Koala flashpoint finally must be a line in the sand

With the current discussion of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, clean-up of taxation by getting rid of capital gains tax, negative gearing etc and the rise of electric vehicles, did we miss something by not installing a Shorten Labor government? Paul Keys, Clouds Creek

What’s the big issue regarding a 2050 emissions target? The government doesn’t deliver on promises, so why stress over targets? Clearly, there is ample time to contrive excuses. Meanwhile, Morrison can call on his finely honed skills at COP-26 in Glasgow to develop tourism opportunities for the country. Robert Caraian, Crows Nest

Thank you, Matt Kean, Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes and other climate leaders behind the recent surge in support for a greener, safer Australia. Rob Firth, Cremorne Point

Climate sceptics: zero! True believers: game, set, match! George Fishman, Vaucluse

Before the last two federal polls, most voters expressed concerns about climate change inaction and then voted on other issues, often influenced by clever hip pocket campaigns. If that doesn’t change next year, nothing will change. Max Fossey, Oakville

When the Queen notes the notion of a ScoMo no-go to Glasgow as a no-no, what-ho, he now goes. Go, ScoMo! Joan Brown, Orange

VAD about control over one’s life

Voluntary assisted dying was brought in to provide patients with control over their end of life (“Head over heart on life and death issues”, October 16-17). Evidence tells us that the desire to pursue VAD is rarely about uncontrolled symptoms. In the Victorian Community of Practice audit, only one case in more than 300 reported uncontrolled symptoms as the sole reason for applying for VAD. VAD is about redemption of autonomy, exerting control over one’s own circumstances: this is why it was brought in; this is why people apply for it and this is what NSW must strive for. Dr Stephanie Short, Woy Woy

Assisted dying legislation clearly needs a euphemism to describe itself. Malcolm Knox has shown that it also needs so many self-defeating safeguards to be passed. That should tell us a dangerous line is being crossed. The safeguards themselves violate the very value of the human life they are trying to protect. The value of human life is embodied in the commandment “thou shalt not kill”. All of us want to relieve suffering. VAD compounds the suffering it intends to relieve by devaluing the life that is being discarded. Mark Porter, New Lambton

Taken for granted again

The Premier needs more than an injection of the “Gladys factor” (“Can Perrottet woo women without the Gladys factor?” , October 16-17). While a cabal of men in suits huddle together for their morning beers and focus on flinging open borders with macho abandon, those who will continue to be most burdened and worried by household infection management and home nursing of COVID-19 cases can’t get information or reassurance about support needed over coming months. Easy access to reliable medical support and monitoring, PPE supplies, isolation options and multiple tests over time for household members will be on the minds of millions of women in particular as people return to school, work and social hubs. The blinkered men in charge at the federal and state levels appear to have no plans or practical advice about support mechanisms for those who are coming out of lockdown and wondering if and how they will be coping, physically and mentally. Sue Dyer, Downer (ACT)

Keep eye on populations

Just as Australia has to man up on carbon emissions reduction policy at Glasgow COP26, we have to also play our part in mitigating the global overpopulation crisis (“Myths and truths of immigration”, October 16-17). Humans are but one species on a planet with interdependent environmental mechanisms whose continued health underwrites their existence. The pressure of overpopulation threatens us all through animal, plant, insect and microbe degradation and destruction. A gradual reduction in GDP by way of an ageing population is not a problem but a process towards helping the world recover via a gradual population decrease. Alan Carruthers, Artarmon

Don’t put it on insurers

Your correspondent (Letters, October 16-17) suggests moving the risk of defective apartment buildings to the insurance industry. This would have two poor outcomes. First, making all builders pay the insurance would be a financial cost regardless of whether a builder follows the building regulations. Good builders would be penalised. Dodgy builders would pass the risks on to the insurers. Second, insurance companies with very deep pockets can fight in the courts for years not to pay out. The consequences must be sheeted home to the owners of the building companies through proper financial penalties that aren’t extinguished when their company is dissolved. Di Henderson, Yass

Peace jet-tisoned

Hello, aeroplane people (″⁣After almost two years we welcome back the world″⁣, October 16-17). Goodbye, blue horizon, starry night and the sound of silence. Alicia Dawson, Balmain

States of improvement

Not so long ago, it was in vogue to call for state governments to be abolished in the belief that their usefulness was limited and they gobbled up taxpayers’ money with another level of bureaucracy.
Recent events will have drastically changed thinking about their status and relevance, and the role of federal government is now in question. During the pandemic, state leaders have been admired and supported, while the federal government has been devoid of direction and has fumbled its way through the purchase and distribution of vaccines. Now states are commandeering the federal space of international border control and quarantine. On climate policy, all state governments have adopted sensible climate change policies and net zero emissions targets while the federal government has been paralysed by a lack of leadership, allowing ideologues and deniers to kidnap the agenda. All the while, vast amounts have been squandered on JobKeeper and voters have seen federal rorts and ministerial incompetency. For the future, massive spending on questionable military hardware will be at the expense of sustaining well-resourced health, education and social welfare services. It will be very difficult to chisel away taxing powers from the Commonwealth, but we have seen evidence that the talent in state government betters the equivalents in Canberra, and that translates to superior outcomes. Ross Butler, Rodd Point

New spin on weather

Does this mean I will need a tornado bunker as well as a bushfire bunker? (″⁣Four tornadoes in two weeks: a twist in our climatology″⁣, October 16-17). Michael Deeth, Como West

Be alert to avert

Hope is essential for a successful reopening after lockdown (“Bust to bloom”, October 16-17), and cautious optimism is reasonable. Over-confidence is, however, an invitation to disaster. Norm Neill, Darlinghurst

As the citizens of the state bask in the glory of 80 per cent, it is to be hoped we do not regress to a sense of complacency with behaviours that may put us at risk. Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook

School is never just about the curriculum content. It is about nurturing children to become confident, capable and compassionate members of their community. The return from lockdown is a challenge, but also a welcome opportunity for teachers to demonstrate their concern for the whole person. While it may not yet be school as normal in some regards, this aspect of care will continue. Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

It is looking likely that I will be able to fly from Newcastle to Sydney via Auckland before I can drive down the M1. Ann Babington, Lambton

It was sickening to watch jockeys whipping horses in an effort to win millions of dollars for humans. Call it for what it is — animal cruelty. Stephanie Edwards, Roseville

The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Morrison the pragmatist leads from the back on net zero
From P Mc C: I don’t think he is a pragmatist in any sense, as he is always being shamed into doing things. He is rather the catch-up king, the climate change issue is no exception – hence the term he used ‘it’s not a race’.

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