Letters to the editor

Whack the Wallaby, one

IT'S REAL: A reader says climate change is about an inexorable rise in global temperatures over decades, and denials based on short-term weather variations are "rubbish".

IT'S REAL: A reader says climate change is about an inexorable rise in global temperatures over decades, and denials based on short-term weather variations are "rubbish".

Where does one start to address the nonsense peddled by David Everist in his column in the Rural section of The Border Mail? Let me tackle two that appeared on Saturday and are constant themes of his. 

He seems to deny climate change by doing the usual thing of saying that we have always had variable weather and seasons so climate change is rubbish.

Climate change, David, is the long term, not a couple of months or even a few years but the inexorable rise in global temperatures over decades. If he wants evidence of this rather than his folksy anecdotes he could consult some farmers, wine growers specifically, in North-East Victoria who have maintained records for over 100 years.

They will tell you of the slow but steady change in the harvesting time of various grapes. Not variable over a few seasons but a constant change. They will tell you of grape varieties that they no longer grow in the area but now source from Tasmania. Climate change is real, and it is not weather or variable seasons.

The other issue is his inability to acknowledge that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has any merit at all and that there is any need for environmental water. In his latest column he says “Our founding fathers would be furious to see what the environmental lobby and weak-kneed politicians have done to agricultural production”.  Perhaps he might reflect that it was Prime Minister John Howard who set in train the process that led to the plan. Was he a weak-kneed politician? 

And our founding fathers might also be furious that when Prime Minister Howard acted many parts of the Basin were in crisis with extensive areas of salinisation and failing ecosystems – 800,000 ha of land was unusable and a further six million was at risk. Agriculture was in crisis.

An essential part of the plan is to have environmental water to flush two million tonnes of salt out of the river through the Murray mouth as well as to maintain healthy ecosystems that our cities and towns along the rivers rely. So how about a bit of balance David and some acknowledgement of the facts rather than the populist anecdotes.

David Thurley, Lavington

Whack the wallaby, two

I am trying to find some information on this David Everist bloke who writes your syndicated “On the Wallaby” column, but without much luck. Obviously if I google David Everist journalist or David Everist scientist I get no results.

Perhaps Right-Wing Apologist would give me more success? Anyway please continue publishing his column – I do enjoy a good laugh every Saturday.

Dave Harrison, Corowa

Christmas lives on

At Christmas last year, Daniel Andrews slapped a ban on schools from performing traditional Christmas carols that praise, worship or glorify God “regardless of the musical style”. And just when schools were going to cancel Christmas celebrations for another year, he has been forced to perform a triple summersault backflip with a twist and completely reverse his ban.

Such was the outcry by parents, children and schools, Daniel Andrews has been forced to concede that the singing of “commercial and religious based carols” is now permitted.  

In a country that celebrates cultural and religious diversity, government should never ban local communities from freely celebrating or observing cultural or religious events.

Nick Wakeling MP, opposition education spokesman

Staff appreciated

Last Tuesday our dad was admitted to the emergency department at the Albury Base Hospital and then to a medical ward. On behalf of my family a big thank you to the doctors, nurses and catering staff for looking after dad. Your care, professionalism and support was very much appreciated.

Kay Martin, Rutherglen