F R Halpin (letters, August 17) reckons global warming is not science because it is still under discussion.

However, there are many well-proven principles of science that remain under discussion as minor details are modified. That is what PhD researchers do.

The main principles of global warming were established back in the 19th century. In 1824 Joseph Fourier found that Earth's atmosphere reduced the transmission of infrared heat from Earth back into space, and thus kept the planet warmer than the sun would do in a vacuum. In 1859 John Tyndall tested different atmospheric gases for their absorption of infrared heat, and found that CO2 was the most significant one. Then, in 1896, Svante Arrhenius calculated precisely how much hotter the Earth would become with increasing levels of CO2 (tinyurl.com/tataiCO2).

Professor Arrhenius's mathematical formula predicted that our present 37 per cent increase in CO2 levels would produce an average 2.5C temperature rise, and this is what many large continents are now experiencing, with consequent droughts causing huge drops in food production.

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Unless immediate steps are taken to reduce CO2 emissions and population numbers, CO2 levels will have increased by 50 per cent in about 15 years' time, causing an average 3.5C temperature rise and much worse droughts, famines, epidemics and wars.

Bible students know Adam and Eve were commanded to "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the Earth, and subdue it." They were not commanded to overfill the Earth and destroy it. Being pro-life now means pro-population control. As the prophet Bob Dylan proclaimed, "The times they are a-changing."

JOHN ARCHER
Ohakune


Chiefs understood Treaty

Jock Lee, who describes himself as "Rhodes Scholar", claims I misrepresent how the Treaty of Waitangi was understood by the tribal chiefs who signed it and notes that I am not a "serious historian".

I may not be a "serious historian", but I strongly disagree that I misrepresent how the Treaty was understood by the tribal chiefs at the time.

I claim — on the basis of the English draft from which Te Tiriti was translated by Henry Williams, and on the basis of the speeches that tribal chiefs made at the time and again at Kohimarama in 1860 — that the chiefs absolutely understood they were ceding sovereignty to a higher authority.

And nobody has yet found any word like "partnership", or any synonym of that word, in the Treaty.

Politicians as different as David Lange and Winston Peters have described the idea that Queen Victoria was entering into some kind of partnership with 500 largely illiterate chiefs whom she had never met as "absurd".

And the notion that any nation can long endure in peace with two different sovereignties is surely just as absurd.

Contrary to Mr Lee's assertion, what he calls "the colonial Pakeha sovereignty model" has worked extraordinarily well for most Maori — bringing an end to inter-tribal warfare, an end to cannibalism, slavery and infanticide, and the introduction of a written language, all the benefits of modern medicine and sanitation, indeed the benefits of modernity.

I can't claim to have ever been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, but I did major in history in the three years of my Bachelor degree at Canterbury University.

DON BRASH
Co-spokesperson for Hobson's Pledge


Cost of 'hosting' prisoners

Recently there was a discussion on Radio New Zealand concerning over 200 prisoners who, when they have completed their sentences, are deported to their various countries of origin.

I was really amazed to learn that each of them costs us $100,000 per year during their time in our prisons.

I do not know if there is a law that says we have to "host" these people after sentencing (some very long indeed) but I feel when we have so many of our own citizens finding life tough at the moment — e.g. housing, health, education etc — we could use this money in much better ways.

I wonder what others think of our generosity in this case.

FIONA DONNE
Aramoho


In praise of metal music

I have been around metal music all my life. I have been to a lot of shows in Wanganui, met a lot of bands.

I have met the guy who does our radio metal show called The Axe Attack. He is real cool and he plays in our big New Zealand band on bass, called Devilskin.

Metal is cool to listen to and play ... Metal music is my life and always will be.

LEON OSBORNE
Whanganui


Evils mock great sacrifice

We had a small farm near Woodville on a riverbed, where, when we dug a hole, we never got to the bottom of the topsoil.

The farmers around us were young grandfathers from World War I. One of them, Bill Burlace, taught me a lesson in sportsmanship I have never forgotten. He had seen Simpson on his donkey rescuing the injured.

He would be horrified to see the country he fought for approving of abortion, euthanasia, easy divorce. I can hear the roar of a quiet man: "What was I fighting for? What did they die for?" He saw dreadful slaughter on the battlefield. He would see today the unborn boys and girls terminated since abortion was legalised to be over 110,000, almost four times the number of Kiwis lost in World War I and II.

How many backstreet abortions yearly would there be after World War I? Would 1000 be excessive? Not a big number, considering it is 13,000 under the lancet of the surgeon today.

Again, I can hear the roar of a quiet man: "What did I fight for? What did they die for?"
If a man or woman had a relationship outside their marriage they were considered weak or cowardly. Unfaithfulness was low-life. A mother and wife would vociferously condemn a woman killing her own child.

Again, Mr Burlace would see political parties approving of assisted suicide disguised as euthanasia. He would shake his head in disbelief, thinking of how many friends had died ... and for what?

If he taught at a high school he would see heterosexual and homosexual relationships a party practice for many.

There would be no roar, no sign of disbelief, just a sense of being crushed by the knowledge of the future, this man who had risked his life for us.

What do I say to those 30,000 New Zealanders who lost their lives or were badly hurt?

Our evils mock their sacrifice. From my little reading of history, those things listed here are signs of a community disappearing.

This is how far we have travelled.

F R HALPIN
Whanganui


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