A big thanks to the many Canberrans who honked horns and jingled bike bells in support of the People's Climate Assembly (PCA) picketing action outside Parliament House each morning last week.
It lifted our spirits in the face of the grim science, the smoke haze, and our despair at the lack of action on climate policy by sitting parliamentarians.
As participants in the PCA rally many of us are grandparents. We've worked 40 years plus in contrast to the LNP's George Christianson's insults advising us to "get a real job". Climate activism is our new (unpaid) job.
We came from Victoria, Qld, SA and NSW. We want a future for our grandkids. Please join us next time. We need you. And congratulations, on the ACT's move towards 100 per cent renewable electricity.
Don't let ScoMo claim that advancement as he changes rhetorical direction as his own.
I'll certainly be letting my Victorian community know how progressive you are.
Monica McCormack, Buninyong, Victoria
With you in spirit
I did not join my children who went to protest at Parliament House. I am old and tottering.
I thought I would only hinder them as they demonstrated against the government's claim that it is meeting climate change in a canter when it is only sitting on a rocking horse.
The demonstrators demand change in policy. I was with them in spirit.
To combat climate change we should significantly reduce our consumption of meat. Farm animals send methane gas into the atmosphere. Abandon fossil fuels in favour of electric or hydrogen transportation. Cease coal mining, it is hypocritical to claim we are reducing our emissions when we help others to emit.
We should discard less and recycle and reuse more. The government should abandon GDP as a measure of our productivity in favour of an index that measures our wellbeing. We should reduce our footprint on the earth by having smaller families.
The government should be severely limit immigration without abandoning its humanitarian intake.
Keith Ross, Fraser
We're not the bubble
Last Tuesday I attended the climate change rally on the lawns of Parliament House. The speakers were passionate and informative. It gave one hope about possible actions that would benefit the challenge of actively doing something substantial about climate change.
However, it was disappointing to hear several speakers refer to the "Canberra bubble". It is tiresome when well-meaning speakers use this term.
Canberra has a population of around 380,000. Canberra is represented by two Senators and three members of the House of Reps. Tasmania has a population of 515,000 and is represented by 12 Senators and five members.
In total there are 226 Members of Parliament. Canberra has just five of these.
The overwhelming majority of decisions made in Canberra by government are by the people you voted for to represent you. Not by the folk who live and work in Canberra.
Penny Costello, Giralang
Will the sports grants cover-up be Mr Morrison's Watergate?
He appointed a long-term associate, the current head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, to conduct an independent inquiry into decision-making with respect to the sports grants in circumstances which made it possible for the report to be withheld from public scrutiny.
How does this comply with the new wave of transparency and open government promised by Mr Morrison? He has made it clear the report will not be made available to the public in much the same way President Nixon opposed the release the Oval Office Tapes.
It was only after the US Senate intervened and the US Supreme Court ordered their release that he did so. This led to the revelation of the "smoking gun" and Nixon resigned.
The Australian Senate and the High Court may have a role in the resolution of the issues involved in the sports grants cover-up.
Is the Australian Public Service, against which Mr Morrison is ready to rail when it pleases him, comfortable with him using it to assist in a cover-up?Ken Brazel, Wright
The Watergate cover-up became the focus of US investigative journalists including Woodward and Bernstein. There are many capable investigative journalists in Australia. They are unlikely to be put off by bluster and diversion. Mr Morrison should hope there is no "deep throat".
Is the Australian Public Service, against which Mr Morrison is ready to rail when it pleases him, comfortable with him using it to assist in a cover-up?
Ken Brazel, Wright
There is no honour among thieves. ("Minister bites the bullet", February 3, pp1-2).
Senator McKenzie must have believed her colleagues when they advised her that they would protect her to the end if word got out she had rorted the system in order to buy the election for the Coalition with $100 million of taxpayer funds.
The cabinet has sacrificed the senator while the "marketing guru" doubles down on spin and lies.
W Book, Hackett
Flying high ... and low
While the firies on the ground have given such extraordinary service to protect us, and "extraordinary" doesn't come close to describing their dedication on our behalf, please look up as well.
The crews that fly the helicopters and tankers fighting the Orroral Valley fire have been on station for days. Living where we do, we observe a constant stream of aircraft carrying water or fire-retardant. These guys must now be on the cusp of fatigue but they keep going looking after the rest of us.
Look up and say thanks. If you are religious, send them a prayer.
P. Reynolds, Gilmore
Make the link
In his address to the National Press Club on January 29 the Prime Minister acknowledged the need to take action to reduce global emissions to mitigate the risk of climate change.
