Rich companies break our trust on emissions

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In short, COP27 was a triumph for the fossil fuel industry, including here in Australia, and a disaster for the planet and humanity and any hope of a safer future.
Vicki Swinbank, Northcote

Parties need to accept voter demand
The Age editorial (“Labor offers best path to clean energy”, 21/11) is an excellent and concise article on the impact of climate change and its relevance to the Victorian election.

Every day we are witnessing the distressing consequences of the changing climate both here and around the world. We urgently need progressive policies to help mitigate more and more disasters.
Governments of all persuasions have for too long used climate change as a political tool, that time is well and truly over.
Judith Morrison, Nunawading

We were warned about coal
Six years ago I was part of a huge campaign to stop the Adani coal mine. Today this mine is proceeding.

Australia, particularly NSW, continues to suffer from extensive flooding and, if you watch the national news you’ll know that floods, fires and extreme weather events are not confined to Australia, they are everywhere around the world.

The Northern Rivers area has had a one in 100-year flood not once, but five times this year and yet, one of the big four Australian banks has a plan to lend billions of dollars to a large coal company, so that it can embark on yet another huge project.

The big question for me is are we going to continue to be lemmings rushing to the edge of the cliff-top ready to jump or, are we going to step up and demand that our government puts an end to this nonsense?
Trevor Scott, Castlemaine


Pest problems
The Liberal Party’s environmental policies seem unfocused and, in places, contradictory (“Parties’ green policies in spotlight as concern for our world grows”, The Age, 21/11).

The Liberal Party’s 2022 election platform says a Coalition government would end the eradication of brumbies from the high country, calling these horses “an iconic animal with strong and enduring ties to Victoria’s modern history”.

The same platform also promises to help private landholders control pests such as wild dogs and deer on neighbouring Crown land.

This is an inconsistent approach to the same problem of how to control the devastating impacts of feral species on our natural environment. The only consistency is that both policies put the interests of humans first and those of the environment a distant second.
Rod Wise, Surrey Hills

Do Victorians really care?
It’s time to challenge the idea Victorians care for the environment; perhaps many care about the concept but don’t actually engage with it (“Victorians care about the environment. Here’s how the parties stack up”, The Age, 21/11). The environment is not something that happens “out there”. It exists in our suburban landscape as much as it does in designated areas known as national or state parks.

The rebuilding of much of Melbourne, with the loss of plant and tree diversity, the ubiquitous use of glass balconies and swimming pool fences that are lethal to bird life, the orientation of high-density apartments facing west with glass balconies housing an airconditioner unit suggest we need a broader discussion on what it means to care for the environment.
Joanna Wriedt, Eaglemont

Follow the evidence
Re: your editorial, “Labor offers best path to clean energy”, as is often the case, your analysis of the “best path” is dictated by the old two party deadlock. Voters seeking the action on climate change that is required need to aspire higher. They need to look at the policy “offerings” that are based upon the scientific evidence.

Elections are a numbers game, and a primary vote for evidence-based policy on clean energy and emissions targets is what is needed. Vote for the policy. Ignore the self-interested cries of “they’re not a party of government”.
Michelle Goldsmith, Eaglehawk

Candidate on the mark
The comment by Liberal candidate Timothy Dragan “This area doesn’t care about climate change” aptly describes the Bayside area (“Lib hopeful says: ‘We won this land fair and square’”, Sunday Age, 20/11).

Perfectly liveable homes are demolished to be replaced with one or more McMansions covering the entire block, while an unprecedented and pronounced heat island effect emerges from the loss of tree canopy and gardens. Dragan could be really annoying and question the locals about their rapturous post-pandemic resumption of international travel. He might point also out the embedded energy and millions of tonnes of concrete destined to create an underground Suburban Rail Loop tunnel, spawning requisite mega-density development for its viability and something in the realm of a $100 billion price tag.
Ronald Elliott, Sandringham

Merit questions
Two pre-election reports have a common theme: “Guy ignored warnings on religious candidate” and “Lib hopeful says: ‘We won this land fair and square’” (Sunday Age, 20/11). If Renee Heath and Timothy Dragan are examples of the Liberals choosing their candidates on merit, it makes you wonder about the pool of available talent and the selection criteria.

At this rate, it may take a long time in the wilderness to produce any conversion on the road to Spring Street.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale

Fear of workers
The hypocrisy of the major business groups in opposing changes to industrial workplace reform in an open letter to senators (The Age, 21/11) while suggesting they support wage growth for workers is laughable.

