I was struck by the narrow vision and breathtaking arrogance of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's declaration the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report does not "provide recommendations to Australia" and that the Coalition would focus instead on lower electricity prices ("Morrison and miners dig in to defend coal", October 9, p4).
Australia's response to the IPCC report will be seen by other nations as a very selfish one, implying that "global warming is your problem, not ours".
Mr Morrison also seems to be ignoring the social (or economic) cost of climate change to Australia, which according to a recent study in the highly respected journal Nature Climate Change, is exceeded by only a small number of countries.
The PM is overlooking the reality that it now makes good economic sense to phase out fossil fuels as energy sources and replace them with renewable sources.
However, the claim that struck me as being most bizarre and worrying was the Queensland Resources Council's declaration that Australian coal has "relatively low emissions". In fact, high-quality coal, such as anthracite, is significantly richer in carbon (the source of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas), than low-quality – especially brown – coal.
On track to oblivion
It is truly incredible to have our Prime Minister say "the IPCC report did not provide recommendations to Australia" and that the government's focus would be "to ensure that [current] electricity prices are lower".
What short-sighted political self-centredness. Who are the idiots who elected these idiots? Actually, they're not just those who voted for the Coalition, but all of us who continue to complacently allow this kind of thinking to dominate without constant, strenuous countering based on the wider facts.
In spite of what Trumpian me-first thinking tries to tell us – that each nation-state should look out for the current, short-term interests of its own citizens and that each of those should put themselves first – people who actually raise their heads, and look around themselves and into the not-too-distant future can easily see the track we are taking into oblivion.
Why are we not taking the necessary steps and paying the costs now to preserve the future?
It's time to pay the piper, folks, or relinquish our children's future.
Don't believe the hype
We read that the IPCC is telling us that we either totally get out of the use of coal-fired power stations (and probably the use of coal, full stop) or see the Great Barrier Reef disappear altogether.
Over the years we have heard and read many so-called "experts" tell us that if we do not do what they tell us to do, total disaster will envelop us all. And how many actually happened? Very few.
One current example: China has continued to construct coal-fired power stations with no recognisable bad result on the rest of us.
And many other countries are doing the same. But Australia is becoming really terrified to follow suit – with the cost of electricity rising enormously.
And how many really believe that by converting to wind and solar (renewables), the cost of electricity to ordinary consumers will actually reduce? Virtually no one.
Days don't add up
Marilyn Quirk reports that Byron Shire Council "thought they would change the Australia Day date" (Letters, October 2).
Every reporter in Australia missed that story.
Byron used to hold citizenship ceremonies many times a year. It is to be stripped of the right to hold further ceremonies because it decided it would not schedule one for Australia Day.
Quirk says "some commentators, for whatever reason, use convenient reporting that promotes fragmentation and division".
Her letter is an example of this.
Quirk asserts that 22 days a year "exclusively celebrate" Aboriginal culture. Not one of the days listed is a national public holiday, and only Reconciliation Day is a holiday anywhere (ACT).
Melbourne Cup day, and Brisbane Show day, have greater significance (among many others).
And where's the "exclusively" Aboriginal in all Australians saying sorry for how our first people have been treated? Do those who are sorry have no part?
What's only Aboriginal, rather than for everyone, in Harmony Day? Are only Aboriginals reconciled on Reconciliation Day? Is the International Day of World's Indigenous People solely for Aboriginals?
What has National Children's Day done to be restricted by Quirk exclusively to Aboriginals?
The problem with the present date of Australia Day is that it celebrates convict settlement and so excludes many Australians that doesn't represent.
Sure, some people don't know what the date is for – the government member who thought it was about Captain Cook comes to mind – but the real problem with the date is its failure to include Australia.
Judging the judiciary
Kev Kelly (Letters, October 8) suggests that Storm players, supporters and Alan Leitch had either short, or selective memories re: "bad sportsmanship". While Andrew Fifita does, and rightly so, cop his fair share of abuse and booing for reasons well documented, and thus does not rate a mention in post-match press conference, it can be understood. Billy Slater fought his case at the judiciary and somehow beat the charge. Any abuse or booing on the day of the grand final should have been somehow directed at the judiciary and not Billy. I am neither a Storm nor a Sharks supporter.
Punish Jones and 2GB
I don't care if the Sydney Opera House sails are lit up or not. The premier horse race in Australia is the Melbourne Cup in November, not one in the NSW convict state.
However the conduct of Alan Jones attacking the Opera House CEO was vile bullying. Why anyone would go on that egotistical person's radio show is beyond me. Jones was caught out for defamation recently.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield should suspend 2GB's radio licence in part during daylight hours or totally for 12 months instead of interfering in ABC management.Adrian Jackson, Middle Park, Vic
Paws for thought
I saw a greeting card that sheds some light on "letter to the editor writer syndrome".
Two wise old labradors sit in deep discussion. One says to the other: "I have given up on blogging and gone back to good old pointless and incessant barking".
Hard to please airlines
I note that the neo-capitalists in the airlines are working themselves into a lather over the Canberra Airport charging what it likes in usage fees for the only commercial airport in the ACT area. Yet I'm mystified about their proposed solutions.
Whenever I hear these captains of industry asking for more regulation, I'm immediately suspicious. Normally they're out there telling us how they need less regulation to cut costs. Yet Qantas and Virgin, which own pretty much all of the domestic market in Australia, seem to be happy charging basically the same rate for years. When Virgin came in, there was massive cost cutting and prices were slashed – yet now they're back to the same rates Qantas and Ansett were charging.
I'm also mystified that they blame "gold plating" and "overdevelopment" — and yet they were complaining about how out of date and shabby the old terminals were.
I think the new terminals are beautiful and clean, and a huge improvement over the previous tin shed. The true international terminal and regular overseas flights are a huge boon and are only possible by having redone the terminals entirely.
