Because Australia's emissions have decreased, unsurprisingly, as a result of lockdowns during the past year, Angus Taylor loves to claim that we will easily "meet and beat" the government's 2030 target under the Paris Agreement.
The problem with our limited Paris target is that it only requires a decrease of 0.75 per cent per annum reduction in emissions from where we are now. With COVID-19 impacts and increasing use of renewable energy that's easily done. But does it help the planet? Unfortunately, no. Especially as the latest IPCC report makes clear that the world has to reduce emissions by around 10 per cent per year to 2030 if there is to be any chance of stabilising the climate.
If we continue on our current reduction trajectory, Australia will arrive at net-zero emissions some time after 2150. Not 2050. Not even close.David Rossiter, Fadden
If we continue on our current reduction trajectory, Australia will arrive at net-zero emissions some time after 2150. Not 2050. Not even close.
In February 2014, Australia's fair share of the world total emissions for the Paris maximum two degrees global warming limit was determined to be 10.1 billion tonnes from 2013 to 2050. In the first nine years to 2021, we have emitted nearly five billion tonnes of the total already and at current rates of nearly half a billion tonnes a year, we should use up the second half in around ten years, sometime in 2031.
So we're on a trajectory to get to net-zero emissions some time in the next century, and we've only got about 10 more years until our carbon budget allocation is all used up. It will take more than encouragement of "technology" to get Australia on a serious emissions reduction path. We need a serious plan, serious targets, and a rapid path away from fossil fuels.
David Rossiter, former regulator of National Greenhouse and Energy
Reporting Act, 2008-2012, Fadden
Coal is power
Thanks, United Nations, for telling us that we need to stop burning coal so the world can avoid even worse climate change than what we're already seeing.
Good luck with that. You see, the LNP and ALP rely on donations from the fossil fuel industry to run their campaigns for election and re-election, and they do love their power. Their own power I mean, not just that from coal.
AEC data reveals that for the 2018-19 year fossil fuel donations totalling $1,897,379 were made to the Labor, Liberal and National parties. That was up by 48 per cent from 2017-18 (not a federal election year). The 2018-19 figure doesn't include the $83.3 million given by a certain political aspirant from Queensland to his own party.
For 2019-20, fossil fuel donations were down a bit to $1,353,202, but 35 per cent of all official donations in that reporting period were from unknown sources, so the actual amount might be a lot higher.
The LNP and ALP are skilled at having funds channelled to them indirectly so the money trail can be almost impossible to follow.
It's a win-win situation though. Australia Institute research reveals that in the 2020-21 financial year, the LNP gave the fossil fuel industry $10.3 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies. That should shore up their chances of getting some of it back for their next election campaign.
Catherine Moore, Braidwood, NSW
Ageism in Woden?
I went into Woden a week or so ago during lock down for the weekly supermarket shop (it is just within five kilometres, I measured it).
I bought a coffee but there was nowhere to sit as all the seats were taken. No worries, scoff the coffee and into the mundane shopping.
This week the same thing. Fortunately there were seats so we sat to drink our coffee. I'm getting a bit long in the tooth so a sit down for me is essential why my wife spends an hour having her sort of fun in the supermarket.
A young lady ordered us to stand up: "You are not allowed to sit on these seats she bleated". All the seats looked welcoming, not a word or fence anywhere to deter any making such a heinous move as to rest their bottom on one. Feet standing on the floor is okay, resting an arm on one of these nasty seats is okay, but no bottom shall touch the seat.
Ten minutes later, while I was standing for an hour while my wife shopped (for essentials) every seat all along the walkway was occupied.
Does Westfield have a secret war against the elderly?
Alastair Bridges, Wanniassa
Amy Hiller (Letters, September 5) and other mothers and fathers, might be heartened by some words recommended by Lesley Hughes, Climate Councillor and one of five Australian lead authors who worked on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth, Fifth and (very grim) Sixth Assessment Reports.
Hughes finds comfort in Desmond Tutu's advice to "do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world".
Bishop Tutu, like children, understood that the actions of each person matter and that we can move mountains if we work together.
Hughes also suggests removing our $10 billion a year in fossil fuel subsidies, planting trees, buying less and voting for representatives who will act now, not bang on about some un-invented technology.
I'm sure Tutu would think these are all good ideas too, although the first is tricky without we all do the last.
Lesley Walker, Northcote, Vic
Recently several correspondents have said letter writers seeking to expose ills in our society are merely whingers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
At a time when government is increasingly authoritarian, when accountability is ignored or compromised by spin, corruption and subterfuge, when many journalists have become propagandists, and when the courts are being used to silence whistle blowers the need for a letters page with a vigorous and sceptical take on politics could not be greater.
Many years ago I heard Jack Waterford explain the composition of the letters page. He said that, ideally, there would be letters from some acknowledged experts, some from informed citizens raising issues of concern, and one or two from nutters. These would amuse and divert. A look at any issue of this paper shows the formula still holds true.
Those of us who want to live in a liberal democracy know its foundations are under threat. It is imperative we whinge our way, publicly, to a better tomorrow. We are not alone. A number of recently formed organisations like the estimable Centre for Public Integrity hold out hope.
There is also a move to target House of Representatives and Senate seats in the next election to try and inject voices more in tune with community views. Here in the ACT one such is called Independent Voices for the Senate. Let's also continue to whinge loudly and demand a federal ICAC.
I. C. Dillon, Garran
Just get jabbed
It is disappointing to read letters of complaint (Letters, September 4) about the lack of a COVID-19 vaccine choice.
As soon as vaccinations became available for under-70s, I booked for a jab.
I knew that it would be AstraZeneca but was simply grateful that a vaccine was freely available.
The process at Calvary Belconnen was efficient and the staff welcoming.
Vaccination is strongly urged but not compulsory. People who have concerns about a particular vaccine or levels of efficacy can now wait until their preferred vaccine is available.
The complainers among us might pause to consider our forebears who contracted Spanish flu. I suspect that they would have done anything for any kind of vaccine.
Heather Nash, Kingston
I was enormously heartened by Wendy Goodwin's letter (Letters, September 4) reminding us that Australia has the best anti-COVID vaccine in development.
What Wendy did not mention is that the Adelaide vaccine (developed by Professor Nikolai Petrovsky from Flinders University) contains a unique component based on the edible polysaccharide inulin, found in many plants.
This acts as an adjuvant, a general booster for the immune system.
As the lead ANU scientist responsible for its development, I can assure everybody that it really works and is really safe, based on over 40 years of meticulous research by a large team of Australian medical researchers.
It is also really cheap. As part of due diligence disclosure, I affirm that I have no monetary interest in its sale.
Dr Peter Cooper, DSc, PhD, Gordon
Change the law
I have some advice for Gary Fan (Letters, September 7) re: Craig Kelly's texts. Lobby your federal representatives and ask them to introduce an amendment to amend the Electoral Act that removes the right to access his electoral roll details within the current term of parliament.
This could quite possibly inspire state and territory politicians to act similarly ... or not.
Geoff Mongan, Canberra City
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