Letters / Greta’s a ‘shining example’ of not letting 16-year-olds vote

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That “angry, ill-informed and seemingly disturbed little Swedish girl Greta Thunberg” is a shining example of why 16-year-olds should not have the vote. says letter writer BILL STEFANIAK, of Narrabundah.

AS much as I always enjoy reading articles from Robert Macklin, I was saddened to see his confused article (“How dare you… not give kids a vote”, CN, October 3) proposing the vote for 16-year-olds based on the views of that angry, ill-informed and seemingly disturbed little Swedish girl Greta Thunberg. 

16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

If anything, she is a shining example of why 16-year-olds should not have the vote. At any rate, I wonder how many 16-year-olds would really want the vote. 

Let me state that, of course, we have climate change. I grew up in Canberra and I can tell you our winters are now a lot warmer than in 1960 when I used to walk to school from Narrabundah to Red Hill Primary as an eight-year-old in my short pants and jumper in mid-winter when for at least 20 days a year there would be puddles (we had wetter weather then, too) and ice, sometimes up to an inch thick (2.5 centimetres) on top of them on Red Hill oval. 

However, the fact is that Australia (which does more than nearly any other nation to abide by the Paris accords and produces only 1.3 per cent of the world’s emissions while China produces 30 per cent and rising for the next 10 years) could cease to exist tomorrow and the world’s emissions would still rise. 

It is lunacy to expect us to destroy ourselves by idiotic and unsustainable targets of 50 per cent to 100 per cent renewables to be achieved by certain arbitrary dates. 

If young Greta really wants to do something positive, I’d suggest she joins those brave pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and protest about China’s 30 per cent carbon emissions and the fact they can increase those emissions until 2030 (which is when many people say it will all be too late for the planet anyway). 

I am not necessarily blaming China for getting a good deal out of the Paris accords, but clearly as they are a big polluter only they, as the second most powerful country in the world, can take effective steps to alleviate the effects of climate change.

However Greta is better served doing her homework, separating the facts from the fiction and using her undoubted media profile to at least ask China what it proposes to do to resolve the issue. 

I suggest she (and, indeed, all climate change activists) start by going to their nearest Chinese embassy and politely asking what China proposes to do to solve the problem because, short of suggesting innovative solutions, there is nothing Australia can do to alter it one jot. 

Bill Stefaniak, Narrabundah 

Time to build in Symonston

COLUMNIST Jon Stanhope’s article about housing heading to Kowen Forest (CN, October 3) illustrates a strange desire to build a city in which all of its parts are in isolation to each other. 

Rather than building so far away, the next greenfields town centre should emerge in Symonston towards Queanbeyan. A light rail line could extend through Manuka or Kingston to the city, and to Queanbeyan in the opposite direction. There could be plenty of parks, it would be closer to jobs on both sides and it would make good use of what is otherwise a pretty dull open space.

Danny Corvini, Curtin

Frustrations of the Sunday bus

I TRIED to catch a bus on Sunday from “The Fair” at Watson North. I already have to walk about a kilometre from my home to the nearest bus stop, but when arriving at the stop on Antill Street, no timetable! I was aware that feeder buses from the “burbs” were running to a two-hour timetable on the weekend. But where was I in that sequence of the number 50 bus? So I had to walk another half a kilometre to the bus stop for the R9. I then caught a tram to the city from the Dickson Interchange. On the way back I caught a number 50 from the city to North Watson as I had a heavy shopping load and didn’t want to walk up the steep hill to “The Fair” from the R9 bus stop. 

I encountered an elderly couple who had been waiting more than two hours for a number 50 bus in Downer. Go figure!

The tram is great, but we don’t all live close to the line. We need a feeder bus on time. This government is supposed to support public transport. Does this only include trams? 

Lesley McGrane, North Watson

A Christian’s struggle

TUT! Tut! How stupid for Anglican clergy to pray for rain! 

In his column, (“Sense is the victim when sabres are drawn”, CN, September 26) columnist Robert Macklin doesn’t mention that Anglican Aid has Anglicans donating to provide food and clothing vouchers, and free labour to assist with the feeding of stock, maintenance and everyday chores as well as providing free drought dinners.

As for “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war”, hasn’t Robert heard of spiritual warfare? “Ephesians 6” says that a Christian’s struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, using armour and weapons such as the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

Robert does not mention that help for the poor and disadvantaged has always been a primary concern of Christians, with schools started by churches to help lift children out of poverty.

In Canberra, weekly requests are made for donations of food and money to help the homeless and disadvantaged. At Weston Anglican Church on September 29, St John’s Care requested, and received, donations of large tins of tuna, school snacks, tinned fruit, sugar and tinned lentils. 

Please investigate the full truth, Robert. Half truths are misleading.

Rewa Bate, Coombs


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  1. I find BILL STEFANIAK, of Narrabundah’s remarks to be highly offensive. To call Greta Thunburg, a young woman who is only doing good in this world and as a person who has Asperger Syndrome a “disturbed little Swedish girl” is beyond the pale.

  2. Bill Stefaniak should know better than to call anyone a ‘disturbed little Swedish girl’.

    Yet again, another privileged middle aged white man who can’t but help ‘play the man’ rather than ‘play the ball’….. disagree with her perspective and views sure, but no need for utter dribble like that. She is every bit entitled to her opinion as you are to your backwards view of the world.

    And if the view of ‘we are too small to make a difference’ applied throughout history, goodness knows what might have happened. Should we have taken a similar view in WW1 or WW2?

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