Bernie Fraser, chair of the Climate Change Authority, writes: Re. “The Dirty Dozen: Australia’s biggest climate foes” (April 15 and 16) I refer to the “Dirty Dozen” articles written by Professor Clive Hamilton, which appeared in Crikey recently. Hamilton is a member of the Climate Change Authority, but I wish to make clear that the articles in question reflected the author’s personal views, and were neither discussed with nor endorsed by the authority.
Pagemasters doing just fine
Peter Atkinson, chief executive of Pagemasters, writes: Re. “Sub-hub Pagemasters’ jilted Asian bride could come back to haunt” (Wednesday). The opening statement about Pagemasters being told by Fairfax our “services are no longer required” is not quite accurate. While they have given notice that our current three-year contract will not be renewed, we remain in positive discussions with them about a new body of work and new model. That does not include, and has never, included the AFR.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
I also don’t agree our business model is in trouble. We continue to subedit more than 100 titles for News Corp in Australia as well as the entire APN metro and regional stable in NZ, plus work for UK’s Telegraph Media group, one of the world’s elite publishers. I’m fairly confident we’ll struggle through without UCaN’s involvement.
Nanotubes to combat climate change? Not so fast …
Louise Sales, nanotechnology project co-ordinator at Friends of the Earth, writes: Re. “Renewables changing the nature of power” (Tuesday). While there have undoubtedly been some exciting developments in renewable energy, carbon nanotubes may not be the panacea for tackling climate change that Guy Rundle suggests. For a start, they are one of the most energy-intensive materials to produce. In assessing the potential benefits of new technologies it is important to look at the full life cycle of the product.
Serious health concerns have also been raised about carbon nanotubes, which have asbestos-like qualities. Mounting numbers of toxicological studies have demonstrated irreversible health effects in laboratory animals — including mesothelioma. As a result Safe Work Australia has categorised carbon nanotubes as a hazardous chemical.
New technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and geoengineering are increasingly being touted as magic bullets to solve climate change. While it is true that the need to stop burning fossil fuels has never been more urgent, it is important that the claims made of new technologies are critically assessed. Embracing new technologies without properly assessing the potential benefits and the full environmental and human health impacts could find us merely exacerbating the problems we are trying to solve. We already have all the tools we need to tackle climate change — what is lacking is the political will to implement them.