Generations of generosity when it’s all in the family

The coronavirus is killing us. The deadliest virus, Homo sapiens, is killing the planet. Gerianne Rudd, Toowong (Qld)

It is encouraging to see substantial articles addressing the causes of threats to our life-supporting ecosystems. However, it is disappointing to see that both articles identify immediate causes such as land clearing, habitat destruction and pollution, but have ignored root causes. These include too many people consuming too much. Human demand for ecosystem services now far outstrips renewable supply. Although addressing the immediate causes is absolutely necessary, it will ultimately fail if the root causes are ignored. Stabilizing both population size and economic consumption within renewable limits is crucial if sustainability is a pre-eminent goal. Unfortunately, such policies have little political traction as the growth-is-good-and-unlimited paradigm still dominates. Without a quick Pauline conversion to steady-state sustainability, our children and their children will suffer the Great Forgetting. Alan JonesNarraweena

I lived on the north coast of New South Wales for over 40 years, and in that time I witnessed the total destruction of the environment through the clearing of native forests, the purchase of agricultural land by developers, and the clearing of land. unprecedented for blueberry and banana plantations. When my small property was surrounded by blueberry plantations, with their chemicals, noise and itinerant workers, arriving in droves, I gave up and moved. A handful of conservationist farmers and landowners have done their best to conserve the area’s prized flora and fauna, but they face an uphill battle against development and climate change. I was present during the wildfires of 2019-20, it was terrifying and heartbreaking to see such destruction. Poor thing, my country. Christine Tiley, Albany Creek (Qld)

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So finally Graeme Samuel has given us the solution to our environmental problems (“How to escape the great oblivion”, July 23). All we have to do is “move from being process oriented to being results oriented”. Yes, that will do it for sure. Scott Lambert, Longueville

It was Morrison in breach of trust

Sri Lanka is in such dire economic straits that it’s easy to see why its people would risk fleeing for a chance at a better life (“Home Affairs Weighs in on Ship Intercept,” 23 Jul). What is not understandable is how someone with the slightest shred of humanity would take advantage of such a situation for personal and political gain. And I doubt that any God’s guidance includes taking such a despicable action. Cora Moore, Strathfield

Scott Morrison’s fearmongering regarding the flotillas of ships following the one that was intercepted and turned around went over my head. I had already voted by mail and I feel that the continued failed state experienced in Sri Lanka will lead to more boats. This does not concern me. We need immigrants and workers. Who cares how they get here? Genevieve Milton, Newtown

Human beings, mainly men, run governments and religious organizations. Under the guise of what is good for society, those in power make pronouncements and regulations to promote their ambitions and egos. The sabotaging of the Sovereign Borders protocol by then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison is an example of the former. His ironic pronouncement not to trust governments but God is an example of the latter. My prayer to God is to lead Morrison into the light so he can stop using his name in vain. Thiam Ang, Beecroft

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After years of using it as an excuse for secrecy, it seems that as long as there is political capital for the Coalition in it, “water issues” can be discussed after all. Another pre-election water-related issue that needs to be clarified is what happened to the 70,000 tons of coal from Whitehaven that Morrison promised to ship to Ukraine, which cost the Australian taxpayer $32.5 million and was confirmed by the Department of Industry with a contract published on May 16, the week of the election. The questions remain of how useful a shipment of coal would be in a war zone, did this money just disappear into a void like JobKeeper’s $20 billion overpayments, or was the coal actually delivered as promised? Alan Marel, Curl North Curl

A timeline of Election Day events once again exposes our God-bothering former Christian prosperity prime minister as a liar. The hypocrisy is amazing. It’s time to get off the back bench and leave Parliament, Mr. Morrison. My taxpayer dollars that cover your salary can be put to better use elsewhere. Young Bill, Killcare Heights

So, thanks for Albanese. It’s no wonder voters decided to get rid of Morrison. Edward Loong, Point Milsons

schools left behind

Children experiencing disadvantage are more vulnerable than ever after two and a half years of disruption and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic (“Public Schools Suffer $10 Million Shortfall,” July 22). The move to remote learning only exacerbated the educational inequalities they were already experiencing. Despite the best efforts of schools and families, pre-existing achievement gaps have only widened during this period. Kids need more support at school, not less, because that’s the best chance for them to catch up and keep up with their peers.
Given significant cost-of-living increases and economic uncertainty, is it any wonder that parental contributions have declined during the pandemic, particularly in our most disadvantaged schools? The most important issue is ensuring that our most disadvantaged schools can access the right level of funding to meet the needs of the students they support. Ensuring that your schools have access to adequate funding based on student need and that these funds are spent on evidence-based programs are two critical contributors to them achieving the future they dream of. And if they can do that, we’ll all benefit. Doug Taylor, CEO of the Smith family

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Credit:Angela Wylie

Many schools have great P&Cs that raise money for your local school. The overwhelming amount does not. It is up to the government to ensure a level playing field for all public schools and to provide the essentials for all students to reach their potential. Those schools that have more active parent groups can help the school in many other ways, like providing additional specialized staff, and that is their privilege. But no school should be disadvantaged because of its socioeconomic location. Denis Suttling, Newport Beach

long range effects

I have to disagree with your correspondent (Letters, July 23) when he says, “this threat affects only the carnivores among us.” Foot-and-mouth disease is not selective, it also affects the animals that give us milk and cream. On the non-edible side, wool production would also be affected. And those are just the primary producers. All the allied industries would be affected as well, therefore it will affect us all. Marietta Hopkins, Woolooware

Your correspondent’s comment about foot-and-mouth disease affecting only carnivores raises the question of why these diseases arise. It can be convincingly argued that if people didn’t eat animals we wouldn’t have highly contagious diseases like COVID-19, SARS, swine flu and foot-and-mouth disease. Intensive farming methods and the crowding of wild animals into markets for human consumption cause these diseases to spread to animals and humans, not to mention economic losses. We vegetarians get these diseases because we socialize with those who do. Should we have a class action lawsuit? Judy Hungerford, Northern Curl Curl

face blink



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Credit:Marcel Aucar Photography

Just to help: experts know that parma is singular and parmi is plural (“Is it chicken parmi or parma? Australian dictionary update reignites debate over food names”, smh.com.au, July 23). Keith Vallis, Wamberal

Parma female. Male parmo. So the non-binary parmi must be the clear winner. Vic Nolan, Wickham

I thought “parmi” was Palm Beach. Jane Gye, Cowan

sick burn

I was recently in Darwin and other northern climes and found that wearing a mask prevented my nose from getting sunburned (Letters, July 23). Barbara Ryan, Caringbah South

position change

Your correspondents (Letters, July 23) point to Scott Morrison’s sermon on the biblical Jesus who warned that government is unworthy. However, “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”, etc., also Jesus, says the opposite. As my now long deceased professor said, a properly indexed Bible could provide citations from it to support virtually any position. Peter Cox, Gerringong

simple solution

Why not just The Peter Hall (Letters, July 23)? Mickey PragnellKiama

digital view
Online commentary on one of the stories that attracted the most comments from readers yesterday on smh.com.au
Bandt Demands Block Coal and Gas Financing, Points to Budget Fight
Of larry case: ″⁣The Greens are not advocating a ban on future fossil development. They are simply saying not to subsidize such developments. Using taxpayer money to subsidize activities that are bad commercially and bad for the environment seems particularly short-sighted and, as we are (slowly) learning, if you pick a fight with mother nature, you will lose.″⁣

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