LETTERS 31.8.19

Hot topic
ANGELA and Janet deserve our praise and admiration for having the courage to stand by their convictions (“Climate of Change,” Thinking Allowed, Herald, August 24, 2019).
I suspect, however, that their efforts may have been in vain.
The evidence linking climate change to perturbations of the carbon cycle is unequivocal.
The problem is that climate change is a seriously lagged phenomenon, and governments of all persuasions know it.
It is far too simple for one government to handball the problem on to the next.
Angela is concerned, and rightly so, about the kind of world that her children will inherit.
The unfortunate reality is that because of the thermal inertia of the oceans and cryosphere, surface temperatures will continue to rise, possibly for centuries, even if all anthropogenic emissions of CO2 were to cease today.
It will be the great-great-great grandchildren of people that are yet to be born that will feel the worst effects.
There is nothing that anyone can do about that.
Future generations will have no choice but to adapt.
Does this mean that we should abstain from taking action now?
Of course not. What is needed is a more pragmatic approach to the problem.
People need to wake up and realise that the government is unlikely to come to the rescue.
Anathematic as it may seem, it will be market forces that affect the greatest change.
If there is one thing that the market abhors, it is a stranded asset. Adani found this out when it was trying to attract finance for the construction of the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.
Financial markets were spooked by the risk posed by the possibility of future government regulation.
Adani had no option but to scale back the size of the operation and fund construction itself.
Will Adani be digging up coal in Queensland and shipping it to India? Yes, but not as much as it would have had the market not intervened. It is a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
Protesting to the government about climate change is akin to ploughing the ocean.
It is an inescapable fact that democratically elected governments are preoccupied mainly with their own survival.
We cannot rely on them to do anything that will jeopardise their incumbency.
What we need to do is to convince the finance sector that it will lose money if it invests in a carbon-fuelled future.
Graeme Fuller
Arnold Crescent, Kardinya

Deja blue
WHAT a divisive moment of deja vu it was for me to see the Liberal party’s four-page Roe 8 & 9 “paid advertising wrap around” on last week’s Herald?
I grimaced but I couldn’t, or wouldn’t read it.
My dismal feelings about the Liberal party were trumped when I read shortly after that the state’s Labor party conference had imploded into chaos in the first minute, with disrespectful members walking out on the “Welcome To Country”, followed by vicious in-fighting.
One of the issues being lack of internal support for Labor’s outer harbour plan.
If I understand the union perspective, it’s “we want jobs for our workers for the next 20 years”.
If true, is that the extent of their capacity to think about our combined future? Will the unions over-rule McGowan?
It’s hard to believe that in two short years we’ve gone backwards into the mire of community divisiveness on such a crucial issue for the state, and Fremantle more generally.
Might I suggest that the Labor Party pays for a “advertising wrap around” in this week’s Herald, explaining their vision for the Fremantle harbour and associated transport issues.
Just so we’re clear; I don’t mean shrill, emotional criticisms of the Liberal’s four pages of plans.
The Liberals have no power right now. Labor, are the elected government; whom were elected to solve this problem, not on a platform of “do nothing”.
So this is an open letter to the leaders of Labor in Fremantle; I implore you to stand up and document a clear vision of what you are going to do about the Fremantle harbour?
You need to be real leaders and respond to last week’s debacle of events, so we can all (hopefully) stand-up and support you.
Please, do more than polish the rear-view mirror–let’s not go backwards into the awful community divisiveness that plagued the last state election.
Damon Hurst
Bellevue Terrace, Fremantle

Be pro-active
THE recent release of Westport’s shortlist highlights that significant changes to Fremantle Port are more than likely over the next 20 years, although the scope of this change is uncertain and there are many valid questions about the feasibility of the shortlisted options.
However we cannot stick our head in the sand.
I grew up in Port Adelaide. The port operations exited the inner harbour without a plan for the local economy, community and land uses.
Today the ports lie empty and the city struggles to recapture its vibrant character.
Fremantle needs to take a central and leading role in discussions about how and when the port operations will change over time, and engage with the community to develop a comprehensive plan for the transition of our economy, land uses and city shape.
The time is nigh.
Su Groome
Watkins Street,
White Gum Valley