It appears he is still to grasp the linkages between the catastrophic bushfires over the past six months and dangerous climate change. He said: "As the years pass, though we note that the bush grows back and fuel loads increase, people move in, in still larger numbers, to live in fire-prone areas, and dangerous fires occur again in a cycle which we must break".
This lament assumes that the bush will simply grow back as it did decades ago. In effect, it denies both the extent of environmental damage from the bushfires and the diminishing window of opportunity for bush regeneration.
The cycle that must be broken is that of national government procrastinating and acting tribally, consistent with the worst traits of human behaviour.
Governments should be acting together to implement the best fiscal policies to reduce emissions, and to transition their economies away from reliance on fossil fuels.
The IMF outlined such policies in its annual Fiscal Monitor report last October.
Australia led by example when the Gillard government implemented a carbon-pricing mechanism and related fiscal policies in 2012. This architecture was dismantled in 2014 by the Abbott government.
Glenys Byrne, Florey
It is interesting to note the vastly different approach by this government to scientific advice.
On the one hand, on the advice of medical scientists, action and announcements about government response to the coronavirus emergency by several ministers has been swift.
On the other, despite advice from climate scientists, action and announcements about the more serious climate emergency has been weak and unconvincing.
Governments have very short term vision.
Coronavirus is now.
Climate change, despite this summer's clear evidence, "might never happen".
Also, this government measures everything by its impact on the economy as measured by GDP and by the squeals from its mates.
If economic impact was measured using credible alternative progress indicators its actions might be different.
Malcolm Robertson, Chapman
Last Tuesday I drove to the south coast to spend money in local businesses and to see the devastation caused by the recent bushfires.
It was shocking. But even more amazing was the number of residences in burnt out bush that survived.
They greatly outnumber the homes destroyed. I was in awe at the efforts made by property owners, volunteer firies, and the RFS.
It cannot be left at that. It's now time to ensure we match or better these efforts when the next fires come.
It is also time to address our woeful approach to reducing carbon emissions.
Keith Hill, Isaacs
TO THE POINT
WHO'S ON TOP?
Some claim the Democrats are the "majority party" in the US because they control the lower house of Congress. This is not the case when it counts. It will be interesting to see if they still control the House of Representatives after November 3.
M Moore, Bonython
DROP THE BILL
Why is it that the feckless Attorney-General continues to pursue a Religious Discrimination Bill at all. It is unnecessary, unsupported and a monstrous can of worms, as even he must realise by now
Rex Williams, Springwood, NSW
LIFT YOUR GAME
It no longer surprises me that the LNP are not particularly honest or competent. But why are they so bad at cheating and cover-ups? C'mon guys you could lift your game.
Maria Greene, Curtin
WAR NO MORE
There would be less suicide deaths of our service men and women if the government stopped sending our troops to fight in unwinnable wars in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam, just to please an unpredictable and gung-ho ally.
David Denham, Griffith
GO DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR
Concerning the sports rorts, older Canberrans might remember the pre-self government Community Development Fund, where money was given to local organisations on a dollar-for-dollar basis. This fostered self-help and prevented excessive amounts being sought or expected.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
SYDNEY BUILDING SOLUTION
Perhaps the solution to the Sydney Building eyesore (Letters, February 5) is to demolish it and build a residential tower that matches the Anzac Park East replacement. The replicative asymmetry should make a nice visual effect and eliminate the confusion people seem to have over which building is which.
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra, NSW
HE'LL DO THE THINKING
Scotty from marketing wants ideas from the Reserve Bank chairman. Is this the same Scotty who told public servants ideas were the business of he and his mates in the big house on the hill? Public servants were just to take the ideas and "do it"? We are rudderless in stormy seas.
Ed Cory, Bywong
Politicians regularly tell us we have given them a mandate for their actions. I, for one, did not give a mandate for secrecy, untruths, ministers misdirecting grants for their own interests or the establishment of an inquiry into the fires designed push any climate debate onto the back burner.
Keith Davis, Pearce
SCORCHED EARTH POLICY
Scott Morrison is now using the terms "hazard reduction" and "land clearing" interchangeably. It sounds like his plan to protect the environment from fire is to get rid of all those pesky trees and animals.
Gaynor Morgan, Braddon
When Ash Barty appeared with her niece after losing her match she said the child was "what life is all about". Nobody got it. If we all focused on the next generation we would work to make the world a better place.
Audrey Guy, Ngunnawal
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 The 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.