Joe Biden is doing badly in the polls, and there is a distinct possibility that the president elected in 2024 will be a Republican, either Trump or a Trump follower. Such a president would almost certainly abandon international action to combat global heating.
This could lead to the collapse of the entire global effort, just when the need for action is becoming greater and greater. The globe, and Australia in particular, would be on the way to an increasingly hellish world. Global heating is the greatest long-term threat to Australia's welfare and security.
Thus, in this quite possible scenario, the US would represent the greatest threat, by far, by another country to Australia's security and its national interest. If at the same time, China, for instance, was showing that it accepted climate science, was taking part in the global effort, and showed significant, verifiable progress in decarbonising, then China would be our ally, in the the greatest long-term struggle facing humanity.
In this quite possible scenario, AUKUS, and the thinking it represents, would tie us to our threat, and antagonise a country we should be working with on the biggest issue of all.
One wonders if the Australian government, so keen to embrace the "Quad" relationship with the USA, Japan and India, was surprised to see the warm embrace between Indian PM Modi and Russian President Putin when the latter dropped by New Delhi to sign an agreement on defence co-operation that will include India producing more than 600,000 Kalashnikov rifles.
Isn't this the same Mr Putin who would be warned a day later by Quad leader President Biden to not even consider invading Ukraine, nor to interfere (at least any more) in the American political system?
Heaven help us if our DFAT really believes, as its website says, that "Australia's Quad partnership with India, Japan and the United States is a key pillar of our Indo-Pacific agenda [and offers] a positive, practical agenda to respond to the defining challenges of our time."
As Paul Keating said of the Quad, which is clearly aimed at containing China - Russia's emerging newest best friend - "India is having us all on. India enjoys the impenetrable wall of the Himalayas on its north and the protection of two oceans around its distended peninsula ... And no power would try to defeat it - certainly not the Chinese."
Both Putin and Modi love strongmen leaders, not least themselves, and this deal highlights the farcical nature of the Quad.
It is a terrifying to consider how Dutton is talking about China. Seriously, does he think Australians want to consider taking on a superpower? China is one of our major trading partners, they don't need us like we depend on them for so many of our consumables, etc.
Did he fall over and hit his head? Or is this just all the about the upcoming election?
Australians, let us not forget Vietnam and Iraq - too many lives lost for no gain. And then there is Afghanistan. We went there to make a difference, and we did - however, once departed, it does not seem so now. More lives lost.
Let us not repeat history yet again.
I nearly choked on my proverbial Weeties when I saw that the Defeat Diabetes diet published in The Canberra Times on December 4 included bacon, salami and other processed meats in the "eat plenty" category.
It has been known for some time, and is officially recognised by cancer authorities, that the consumption of processed meats (more than non-processed red meat) significantly increases the risk of bowel cancer.
In 2015, the International Agency for Cancer Research named processed meat as a Group I carcinogen (known to cause cancer in humans).
The risk is thought to relate to the nitrates and nitrites which are present in these products. Current national and international advice is to avoid, or at least limit, consumption of these products.
If anything, processed meats should carry health warnings. They clearly have no place on a recommended food list.
Chris Chenoweth's letter on the disgraceful state of the Kokoda Memorial in Manuka (Letters, December 6) follows earlier correspondence from myself and others.
I've been pursuing this issue for months with the ACT government and then the federal government, via Minister for Territories Nola Marino.
After much chasing, her office eventually advised that the memorial precinct is the responsibility of the Canberra Services Club, whose building was of course sadly burnt down a decade ago. My attempts to contact the club have gone unanswered.
Minister Marino also advised that the club intends to rebuild the premises pending development approval from the ACT government. Of course we've heard this story for years. Given this organisation's apparent inability to even maintain a tiny area of land, one would have to question their ability to put together a major proposal to develop the site; their application would seem to be guaranteed a rocky road to approval.
There is very strong community opposition to the ACT government's plan to extend light rail to Woden.
There are concerns about the huge cost, the adoption of a 19th-century transport technology and whether or not there are cheaper and more efficient alternatives such as electric buses.
There is also the issue of the traffic chaos that will be caused both during construction and after completion, due to the raising of London Circuit to create an intersection with traffic lights instead of a free flowing cloverleaf. Where is the sense in that?
