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The deadly devastation of global warming – The Age

Federal Labor encourages us to get electric vehicles instead of using polluting, dirty, fossil fuel ones (The Age, 31/3), while its Victorian colleagues will slap a 2.5 cent per kilometre tax on the non-polluting EVs from July.
John Merory, Ivanhoe

No, climate change will not magically disappear

Jessica Irvine’s discussion of carbon pricing was like a trip down memory lane. It was a reminder of Julia Gillard patiently explaining to the nation that carbon pricing could be likened to the need to pay for dumping your rubbish at the local tip. All the efforts made by governments, economists and environmental experts to educate the public on the need for a carbon price have been wasted. Instead, we have been lulled by the power of technology to make the problem of climate change magically go away. As Irvine warns, we might have to learn a new term: carbon tariffs. Our new carbon price.
Rod Wise, Surrey Hills

Dangerous policy to gouge solar panel owners

I condemn the Australian Energy Market Commission’s proposal to allow energy distributors to charge owners of solar panels for exporting our clean energy into their private networks (The Age, 25/3). The Coalition needs to realise that more than 2 million angry solar panel owners may express their anger at the next election.

Labor has announced a $200 million package to install 400 community batteries across the country to store this increasing amount of “excess” clean energy for use by other locals (The Age, 31/3). The Energy Minister must decide whether allowing energy companies to gouge money from solar panel owners makes political sense when there is a far better alternative for us to vote for.
David Dean, Caulfield North

THE FORUM

Act now to save our reef

It is impossible not to feel anger at politicians on both sides of the Parliament for their complacency on the climate-related destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. Warnings and dire predictions have been circulating for more than a decade, and still the lack of motivation is glaringly obvious.

We need elected representatives who are willing to act decisively to introduce changes to laws that compel all sectors of the economy to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and adopt more environmentally benign practices.

Your article should unite all Australians to apply political pressure to force this issue to the forefront of our thinking. Without commitment to change, there is a likelihood that my two-year-old grandson will never see the reef as I have been fortunate to see it.
Lynda Graf, Mount Eliza

Cruelty of tinted windows

On Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week, I was in the street outside the Park Hotel in Carlton. I saw some faint lights moving back and forth from inside the hotel. They were mobile phones held by the men rendered invisible by tinted windows. Small arcs of light were silently communicating with those below who had come to protest at the continued detention of these refugees and asylum seekers.

Seven years imprisoned in distant places by our government, and now confined in hotels for over a year. While others have been released, these men are despairing and struggling to comprehend the reason why. When will it end?

Recently the windows were tinted. Who did this deed just so we cannot see these men? One small act among countless acts of cruelty, symbolising the banality of evil. I shall forever remember those faint lights moving back and forth, symbolising the fragility of hope. What would Jesus of Nazareth have us do?
Dorothy Scott, Macclesfield

Good Samaritan buried

I was impressed with Chris Uhlmann’s article (Opinion, 31/3). He is quite right to say that wisdom has taken a back seat and that the nihilists are given too much credence. Justice and truth are now bystanders. The presumption of innocence is crucial and has been fought for over many years. However, as Christians we cannot hide behind this presumption and then vilify the victims.
Untruths and hypocrisy permeate our political rhetoric and our First Nation’s people, women and asylum seekers have taken the brunt of these failings.

John Howard used the lie of children overboard and failed to say sorry to the stolen generations, thus causing grievous bodily harm to the Good Samaritan.

Scott Morrison, in his over zealous pursuit of stopping the boats and his more recent handling of the scandals involving the treatment of women, has buried the Good Samaritan.
As Uhlmann says, there is little wisdom being shown by our elected leaders and Christianity has taken a back seat.
Erik Vahl Meyer, Geelong

Contesting first principles

An implication of Chris Uhlmann’s thesis of a divided Australia is that growing godlessness threatens the survival of our democracy. As one of the 30per cent of “no religion” at the 2016 census, I beg to differ. Rather, the authoritarianism he fears is fundamental to much formal religion, women traditionally being doubly disempowered and ineligible for equal participation. First principles are contestable in a vibrant democracy – a matter for celebration, not doomsaying.
Angela Munro, Carlton North

Why is it so difficult?

My sister is 81 and her husband is 91 and they cannot get an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccination at any local medical practice. I heard that the Convention Centre was accepting “walk ins”, so I volunteered to drive them there as I considered it critical that older Australians are vaccinated as soon as possible.

On arrival, we were informed that “walk ins” had been suspended one hour prior and they would have to make an appointment via the government website. This is not as easy for seniors as it is for the younger generations. Why is it so difficult for older people to access a vaccine when younger people are already being vaccinated? The government needs to get its act together.
Carole Nicholls, Surrey Hills

Utilise GPs’ experience

I am a GP attending about 20 aged care homes, of whom none have received COVID-19 vaccinations for residents or staff. Normally each patient’s GP gives them all their vaccines (influenza etc) and that is accomplished each year as soon as the vaccines are available. This year the federal government tried to reinvent the wheel and has given the vaccines to the Primary Care Networks, which have sub-contracted the vaccination program to private contractors such as Aspen Medical.

