Your correspondent Rev Dr Vincent Rankin praises the Pope for his condemnation of nuclear weapons. (Letters, November 28). I have a different view.
I have lived for 74 of my 75 years in a nuclear-enforced peace (apart from what were only minor skirmishes when compared to World War I and World War II).
It is the monstrous threat of mutually assured destruction that has stopped the major powers from engaging in direct conflict. We should all be thankful for that.
About 250,000 died in the two cities subjected to nuclear attack; this forced the Japanese to surrender and end the war. Estimates of casualties that would have occurred if the Allies had been forced to invade and defeat Japan by conventional means were in excess of 20 million. These would have mainly been civilians.
The ratio of one death to 80 survivors can only be regarded as highly beneficial; no one should condemn the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They saved saved so many people and continues to do so to this day.
Michael Lane, St Ives, NSW
Possums under threat
Devastating as it has been to watch the decimation of wildlife in NSW and Queensland due to fire, there are also significant challenges taking place for wildlife in the ACT.
In the inner north dams in wildlife hotspots including O'Connor ridge, Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura are now bone dry. There is literally nothing for animals to drink. In addition, due to drought conditions, there is less moisture in the leaves and almost no grass. The increasing numbers of stricken animals coming into care is putting extreme pressure on ACT Wildlife carers and resources.
It would be wonderful to see the ACT government truck water into these dams, thus saving both the local wildlife and cutting down on the number of vehicle accidents due to animals leaving their habitats to search for water.
Nicola Watson, ACT Wildlife possum carer, Turner
So, our Mandarin-speaking former Prime Minister says we need a population of 50 million people to have any chance of countering China's 1.45 billion (and counting).
But I did not see or hear where Mr Rudd saw these 25 million immigrants coming from.
Of course, China would be very willing and able to provide those numbers with 'selected' immigrants and the Islamic world would too. These sources would be totally unacceptable.
So, where could we get this huge number? We could get some from the Island nations, the Philippines and other Christian countries, but nowhere enough.
The only major source that could possibly be acceptable would be India. Would an Australia dominated by Indians be okay? Even if Australia could manage to house, feed, and provide enough water for a population of 50 million (doubtful in itself), what chance would we have against a belligerent China anyway (unless we go nuclear)?
M. Silex, Erindale
Make war no more
One would think from your 16-page The Defence Review wrap-around supplement (November 27) that military strength is going to save us from the real threats we face. Defence Minister Reynolds managed a whole article without once mentioning our two greatest security threats; climate change and nuclear weapons.
While our country burns, bushfires are increasing in severity and frequency, firefighters are crying out for better resources, water insecurity looms and the need for climate action is dire, the minister proudly repeats the commitment to an additional $200 billion to be poured into preparations for more wars.
Australia is increasingly skilled in armed violence and de-skilled at conserving the resources we need to survive. Lip service is paid to the promotion of peace, while our spending on diplomacy has dwindled in recent years. Minister Reynolds refers to "working side-by-side with our Pacific neighbours" and the ADF's role in the region, when those same neighbours are struggling for their very existence against the backwardness of fossil fuel producers such as Australia.
This barrage of militarism and warmongering is a distraction from our real threats. An additional $200 billion of war preparations to further distract us is irresponsible in the extreme.Dr Sue Wareham, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Canberra
The mantra of the "rules-based order" gets trotted out ad nauseam while Australia undermines the rule of law whenever it gets in the way. On nuclear weapons, our government remains hostile to the most important new instrument of international law, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
This barrage of militarism and warmongering is a distraction from our real threats. An additional $200 billion of war preparations to further distract us is irresponsible in the extreme.
Dr Sue Wareham, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Canberra
Fight the good fight
Thank you too, John Simmons, for asking that we "never give up" on our call for a national bill of human rights (Letters, November 28).
In these times, weighed down as we are with suspicions and secrecy, we need the shared, secular and inspiring framework such a bill could offer.
We are asking our government to lift our game with something positive instead of making us frightened. And in a democracy we deserve to know what is being done in our name.
Jill Sutton, Watson
No cheats, please
Further to Gordon Scott (Letters, November 26), in March last year Steve Smith, as captain of the men's Australian Cricket team, led his players onto the field in the full knowledge he and two others were going to cheat on their opponents.
Speaking at a press conference after he had been found out, Smith - still wearing his baggy green cap - said he was still the right person to captain the team.
What a disservice to Tim Paine to even suggest Smith replace him. Paine was the man who had to pick up the wreckage and lead a team onto the grounds in England to the booing of the crowds.
Sportsmanship and moral values have become victims to sponsorship and broadcasting rights dollars.
Eight years ago I was in a cab being driven by a man of Pakistani heritage in Dubai. On finding out I was Australian he spent the rest of the journey telling me about the batting and bowling averages of our team, the wonderful stroke play of Ponting and suggested a better batting order.
I was shocked to hear him say when I was leaving his cab that: "The Australians are very skilful and talented, but bad sportsmen".
Gail McAlpine, Griffith
No Park park ...
In reply to John Milne, Chapman (Letters, November 26) Dr Roy Park played in the Victorian Football League for University and Melbourne from 1912 to 1915.
He kicked 146 goals from 57 matches. He also played one cricket test for Australia in 1920-21 but was bowled first ball in Australia's first innings. There was no second innings and Park did not play another test match.
There is no Park Park but a Park Plaque was unveiled at South Melbourne in 1953. His opinions on same sex marriage are unknown.
John Gebbett, Brisbane, Qld
More than 60 doctors from a number of countries, amongst them the UK and Australia, have written an open letter to Priti Patel, the British Interior Minister, seeking urgent medical attention for Julian Assange. Given his precarious health state, Assange, they say, could die in prison.
Last week the Swedish government dropped its rape charges against Assange.
Meanwhile our government sits on its hands, doing nothing to bring home one of our citizens who is being unfairly hounded by the most incompetent, and possibly corrupt, US administration in history.
John Rodriguez, Florey
Kind of you
Thanks Mark Sproat for your good wishes (Letters, November 26) for my dieting. I live in hope. I agree that many, but not all, fires are caused by people. But I, and many others, don't agree emissions have nothing to do with it. We accept the scientific evidence emissions have a lot to do with the global warming that's going on.
And it's a fairly easy step up from there to accept that this global warming has had something to do with the unprecedented lengthening of the bushfire season and in helping to create the conditions that are making these fires so much worse.
I also live in hope that the crazies (young and old) who go around starting many of these fires will cease and desist. And I live in hope that our government will make a realistic start towards meaningful emissions reduction practices.
I'm not so sure that I or anyone else will ever convince the Mark Sproats among us that this is necessary.
Keith Hill, Isaacs
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