August 12th 2017

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The lessons for euthanasia are there for the learning

EDITORIAL Shorten's agenda will cripple Australia

CANBERRA OBSERVED Candidates must polish their paperwork skills

FOREIGN AFFAIRS EU v Poland: disquiet on the eastern front

EUTHANASIA How safe will Victoria's 'locked tin' be?

ASIA-PACIFIC AFFAIRS Pacific likely to focus for Taiwan's Iron Lady

PHILOSOPHY Aristotle and the virtues as products of reason

FEDERAL POLITICS Backbench marriage push angers Coalition colleagues

MUSIC Time and times: Melody is moments gathered for an instant

CINEMA Dunkirk: When survival is victory

BOOK REVIEW Just socialism by another name?

BOOK REVIEW The rightness of goading the left


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News Weekly, August 12, 2017

Calder exonerated

In an otherwise excellent article (“The prophets of eco-doom: a perfect record of failure”, News Weekly, June 3, 2017), author Hal G.P. Colebatch refers to Nigel Calder in a somewhat sloppy fashion: “One Nigel Calder”.

Actually, Nigel Calder was a well-known science writer, as described in Wikipedia:

“Between 1956 and 1966, Calder wrote for the magazine New Scientist, serving as editor from 1962 until 1966.

“Calder said that climate change science has been invaded by sophistry about man-made global warming. As early as 1980, he predicted that by 2030 ‘the much-advertised heating of the earth by the man-made carbon-dioxide ‘greenhouse’ [will fail] to occur; instead, there [will be] renewed concern about cooling and an impending ice age’.

“Calder participated in making the film, The Great Global Warming Swindle. Regarding global warming, Calder stated: ‘Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system.’”

A full story of Nigel Calder shows him to be an open-minded and conscientious science writer, able to change his opinions when facts change, unlike, for example, harbingers of doom Paul Ehrlich and Jørgen Randers (Limits to Growth).

Trygve Eklund
President, Climate Realists of Norway


Cutting through the fog

Not only have I found what I’ve been looking for since the demise of The Week magazine years ago; but my first copy (July 15) arrived with four letters on the climate change/renewables debate which I could have written myself.

I entirely agree with Messrs Donald, Newland and Barron and Dr Couttie.

What a great discovery to find an Australian publication that is finally getting the true message out on the world’s biggest scam ever: anthropogenic climate change/global warming. As per your mast head: independent opinion for independent minds.

John A Earthrowl (Retired geologist),
Kindred, Tasmania


Realise our responsibility

As I said in my previous letter (News Weekly, July 1, 2017) I am not qualified to argue for “alarmists” or “skeptics”. (Sorry, I can’t find other terms!)

I just see the conclusions of the research of scientists, and try to understand our responsibilities (about which Pope Francis is so insistent). I must confess that I read more from “alarmists” than from “skeptics”.

I thank Peter Donald, Peter Newland and Alan Barron for giving me more information about the side I know less about. And I appreciate some of the religious views expressed. That’s more my field than science, but I need the findings of scientists to make my moral assessments.

My present view is that even if there is some danger that the “alarmists” are right and that the planet may be in danger, then my love and care for poor people (I lived and worked 54 years among them) would give priority to saving the ship more than any other service I could render to the people who may be in danger of sinking with it.

Regarding the fact that the power of the sun is immeasurably greater than any other energy on earth, I can’t see how anyone can dispute that. Neither can one deny that we are learning to harness solar power, albeit much more has to be done.

Maybe fossil fuels will last for hundreds of years, as Peter Newland said, but that’s not much for what we are speaking about. And I still think it is good for us to continue harnessing the sun’s energy in any way possible.

Regarding carbon dioxide being fertiliser for trees: yes of course, but it seems there are not enough trees to absorb all the carbon dioxide and what we need is not more carbon dioxide in the air, but more forests to absorb it.

Regarding waste of money: what about the arms trade, which absorbs and generates incomparable sums of money to be used to create and maintain its markets, the conflicts, which are the main cause of the misery of our planet?

Fr Albert Said SJ.,
Kew, Vic.


Privatisation to blame

We have just witnessed a good example of one of the worst actions that can result from the privatisation of public assets. This should be of great concern to all of us as it has effectively and unreasonably denied a citizen his rights.

I refer to a senior executive of what was once a public asset (Qantas) taking action to withhold travel services from a private citizen.

I am concerned that the chief executive of Qantas chose publicly to voice his personal opinion on a social issue. The CEO has every right to push his own personal agenda at a personal level, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the operation of Qantas and its subsidiaries, nor with the services they provide.

I do not condone the action taken in retaliation by the citizen, but the issue is that the CEO has chosen to flex his executive muscle by denying the citizen access to what in Australia is an essential service. In addition, the CEO has reportedly taken his own legal action against the citizen – that is the usual way such an issue would be resolved.

If the CEO’s behaviour is allowed to go unchallenged, can we then anticipate  that senior executives of companies involving services such as gas, electricity, water, post and telecommunications will be able to decide who will and who will not have access to public utilities, determined by nothing more than whether the citizen agrees or disagrees with their particular social agenda of the moment?

Could the Qantas CEO have taken this action if Qantas were a public asset? I think not. All privatisation agreements must be reviewed.

Warren Bray,
Mitchelton, Qld.

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