may well be true, but the main problem is that Australia's emissions of greenhouse gases are rising rather than diminishing. This has been the case since the Abbott government immediately upon its election in 2013 repealed the carbon price introduced by the Gillard Labor government. Australia's emissions were decreasing quite rapidly while the carbon price was in force — and electricity prices were also decreasing.

Mr Abbott destroyed a system that was working very well. I strongly suspect he did this at least partly, if not entirely, simply because it was a Labor policy.

Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

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