I have written a letter with the same theme as Jos Nagels' (Letters, January 5) with all the same comments and did not get a response from the public so I came to the conclusion that the people here in Tauranga are very happy with the transport system, the roadworks, the delays, the big buses going around with very few passengers in them.

But, I must say I support the letter written by the above person regarding the rail here.

It seems people are not at all worried about how road transport functions and can pass the miles of rail sitting there in good shape being idle, without thinking it could function better had it had passenger trains using it instead of the long logging trains from time to time.

Good on you for that really good letter and I wholly support all you said - we will see. (Abridged)

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Pauline Robinson
Welcome Bay

Lack of ministers' response

I agree with Bryan Johnson's and Mike Baker's (Letters, January 5 and 8) assessments of the situation on lack of responses from ordinary MPs - you have to question their literacy - and in my view that has always been the case.

The only option is to direct all correspondence to the minister concerned and make it an Official Information Act request and then they have no option but to respond albeit that the final reply you get will probably be evasive and obstructive. (Abridged)

Rob Paterson
Mount Maunganui

Ice age not happening

Bryan Johnson comments (Letters, January 7) that the suggestion by "some scientists" of "the beginnings of a new ice age" based on recent cold weather in parts of the Northern Hemisphere got nowhere near the coverage of the frequent "claims of hottest temperatures ever in the country".

Their idea never made it past first base for the obvious reason: It doesn't stack up.

Climate Reanalyzer (ClimateReanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, USA.
Climate Reanalyzer (ClimateReanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, USA.

These occasional outbursts of very cold air from the Arctic are a well documented climate change phenomenon due to the continuing weakening of the polar vortex as the Arctic warms faster than anywhere else on earth.

This is like opening the fridge door, allowing the cold air to escape over parts of Eurasia and North America while warm air floods in from the north Atlantic and north Pacific to take its place.

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For instance, last northern winter (see image) the North Pole was briefly warmer than London – an unprecedented event. Big changes are happening across the face of our planet but the dawning of a new ice age is not one of them.

Peter Otway
Omokoroa

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