The finding by an Australia Institute survey that almost two thirds of Australians favour a national target of zero net emissions by 2050 or earlier is very welcome ("Most back zero-emissions target", December 9, p5). Even more welcome is the finding that a majority of Coalition voters feel the same way.
However, the report also points out that, despite every state and territory already having a target of net-zero-emissions target by 2050, the federal government has stubbornly refused to follow suit.
Instead, the Morrison government resorts to the accounting trick of using emissions reduction credits from the Kyoto Protocol to arrive at the inadequate Paris emissions target of 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and to translate this into a phantom credit of 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by the 2050 deadline.
Of the 197 countries that have signed the Paris Agreement, Australia is the only country to use the Tokyo Protocol accounting ruse to dodge its responsibility to join in the global battle against climate change. Mr Morrison and Emissions "Reduction" Minister Taylor should be ashamed.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
An apparent policy of the Morrison government is not to answer any question directly and to say anything which will avoid anything which will have any implication on the question asked. For example "the Canberra Bubble", "The Parliamentary Bubble", "Gossip", etc.
By implication this means the Morrison government is being artful, difficult, awkward, tricky, unsound, dishonest. By definition this means the Morrison government is dodgy.
Tony Page, Belconnen
Thank you Jon
Jon Stanhope's analysis (Letters, December 7) of the elements of Canberra's household consumption performance was illuminating and demonstrates how we are easily fooled by such figures into thinking "we're alright Jack".
But, in a similar vein, I have to question his shooting home Canberra's high rents to the ACT government restricting the supply of land.
It is time for an in depth analysis looking at longitudinal and comparative data to see why our rents are so high.Gina Pinkas, Aranda
In my experience Canberra's higher rents are primarily caused by the ACT government's cost imposts on lessors of rental properties. Land tax and rates combined are now much higher than higher value properties in Sydney.
These ACT taxes on a suburban house can be around $100 per week. Such costs have to be recouped from tenants. This, together, with other increasing costs, such as lease variation charges, contribute to a decline in the number of rental properties as lessors leave the market.
Rather than various beliefs, it is time for an in depth analysis looking at longitudinal and comparative data to see why our rents are so high.
Gina Pinkas, Aranda
Albo a democrat
With his assertion a decision to go to war should be made by the full parliament rather than by the executive, Albanese establishes his democratic credentials ("Albanese's Power Play", canberratimes.com.au, December 7).
Once kings could take "their" country to war. Then the royal prerogative to do so became the prerogative of the parliamentary executive (in practice, the prime minister). The full transition to the body of parliament remains to be established.
Harry Davis, Campbell
On the money
ANU academic Ernst Willheim is entirely correct when he says open justice is a fundamental legal principle. There are a few well-recognised exceptions, mainly involving those under 18, or family matters.
For an adult to be tried in secret is like something out of Kafka, the sort of thing that happens under a totalitarian régime. It has no place in a liberal democracy like Australia. There may be a case for withholding sensitive evidence from the public, but the trial itself must be open.
The Community Action Party is completely opposed to secret trials of adult defendants.
Alvin Hopper, secretary, Community Action Party, Dickson
Get used to it
Whether you be a climate change sceptic or, one that believes in the science, the fact is that bush fires are a common occurrence in Australia.
They destroy properties, take lives and cause tremendous hardship. Aerial fire control from both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters is essential.
Our army aviation wing and the Royal Australian Air Force should be trained and equipped to assist in these situations.
Reg Tudor, Murrumbateman, NSW
The story of "Witness J" raises disturbing questions about how our government uses the mantra of national security to justify questionable practices undertaken in our name.
No less disturbing is the potential trajectory of national security policy. Journalists' homes and offices are searched, legitimate public discussion is criminalised, and principles of open justice are treated with contempt.
What comes next? Extraordinary renditions? "Black sites"?
Enhanced interrogations? Disappearances?
Peter Grabosky, Forrest
Living in hope
On June 16, 2015, I read the following letter in The Canberra Times.
I cut it out and stuck in on the fridge, hoping none of the points made in it would ever be true of this country.
This is the letter, written by David Kindon, of Merimbula:
"In 2003, Dr Laurence Britt, after studying fascist regimes of the 20th century, listed 14 defining characteristics of fascism as: powerful and continuing nationalism, disdain for recognition of human rights, enemies/scapegoats as unifying cause, supremacy of the military, rampant sexism, controlled mass media, obsession with national security, religion intertwined with government, protection of corporate power, suppression of labour power, disdain for art and intellectuals, obsession with crime and punishment, rampant cronyism and corruption, smear campaigns."
It's still on the fridge, and I still live in hope.
