I refer to the letter from Mr Robert Walker in your issue on May 29. In his letter, Mr Walker questioned the link between human activity and climate change and commented that "no study has ever suggested that humans cause climate change".
It is a good point to raise because while a majority of people in Australia recognise that the climate is changing, there are significant numbers who aren't sure about the reason for the change. However, in fact the link has been long established. For example, on its website NASA explains:
"In the 1860s, physicist John Tyndall recognized the Earth's natural greenhouse effect and suggested that slight changes in the atmospheric composition could bring about climatic variations. In 1896, a seminal paper by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius first predicted that changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could substantially alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect".
Since 1950 greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have jumped from less than 300 ppm - where according to NASA they had been for at least 800,000 years - to over 400 ppm with average global temperatures trending steadily upwards.
I wish it wasn't so but I fear we just have to accept the reality that the way we live has a very significant impact on our planet - and that we'll have to change our ways.
Jim Main, Cootamundra
Hope for right choice
As a former military man, I am deeply aware as to how important is Australia's defence alliance with the United States. However, the US continues to become involved in matters that I believe they shouldn't and Australia would be wise to avoid any conflict Trump and his cronies conjure up.
The current US Secretary of State raised a few eyebrows and made quite a few people smile, if not laugh, when he stated, "Iran must stop meddling in other countries business". I think that Mr Pompeo is no student of history and that the phrase 'pot calling the kettle black' might have been coined especially for the US ideas on foreign policy; the phrase actually predates US foreign policy.
Just about every US president since George Washington has involved his country in meddling in other countries business. Suffice to write that naming a country the USA has 'not' interfered in over the past 200 plus years would probably be much more difficult than vice versa.
The ANZUS Treaty is an essential ingredient in Australia's defence strategy and we should not rock the boat of safety that the treaty provides. However, Australia must stay strong in these times when US foreign policy appears to be dependant upon the mood of the president and his war monger in chief John Bolton. Bolton being probably the only person in the world who openly says that the Iraq war was a good idea. I hope our political leaders do not play follow the leader.
Mike Sargent, Cootamundra
Fatality Free Friday should be every day
I must entirely agree with the editor's assessment of the likely effectiveness of "Fatality Free Friday". It's an admission of defeat in the government's attempts to make every day fatality free.
How would we do anything different when we believe that we're driving safely all the time?
Statistics help administrators and perhaps cause us to treat a problem seriously, but who drives any differently from day to day because of them?
Our biggest issue is that drivers are very often not aware of high risk elements in their daily driving.
They know when they're breaking rules, but could be making high risk decisions while remaining legal.
"Fatality Free Friday" begs us to "be good", when so many of us are not fully aware of how to be "safe".