The flotilla of kayaks in Newcastle harbour may have caused a temporary delay in coal exports, and enabled participants to feel good about themselves, but it will not halt coal exports ("The point of the protests: a cleaner and stronger Hunter", Herald, 25/11).
This is because coal exports are legally and contractually locked in until the mid-2070s. Also, whereas Australia might be on target to reduce 2005 emissions by 42 per cent by 2030, what about the rest of the world?
The coal exporters' "drug dealers defence" has a twist. The coal industry is claiming that Australia's coal exports will reduce the world's CO2 emissions. What the? The argument goes like this: if Australia doesn't supply its coal, customers will get their coal from dirtier sources and add more to CO2 emissions and global warming.
I say phooey. If Australia, the world's third-largest exporter, ceased coal exports it would drive up coal prices and accelerate the world's transition to renewables. Australia's sacrifice would be minimal: coal exports only comprise 3 per cent of Australia's GDP. Also, coal profits go overseas, and taxpayers pay to rehabilitate landscapes after coal mines stop operations.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
If there was a terrorist group based in Indonesia or New Guinea and they carried out an attack on Australia, the same as the one in Israel on October 7, and then they fled back to where they came and mingled with the local people, apparently we would say "well we can't do anything about it because we might harm the local civilians".
Apparently we would just have to accept that these attacks occurred every now and again so we must get ready to flee at short notice. Also, we must build shelters as rockets are expected to rain down daily. Apparently, that's what Israel is expected to do, so that goes for everywhere else I take it? I don't remember all these protests about civilian casualties during the Gulf wars, when casualties were massively higher. It just shows the extent of anti-Semitism in the world.
Jan Phillip Trevillian, Fennell Bay
Climate models accurate
If Tony Mansfield ("Not all models cause for concern", Letters, 25/11), believes climate models haven't come within a bull's roar of being accurate, he needs to contact the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The academy gave their 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics to Syukuro Manabe "for the physical modelling of Earth's climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming". This was a grave error according to Tony. Despite what some deniers try to tell us, climate models are accurate and have been for decades. Manabe and Richard Wetherald wrote the first climate model in 1967. It has been almost perfect in its predictions of current warming. It has been acknowledged as one of the most influential scientific papers of all time, and is still referred to and used today, despite being over half a century old.
Chris Rodgers, New Lambton
Dedication to a crucial cause
I'm inspired by folk like Tom Hunt and Simon Leslie who take action ("Two men, a kayak, and a 400 kilometre paddle for the climate crisis" Herald, 24/11). Paddling from Lake Illawarra to Newcastle to raise awareness about climate change for the sake of their grandchildren shows dedication to a vital cause.
We all know Newcastle is the biggest coal export port in the world and that coal is on the way out. The federal government's commitment to more renewable energy investment is laudable, but strong leadership to support energy workers and all Australians through the required change with the urgency required is still lacking. Hopefully the paddling people's blockade shines a light on the need for decisive government intervention to address the crisis of global heating.
Amy Hiller, Kew
Spend time reviewing habits
The young are struggling while the oldies are taking cruises. This is a big news story today. I have an idea.
I suggest that youngsters aspiring to climb out of the poverty pit, record their spending over 12 months. Record the amount spent on gambling, tattoos, concerts, alcohol, drugs, phone plans, etc. In doing so, the facts will become obvious: too much being spent unnecessarily.
I am a Baby Boomer and live comfortably. Yes I didn't mind a drink and I went to the movies and the odd concert, but I didn't do drugs, get tattoos and gamble. I have a very basic phone plan and I watch as much free-to-air TV that satisfies my needs. These are some of the reasons for my now comfortable lifestyle.
I hope that young people see just how much better off they could be with some restraint in their spending habits.
Stan Kiefer, Arakoon
Path to paddle petrol-fuelled
I went for an early morning drive around the beach on Sunday. I took Hunter Street, then Watt Street to join Wharf Road. I was amazed that horseshoe beach and Camp Shortland car parks were filled to capacity. I was wondering to whom all these cars belonged - from what I could glean, they were mostly petrol and diesels.
Les Field, Wickham
Expensive day out for some
One can only hope all the activists get fined at least $1000 and sent packing.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
Israel's brutal control
Gillian Young ("Attacks warranted a response", Letters, 25/11) is it only atrocities when Israel is the victim? Don't ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced dispossession and invasion count when it's Palestinians? I predict Israel will take total control of Gaza and more of the West Bank, just in time for more oil and gas deposits to be "discovered".
David Jennings, Edgeworth
Actions, not religion, the issue
Freedom for Palestinians does not come peacefully to these downtrodden people. It is time the media acknowledged that people dislike Israel for their actions towards Palestinians, not their religion. Racism, apartheid and pillage towards Palestinians festered for many, many years. Shame, shame Israel.
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
Strong leadership lacking
Graeme Bennett ("Don't blame the clean-up crew", Letters, 25/11), you think Labor is doing a good job cleaning up the alleged mess left by the Coalition? You must be kidding. They divided the country over the failed Voice to Parliament, the cost of living is getting worse, the Immigration Minister and Home Affairs Minister appear clueless when it comes to keeping us safe, and "Blackout Bowen's" green dream is falling apart. If that's fixing a mess, you're delusional. We need strong leadership again.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
PM letting China off easily
Greg Hunt ("PM's travel isn't getting results", Letters, 27/11) you've nailed it again. The sight of our PM grovelling to the Chinese dictator Xi Jinping while cowardly choosing not to raise issues such as the origins of COVID, climate change and the attack on our RAN sailors has me thinking we need to make Chinese language classes compulsory in our schools.