The G7's superficial reaction to the Amazon fires focuses on the symptoms rather than the economic causes of deforestation. Although the global economy inherently rewards addition rather than subtraction addressing the economic impetus behind a range of major climate threats, such as these fires, it may require substantial long-term wealth transfer from rich to developing nations in order for them to forgo the full commercial exploitation of their own resources.
For Brazil the Amazon is an area of vastly underutilised economic potential. Replacing rainforest with pasture and commercial crops to generate more wealth per hectare is a rational economic choice. Exploiting the commercial potential of the world's resources has been integral to building western affluence. It is unreasonable to expect poorer countries aspiring to raise their living standards to voluntarily divert from this proven path to prosperity without adequate compensation.
Peter Jansen, Henderson.
Pike River re-entry
How is it that Nick Smith can still be given media coverage for his all too predictable utterances.
His claim that that the Pike River re-entry is 'politics over common sense' is unworthy. The current Government's action is compassion over callous coldness. Smith's government under John Key should have had the courage to do what is now being done.
Along with many others, I originally had some misgivings about the re-opening of the Pike River mine.
However I felt that, if this is what would give the families of the miners killed in this tragedy, some comfort and closure, then the country owed it to them to see it done.
Re-opening was warranted on these grounds alone. However it is now doubly justified by the subsequent revelations that several key items of evidence had gone missing. Could Nick Smith get out of his glass house and stop throwing stones.
Russell O Armitage, Queenwood.
Brexit by force
Many decades ago I was taught that the British constitution was a superb achievement, a beautiful and unique thing created by hundreds of years of (mostly civilised) debate. And yet now this system begins to look fragile and outmoded, unable to function in the modern political environment . We are seeing a small cabal of wealth and privilege, with a smiling villain at the helm, trying to force its will on the country by stopping parliament from interrogating their policies.
Letters: Catholic politicians, church, small town survival and lower GST
Letters: Superbugs, climate refugees, airline luggage, Fonterra and Leighton Smith
Letters: Pharmac, political donations, wages, Hauraki Gulf and Matt Heath
I now think how lucky it was that we modernised our system in the 1990s. Thank goodness for MMP! But we also need to remind ourselves that even with a good system, eternal vigilance is our best defence against losing our democracy.
V M Fergusson, Mt Eden.
In reply to Hylton Le Grice's letter on measles I presume his comments relate to the anti-vaccination movement as to why children are not being vaccinated when he claims "so many parents are negligent towards their children and others in a modern first world society". If not then his is a lazy statement. I suggest the esteemed Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft is the correct and knowledgeable person directly at the coalface to give true insight into this ongoing and glaringly obvious situation. His empathetic interviews regarding his challenging work are easily accessible.
Privilege has no place here.
Susan Bone, Mission Bay.
Measles is now so common it may well be an epidemic before we realise. Air travel is spreading it far and wide. ATEED spends serious sums of ratepayers' money promoting Auckland. Telling people not to come if they have measles is not the signal Auckland should send to the world. It is compulsory to register a car or a dog yet we allow anti vaxers to risk the health of the nation and add unnecessary cost to the country. Many elderly and those with compromised immune systems cannot afford to come in contact with measles. It does not make sense. The Minster of Heath should have the power to declare an emergency and make vaccination compulsory. A minority will talk about a nanny state. Good public health is a necessity and a civil right.
Gerry Hill, Ponsonby.
The "right to vote" has lost its significance since it was extended to 18 year olds. Something which is too easily obtained is not valued. If it was seriously proposed to return to the days when the age of 21 really meant being accepted as an adult with all the rights and responsibilities involved, the strength of the reaction could show us whether or not the right to vote is appreciated by that age group.
Jeanette Grant, Mt Eden.
Ruthlessness is what we want in our leader? Matthew Hooten doesn't get it. The planet and many of its people have been brought to their knees by ruthless exploitation; and we still have the likes of Trump, Putin, Morrison, Bolsonara, Zuckerberg, and now Boris to contend with. (Xi Jinping is considering his next step very carefully). Does New Zealand need one of that ilk? Definitely not. Take heart from Jacinda's leadership. We are moving in a new direction; I hope it's not too late.
Barbara Darragh, Auckland Central.
Approach to bullying
"Bullying cuts to the heart of who we want to be" is the editorial headline on August 31 . It also points to the heart of what we are. Bullying Free NZ reports that "bullying has detrimental effects on students' health, wellbeing and learning. It can make students feel lonely, unhappy and frightened." In my work, I see the effects of bullying. Response to bullying in schools too often fails to deter the bullying behaviour, and resurrect confidence for the one being bullied. Bullying behaviour is by definition not a one-off; it is persistent, pernicious, covert violence, and generally out of sight of teachers or other figures of authority. If not effectively addressed bullying can lead to prolonged psychological outcomes. Putting the responsibility onto a child to say "Stop it!" is not the sole answer. Bullying Free NZ recommends a whole school approach to bullying. If a school fails to take effective action against violence, fails to deter the bullying, fails to build confidence in the one who speaks of being bullied, fails a restorative approach, then the school fails in its duty of care.
Dr Elizabeth Mary Gresson, Parnell.
Having read nothing but gloom and doom about our hospitals I went with some trepidation for my appointment at the Manurewa Super Clinic. Within three minutes of arriving on time my name was called and over the next one and a half hours I was passed from one department to another undergoing various tests with relevant discussions . How the hospital managed this seamless flow was, I thought, a miracle of organisation and professionalism.
And I was just one among many receiving this level of service from the very busy personnel . Hearty congratulations to all.
Edwina Duff, Parnell.
I read with interest the interview profiling Donna Cooper, the new chief executive of the TSB Bank, talking about the company's origins and corporate philosophy. It would seem to me that giving profits back to the community should be an integral part of any modern business and TSB sets a fine example. I have been fortunate enough to have been a customer of the TSB Bank for over 30 years. It is no surprise that they are regularly winners of the Consumers People's Choice Award for Banking. In my branch it is a pleasure to do business. After all, why use a bank that sends its profits offshore when you have a New Zealand one that invests in our country.
Mandy Dempsey, Takapuna.
Pessimists are realists
So optimists are likely to live longer. Well, they can have the future of catastrophic weather events caused by the ongoing destruction of the Amazon; of the gradual erosion of democratic values in governments world-wide due to the rising tide of populism. We pessimists have the virtues of caution and realism, and therefore we are generally immune to the lures of riches and fame — we do not believe such attributes will do us an ounce of good. Let's have more pessimists, I say, for a safer and a quieter world.
Ted Jenner, Remuera.
Herald contributor David Mairs predicts India and China will eclipse the US and become the two major economic superpowers. Not so sure. The masses in the sprawling slums of Mumbai and Chennai may contradict that optimism. China's economy is faltering, its growth rate slumping to 0 to 3 per cent. A further compounding factor is the centrist influence of Beijing which could mirror the Kremlin strategies that brought the Soviet Union to its knees. Only time will tell.
P.J. Edmondson, Tauranga.