Languishing at the back

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Languishing at the back

Australian banks, insurers and investors are voting with their feet to dump coal assets (“Financial pressure heats up on miners”, The Age, 13/8) and pressure is increasing from our trading partners (and international institutions such as the United Nations) to reduce our carbon emissions from coal and fossil fuels.

A central role of the federal government is to look for potential headwinds and adjust policy accordingly. There is little doubt about the future of fossil fuels, so why is the government last in the queue to plan for a transition out of these industries?

The government refuses to use an efficient, market-based approach such as a carbon tax but is happy to prop up these industries using taxpayer funds and wait for “new technology”.

These industries will decline along with associated jobs, so why not minimise the economic damage and be in front of the queue for a change?
Jane Robins, Moonee Ponds

Beware of this power
Electricity companies should be very careful about any plans to charge solar panel owners to input the grid. In these days of instant social media, at a time of peak demand it wouldn’t be too hard for a co-ordinated withdrawal of solar power.
James Young, Mount Eliza

He’s not listening to us
It was so pleasing to see the article “Health Minister hunted as local voices clamour for independents” (The Sunday Age, 8/8).

For too long we have had our phone calls and emails to our local member discounted. In my case I feel he is not listening. The MP should not be focused on his own ideas of issues and staying in power and should listen to his constituents.

Many Australians are concerned about climate change and insufficient action by the federal government, and at last we have an organisation that will search for a better candidate.

Well done, Voices of Goldstein.
Jan Marshall, Brighton

We pay, they learn
Sophie Aubrey’s piece (“‘I’m only halfway through my life’”, The Sunday Age, 8/8), which chronicles the long history of women’s health issues not being taken seriously by the medical system, resonates with me.

I suffer from the serious, multisystem illness myalgic encephalomyelitis (sometimes known as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS). Three-quarters of sufferers are women and most of us have experienced disbelief or belittlement in doctors’ rooms.

We repeatedly find ourselves in the invidious position of having to educate our health professionals about our illness. We pay and they learn. In a recent survey of 1000 patients, 48 per cent said their GP was poorly informed about ME/CFS.

Perhaps women’s health is not being taken seriously in medical schools.
Jenny Meagher, Malvern East

This is good news
I read “How Victoria is really governed” (The Age, 14/8) and cheered. It’s about time public servants did what our elected representatives want done.

It means that when the Humphreys of our system say “yes, minister”, they’re actually taking direction rather than giving it.

If the jobs completed are not what the voters wanted, then accountability will come at the ballot box.
David Marshall, Brunswick West

Disappointing response
I was very disappointed with the response of the Fitzroy Police when I rang them on Saturday to report about 75 people sitting around eating, drinking and socialising at three hospitality premises within about 100 metres of each other along Kerr Street. Just as I was disappointed in the slack attitude of the three businesses involved.

All these customers were being served takeaway food and alcohol and then sitting around on benches, chairs, bollards, gutters and the footpath.

The Fitzroy Police advised me to contact the COVID hotline to report this. Good luck with that – hours on the phone or online and get a response the next day maybe.

How hard to get a car to cruise past and problem solved?

It’s not just the public that is getting a bit blase about all this. And we wonder why we are in lockdown yet again.
Peter O’Keefe, Collingwood

Windmills pay their way
I have recently seen a number of reader comments on climate change-related articles, either pondering whether, or stating that, windmills generate more carbon in their production than they offset over the lifetime of the operation.

A number of studies (easily found via internet searches) have investigated this very question. In summary, depending upon the type of machine, turbines offset their carbon within the first 6-12 months of their operation. Given that turbines have lifespans in the order of 25-30 years, their net offset is considerable. And, at end of life, the turbines are also recyclable.

Turbines are certainly worth the carbon investment.
Gerry Green, Bacchus Marsh

A tough choice
I was mostly unsurprised after reading “Land of the free captive to COVID” (The Age, 13/8). It was interesting that even the offer of free guns did not persuade those liberty lovers to get vaccinated.
America will have a multitude of problems to face with 1049 COVID deaths in just one day.

Just how are the members of the Darwin Awards selection committee going to choose a winner from the many thousands of candidates?
Dave Barter, Hawthorn

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