Annie Lang, Kambah
Don't blame Canberra
Hear! Hear! Ian Mathews (Letters, December 9). I too take issue with people equating Canberra with the Federal government (especially the press).
As we know, our marketing guru Prime Minister created the "Canberra bubble" so that he could deflect blame for his government's failings towards the people of Canberra.
The success of this strategy seems to be evident in John Freeman's letter (Letters, December 9) where John expresses disgust at Canberra's "friendship city" relationship with Dili.
I expect the "friendship" with Dili was arranged by the ACT government on behalf of the residents of Canberra, not by the Federal government (all non-Canberra residents) which was responsible for the appalling behaviour towards Timor Leste during the oil and gas negotiations, and the subsequent arrest of the whistle-blower and his lawyer.
D Edwards, Weston
We are a city
It is galling, incorrect and lazy when the media constantly use the pejorative "Canberra" when they mean the Australian government or Australian Parliament.
Canberra is a city of about 400,00 people, the Australian Parliament consists of 151 members and 76 senators, with only five being permanent residents of Canberra and one from Queanbeyan.
The remaining 221 are FIFO workers as are the majority of their staff.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
Time to be nice
Why are we bombarded with hateful headlines such as "Shorten most unpopular in 30 years"? Is there no compassion?
Mr Shorten spent many years working long hours for what he believed in.
Does The Canberra Times take responsibility for the cruel attack on Mr Shorten (and many other individuals who've worked hard for their communities and suffered the same sort of unkind reporting) and the effect it could have on those individuals?
Could the reporters who come up with such headlines "walk a mile in their shoes"?
The same information can be conveyed in a much more humane and acceptable manner.
Marilyn Brocklebank, Kaleen
How many "woke" Canberrans protesting against the Federal government's lack of action on climate change experience so little flight shame they're planning their next European holiday? Travel writer, Michael Turtle ("Greener trips for the long haul", December 8, p 39) at least has an excuse for his exorbitantly disproportional personal contribution to global carbon dioxide emissions.
Bruce Taggart, Aranda
TO THE POINT
I am retired from the US Air Force. Our C-130s could be configured with the bladders that would drop a large quantity of fire retardants. The C-130 is an excellent aircraft for precise low level operations. Mr Dutton is wrong. Our fire crews need all of the help they can get.
Bill Gillespie, Wamboin, NSW
Forget service delivery; at least the government could provide some creative leadership with the new departments' names. What about the Department of Arts and Mines?
J Nicholls, Armadale, Vic
NOT QUITE TRUE
No, Alan Leitch, (Letters, December 9) Israel Folau didn't earn "a multi-million dollar payout and apology" for slandering anyone. He got it because someone who, like most of us, didn't believe in hell sacked him because she thought he was affecting burly front row forwards in gay rugby teams.
Bill Deane, Chapman
Australia will use the spurious accounting trick of carry-over credits from the Kyoto Protocol in order to help meet the 2030 targets set at the Paris climate emissions agreement. This is in order because Angus Taylor was apparently living down the hall in Paris at the time of the accord.
Peter Crossing, Glengowrie, SA
Where's ScoMo, coal-loving, leader? He's disappeared. He's not even offering thoughts and prayers anymore. Is he learning to play the fiddle?
Keith Pantlin, Downer
HOW ABOUT THIS?
Possible memo from the PM re your editorial "Are we heading for a new dark age?" (canberratimes.com.au, December 7): "The yartz? All done and dusted, mate. $500 mill to the war memorial. Tick. More exhibitions of big, big killing, er, killer machines. Tick, tick. But time to move on and open that new coal mine. Feeling so tickled pink. What a great year for everyone! Merry Christmas and keep those prayers rolling in. Angus and Gladys need them".
Sue Dyer, Downer
I agree with Alex Mattea's letter ("Amazing Joyce", Letters, December 7) but as a former resident of Armidale, I cannot agree with the description of it as an "outback" location. Countrified, rural, inland, up the beaten track. That's Armidale. Great place.
Anne Bowen, Macquarie
THE REAL TRUTH
Your headline, "Morrison puts his stamp on APS" , (Forum, December 7), should have read, "Morrison stamps on APS".
Eric Hunter, Cook
Instead of complaining about Eric Hunter's nitpicking, P. Stanford (Letters, December 9) should concentrate on his own usage of apostrophes and hyphens.
Frank Marris, Forrest
JULIAN AND ANDREW
Assange exposed US imperialism and war crimes, the surveillance state and corrupt trade deals. Prince Andrew regularly visited Jeffrey Epstein and was close friends with the serial paedophile for 20 years. Guess which one is locked in a UK prison cell and facing extradition to the US?
Rex Williams, Springwood, NSW
Email: email@example.com. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).
To send a letter via the online form, click or touch here.