In response to Ian Pilsner's letter ("The Imaginary world of the left", November 16) there are many benefits to be had from the uptake of electric vehicles. "Trickle charging" can be done at home overnight through a normal power outlet and the electricity usage is minimal.
Recharging an EV on a fast-charger at a charging station takes less than half an hour, and is a good excuse for a break from driving. Remember the old safety adage "Stop, revive, survive"? Car models with a higher kilometrage are also becoming available on the market, for example the Hyundai Kona, which has a range of about 450 kilometres.
Recharging an EV on a fast-charger at a charging station takes less than half an hour and is a good excuse for a break from driving.- Anne O'Hara, Wanniassa
Currently, the manufacture of an electric vehicle does create emissions. However, over time this carbon debt is paid back, in some EVs after as few as 35,000 kilometres. As we phase out outmoded fossil fuels and replace them with renewable technology for our energy needs, the carbon footprint of EVs will become even smaller. Considering that vehicle emissions contribute to over 18 per cent of emissions in Australia, the uptake of EVs is a great opportunity for us to lower our carbon emissions.
Barnaby Joyce on Radio National (November 16) tells us that cutting back on coal mining in this country will leave us poorer, unable to afford health and welfare services, and expostulates about how impossible this will be for any of us to consider.
But I think there is a substantial proportion of us who would be happy to pay more for petrol and electricity if it meant that the planet would remain more liveable for our grandchildren, and if the reduced resources which we might be left with could be distributed more equitably.
The reason why I think this group of us is ready to be poorer is that our members acknowledge our wealth has often been dependent in the past on cheap labour from other countries, on cheap raw materials from other countries, and on our very favorable trading conditions with other countries. We realise, in other words, that wealth in particular countries is not mostly deserved in some way by that country, but that it is the result of a complex interaction of history, culture, economics and geography in which all countries in the world participate.
It looks likely that we are set for a fear-based "khaki" election that plays into our darker nature, and thereby avoids any focus on the fundamental reforms needed to our social, economic and political systems.
If "democratic principle" and "self-determination" are worth risking catastrophic war over, one would have thought it was critical to be consistent both on the world stage, and across the board domestically.
Working households are getting poorer, and corporations and billionaires much richer. Home ownership and secure work are becoming distant social memories. The excessive power of capital, often foreign, is clear when one considers the systematic suppression of wages, the widespread avoidance of tax and the malign political influence over politicians of all descriptions.
We, the people, need to reassert control to restore a genuine mixed economy that -
1. removes the "rent seekers" from the natural monopolies;
2. restores our national capacity to make and provide a whole range of goods and services that are essential;
3. rebalances the relative bargaining power between labour and capital to achieve a fairer distribution of wealth;
4. ensures that taxation is fairly levied and is no longer optional for the big corporations and the wealthy.
We simply cannot afford to sit frozen in the headlights of history and get run down. We could again be a shining beacon of light and hope in a troubled world.
With recent reports of Defence Minister Dutton saying that Australia, in the case of Chinese military action against Taiwan, would be likely join with the United States to defend Taiwan, it is a timely reminder that there should be a legislative requirement for both houses of Parliament to consider and approve the use of Australian military forces in war-like operations in circumstances other than responding to an attack on Australia.
Historically we have seen the Australian government commit military forces to appease the United States where the outcome has not been positive - Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Australia being involved in a war with our largest trading partner would be a catastrophe.
Forgive me, I'm confused. The Labor Party is maligned for being in bed with the Greens. The Coalition is a pact between the Liberals and the Nationals. None of any party espouses any policy which includes their mate's true views. Time for independents or parties which don't make coalitions.
I'm sure there have been worse things done to our flag than anything that might come about as a result of our Prime Minister wearing a cut-down version as an anti- COVID mask over his nasal passages (Letters, November 15). I've seen footwear versions (thongs by any other name) and underwear, for example, and can easily imagine the horror felt by those like David McCarthy at how the honour of our flag might suffer from odorous feet or a little incontinence.
Are such indignities enough to legislate respect? I guess it would be possible to ban the manufacture of such items, but beyond that any law aiming at forcing respect for the flag - be it our existing imperial heritage version or a new, more inclusive, uniquely Australian version as suggested by McCarthy - would be doomed to fail from the outset. It would almost certainly guarantee the flag being incorporated into every protest going around as an item to be burnt, stomped upon, torn up or desecrated in some other way. A little nasal drip or a few skid marks would be nothing in comparison.
