The Nationals' position on the place of agriculture in the effort to reverse climate change is hard to fathom.
The members of Farmers for Climate Action are well aware that climate change is a very real danger to their existence, with the increase in the length and intensity of droughts and, conversely, that of cyclone devastation and flooding.
As a result they are working on ways of reducing their impact on the carbon budget. It would be really helpful to them if they were included in any plans the Coalition might have to reduce our carbon emissions by rewarding them for any success they have in increasing the carbon captured in the soils and by reducing the emissions from their livestock.
Why is this so hard for the Nationals to understand?
Actually, probably the most horrifying statement to come out of that party was that from Michael McCormack: "I'm certainly not worried about what might happen in 30 years' time".
This is exactly why those children, spurred on by Greta Thunberg, have been demonstrating: they do care about what might happen in 30 years. That is their future.
Margaret Lee, Hawker
In their own words
The Nationals' Bridget McKenzie has said her party could not agree to a zero-emissions target without a plan.
Her party has been in power for eight years and she doesn't have a plan. She was echoed by Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has said a net-zero emissions target for Australia would drive our industry offshore. He has also said: "I'm certainly not worried about what might happen in 30 years time".
The Nationals' Matt Canavan has said a zero target by 2050 was "mythical". Barnaby Joyce has said "quite a high proportion of us will have passed away...that's the only thing certain about 2050".
None of these people care about their grandchildren or those of anyone else.
Rod Holesgrove, Crace
Do the maths
The European Union is set to impose a carbon tax on imports from countries which do not have acceptable emissions standards. The Biden administration will likely follow suit with Asian heavyweights not far behind.
This means the Morrison government urgently needs to re-examine its position on fossil fuels and renewable energy. If it fails to heed this development we risk having Australian exports penalised heavily by major trading partners.
This is yet another blow to the government's unrealistic and vastly irresponsible stance on global warming. Now is the time to join the world's efforts to minimise climate change; we owe it to future generations to act without delay.
John Ryan, Griffith
Pets have rights
Well done on the excellent report on proposed changes to the ACT cat legislation ("Lock up your Cats", February 6, p1).
It is appropriate the ACT public be reminded of the changes and the effects this could have on their own pet ownership, and that it is our right to have a say in how we want legislation changed.
For sure domestic pets are the least of the problems here in Canberra. We have a skewed system of rates for example with some areas paying astronomically high rates compared to other areas, we also have terrible internet connections in many areas, poor access to in home care for the elderly and disabled, a lack of appropriate housing for many, poor public transport and so on.
However, owning a pet brings joy to many people's lives, especially in these difficult times. The lovely photo of Emerson Riley and Mimi made my day. I wish them success in their fight for pet ownership rights.
Michaela Campbell, Yarralumla
It's not that hard
My little backyard has been filled with the sounds of baby birds this summer, and my cat has been most interested. Good thing she's entirely indoors.
It's not hard to keep your cat in, and good for the cat too (no risk of getting run over, beaten up, parasites...). Great for a cat owner's peace of mind.
Mina Roberts, Deakin
An idiotic proposal
The ACT government has flagged options to lock up more cats, or even all cats. One option apparently is to walk cats in a harness.
The government and its shrill supporters have cats confused with dogs. Most cats will refuse to walk on a lead. It would present grave danger to cats from dogs who may attack them in public areas.
I would suggest one strategy to start with would be to have all cats inside the dwelling from 5pm to 8am. It would require a modification of any "no pets" policy. I favour a large meshed cat run with a cat door into the dwelling. It protects animals and the cats.
Looking at the government's thinking it would seem there are no cat owners as a part of the discussion. This is undemocratic. It is skewing the ideas in one direction.
The government needs to include all stakeholders to arrive at a fair and manageable solution.
Sophi Suttor, Narrabundah
Whose money is it?
Ever since the Prime Minister's pronouncement that he's not going to "run the economy on the taxpayers' money forever" I've been asking myself over and over "then where's the money coming from? Just whose money is paying for those submarines, for our foreign incursions, our health care and our schools and so forth?"
The late Kerry Packer may well have been right in his assertion that he can make better use of his money than the government, but in the end doesn't every dollar the government spends come from taxpayers?
Unless, of course, ScoMo thinks it's all his and the LNP's money. That would explain sports rorts and the PM's miserly attitude towards anyone on welfare.
Keith Hill, Berridale, NSW
Your editorial ("When playing politics is a bridge to far", canberratimes.com.au, February 5) claims the light rail extension would link city to the Canberra Hospital. It does not. It is an example of the disinformation surrounding the project. The project could well be a "dud" as Senator Seselja suggested as no assessment of it, compared to alternatives such as a dedicated busway, has been undertaken.
