It was heartening to see two correspondents repudiate the "angry, uninformed men" who have attacked Greta Thunberg (Letters, 26/5).
Greta Thunberg has become a symbol of the millions of young people who are greatly concerned about climate change and the failure of their elders to do enough to confront it.
These are the young people who usually go unheard because, well, they are just kids - what would they know? But history is riddled with young people who have achieved great things. Alexander the Great was 18 when he conquered the Mediterranean world; Joan of Arc was 17 when her rag-tag army defeated the British at Orleans; Mozart wrote his first symphony as an eight-year-old; Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci won three Olympic gold medals at just 14; and Australian sailor Jessica Watson was 16 when she sailed around the world on her own.
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I have also noted, over many months, that several of the correspondents who attempt to vilify or ridicule Greta Thunberg display conservative leanings. Perhaps the underlying cause of their angst is their refusal to accept her message that climate change is a real threat that we have to do something about.
John Ure, Mount Hutton
Teen's approach 'very narrow'
Richard Mallaby (Teenager taking up fight, Letters, 26/5) believes Greta Thunberg is simply presenting the research and the views of the world's climate.
Correct me if I'm wrong but Greta has never presented any research at any time on any subject in any venue. She has only ever presented one view of the world - her own view. Good on her for that but you have to admit her activism is very narrow.
Which brings us to her Asperger syndrome. You correctly describe that as an intense interest in limited subject matter. That is often classed as obsession.
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Mr Mallaby further says that Asperger people "deal in facts" and have a remarkable recall of detail. That may be so but Greta never quotes facts or detail and appears to be more interested in the emotion of her protest activity rather than any technical argument.
People don't have to go to Sky News to get evidence of that. It's in every one of the media reports of her protest speeches.
Peter Devey, Merewether
Making the world a better place
The recent Short Take (19/5) regarding Greta Thunberg's state of mind deserves further comment.
One thing human beings are very good at is being swept along with the crowd or following each other like sheep. This involves very little in the way of serious thought.
The recent rush on toilet paper and hand sanitiser throughout the world is a perfect example. A little rational thinking would have resulted in no shortages.
Throughout history there have been many who, because of their radical thoughts, ideas and dreams, have taken us all to a far better place. Their efforts, no doubt, would have drawn much ridicule, mockery and scepticism at the time.
The world has benefited greatly by the perseverance of individuals who dared to think outside the square, people like Martin Luther, Marie Curie, Emmeline Pankhurst, Martin Luther King and Winston Churchill.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
Opportunity not to be wasted
I am responding to Matthew Kelly's article regarding rubbish dumping increasing during COVID-19.
I have observed this increase in the Minmi/Stockrington area - with trailer loads of rubbish being dumped sometimes weekly. However, rubbish dumping is a constant long term issue, even prior to COVID-19, and I have thought about it for some time. Even charities have long been complaining about dumping into their charity bins and outside their retail outlets.
Given that recent dumping has cost councils $100,000, I would suggest the local councils trial, say for six months, not charging for household rubbish to be dumped legally at waste disposal centres - even no charge for mattresses. It may be that the reduced income at the official dumping area won't be as much as the cost of retrieving the rubbish from all over the countryside?
Leigh Gibbens, Stockrington
Bus has tourism potential
Don't knock the 11-seat shuffle bus proposal for Newcastle, I can see them replacing light rail during quiet times and being used as a guided tour experience.
I could see them based at Fort Scratchley to explore the tunnels, travel to the cathedral on top of the hill, down around King Edward Park sunken garden to view the convict-built Bogey Hole, visit the walkway of remembrance, and continue on to the other beaches with a coffee stop at Merewether, on the return visit the original historic Town Hall building, then down Hunter Street to show how the Newcastle CBD is changing, not only for visitors but those now unable to walk the distance. I reckon at $20 a head, or $200 per bus, for a two-hour tour, there would be no shortage of bookings.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
'Bit rich' from the East Enders
The East Enders believe on their semi-private Facebook group, Ban Supercars in Newcastle East, that Supercars supporter Mark Creek must have a relative working in the Herald which explains why his letters always get printed.
Isn't that a bit rich considering some alleged resident named "John" had four letters printed last week or that the moment Cr Nelmes takes a breath a tome is written about it. But I am very glad the residents will get their nine-week reprieve over Christmas this year.
Andrew Ward, Newcastle
Wrong one day, spot on the next
Normally I do not have much faith in Queenslanders, after all they voted the Morrison Government back in power at the last election, but in the case of keeping their borders closed,
I am firmly in their corner. The premier is right in keeping a closed state until NSW and Victoria have no new infections. What price does NSW and the Federal Government put on the life of a human being by putting the state of the economy before people's lives?
Stick to your guns, Premier and open your borders when it is safe to do so.
Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana
They have more dollars than sense
How is it we have a Prime Minister, Treasurer and Finance Minister who we pay over a million dollars a year to do their job?
We also have public service heads from the Taxation Department and Treasury who we pay nearly a million dollars each a year and they make a slight error of $60 billion. But it was not their fault; it was the public who submitted the paperwork that were wrong. Why won't you overpaid politicians and public servants admit that you are the fools who we waste money on? If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Bob Couper, Budgewoi
According to the article "Climate of change" (Herald, 26/5) Hunter Water paid approximately $145 million to the NSW Government in 2018/19. Assuming this amount fell into the black hole of consolidated revenue & was not allocated to local water infrastructure projects, Hunter residents should justifiably feel cheated that they are paying excessive water rates while simultaneously experiencing water restrictions. If excess monies collected from Hunter water rates for decades been channelled into projects to adequately drought-proof our region, then water shortage issues would not have been as acute as we have seen.
Andew Buchan, Belmont
Australians recently paid respect to our fallen on Anzac Day. Nothing was going to stop Australia from observing the most relevant day on our calendar. A few weeks down the track and we have Labor members happily putting their slippers under the bed of a communist regime in their own self interest, cash for turncoats. It seems that Labor will never bite the hand that feeds it. This party should never lead our nation; they have deserted Australians.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
Re letters 22/5 Mac Maguire. I imagine if you or a family member was in danger in the surf you would expect a lifesaver to help. I further imagine if you or family were threatened by fire or bushfire you would expect a firefighter to help. Tony (volunteer lifesaver and firefighter) Abbott is one of these people, who put the safety of others before their own. Your demeaning name calling is uncalled for - it would reflect better if you extended the gratitude and respect he and all volunteers deserve.
Don't worry about what Gladys Berejiklian or Scott Morrison want; follow Peter V'landys and watch him getting everything that he needs.
Bryn Roberts. New Lambton
Three reasons to smile, the incredibly low rate of new COVID-19 infections, we now have $60 billion less to repay than we planned for and the Knights are back to thrilling us on Sunday. Time to calm down a bit and be thankful we live in the best country in the world.
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
Given the Liberal Party's previous attempts and tactics on industrial reform, the Rottweiler breeders must be overjoyed.
John Bonnyman, Fern Bay
Time for a class action against ScoMo for keeping students unemployed and pensioners living in poverty in a so-called first world country. If they don't at least half the unemployment rate within a month I'll go to court and have the LNP charged with treason. Hope you have a good lawyer, ScoMo.