On the environment

 Meredith Williams writes: RE: “Turnbull’s vision for 2018: basically 2016, with a dash of 2008” Our MT PM, hellbent on leading us backwards, has declared that the Coalition stands for cheaper energy. I suppose the money we save can go towards the earth’s funeral.

Geoff Edwards writes:  Shame on you, Bernard Keane, for parrotting the nuclear industry’s alternative fact that nuclear reactors have “zero carbon emissions”. Sure, they produce relatively few emissions while running, but they incur huge carbon debits during construction in the form of cement, copper, steel and other materials not to mention the diesel fuel consumed during mining and processing uranium ore. One (contested) estimate is that it takes seven years of operation to recover the energy consumed in construction. Further, they will incur huge carbon debits during decommissioning. The carbon balance sheet for the industry is controversial among scholars, partly because nobody knows how much conventional petroleum and electricity will be required to bury the things after they are retired from service, because this has been rarely completed.

A colossal carbon debt is being stockpiled around the world on account of ageing and obsolete reactors which have yet to be rendered safe. Let us not underestimate the geographic, fiscal and carbon challenge in that process: Australia, with a million square miles of desert, has yet to build a secure repository even for its own medical waste.

On Trump and Turnbull

Jock Webb writes: Re “Turnbull’s Trump silence“: Dean Ellis raises some interesting points. Trump and Hitler have much in common with self important strutting, deep paranoia about criticism, extreme racist views and the need to have sycophants around him at all times. Not to mention the tantrums. I wonder if Bannon is not Heinrich Himmler however? Well today Trunbull had a nasty lesson when the white House obfuscated about the refugee deal and relaxed unpleasant comment regarding the phone call. This is inexcusable and we need to immediately rethink every aspect of our relationship and perhaps tear up the USFTA which has cost us billions, especially in the PBS (see Ian Verrender at ABC news.). You cannot deal with Trump, he is a crook.

On political donations

John Richardson writes: Re: “Turnbull says only multimillionaires like him, not grassroots groups like GetUp, should buy political influence“. So, poor Malcontent Malcolm has suggested that foreign donations to political parties and activist groups should be banned and that only Australians & Australian businesses should be able to influence Australian elections via political parties, groups, associations or unions. While he’s busy tidying-up the local political stage, perhaps Malcolm could find room on his list of unwanted influencers for the Vatican, the White House & the Internet, along with the “Mad Monk” and that well-known American political spoiler, the Sun King Rupert Murdoch?

Peter Fray

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