Garnaut Review:

Tony Kevin writes: Re. Friday’s editorial. It’s a credit to your hard work, Andrew Glikson, that Crikey featured your prognosis and comment as their main editorial lead on Friday. I thought the Crikey coverage of Garnaut was first-class — historians of climate change will refer back to this coverage in years to come — see also in particular the important analysis by Clive Hamilton and Christine Milne.

A passive, almost tragic fatalism seems the order of the day. Sadly it rather completely justifies my prediction at the MCH Greenhouse conference earlier this year that the Australian political system would inevitably produce a “too little, too late” outcome. You will have seen Gwynne Dyer’s blunt recent assessment in the Canberra Times that major damage — deaths, even — from a climate change attributable disaster in a western country, is needed to shock the political majority to demand politicians do something real. Dying polar bears and Arctic ice melt won’t be enough to do it. I fear Dyer is right.

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Actually I see now that this is the story of the pied piper of Hamelin. The greedy comfortable burghers had to lose their own children, before they took the threat seriously. The Mayor of Hamelin is a rather good metaphor for the Rudd government at this point. They think we can get away without paying the piper’s bill. They, and we, will learn that we cannot.

Ken Lambert writes: Shock, horror Dr Glikson, what a terrifying analysis. Could I ask a small question? What was going on at your ice core tipping points of 14,700, 12,900 and 11,700 years ago? The abrupt changes on a time scale of only a few years to decades must have been caused by a natural process, for surely humans could only have been cave dwelling observers of such events. If such sensitive short term climate changes occurred without human released CO2 being involved, then please explain the relevance of these ice core records to the AGW debate?

Frank Legge writes: Crikey you are week kneed jackasses. I thought you had the guts to be critical of powerful plays but apparently not. The scientific studies on global warming are very divided. There is plenty of evidence that the IPCC is exaggerating the effect of CO2. There is plenty of evidence that the controls proposed will have minimal effect, though extremely costly. There is compelling evidence that sunspot activity is far more potent at controlling the temperature than CO2. Surely you people could do some research and offer your readers both sides of the argument to allow rational debate.

Iemma resigns:

Kerry Henry writes: Re. “NSW Premier Morris Iemma resigns” (Friday, item 2). Alex Mitchell wrote: “And so it has come to pass. Iemma, Costa and Watkins are all gone and the Coalition’s Barry O’Farrell is licking his lips.” I don’t know why? To me, O’Farrell is “all flaps, no fin”. He keeps flapping his gills, been doing it for ages, but nothing of substance erupts. He keeps going around in circles, there’s no direction. He’s finless. Gees, I want to see the back end of some in the Labor party, but what’s the alternative? It’s time that O’Farrell puts up, or moves on. NSW needs a politician with vision, ideas and courage to carry NSW forwards! Sadly, O’Farrell isn’t that person.

Howard Smith writes: Do we seriously still think O’Farrell is a serious contender as the alternate premier? Poor old BOF simply can’t cut through and sounds too much of an apologist for his own party and does not inspire a leader to drive some growth and change out of the state. Wouldn’t you think the conservatives greatest chance exists with a Gladys Berejiklian/Mike Baird double team?

GM food:

Ignaz Amrein writes: Re. “WA and Tas call for continued ban on GM foods” (Friday, item 18). Food Standards Australia and New Zealand’s view, that it is the responsibility of companies that have developed GM foods to demonstrate the safety of that food, is like saying a wolf is the ideal “guard dog” to protect a flock of sheep.

WA election:

Steven McKiernan writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (Friday, item 6). I wrote the following to the West Australian‘s editor Paul Armstrong:

The West Australian has plumbed new depths in the debasement of journalism with the faux full colour advert for the Liberal Party placed on page seven today 04 September 2008. Sadly this bias merely shows how desperate the Editor of The West is to crow his own credentials and regain the Government advertising contract – which went to web-based fora. Today’s stunt was a descent into a pit of slime and the West cannot recover from this. Shame on you.”

I sent this on Thursday. They didn’t publish it but managed to find time to publish 9/11 conspiracy bullsh-t in their letters pages.

Phillip Island:

Trevor Hedge writes: Re. “Wheels come off the Phillip Island motorcycle GP” (Friday, item 22). Crikey historically only ever prints criticism of any motorsport event. Yet shows its own bias for the “arts” by continually supporting this insult to the average Australians psyche. Many of us would much rather tax dollars support motorsport events than give artists more money to buy the mind altering substances that they must take to dream up the crap they class as “art”. You guys should stick to your arty farty crap and stay out of motorsport if all you want to do is bag it. This subscriber has had about enough of it. Stick your “art” up your arse. Watching Rossi and Stoner in action is true art to us petrol heads.

US Election 08:

Ken Lambert writes: Lloyd Lacey (Friday, comments) wrote: Re. “When you are pleasant looking, charming in manner and appealing in a wholesome family way — no, I’m not talking about Barack Obama, but Sarah Palin — you are a difficult political target…” Lloyd Lacey’s comment is spot on. One of the best pocket insights into the American political landscape and the advent of Ms Palin I have read on Crikey. The next few weeks should be great sport.

Ian Mence writes: Re. Crikey’s US election coverage. The blogs of Palin’s speeches and others on Crikey are fantastic and add great value to your service.


Hal Colebatch writes: What Sasha Uzunov (Friday, comments), Gerald Henderson (2 September, comments) and others conveniently overlook is that it was claimed that Australian troops had to fight in Vietnam because a communist victory would be disastrous for Australia’s defence, with Vietnam becoming a Russian satellite on the Pacific and the rest of Southeast Asia falling like dominoes into the communist camp.

It didn’t happen. The US lost the war, the Viet Cong became the government and got on with reunifying the country. Australian security did not suffer and Australia now has a normal neighbourly relationship with Vietnam. So the war was based on a furphy, and those of us who said so at the time, and objected to Australian participation in an American attempt to override the settlement of an anti-colonial war have every right to be bitter at the way we were traduced, then and now, as unpatriotic.

I respect the courage of those who were sent to kill Vietnamese, thinking that this would make Australia safer, but I expect that they would respect my right to point out that their courage and their sacrifice were not, in fact, needed to ensure Australia’s security. It’s not only Vietnam vets who have memories.

Brendan Nelson:

Brian Baynam writes: Re. Video of the Day, “First Dog on the Moon – The TRUTH about Brendan Nelson” (Friday, clickthroughs). I think I have discovered the reason for Dr Nelson’s hair “style”. It’s the steam by-product of the inhaler he uses for his daily “fix”.

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Peter Fray
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