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Who says we are advanced or that we understand climate?

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18.01.2019

James Allen (Letters, January 14) attempts to explain the lack of detection of radio signals from other advanced civilisations in the galactic neighbourhood (the Fermi paradox) by suggesting that humanity's greed and self-interest may be a universal stage of a Darwinian evolutionary process that proves fatal when faced with some existential threat.

He goes on to equate this with climate change. But who says we are an advanced civilisation or that we fully understand climate?

Why did early civilisations build monuments to ‘‘planetary gods’’.Credit:The Canberra Times

Our history is one of self-delusion; that we are the pinnacle of creation, the centre of the universe; and within an ace of seeing into the mind of God.

Yet we have recurring apocalyptic nightmares and visions.

In my lifetime it has been nuclear winter, impact from space, an ice age and climate change.

We are fearful and irrational homo sapiens ignoramus suffering collective post-traumatic stress disorder.

Our greed and self-interest is driven by existential fear and the paradoxical loneliness of our teeming billions.

Send your opinions to letters.editor@canberratimes.com.auCredit:The Canberra Times

We lack a sense of connection with each other, the Earth, and a universe that appears hostile to life.

What advanced civilisation would attempt galactic communication with glacially slow radio signals? What advanced civilisation would lay claim to a crackpot cosmology that has us a mere impurity in a universe of unidentified dark matter and dark energy, waiting for final blackness?

If we are ever to become an advanced civilisation we must understand the origin of our post-traumatic stress disorder.

Begin by asking why first civilisations appeared globally "like a thunderclap" and built colossal monuments to warring "planetary gods".

Wal Thornhill, Chapman

First it was the Linq apartments, then the Wayfarer, now it's the Cirrus and Republic developments.

For years on end, Belconnen commuters and businesses have had to put up with apartment developers taking over our street space.

Perhaps the Planning Minister could explain why these developers have been allowed to build so close to our major roads and why they have not been required to pay a congestion levy? In other words, why was the welfare of Belconnen commuters disregarded?

Glenys Byrne, Florey

You can't cut down forests and then graze the exposed ground bare with introduced livestock without having soil erosion. Eroded soils must go somewhere.

They end up in rivers, lakes and estuaries which they foul with excessive nutrient, causing the algal blooms which kill fish. Forests have tremendous benefits. Their canopies shield soils from the three great natural forces of wind, sun and rain. They shade the ground. They also turn atmospheric carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen.

The carbon is locked away, the oxygen vitalises our atmosphere. We owe our existence to trees.

The current devastating bushfires and horrific fish kills are being blamed on summer heat but that's only part of the story.

Loss of forests is a major factor. We must begin replacing them.

All that's needed is people power.

If everyone plants a few trees every year we can begin reversing climate change.

The best place to start is on gully floors where most erosion occurs, and along bare stream banks to shade and cool the water while preventing further erosion.

Heat resistant trees with extensive root systems which stabilise soils are obviously a good choice, especially if assisted by government nurseries supplying free seedlings.

Regular tree planting excursions by schools would help and be a wonderful real-life experience for children.

Experience by a few enlightened farmers has already shown that sensible tree planting has enormous........

© Canberra Times