Listening to the news, my heart goes out to those affected by the current extreme weather hitting the east coast. If this had happened at any other time or in any other country there would have been a whole world (literally) of help coming to Australia. But there isn't.
Can you imagine the national and international reaction if elderly people in the suburbs of New York, London or Paris were being found drowned in their own homes?
Our emergency services, military and all those able in the affected communities who can help, are doing an incredible job, on their own.
Whether we know it or not, we are facing our own humanitarian disaster. The kind of damage being done to communities along the east coast takes months, or even years, to remediate physically and the damage to individuals' health, both physical and mental, can take forever.
This is not something that can be solved by simply throwing money at the problem and hoping it will go away.
If the human cost of this disaster isn't going to be repeated, and if we are to learn from this experience, then our governments now and in the future, of whatever colour, need to act decisively now.
We know what is needed and it must be done. More importantly, we will all need to accept the sacrifices we will have to make to keep every Australian from having to face the horrors of climate change alone and unprepared.
Your editorial "Deadly floods highlight need for climate action" (canberratimes.com.au, March 4) was spot on. So was Pope's brilliant cartoon about the $10 billion in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.
It is disgraceful that the Prime Minister has seemingly ignored the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's bleak report released on Monday. It talked of "cascading and compounding impacts" of climate change and how there was only a very small band of time for action to stop catastrophic warming.
Most nations have to do more to mitigate climate change.
As you note, if the rest of the world adopted Australia's "steady as she goes" approach the earth would be heading towards catastrophic warming in excess of three degrees. The report notes that two degrees will be bad enough, not least the loss of the Great Barrier Reef.
For those unaware of what three degrees entails, I recommend The Third Degree: evidence and implications for Australia of existential climate-related security risk, a 2019 paper by Breakthrough Centre's David Spratt and Ian Dunlop. It suggests a billion people could be displaced by three degrees of warming.
The extreme events we have witnessed over the past two or so years are a portent of what is to come. We cannot afford them in economic, environmental or social terms. As Pope's cartoon suggests, getting rid of $10 billion annual subsidies to fossil fuel industries would be a good place to start.
So the International Criminal Court is starting an investigation into "possible" war crimes in Ukraine. No war is free from crime. Our own track record is nothing to be proud of; Afghanistan being our most recent misadventure.
It's sickening to hear our politicians and commentators taking the moral high ground when we've needlessly gone to war and killed innocents.
We are now criticising China for abstaining from the UN condemnation of Putin. Yet there are no complaints about India which also abstained and just recently buddied up as part of the quad.
We need to pull our heads in.
As yet again, we read of trucks being involved in fatal or life-changing accidents ("Changes are being urged to how trucks are permitted to operate in urban environments", canberratimes.com.au, March 4), I wonder why they seem to be the favoured method of transport to move goods around Australia.
Using trains seems a much better option since there is a network of tracks around the country and contact with the public would be reduced.
Trucks could be used to take goods and materials from the point of manufacture to a train and then from the station of arrival to the point of delivery.
This would free up roads for other users and reduce road traffic trauma as well as wear and tear on the surface of roads.
It's beginning to look a lot like an election. Jack Waterford has sprung out of the Strasbourg clock to deliver his ritual chastisement of the lily-livered Labor leadership.
This time it's Anthony Albanese who has incurred Waterford's ire for maintaining a "craven" bipartisan approach on foreign relations ("Russia should shrink from dressing down", canberratimes.com.au, February 26).
It seems Albo should be trying to differentiate Labor from the government by talking up the merits of subtle side-door diplomacy towards Russia and China; this, when our news is filled with images of the Kyiv bombardment and stories of the Chinese navy lighting up our reconnaissance aircraft.
Waterford should keep in mind how Mark Latham's 2004 election campaign was sent spinning when he was led by a left-leaning radio journalist to venture that our troops could be home from Iraq by Christmas.
John Howard and Alexander Downer declared that Latham had opted to "cut and run", and a Newscorp chorus lost no time in amplifying the condemnation.
Granted, Australia did well to avoid Latham as prime minister, but Albanese is a different figure, and should maintain his current course.
The Opposition Leader's call for an independent audit ("Elizabeth Lee calls for review of procurement decisions from past five years", canberratimes.com.au, March 1) has merit.
It would reassure the community, that after 20 years of Labor and/or Greens governance funds are being expended with probity, transparency and integrity.
It should dispel any concerns of corruption and incompetence. Mr Barr, if you have nothing to hide what are you afraid of?
Peter Brewer ("Parking apps and the need for a COVID-safe commuting environment has people heading back to the car", canberratimes.com.au, February 27) says "urban public transport modelling tracked a very slow, steady decline in private transport commuting".
Census results show a dramatic fall in Canberrans commuting as car passengers - down from 12 per cent in 1991 to 7 per cent in 2016. That change fed into an increase in the rate of commuting as car drivers - up from 72 per cent to 74 per cent. It also fed increases in cycling (up from 2 per cent to 3 per cent) and walking (4 per cent to 5 per cent), and helped to reduce the overall decline in public transport. Public transport fell from 10 per cent in 1991 to 7 per cent in 2001, and recovered to 8 per cent in 2016.
The 2017 Household Travel Survey showed that travelling as a car passenger (six kilometres per person per day) remained Canberra's second most popular mode of travel after car driving (18 kilometres), and well ahead of public transport (1.1 kilometres).
I agree with Janine Haskins (Letters, March 2) regarding the appointment of an ACT coroner and her comments regarding an adversarial approach to coronial inquiries.
Back in the day when I was a district coroner in NSW, the thrust of coronial inquiries was based on establishing all facts and information relevant to the inquiry at hand.
An adversarial approach was not appropriate in establishing a considered finding in matters before the coroner's court. In the cases where causes of death of a person was under investigation, the family or families involved was always an important consideration without deviating from the issue in hand.
Recent works on Koolgardie Crescent, Fisher and Badimara Street Waramanga bus stops have replaced the concrete pads and improved wheelchair access but removed the seating that was previously there.
While I applaud the improved accessibility, given the uncertainty of timetables the lack of seating seems more like a downgrade.
This is especially the case for older Canberrans who don't use phone apps or social media and have no real idea when the next bus is likely to turn up.
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