ISN'T it a little wrong that the state government can give $7.4 million to extend the Fernleigh Track ('State funds extension of Fernleigh Track', Newcastle Herald 10/2), and that's great for the people of Lake Macquarie, yet nothing but band-aids are forthcoming to the good people of Stockton to save their beach ('Carnage not over yet', Herald 12/2)?
It states in Monday's article that the Fernleigh grant comes from a $300 million regional growth fund to promote environmental and tourism. Is Stockton not eligible for some of this cash?
Liberal MLC Taylor Martin states that the project would boost tourism, provide better access to existing attractions and promote health and fitness.
All this, while Stockton suffers in all those areas,
The only health and fitness residents there are getting would be mental counselling to try and cope with their suburb washing away, and swimming lessons for when that happens.
The council spruiks about committees and plans for the next 12 months when proactive planning and action should be happening now.
I have said it before and I will say it again: if this was happening on the Nobbys to Merewether stretch, something would have been done long ago.
Tell me I am incorrect. Somebody do something.
Tony Morley, Waratah
SOME GARDEN-VARIETY PROOF
CARL Stevenson (Letters, 7/2) suggests that it is only scientists using theoretical science who can say whether there is such a phenomenon as climate change.
Non-scientists have observed shrinking glaciers, disappearing ice sheets, longer and hotter summers, more severe and longer fire seasons, greater extremes of climate, etc. That is, they have observed the physical effects of climate change.
I, a non-scientist, can show Mr Stevenson obvious effects of a changing climate close to Dora Creek, on the flood plain of Stoney Creek at Toronto.
On approaching my house, first to be observed are two established eucalypts suffering from dieback. An arborist told me they do not have tap roots; their roots instead spread out above the water table.
When the trees were planted back in the 1960s, the water table was usually about a metre below the surface, often higher.
The rainfall pattern was showers most weeks, and periods of heavy rain would see the rising water table resulting in my house having a waterfront position for a few days.
I came here in 2000. Over the last 20 years I believe the water table has dropped several metres because of the changing pattern of rainfall.
There are often six weeks between rains falling, and the soil is drying out because the evaporation rate is many times the precipitation received.
I invite Mr Stevenson (and other climate change deniers) to come into my yard and hear how a non-scientist (and most other gardeners) can no longer garden like they did 20 years ago.
No theories for computers to analyse, just observable facts.
Wendy Davidson, Toronto
DEVELOP A PLAN FOR FAUNA
THE United Nations estimates in the year of 1800 that 1 billion people shared planet earth. In 2020, the agency estimates that 7.8 billion people will call the earth their home, with humanity thought to approach 11 billion people by 2100.
Biodiversity is threatened as billions of people subscribe to ever increasing living standards and transient consumer trends.
In 2019 the UN estimated that around 25 per cent of species on earth are at risk within plant and animal groups. Changing land and sea use, climate change, pollution and invasion of alien species are identified as significant factors.
One million species "face extinction" within decades, unless coordinated action is taken to halt the predicted loss of biodiversity.
More than a billion animals in Australia are conservatively estimated to have perished so far in the current bushfire season.
There is an urgent need for federal, state and local governments to develop best practice policies, which protects our communities, infrastructure and environment.
Development and protection of wildlife are not mutually exclusive; they can co-exist with appropriate policy settings that involve genuine consultation with stakeholders.
We are ephemeral custodians of planet earth, who share responsibility to protect our planet for future generations.
Otherwise, "further acceleration" in the global rate of species extinction will become our new norm.
In memory of the late Geoff Dingle.
Michael Walton, Medowie
NUCLEAR OPTION IS TOO RISKY
THE Morrison government needs to come clean on nuclear plans for Newcastle-Hunter region
I'm very concerned that the government has appointed longstanding climate action critic and nuclear advocate Keith Pitt to be the influential Resources and Water Minister.
With the Newcastle-Hunter region often being touted as a potential location for a nuclear power plant, our community has a lot at stake.
