Dying with dignity should be a basic human right

Hydrogen industry will be a slow burner

Green hydrogen: produced by renewables, stored and pumped to power stations, industrial users, and added to domestic gas supplies. Great. With all this hype about green hydrogen, one would think that it is just around the corner (“$3 billion for new hydrogen industry”, October 13). But green hydrogen remains the holy grail of renewable energy. In Australia, the product is still not commercially viable. Much more government research funding is needed if Australia is to become a world leader in green hydrogen technology. Geoff Black, Caves Beach

It seems the Coalition has finally realised that solar farms, wind-turbine and hydro-power projects are located in, wait for it, rural and regional areas (“Regional Australia to be promised clean energy jobs boom”, October 13). That the promotion of these undertakings, rather than the attempted undermining of them, will be of economic benefit for the regions, as well as all of Australia, has previously escaped them. Why? Because it is not the continued economic benefits of rural dwellers which is of concern, but rather that of large-scale extractive corporations. Fortunately for us all, Rupert Murdoch has spoken, and his minions are beginning to kowtow to his wishes. Ian Usman Lewis, Kentucky

While I acknowledge that some cynicism is justified regarding the motives driving adoption of an emissions reduction stance, the net effect appears to have awakened the federal government to an electoral winner: clean energy jobs. While this inevitably encourages even more cynicism, I am heartened by the tenuous suggestion that Australia may eventually achieve a zero-emissions target by 2050. Roger Epps, Armidale

It’s hardly breaking news that a large majority of voters and business leaders support decisive government action on climate change (“Minds are made up on climate change”, October 13). How different Australia’s history might have been if we had not been ruled at a critical time by a fractious Coalition held together by desperation to hang on to power at any cost. Gillian Appleton, Paddington

The NSW government backs hydrogen to the tune of $3 billion and thousands of jobs are predicted while the Business Council of Australia pushes for accelerated levels of carbon reduction. The Murdoch press turns green and even Barnaby Joyce looks likely to agree to net zero by 2050 as Scott Morrison now appears likely to travel to Glasgow (“Charles urges PM to take seat in Glasgow”, October 13). Who would have thought a looming election would cause such evolution within the Coalition hoping for survival of the species. Chameleon times indeed but spare a thought for Anthony Albanese who is fast losing a point of difference in his own fight for survival. David Sargeant, Jannali

Eddie Jaku was the icon of tolerance (“Holocaust survivor leaves legacy of love and hope”, October 13). The 101-year-old Holocaust survivor who died on Tuesday was an inspiration. His ability to survive the unsurvivable was legendary. His book, The Happiest Man on Earth, was published in 2020, earning him the record of being the oldest person to have a first book published, beating the previous record by nine years. Those of us who knew Eddie can hear him speaking as we read his book, which is written in his unique speaking style. Half of his book documents the multiple hells he miraculously survived; the other half dedicated to his life in Australia and his philosophy of remembrance without hate. If you have not read it, do so asap. Alan Slade, Dover Heights

Vale the “happiest man on earth” , Eddie Jaku. His escaped oppression to spread the word about tolerance and love and, in doing so, became a symbol of light and hope to others. Yet another example of a refugee who made Australia a better place by his presence. Judith Reynolds, Leura

Education in reverse

This sounds like a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem (“Classroom windows to be open so schools meet COVID-safe air standards”, 12 October). We have air purifiers now so children don’t have to suffer from heat, cold, pollen, smoke or noise. But that would cost money. What happened to education as an investment for the future? David Rush, Lawson

Debatable point

Your contributor on the hopelessness of debate is only making it worse (“Is there any point in arguing with people?” October 13). Each of his examples – climate change denial, Saddam Hussein’s WMDs, ivermectin for COVID-19 – is not a “strongly held belief” or a “view”, but an assertion of fact, and therefore can be proved or disproved with evidence. Expressions of opinion are quite another
matter. As the Supreme Court of the United States declared, there is no such thing as a wrong
opinion. Views and beliefs are either genuinely held or they are not. Stuart Littlemore, Woollahra

