The expenses incurred in the Mountbattens' proposed travel (carbon emissions!), their security entourage, advisers, general hangers-on and royalist political sycophants could be in the millions - and should, more appropriately, be devoted to bushfire victims' wellbeing ("William and Kate to visit bushfire-hit regions", February 12, p3).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan
Picking up the cheque
So a couple of British "royals" are to tour Australia. I'm OK with that as long as they're paying their own way. They are paying their own way, aren't they?
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
United States of Australia
This week more than 500 Canberrans were lucky enough to hear the ANU Climate Change Institute deliver its 2020 climate update. The science was clear on the threats we face, but the emphasis was on positive action to reverse the damage of runaway carbon emissions.
Reflecting on the federal government's lengthy ruminations over whether to commit to net zero at the October COP26 forum in Glasgow, I couldn't help wondering if a delegation of state and territory governments should represent us at Glasgow instead.
These governments have all committed to the 2050 target and are taking credible steps to reach it. The delegation could be called the United States of Australia or the Australian Alliance. We could be proud that such a delegation would not hinder world progress on emissions reduction.
Perhaps our federal government just does not deserve to represent us at such a crucial gathering. With a state and territory delegation we could lead instead of being the sorry, selfish, tail-end.
Margaret Roberts, Narrabundah
Don't shoot the messenger
Bob McDonald (Letters, February 9) endorses Ian Warden's (February 2, p15) diatribe against the over-84 miserabilists who dominate the letters page. These elderly correspondents, they argue, appear to be knowledgeable on every subject under the sun, and seem to have nothing better to do than to spend their time writing letters.
So their solution: shoot the messengers! This is such a common tactic used by those who would deny the truth of anything and everything that it passes almost unnoticed. If you don't like the message, then shoot the messenger.
Of course, this response has been around for a long time, but is greatly enabled by modern technology, Fox News and Rupert Murdoch, to name but a few. I'm sure Ian and Bob wouldn't want to be included in such company, but their facile words would seem to indicate otherwise.
Dick Parker, Page
Letter-writing a sport for some
I think it's great that at 74 Ian Warden still gains some satisfaction from his various forms of physical exercise, including his efforts on the tennis court (even if he is frustrated by unreachable, power-packed aces - "Canberra's smog has a silver lining", Feb 2, p15). Our physical abilities are often the first to show signs of weakening and slowing as we age, and I'm guessing that a much younger Ian pranced and volleyed his way around a tennis court with far greater vigour, if no more enthusiasm, than he now does.
Sadly, not all who have reached or surpassed Ian's advanced years have retained the same ability for physical exertion, but like Ian (who seems as mentally sharp as ever) many still have the capacity to think about, research, analyse and express their opinions on issues of the day, both in positive, praiseful terms and sometimes more critically.
Which is why it's disappointing to find Ian and others like Bob McDonald (Letters, Feb 9) ridiculing those of advancing years who choose to give outlet to their mental ruminations by writing to the editor of The Canberra Times.
It may be, as Bob suggests, that they have "nothing better to do with their time" - but is that a crime? Or is his real beef simply that he doesn't agree with some of them? In any event, I do hope all these older contributors maintain and exercise their ability to spend whatever time they choose writing letters to the editor. It's one court where, whatever age they might be, older members of our society can still compete equally with all comers and perhaps from time to time even return a sharp volley from Ian Warden's keyboard or a weak and misdirected attempt at an ace by writers like Bob McDonald.
Keith Hill, Isaacs
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