The airlines and their mouthpiece seem to be shouting about Canberra Airport being a "monopoly" — so what's their solution? It's inconceivable that another airport to serve commercial airlines could be in any way profitable in the Canberra region.
If it was owned by the government, then they'd just blame the "greedy bureaucrats" for the high charges. Yet they seem to be perfectly comfortable with their own massive profits.
Business as usual, in other words. Do they expect that to change?
War and peace
In light of the NCA's refusal to allow a peace vigil on Anzac Parade on 11 November, apparently because the War Memorial had made a prior booking, it would be interesting to know whether the War Memorial plans to incorporate any peace elements in its commemoration.
For example, has the War Memorial invited ICAN, the Australian-born organisation that was awarded the 2017 Nobel peace prize, to contribute to the commemoration?
Would promotion of peace be contrary to the wishes of the huge armaments companies that sponsor the War Memorial?
It is nothing more than war-mongering for the Australian War Memorial to accept donations from the purveyors of military hardware.
These companies are not steeped in altruism, but have their own commercial agenda, primarily, profiteering from war!
Therefore, I recommend that the Australian War Memorial require these same purveyors to show in their beautiful new theatres, films such as All Quiet on the Western Front or Joyeux Noel to provide a small antidote to militarism.
In the corporate sponsored galleries there should be installations showing, for example, children affected by Agent Orange or scenes where women and girls are gang raped by invading soldiers.
Let us remind people that war is cruel, abominable and atrocious to all caught up in it.
With the centenary of Armistice Day fast approaching, I would be pleased to see a much greater focus in memorial ceremonies on the signing of treaties that were designed to herald lasting peace – so much better than parades of military hardware. Just how much peace will be allowed at the Armistice Day Ceremony?
The wonderful red poppies scattered in profusion at the Australian War Memorial conjure deep remembrance and pride.
But has the Australian War Memorial management and the ACT Council totally forgotten, or overlooked, the fact that so many soldiers writing home, and the eloquent wartime poets, reflected the view that they hoped that there would be no further wars and that their contribution, and, for many, their sacrifice would lead to peace.
Surely a quiet vigil for peace in Anzac Avenue would be a pertinent and potent reminder.
Public to the rescue
Once again the volunteering efforts of a large number of Canberra residents have had to be harnessed to ensure that a massive building complex is approved "with conditions" ("Geocon's Wova development given green light", canberratimes.com.au October5).
It is about time the ACT planning and land authority worked much more intensively with developers prior to public consultation to minimise the likelihood of poor quality plans being foisted upon the community to provide their feedback.
The chief planner should be aiming to achieve his touted "excellent outcome for the community" from the outset, by intervening to improve the scale and form of buildings and addressing a wide range of quality related issues including poor design, overshadowing, inadequate setbacks and landscaping, traffic problems and poor sunlight penetration to apartments.
It should not be left to the community to identify significant concerns and deficiencies, suggest all the improvements that would benefit the location for years to come or alert the planners to developers' frequent inability to provide the basic and regulated level of amenity for a complex's future users.
Involved and time-intensive online social media, recreational and personal business conducted at work is disgraceful.
But it remains the lesser of evils as quiet immersion focused on the smartphone and computer screen doesn't assail the ears with the auditory assaults fired by chat-casters hosted within communal offices.
I'd also urge a corrective to the self-entitled moral corruption of Australia's past-time of "chucking a sickie," surely a fraud perpetrated that incurs a far greater economic loss than work presenters who believe the workplace serves as a social clubbing venue.
TO THE POINT
WHERE'S THE RESPECT?
ScoMo says using the Opera House sails to promote a horse race is "just common sense". This is the same person responsible for the "where the bloody hell are you" tourism campaign. Common sense? Maybe it is to ScoMo and his race horse owning, bully of a mate Alan Jones (who has a vested interest in the promotion) – but where do we stop with this crass, endless promotion of gambling? Where the bloody hell is our respect for national icons?
Terry Werner, Wright
RENAME THE OPERA HOUSE
Perhaps the Sydney Opera House will be renamed the Jonestown Opera House?
T. Puckett, Ashgrove, Qld
REINING IN SHOCK JOCKS
NSW has a new sport: politicians riding jockey on slippery shock jocks.
Matt Ford, Crookwell, NSW
I wonder if Ms Berejiklian or Mr Morrison would be so supportive of signage on the sails of the Opera House if it was promoting fairness for the treatment of refugees on Manus and Nauru or perhaps a Stop Adani campaign. I think not.
Barbara Godfrey, Lyneham
ANOTHER SAILS PITCH
Advertising horse races on the Opera House! Whatever next? Drop bears rolling down the sails clutching cans of Bundy and coke?
John Galvin, Weston
DECISION NO SURPRISE
Grab a copy of Jonestown by Chris Masters to understand the influence of Alan Jones and our political class. I'm not surprised at all by the government's decision with The Sydney Opera House .
Pamela Papadopoulos, South Yarra, Vic
WHAT'D UTZON THINK?
[Re the Opera House]. It's the same "look at me" philistine rabble that exiled Utzon.
Howard Styles, Kingston
DR WHO'S SURGERY
The television guide tells us "Why Dr Who is now a woman". My guess would be gender reassignment [surgery].
B. Smillie, Duffy
Will Labour show some guts and announce they will ban the Adani coal mine or, like Scott Morrison, do they too have coal necklaces?
George Kozakos, Barton
What is going on in China right now? This latest yarn about the head of Interpol no less apparently being taken into some form of custody and then, after sending his wife a very cryptic text message which included an image of a knife before apparently resigning his post, is like something out of a Tom Clancy novel. Please explain Beijing.
M. Moore, Bonython
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