STUART Bonds says there's still plenty of coal to be dug up well past 2050.
Maybe so, but we humans didn't leave the Stone Age because we ran out of rocks. Smelting technology delivered the Bronze Age so we left the rocks where they were.
New technology is once again driving change. The federal government has picked sides with gas over coal.
The NSW government wants to invest millions in Renewable Energy Zones in the Hunter and New England which will result in around $4.4 billion in private sector investment (a bill which appears to have broad support of all parties, with the notable exception of One Nation).
Banks are increasingly reluctant to finance coal but not renewables, Super funds are divesting from dirty industry and investing in green companies. Investment in green technology research and development moves at a lightning pace.
The revolution is here, Mr Bonds. Coal's days are numbered no matter how much denial and obfuscation comes from politicians and wannabes in debt to fossil fuel backers.
I have family in the Hunter Valley and I despair for their futures when those with the power to plan for reality stick their heads in the sand. A transition plan is what's needed for workers and communities starting now.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
War only achieves more misery
WE send men and women of the military off to foreign countries to do the worst job anyone can be asked to do.
The psychological damage is well documented. They go into cultures we know nothing about and many of these conflicts have gone on for years and pose no threat to Australia.
Politicians of all colours, for their own political advantage, send these people off and then when they return with huge needs to fit back into society turn their backs on them.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
The suicide rates for returned military people are horrendous. The fact that we still solve international and civil problems by killing people has been forever flawed and achieves nothing but more human misery.
My heart goes out to all serving men and women. There must be for some people a form of madness that must take over if they are to continue to serve.
In many of these places the enemy is unable to be distinguished from the rest of the population. This investigation into Special Forces in Afghanistan is a sorry reflection on the rest of us who stand by and say nothing as Australia continues to get involved in wars that are at the bidding of the US for dubious reasons.
Sarah Taylor, Merewether
Confusion over global warming
LES Hutchinson's letter (Deforestation disaster to blame for crisis, Letters, 20/11) paints a gloomy picture for the environment.
However, NASA's work in this area was published as long ago as 2016 and shows that the world is in fact greener largely due to the increase in CO2. NASA's media release in April 2016 says "From a quarter to half of Earth's vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25. An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet's vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States."
This study uses satellite data over an extended period, anyone who has lived close to bushland would know that our trees have got bushier. I have owned property around Newcastle for 46 years and have noticed the trees have bushed out. I do agree with Les in respect of city centres, however, where the absence of green cover has increased temperatures due to urban heat sinks. This temperature rise has been confused with global warming.
John Davies, Newcastle East
Change of thinking needed
HEWSON'S View (Herald, 20/11) was a very good and informative read.
John's view on many subjects has not only been informative it has also been mind-opening, especially the bit that 31 per cent of all voters are over 60.
Over many years I have thought that issues that affect over 60-year-olds have not only not been mentioned by our politicians but it seems that no one over 60 voted for or against these so called "election promises".
Is this true? Do we oldies ignore these important issues? I hope not, I've always voted with these issues in mind but, alas, no one else has. This has to change, the two groups that John mentioned, 61 per cent of the voting population have to think before they vote in any election.
I don't know if this is at all possible and we just go with the flow. Or do we need to do something with our vote concerning climate change, global warming and its effect on our environment, employment, health, education and everything else that affects these two age groups.
Does anyone have ideas on how we can mobilise these two age groups and change the direction of our future? If we don't change I think the future for my dear beautiful grandchildren does not look good.
Peter Selmeci, Murrays Beach
Liberals' poor track record
GEOFF Black (Letters, 17/11), I definitely agree that the ICAC should have more power and that the government should not be able to prevent their investigations.
I also agree that the Liberals are unlikely to have a suitable replacement for the premier. Gladys Berejiklian is, after all, the third NSW Liberal premier in a row to be embroiled in an alleged corruption scandal, plus this is the same government who in recent times alone has been responsible for "sports rorts", Robodebt, as well as late action on the bushfire crisis and COVID.
However, with blunders to her name such as trams not fitting tunnels, a profoundly overblown sports stadium venture (to the tune of $828 million) coinciding with millions stripped from the NSW RFS budget, the consequential death of millions of native animals, as well as the whole Ruby Princess debacle, Ms Berejiklian proved that she is incompetent.
In my opinion, Ms Berejiklian has proved that she can't be trusted. So I would suggest that at this stage, just about anyone else would be more suitable to take Ms Berejiklian's place.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
PREMIER Berejiklian's sacking of Liberal MLC Catherine Cusack from her position as Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter for voting to refer legislation that waters down protection of koala habitat to an inquiry furthers the appalling record of the NSW Liberal-National Party Government when it comes to our precious environment. This government already presides over record high levels of land clearing and disgraceful mismanagement of our inland waterways. Ms Cusack's principled stance is a welcome circuit breaker that is arguably in the public interest.
Martin Frohlich, Adamstown Heights
STUART Bonds bangs on about how important coal mining is to the Hunter economy and it is, but if you are running for public office you have to represent all that includes farmers, graziers, and horse studs. Where will he stand when mining and agriculture clash as they surely will. He hasn't to my knowledge mentioned where he stands on any other issues.
William Pryce, New Lambton
LES Hutchinson, (Letters, 20/11), Earth's heating only tallies with our colossal industrial fossil burning: coal and hydrocarbons. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's meticulous monitoring shows this causing the worsening poor state of the air, and oceans. "Canaries in the mines" don't come bigger. Warnings of the best are always heeded.
Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park
SO ... 80 per cent of Australia's population are concerned and believe in climate change "coming from the experts". This message only reinforces the fact that the most important job in the climate change debate is the propaganda team. If 80 per cent was true the Green primary vote would be 80 per cent instead of a paltry 10 per cent and we would be running 100 years behind time. What more can you say?
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
WE cannot justify the way the Afghan civilians were killed, but taught to obey orders unquestioningly makes the reality understandable. Please view the Australian series Fighting Season. The effects on all involved are glaringly obvious. Take care when you judge.
Lyn Rendle, Rankin Park
I FIND it unbelievable that our troops have to play by the rules when terrorists use suicide bombers, IEDs, children and women used as decoys with guns and bombs. They don't know who they are fighting.
Ken Stead, Lambton
I'M not condoning anything, but the reality is that Western armies fight with their hands tied behind their backs. We know what the Taliban do to civilians while praising their version of God. What can you do against an enemy like that?
Garry Robinson, Mannering Park
HOW ridiculous can the state governments and their unelected health bureaucrats get? I read in the Herald that due to social distancing kids can no longer sit on Santa's knee for a photo. What a disgrace!