Lockdown lie

Chris Uhlmann presents a judgment about the history of our lockdowns, which, in using selective and partial facts, obscures what has actually happened (“… and the lockdown winners and losers are clear”, October 13). Last year the strict Victorian lockdown worked in suppressing the virus to zero cases, saving probably hundreds of lives in contrast to the tens of thousands lost in the UK and USA with their limited lockdowns. This year the more contagious Delta variety spread by Gladys Berejiklian’s “mockdown” reduced the success of our lockdowns. Many lives were still saved. These people saved are the winners, as are the locked-down people of the COVID-free states. His fragile inductive reasoning is discriminatory opinion masked as history. David Eccleston, Molong

Price of refusal

People who choose not to get vaccinated need to get a grip (“Anti-vax rhetoric on segregation is offensive”, October 13). Not being able to eat out, get a hair cut or your botox injections because you refused your COVID jab is not persecution, it’s your choice. That the immunisation refusers try to compare themselves and their “suffering” to the truly segregated who have no choice is just another indication of their lack of perspective on reality. Elisabeth Goodsall, Wahroonga

Antoinette Lattouf’s article on those bemoaning vaccination requirements as “medical apartheid” touches the tip of the horrendous mountain of historical events where discriminated cultures and peoples have suffered greatly as a result of either disease being introduced to their traditional lands or where they were deprived of access to medical support from the dominating system. Be it the Aboriginal communities in Australia or indigenous villages in the Amazon or the shantytowns of Soweto – ask them about apartheid and the fear of indiscriminate pandemics sweeping through their families. Steve Dillon, Thirroul

Abbott’s blunder

One wonders just what Tony Abbott’s intention was in his recent speech in Taiwan denigrating China. He had to know that China would react (“Worst is yet to come in trade sanctions”, October 13). Just what we need in our relationship with a huge trading partner; one that can pull the rug out from under a beneficial trade agreement even mid-shipment, which has happened before. This speech could cost the country billions in further lost trade. Is this another example of the lack of any prior thought by this government of the reaction by other countries in “our” treatment of them?

Abbott acting as a private citizen in this matter doesn’t hold water – especially as a former PM and given that he would have received the imprimatur of PM Scott Morrison beforehand. Stewart Copper, Maroubra

Public ripped off

Ross Gittins succinctly sums up the shameful role of successive conservative governments in following the neoliberal philosophy of privatisation, which has created a culture of poor practice and rorting in a wide variety of sectors including child care, vocational training, transport, building inspection, workcover resulting in an endless array of inquiries and investigative commissions, not to mention the billions of misplaced dollars (“Fumbling in our own greasy till”, October 13). We had been fed the myth that business is better placed to efficiently direct these enterprises, but that has been a total furphy from the outset, with shysters rather than the public reaping the benefits. Max Redmayne, Drummoyne

JobKeeper rort

Now that the ATO has addressed Treasury and community concerns that the $89 billion JobKeeper program was rorted by large firms that actually enjoyed increases in their turnover, what exactly is preventing these canny corporates from being identified (“ATO says little gaming of JobKeeper despite Treasury concerns,” October 13)? What are they afraid of? Mark Paskal, Clovelly

Seedling doubt

After all the criticism of the new Premier’s attempts to look blokey at a pub, a bar and a brewery he is now photographed at a florist shop? Trying too hard and still unconvincing (Letters, October 13). Jenni Stapleton, Kiama

Barks and bytes

I don’t think “the dog ate my homework” works any more (Letters, October 13). Teachers know dogs rarely eat computers. Janice Windsor, Greenwich

Post haste

I wish I could share your correspondent’s optimism in declaring that we are now “post-pandemic” (Letters, October 13). It struck me as a bit premature like George W. Bush declaring “mission accomplished”, or perhaps Neville Chamberlain’s “peace in our time”. Maybe my glass is half-empty, but the best I can do is to channel my inner Donald Rumsfeld with “known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns”. Marie Del Monte, Ashfield

Bad memories

Could we please change the name of the Department of Home Affairs? Every time I see or hear the name, I think of a bad 80s American TV show. Margie Christowski, Roseville


Social media has a lot to answer for. It facilitated the political career of Donald Trump (“Social media must lead in protecting the community”, October 13). Richard Keyes, Enfield

Model future

Happy, smiling models (“Late dash for winning racewear”, October 13). Is this the new normal? Jim Dewar, North Gosford

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
The electric car revolution putting Australia and the rest of the world to shame
From jmc: “Instead of incentives to buy electric, we need investment in the charge point infrastructure. Build it and they will come.”

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