By calling the tram to Woden "a fantastic catalyst for urban renewal", I assume the Barr government is planning to construct apartment blocks along the route.
Why are Messrs Barr and Rattenbury not fronting up to town hall meetings with southside ratepayers so we can voice our concerns and have them addressed?
Questions needing answers include: will the express bus be retained between Woden and Civic that would run in competition to the tram? Are tram stops planned along Adelaide Avenue, and if so, does this mean there will be traffic lights at each stop to impede what is currently free-flowing traffic?
Given the billion-dollar cost of the tram proposal, can we expect our already monstrous rates to increase even more steeply?
And why replace the current bus service with a tram that will make the trip almost twice as long?
I hear what you are saying, Jorge Gapella (Letters, December 9). While not a total abstainer, because I live in NSW but work in the ACT I don't drink at work functions, because losing my licence would be dire.
This has given me plenty of opportunity to observe colleagues as they become progressively inebriated.
To be the only sober person in a room full of drunks is, as you so rightly observe, a "particularly surreal" experience.
Omicron has shown that the COVID-19 virus is far from done with us. It is infecting vaccinated people, so herd immunity is impossible. Omicron appears to have originated in southern Africa at the end of the southern-hemisphere winter. We can expect more variants of COVID-19 emerging from the northern winter.
The second lesson is that the government's current hotel and other quarantine systems are hopelessly inadequate. The new variant was circulating in Australia within days of its discovery.
The Commonwealth needs to fulfil its constitutional duty to safeguard our borders through a robust quarantine system. Dedicated quarantine facilities and continuing international travel restrictions would prevent future lockdowns and interstate travel bans.
Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce understands the need for quarantine. Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo being no exception. Morrison needs to stop kowtowing to the elite jet set and quarantine all international arrivals.
One of the Jenkins report's many recommendations and suggestions is to set targets for female employment (and promotion) in Parliament House.
Ms Jenkins has got to be joking if she thinks the Liberal Party will strive for this. Isn't its mantra concerning women "merit not quotas" ? It's yet another distraction when the current Liberals suggest Labor also has anti-female situations. Brittany Higgins worked for the Liberal Party. She was allegedly abused by another Liberal staffer. It was Linda Reynolds, a Liberal minister, who returned Brittany to the scene of the alleged crime to talk to her.
There aren't that many times when Barnaby is put to the test and found to be positive.
A pattern is emerging amongst the international political leaders who have caught COVID-19: Trump, Boris Johnson, Brazilian scourge-of-the-rainforests Jair Bolsonaro, and now Barnaby Joyce. Does the spike protein bond particularly easily to those with far-out right-fringe political views?
Mr Abbott has backed the idea of Gladys Berejiklian contesting Warringah. Why would anyone have any respect for Mr Abbott's opinion? Also, encouraging Ms Berejiklian to run undermines our democratic institutions. We must wait for ICAC.
When not tearing around a racetrack last weekend, the PM again blustered on about getting governments out of people's lives and extolled the aim of putting Australians "back into the driver's seat". He would be more relevant if he removed the barriers preventing people getting into the driver's seat of an affordable electric car.
Your Tuesday editorial mentioned the ALP's inability to improve in the last month on its six-point lead in the two-party-preferred vote. Albanese has striven mightily and deserves much credit, but is he who the party needs? Many on the left would prefer to see a Jim Chalmers-Tanya Plibersek leadership team.
In answer to Philip Barnaart (Letters, December 8), the media, particularly TV newsreaders, have effectively banned the use of "affected" and "effected" in favour of "impacted" because they no longer know how to use them correctly.
Further to Ray Edmondson noting the effect on him of a full-page photo of Craig Kelly (Letters, December 7), not only did I choke on my soluble fibre when I saw the image, but it made a cameo appearance in a nightmare I had that night.
Am I the only regular question time viewer who thought that this year the whole thing just got out of hand? Thank heavens for some peace and quiet until the end of the year.
Here's a quote from one of those university ratbags that you will love. It says "capitalists need to be educated to look after the interests of their workers". It was written in 1950 by a Mr J. M. Fraser whilst at Oxford. You might remember him better as Malcolm.
If you are against the anti-corruption watchdog, does that mean you are pro-corruption, and if you are pro-corruption, doesn't that put you at odds with all codes of conduct for politicians both state and federal?
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