While the government can claim a mandate for the project, the conservatism of the Liberal party, not light rail, was the reason it was re-elected. Given the need for additional health services and social housing, the government should consider deferring the project and commissioning an independent assessment to be evaluated by Infrastructure Australia as to whether the project is a good use of public funds.
Mike Quirk, Garran
Spicy isn't spicy
The word "spicy" seems now to be generally used to indicate the presence of chilli in a dish. Your article "Theory on spicy food" (canberratimes.com.au, February 5) also misused the word in this way. I have often cooked a fragrant "spicy" Kashmiri lamb recipe which has very little chilli but is full of spice: cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves etc. It can rightly be called spicy yet has none of the heat of chilli.
Perhaps we can simply say "chilli hot" rather than universally misusing the word "spicy".
Vee Saunders, Weetangera
Message from Moscow
Talking the walk while being unable to walk the walk is pathetic ("Biden to Putin: US no longer rolling over", canberratimes.com.au, February 6).
The US began rolling over not when in 2016 Trump came to power, but when in 2004 Putin announced a new and unmatched nuclear missile.
And he has no need to meddle in the US elections, justly regarding each presidential candidate there as the same wine in a different bottle.
The West's expectation of Alexei Navalny in the Kremlin is equally wrong as he made two unsuccessful tilts at public office in 2013 and in 2015. Calling him an opposition politician is unfair to our opposition politicians.
Unlike Navalny, they know that the average Russian voter is an elderly person with an antediluvian TV, and not someone young with a gadget. And they go on the stump accordingly to win seats.
I don't know how Mr Biden sounds on the phone with Mr Putin but I see how he looks in public while discussing Russia: like a shark-bait.
Mergen Mongush, Moscow, Russia
Memo to Michael
Attention: Deputy PM Michael McCormack, I would have thought it self evident: "How many species can you think of that have survived by eating their own young?"
Ronald Elliott, Sandringham, Vic
TO THE POINT
YES AND NO
Faye Thornhill is correct in saying that free speech is a fundamental right and value (Letters, February 10). Craig Kelly has this right. That said, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism, nor should free speech mean being at liberty to shout "fire" in a crowded theatre.
David Roth, Kambah
Climate deniers in the Coalition claim they will cross the floor, but to where? And will anyone care? This is surely a sham theatrical stunt of the kind last seen in the Barilaro-Berejiklian Koala-shafting epic.
S W Davey, Torrens
I'm delighted to see from the advertising that the Liberal Party is apparently paying for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout from its own funds. That will save the taxpayers millions.
Peter Edsor, Bungendore
GOOD WORK POPE
I'm rejoicing in Pope's hilarious front page cover (February 10 edition) showing Barr as "Skywhalepapa". A work of genius. But I'm sniggering at the prospect of any future female Chief Minister as "Skywhale".
Katy Skinner, Weetangara
A STAR CHAMBER?
I think Trump's impeachment trial should be made in private and not broadcast anywhere in media apart from a brief online outcome at the end of it. No one wants to be reminded ever again of this nightmare of a person.
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
CONTAIN THE SHOOTERS
The ACT government is so concerned about the decimation of wildlife by cats that it wants to contain them. Why is it not then containing kangaroo shooters as they have a devastating effect on wildlife?
Felicity Chivas, Ainslie
AND THE DEVELOPERS
When the Chief Minister drafts his new cat containment laws, how about he draft some "developer containment" laws too. Surely Canberra's property developers, along with some dedicated help from Messrs Barr and Rattenbury, have done far more damage than cats to our local environment in the last decade.
B Jones, Kambah
A PACK OF LIES
The Myanmar military didn't need to "build democracy" in the country. It was already there. What they are trying to do is deconstruct it.
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
COUNT THE WAYS
How to express my gratitude to Mario Stivala for sharing his opinions about the opposition? Unspoiled by demand, unhindered by petty convention (context, balance and variety surely have had their day), they come unsolicited yet undaunted. Perhaps he could extend his generosity to other issues? What is his take, for example, on today's youth's predilection for above-ankle trouser lengths?
Matt Gately, Rivett
MATE'S DAY ANYONE?
My mates and I are inclined to go with the suggestion the national holiday be May 8 (Mate's Day), being a day of absolutely no significance or offence to anyone. A pity the LNP government has totally perverted the concept of doing things for your mates.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
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.