It's no more than a coincidence that COP26 was held in a city whose coat of arms depicts four symbols suggestive of a dystopian planet. The symbols are: tree, bird, fish and bell, and arise from miracles said to have been performed by St Mungo, Glasgow's patron saint, back in the sixth century. The ditty by which Glaswegian children are taught to recall them goes:
There's the tree that never grew,
There's the bird that never flew,
There's the fish that never swam,
There's the bell that never rang.
With the conference over, outcomes less than sanguine for 2050, let alone 2030, and Australia the proud winner of multiple wooden spoons, it's crunch time for people alive now to act decisively to prevent that future down the track: a treeless, birdless, fishless, eerily silent planet.
One delegate's speech at the Glasgow climate conference created something of a sensation. He had started by saying how remarkable it was that the conference had taken place at all. "For the first time in history, we have a meeting of leaders working together to address a crisis that threatens humanity, a crisis that can only be solved by a unified approach. This new, very modern spirit of co-operation is in itself a hopeful sign. Yet here in Glasgow we have heard nothing of a related crisis, one whose solution will facilitate our task to combat the warming of the globe.
"Delegates! Leaders of the world! Today I see sitting side by side, leaders of nations that have engaged, often more than once, in merciless wars. Dare we hope that the co-operative Glasgow spirit can be applied to the solution of conflicts? The benefits of a change from a dangerous confrontation, with endless refining of weaponry and spiralling costs, not to mention a heavy carbon footprint, are obvious. Could we not arrange a conference similar to this great conference to address ..."
But here, before I could learn more of the delegate's radical proposal, I awoke.
Re "Smokers suffering sleep apnoea" (November 14). The majority of Australia's 2,500,000 smokers (about 80 per cent) want to escape their addiction and quit.
Our governments can make it easier for them - reduce availability of tobacco by legislating that only licensed, informed smokers can purchase only from a vastly reduced number per area of specialist tobacco sellers, and vastly increase the number and area of totally smoke-free public spaces, including central business districts for every suburb, town and city.
Everybody has the right to breathe clean air, free from the well-documented toxins in second-hand tobacco smoke.
Tobacco and second-hand smoke kill over 20,000 Australians annually, costing the nation $137 billion (per Health Minister Greg Hunt, October 2019).
So many people are using Australia Post for online orders and to get presents delivered to friends and family. I think we should all thank the workers there for their ceaseless work through the pandemic. They've pivoted to a parcel-focused business successfully, and I wish them every success in the weeks, months and years to come.
I walk a half-miniature/half-toy French poodle named Buddy. I've never called a human being "buddy". It's beyond my respect for Australian English.
Imagine the inconvenience if you had to take your mobile phone to a shop to recharge it. And yet Ian Pilsner thinks refilling a car at a petrol station is preferable to simply plugging in when arriving home (Letters, November 16).
Scott Morrison has had a low-emission light bulb moment, and is now touting that we have a choice if we want to buy an EV or not. I wonder when this Eureka moment started? Strangely this has not been Coalition policy before with NBN, vaccinations and decent aged care, to mention a few.
Ita Buttrose is concerned there is political interference in the affairs of the ABC. The answer is simple, Ita: try doing your job.
Rather than truck in 60,000 cubic metres of fill to raise London Circuit up to the level of Commonwealth Avenue, wouldn't it be easier to use $2 coins readily available from the Mint, just down the road?
If Paul Keating can resolve our issues with China tactfully, then the PM should give him this task to occupy his retirement. After all, if I recall correctly, Mr Keating appointed Mr Turnbull to manage the republican movement. Look how we ended up!
Rest assured, M. Flint (Letters, November 14), the "quiet Australians" who will return the LNP government early next year are well up on the EV inequities. Meanwhile, the left should prepare for another three years in political isolation after the "miracle".
Why was Maggie King (Letters, November 16) taking antibiotics for a viral infection? I thought they didn't work on viruses.
Go on, dear reader, admit it: like me, you rushed to the dictionary when you stumbled on "banausic" in Roy Darling's letter (Letters, November 16).
When Scott Morrison blusters on that petrol prices will be higher under a Labor government, how come no journalist ever seems to ask him to justify why they have risen to be so high at this very moment under his government?
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