My concerns are compounded by the fact that a Liberal-controlled parliamentary committee gave the green light to nuclear power only two months ago.
Even if we managed to sort out all the profound issues with nuclear power, we're still left with the unavoidably reality that it's more expensive than renewables.
It's time for the Morrison government to come clean with Australians about what its really got planned for nuclear energy and which communities are in its crosshairs.
Sharon Claydon, Federal Member for Newcastle
WEED OUT THE CONFLICTS
SO Andrew Barr, the ACT's chief minister, has now legalised the growing and consumption of the good old woopy weed by citizens of the territory ('Police won't ignore cannabis, A-G says', Herald 26/9/19). Apparently each person is allowed to have two plants only, but the question is who is going to police this limit?
Is a search warrant to be issued for every property? Of course not.
The ACT is policed by the Australian Federal Police, whose job it is to uphold federal laws. Since the growing, selling and consumption of an illegal drug is against the law everywhere else, does this override the ACT legislation to create a nightmare for the police?
I believe there are so many unanswered questions surrounding this dopey (pun intended) legislation designed to appease the dopey drug users.
The mind boggles.
One would hope that the federal government can step in and make this new law invalid ASAP as in my opinion it's obviously going to increase the supply into nearby Queanbeyan and other NSW areas, which is not a good thing as it's illegal to do so.
This has the potential to create more problems for police in those areas, all costing taxpayers money to be wasted in court costs and the like.
It's a real stuff up if you ask me.
Ian King, Warners Bay
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email email@example.com or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
BILL Snow (Letters, 11/2) provided some very interesting facts about driving through flood waters, concluding with the statement 'You can't legislate against idiocy'. Well perhaps we can. What about issuing those idiots who need to be rescued after driving through waters with a negligent driving infringement? Or would that void their insurance? Wouldn't that be a shame, but a good incentive to assess the risks.
Stan Keifer, Arakoon
ISN'T it funny how climate change scientists and experts can predict what our climate will be like five, ten, 15, 25 years into the future when they can't get the weather right even a month in advance?
Around Christmas, in the height of the heat and fires, the doom and gloom message from our Bureau of Meteorology was that there would be no meaningful rain until April or May, and even then it wouldn't be significant. Tim Flannery was running around saying our dams will never be full again.
One week into February, Sydney gets its biggest drenching in 28 years. And people wonder why there are climate change sceptics.
Daniel Starr, Black Hill
IAN King (Short Takes, 10/02), you appear to have missed my point, comrade. I apologise for being unaware that the opposition actually governed and that Warners Bay falls within the Cessnock electorate.
Marvyn Smith, Heddon Greta
A DESALINATION plant in Belmont's dunes; seismic testing to echo through Lake Macquarie; coal dust choking valley towns; theft by stealth of the port, power and railways; super outdated V8 dumpsters killing the East End - tell me I'm dreaming. This is a governance system we simply can't afford.
Peter Stevens, Merewether
I BELIEVE the erosion of Stockton would appear to be keeping pace with the erosion of the faith people had in City of Newcastle to actually do something about it.
John Bradford, Beresfield
SPACE probes have just been launched to gain more information about our sun. When the sun comes up, we have light and a degree of warmth, the degree of which varies due to cloud cover and distances from the sun of particular areas on earth.
The sun is on its own axis, as is our earth. Because of this, temperatures on earth can vary day to day, and change millennium to millennium.
This will go on forever, and science will verify this. I believe that to suggest that global warming, as distinct from temperature changes, is caused by humans, cattle and the like is preposterous and climate change denial is a furphy term.
Of course climate changes, depending on the axis of the sun and where earth is in relation to the sun. I believe in that science, not hysteria.
Richard Devon, Fishing Point
CELEBRATE as much as you like, David Warner. You are still a cheat in my books.
Doug Dowton, Toronto
THE hide of Scott Morrison, after causing all those bushfires, to now send down torrential rain which is causing flooding! Enough is enough, Mr. Morrison.