Their real concern is the proposed legislation will give workers additional resources to challenge the power of these business that have been exploiting the system for years.
Ray Cleary, Camberwell

Never the right time
Nine industry groups who co-authored an advertisement in The Age all claim they share the ambition of wage growth by lifting productivity. I would like to know what they have done for the past nine years under a federal Coalition government. Everybody knows wages have stagnated with the constant chicken little responses of these organisations that “now is not the time for wage growth” because the sky will fall in.
Alan Inchley, Frankston

Why scrap this project?
One can’t argue with the principle in your editorial that transport infrastructure should be prioritised according to a robust, well-supported assessment of costs and benefits (“Diverting Loop funds could pay off”, 20/11).

And yet, an unambiguously positive business case that’s confirmed by actual operational experience remains as elusive as the Holy Grail. We’ve seen one big road project after another justified by massive travel time benefits that have never been observed in practice. On the cost side, it’s hard to find any major project that’s been finished on budget, with the exception of the Regional Rail Link a decade ago.

Shelving the Suburban Rail Loop now might, on generous assumptions, save about $9 billion currently allocated in the budget for the first stage of work. Twice that amount, meanwhile, has been allocated to the North East Link, a project set to obliterate 28,000 trees in our urban forest canopy and entrench car dependence in north-east Melbourne. Its business case has never been updated for post-COVID travel patterns or for the 10 per cent escalation in costs.

For all its faults, the SRL does move transport policy in the right direction, encouraging a shift from energy and greenhouse-intense car use to the lighter footprint of rail transport.
Tony Morton, president, Public Transport Users Association

Unicorn politicians
The return of ex-president Donald Trump to Twitter (“Twitter welcomes back Trump after public poll”, 21/11) is a concern given how he used social media to spread his lies and denials. The fact he issued 59,000 tweets suggests he had a lot to say, but how much of it was of any value?

The question can also be asked of many current and prospective politicians in Victoria. There seems much vitriol from both major parties and suggestions the other side are liars.

There are political promises that might be lies or will become lies when they are not enacted. What we really need are honest politicians but they seem rarer than unicorns.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill

Widespread support
George Brandis gives Ukraine a pat on the back for its heroic fight against Russia’s invasion (“War ‘fatigue’ arrives with winter”, 21/11) but then applies a rabbit killer by saying Europe other than Britain and countries bordering Russia are getting tired of further support.

I’m not sure Brandis has the correct facts given French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu announced France would transfer Crotale SAM systems to Ukraine to protect the sky from Russian attacks; Sweden’s ninth package of security assistance for Ukraine is bigger than the previous eight combined and the comment by the Netherlands’ Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren that “Ukraine is not alone in this struggle. We want it known support for Ukraine will continue until Russia’s aggression is brought to a halt and peace can return.”
G. Jaworsky, Wollert

Stand for the principle
Once more another correspondent (Letters, 19/11) says that “this war [Russia v Ukraine] has nothing to do with us” and that Australia should not get involved. When the vast navy, armed with thousands of long-range guided missiles, of the world’s most populous country surrounds our shores and takes us over for food and mineral production, do they think we won’t cry for help and expect other countries to come to our aid? There won’t be any help from the US by then, and do they think New Zealand, Indonesia, India or any European country will be able, let alone willing, to come to our aid?

In our global world, we all have to step in to stop aggression wherever it occurs, to send a message that could be life-saving for us in the future.
Don Jordan, Mount Waverley

Money stuck in the UK
It is not only expats who miss out on a pension boost from the UK (“Fury as expats miss out on pension boost”, 21/11). Within the 225,000 affected there are Australians who have worked in the UK, paid into the compulsory National Insurance Scheme and only when they returned to Australia and retired did they find out that they would have their pension frozen at the level of the first payment just like the migrants. Neither the UK or Australian governments advised at the time that this would happen.

Within the recently negotiated trade deal with the UK there are provisions that make it easier for Australians to work in the UK but nothing is in place to advise people who take advantage of these new arrangements that although they will have to pay into the National Insurance Scheme in full their pension will be frozen if they retire in Australia.
Tony Walsh, Preston

Crucial critique
In questioning Cameron Woodhead’s critique of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and in support of Shane Crawford, your correspondent (…


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