Solar stoush
THANK GOD for Adele Carles raising her concerns about the proposed solar farm on the old South Fremantle tip site (“Shadow over farm”, Herald, August 17, 2019).
It is dangerous enough for the possible disturbance of the asbestos in the site, let alone the exposing of deadly pathogens from biological waste.
There has been a lot of talk over the years regarding nasties that were dumped in the tip and I find it incredible that any council would risk the community’s health for a $1-a-year lease.
I’m all for renewable energy and the idea of using industrial land for a solar farm in Henderson is a no brainier.
If Fremantle council decide to push ahead, disregarding the worried residents, then that tells me there’s a hidden agenda.
The prevailing winds that nurture our bodies in summer may in fact be nature’s toxic devil.
Mark Leigh
Address supplied

Green light for Roe
GIVEN the impasse between opposing camps regarding Roe 8 and 9, I wonder whether there is a further option that might address the wishes of both sides.
If we were to install co-ordinated traffic light systems on the existing route, which provide a progressive ‘green wave’ for vehicles travelling within the scheduled speed range, then drivers would encounter successive green lights, avoiding stop/start issues, with reduced pollution and noise, eased congestion and reduced journey time.
The co-ordinated pulse of traffic flows at similar controlled speeds, minimising accidents and improving safety.
It could be implemented far more quickly, and solve the issues more rapidly than the major infrastructure projects suggested, and would not cost anywhere near the $1.9 billion estimated.
This is not a new idea but a tested system in many countries around the world.
I’ve driven along such coordinated traffic light routes – you simply cruise through a continuum of green lights with no need to stop – bliss! It may be worth considering as a viable compromise which might well address many concerns from all sides.
Phil Nicholls

Get the point?
IN a backhanded compliment, Scott Morrison’s renewed and vicious attacks on the people-powered, grass roots organisation GetUp, must mean it is being effective.
GetUp is about participatory democracy and empowerment and is made up of everyday Aussies who want more action towards a fair, flourishing and just Australia.
Every year GetUp surveys its over one million members to find out the issues they consider most important in order of priority.
Urgent action on climate change is the current number one concern.
Members are kept informed about campaigns, consulted over strategies and given the opportunity to be involved in various capacities.
The prime minister wants a further investigation into GetUp’s independence: “They say they aren’t Labor when we all know they are!”
But the Australian electoral commission, after a 20 month investigation, already declared GetUp independent in February this year.
Is the aim of the government to keep GetUp so busy and financially committed to its own defence that its effectiveness may be compromised?
Maggie Poole-Johnson
Ashbourne Way, Hamilton Hill

Angry birds
SEEMS like it’s going to be as good as it gets, as far as keeping the people happy, if it has to happen…(Roe 8 & 9 wrap around, Herald, August 24, 2019)
But what about the animals?
Read between the lines and this has been addressed to a certain extent with two wetland bridges to help save the turtles, but what will be done about noise pollution affecting bird life?
It only says noise walls would be installed to reduce traffic noise and visual impacts for local residents. Will wildlife be included as local residents?
Do the planners realise that Bibra Lake has one of the largest most diversified populations of birdlife, and it’s their major breeding ground in the metro area?
Please consider this – without nature, humans are doomed.
Charlie Reed
Address supplied

WITH reference to last week’s wrap around from the Liberal Party.
Yes, $1.2 billion will generate lots of jobs. The issue is that Roe 8/9 is the wrong project.
It will funnel lots of traffic into a bottleneck in East Fremantle, many trucks cannot use tunnels and others will not pay for the Roe 9 toll. More appropriate use of infrastructure money would be wise. We voted resoundingly not to pursue this project at the last election
Peter Wales
Hamilton Hill

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