Letters to the editor

UNDER WATER: Flooding at Dora Creek in 2007. Correspondent Richard Mallaby said insurance premiums would continue to rise unless global temperature rises ceased.
UNDER WATER: Flooding at Dora Creek in 2007. Correspondent Richard Mallaby said insurance premiums would continue to rise unless global temperature rises ceased.

Hidden cost of fossil fuels

YOU may not believe in climate change, or perhaps mankind’s contribution to it through the burning of fossil fuels, but the Insurance industry certainly does. Insurers know the size and frequency of natural disasters are ever escalating as a result of climate change.

A 2016 Climatewise report found that the frequency of weather-related catastrophes has increased sixfold since the 1950s, to a record $US132 billion in 2017. This trend is predicted to continue.

Insurers have begun to divest their assets away from fossil fuels believing this is the best way they can mitigate against their rising costs. They estimate $1 spent on mitigation will save $10 in recovery costs.

Until atmospheric temperature rise is arrested by a significant reduction in the burning of fossil fuels we are all likely to see our insurance policy costs rising steeply, and difficulty obtaining cover if we live in disaster-prone areas.

- Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi

Thanks to all who helped

I AM the wife of the man who died in last Monday’s car accident at Rathmines. I want to thank all those who stopped to try and help, and the police for their role. The two officers who came to me were very caring and concerned for me and spent lot of time making sure I was going to be OK. My husband did suffer a heart attack. He was actually 71 - he would have been very flattered that people thought he was 65. The response of people is another example of how great a community we have in Rathmines.

- Name withheld, Rathmines

Remembering the strike

IT’S about 60 years since the famous “stay-in strike” took place at Wallarah Colliery at Catherine Hill Bay. The miners went on strike to try and save their jobs. The miners were locked down the mine for nine days, the local ladies from the bay cooked all their meals and delivered them to 'pit top'.

After I experienced a tour down a mine, I can’t imagine nine days and nights underground. Even after just an hour I was so pleased to get up in the fresh air again. The strike ended after the nine days. As they came out of the mine they were given a pair of sunglasses to help their eyes adjust to the sunlight. It seemed all in vain as they were given the sack anyway. Some got their jobs back later on but most found employment elsewhere. 

Most of the miners were older men, so it must have taken a toll on their health. My husband was only 21, and I think the younger ones might have enjoyed it .

- Pamela Eebber, Blacksmiths

Progress on west side

IT’S a wonder that the Australian skateboard championship held at Bar Beach even happened considering the residential outcry when the event was first announced. This was to bring undesirables to the area, disturb the peace at all hours, and devalue properties.

Zoom ahead to today and nothing of the sort ever happened. Bar Beach has never looked back, with property values the highest in Newcastle.

I believe the same issues of fear for the Morisset peninsula will eventually prove a non-issue, with property values going the same way as Bar Beach. I hope those Westlakes residents concerned with negative fears, as occurred at Bar Beach, will eventually realise progress was necessary to develop the potential which other places enjoy.

- Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

Escalating the problem

THE Americans wanting to go to extremes and arm teachers after the mass shooting in a Florida school simply escalates the problem. A solution might be to limit the sale of ammunition only to those who hold a licence. The availability of ammunition would have to be tightly controlled.

- John McLennan, Charlestown