One nursing home I go to has given up on receiving its COVID-19 vaccines and has asked its attending GPs to give their patients their flu injections. Nearly all the patients (170) received their flu injections in one week. This is how the COVID-19 vaccines should have been rolled out in aged care. The GPs have been doing this very successfully for about 30 years.
Dr James Hare, Mont Albert

Behave yourselves, kids

As parents, if our young children were bickering and squabbling the way our politicians are at the moment about the vaccine roll out, we would have sent them to their bedrooms for some quiet time. As voters, we deserve some quiet time too. Do not let our politicians out until they promise some better, less child-like, behaviour.
Antony Swain, Highett

Dangerous duties

One of the first principles of occupational health and safety is “if you think it is unsafe, do not do it and check with your manager”. Why then do unvaccinated employees agree to care for COVID-19 patients, and why do their managers allocate such work to them?
Sue Tresider, Prahran

Let’s stick to the science

If the problem with the vaccine roll out is due to supply issues, as the federal government says, why didn’t this lead to stage 1b being delayed until stage 1a was completed? After all, we were told stage 1a was a higher priority. It is hard not to conclude there were other reasons for the early activation of stage 1b, like providing a political distraction. And now politics intervenes again, with a senior minister bucketing the states as a deflection of responsibility. Can we just have a science-driven, vaccine roll out.
Denny Meadows, Hawthorn

You couldn’t make it up

So our tram and train operators got huge bonuses for exceeding their performance targets during the pandemic despite there being almost no passengers (The Age, 31/3). Shades of Monty Python and “we could run a good hospital if it wasn’t for the patients”?
Ian Greenshields, Malvern East

A state of disrespect

Recently, the Prime Minister spoke of his deep respect for women; we hear this respect echoed by Australian men. In reality this is not backed up by statistics. On most measures, women are doing badly.

The appallingly high numbers experiencing homelessness, domestic violence/murder, sexual assault, poverty, and casualised employment with low to nil superannuation, combined with the alarmingly low levels of female representation at senior levels of businesses and institutions is a shameful statement of how women are regarded – i.e., they are actually disrespected.

Until men acknowledge and redress the structural, institutional and cultural power imbalance – i.e., start to share power in all aspects of life – then their claims of respecting women cannot be believed. Not all men disrespect women, but all men can call out the misogyny, discrimination, abuse, and all men need to work towards making our nation egalitarian and civilised.
Patricia O’Dowd, Elsternwick

Striving to be better

If Scott Morrison wanted to be a “bloke”, he should have pursued a career outside of politics. There are certain professions that (should) mean you are held to higher standards and accountability than the rest of society, not make you exempt.
Anna Bakogianis, Richmond

PM must act on his words

Scott Morrison, if you are sincere with your belief that social media is a big part of the toxic treatment of women, shouldn’t it follow that you demand Andrew Laming resign from the Liberal National Party?
Anne Fitzpatrick, Abbotsford

Our MPs’ vested interests

Does anyone else believe that any politician who has a personal or family interest in negatively geared property investments should recuse themselves from any decisions, votes and legislation that even remotely affect house prices? Every time they open their mouths, create a new scheme to help first home buyers or manipulate the market by supposedly supporting jobs, house prices soar. A coincidence? If my suggestion were taken up, it would leave about half a dozen politicians who were able to vote.
Lou Piscopo, Ascot Vale

Welcome back, Bob

It was great to read another article by Bob Murphy extolling the talents of Western Bulldogs player Marcus Bontempelli (Sport, 1/4). A very skilled player and a very skilled wordsmith.
Libby Chanter, Glen Waverley

Growth out of control

Robbert Veerman – “Growth the real monster” (Letters, 31/3) – restates the obvious. By the time the actuality he describes is acknowledged by governments and commerce worldwide, let alone acted upon, it will be far too late for this earth.
Michael Tollis, Croydon

Still loyal to the PM

What does it say about the mentality of male Liberal Party supporters when, according to a Guardian Essential Poll, their support for Scott Morrison has not changed despite his dreadful handling of affairs recently?
Struan Leeson, Doncaster East

AND ANOTHER THING

Politics

Trains with no passengers (31/3)? Sir Humphrey Appleby would regard that as ideal.
Tim Brown, Ascot Vale

Truman: “The buck stops here.” Morrison: “Buck, what buck?“
Chris Young, Surrey Hills

The PM may know how to rule (ie, hold power) but he shows no sign of being able to govern.
Bill Cleveland, Kew

I hope Scotty from marketing and his minister are booked for the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
Doug Steley, Heyfield

What better time for Labor to have a female at the helm? Sorry, Albo, you’re just another middle-aged man in a suit.
Muriel Hutchinson, Nar Nar Goon

Morrison’s claim that Laming is “walking away from a career in politics” is false. He’s still the federal member for Bowman.
Russell Castley, Creswick

On which prime minister’s watch will the Great Barrier Reef’s demise (1/4) occur?
Roger East, Balwyn North

Queensland’s tourism industry seems headed for a fatal blow, but it might enjoy a short-term boost as visitors rush to see what will be gone.
Robert Yates, Rosanna

Coronavirus

It would be better for Australians if the PM fast-tracked the vaccine rollout rather than missile systems.
Geoff McNamara, Newry

The government’s target for April 1 was 4 million vaccinations but only 600,000 people have had it. Did the other 3.4 million say no?
Mel Green, Glen Waverley

Public transport is seen as high-risk, given that masks are compulsory. There should also be QR codes on each train carriage and in trams for passengers to check in.
Neale Meagher, Malvern

Furthermore

Re an anaesthetist’s charge (29/3). With some lawyers’ charges, one needs to be resuscitated, never mind anaesthetised.
Barry Buskens, Beaumaris

Note from the Editor

The Age’s editor, Gay Alcorn, writes an exclusive newsletter for subscribers on the week’s most important stories and issues. Sign up here to receive it every Friday.

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