Merimbula Letters to the Editor, April 24

MESSAGE OF HOPE: As the sun rose on Easter Sunday morning over 80 people gathered at Short Point, for a combined churches service.
MESSAGE OF HOPE: As the sun rose on Easter Sunday morning over 80 people gathered at Short Point, for a combined churches service.

Climate change

James Hansen, widely regarded as the world's leading climate scientist, titled his 2009 book "Storms Of My Grandchildren" and "The truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity"

Kevin Rudd said climate change was "the greatest moral challenge of our time", in 2007. Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was a book and a film in 2006

Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist "first suggested, in 1897 that increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels could lead to global climate change" (from "Climate Change Denial" by Hayden Washington and John Cook)

Also in the same book Guy Stuart Callendar was "the first scientist to claim that climate change was under way". This was in the early 1930s. There have been many more scientists since, building on the evidence "in over 10,000 peer reviewed scientific papers, as well as thousands of pages of summary produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists have demonstrated that atmospheric CO2 has increased, and global temperature has increased too".

Now I am more inclined to believe these scientists, acknowledging that there is a very small minority of dissenters, but 97% in agreement is pretty convincing.

But the powerful fossil fuel industry, supported by right wing shock jocks, the Murdoch newspapers and their fellow travellers in the Coalition have managed to cast all this aside.

Of course there will be costs but they will pale into insignificance compared to the costs of not acting.

Do we care what sort of world our grandchildren will inherit? Do we take responsibility now or only do what suits "number one", in the here and now? What sort of parents and grandparents would that make us?

Australia's direct contribution to climate change is just a little over one per cent but our per capita contribution is very high and our indirect contribution is massive because we are one of the leading exporters of fossil fuels, coal in particular. Every nation needs to play its part.

I am proudly an ALP and Mike Kelly supporter and Mike Kelly is a passionate supporter of taking action on climate change, as is our much esteemed Bega surgeon Matthew Nott, with his Clean Energy For Eternity.

The Coalition, captured by its extreme right rump (led by Tony Abbott, who says "climate change is crap") has no climate policy.

The choice is yours and it is a stark one: a better world, or a much depleted and barely habitable world for your grandchildren.

Barry Stevens, ALP member, Tura Beach

Fix it Now campaign

There's been substantial lobbying to improve the Princes Highway and duplicate it to the Victorian border with the provision of several town bypasses.

At the recent state election, Bega MP Andrew Constance and others commented on the highway and its poor standard. Mr Constance and Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited the area making promises including bypassing Moruya, connecting the Batemans Bay link road to the highway and upgrades between Batemans Bay and Mogo.

It was indicated some of the work could begin immediately. Whether what was said was just electioneering jargon, we don't know yet.

No plans are available for viewing at the moment. With the national election knocking on the door, more want-to-be politicians are making promises about how much they'll allocate of taxpayers' money to the upgrading plans from the Jervis Bay Road to the Victorian border. Roads and Maritime Services has a continuous highway redevelopment plan to 2056. Are all the promises part of the existing planning?

Allan Brown, Catalina

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