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Rudd's climate cheats/strong>

The Australian negotiators in Copenhagen are being revealed as the leaders of a carbon cheat strategy.

Kevin Rudd is trying to cook the books at Copenhagen by pushing for a loophole which would allow countries to increase emissions dramatically from land-use and forestry without showing it on their carbon accounts. Rudd wants Australia to be allowed to count the carbon that gets absorbed by vegetation and the soil whilst not including the emissions from this sector, which is a huge amount.

In 2002-3 bush fires released 190MT of emissions which is equivalent to 27 coal-fired power stations for a year, however all these emissions would not count. How can we save the climate if we leave all these emissions unchecked?

This is fraudulent. It's like having a bank account and only counting the deposits, and not the withdrawals. This is just cheating and we cheated our way through Kyoto and we can't do it again in Copenhagen. Australia is also pushing for clean coal in the Clean Development Mechanism.

Clean coal is unproven and dangerous and we should be giving developing countries finance to invest in renewables like solar, wind and geothermal not clean coal.

As a 14-year-old youth, these issues are important as they affect my future.

Jaden Harris
North Curl, Sydney

Obama's resource war

Obama says the US is in Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and will withdraw in 2011 — conveniently before he goes to the polls.

If the US is in Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat Al Qaeda, how can Obama put such a definite timetable on withdrawal? The answer is that the US is not there to defeat Al Qaeda.

It is there to build the same kind of permanent military bases it has built in Iraq. The US never withdrew from Iraq — it still has 120,000 soldiers there. When the US "withdraws" from Afghanistan in 2011, it will continue the same kind of occupation it has got away with in Iraq.

The world's biggest oil reserves are in Saudi Arabia. It is compliant with the US so does not have to be invaded. The world's second-largest oil reserves are in Iraq — it is now occupied by the US.

The world's third-largest oil reserves are in Iran. It is defiant, so is constantly threatened by the US. The US now has Iran surrounded. It is occupying Iraq on one side and Afghanistan and Pakistan on the other.

The war in Afghanistan is all about resources.

Mat Ward
Cremorne Point, NSW

Aboriginal heritage

The mindless destruction of Aboriginal heritage at the Brighton bypass in Tasmania is a brutal attack upon the Aboriginal community by the Bartlett regime. Aboriginal heritage is so priceless and unique that once it is destroyed it is lost forever. One could imagine the outrage if the Anglican Parish of All Saints in Hobart had to be demolished. The difference is, it could be relocated and rebuilt.

The Premier is attempting to wage a campaign of Aboriginal cultural cleansing; this act of piracy is of the highest repugnance. It is a crime against humanity for the deliberate destruction and depriving Tasmanian Aborigines of their invaluable heritage.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is supported by the Rudd government. However, Premier Bartlett has treated it with utter contempt. Specifically Article 46 of the Declaration in part respects both human rights and non-discrimination of a people.

It beggars belief that Premiere Bartlett did not consult with the Aboriginal community prior to this destruction, but also has clearly breached Article 46, and must be rightly condemned for his actions.

Ricky J. Maynard
Legal manager, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Inc

Is graffiti dog shit?

Peter Bosma ("Graffiti is art?" GLW #820) claims graffiti is "visual pollution" and has "as much political message as a dog turd".

I would encourage Peter and other readers to visit <> to view some work by Melbourne graffiti artist Itch. This is but one of millions of examples of graf art you can find on the net. Be sure to view more than just the first page of work.

Is this not art? Don't some of the featured works transcend "dog turd" status to deliver some kind of political statement?

If there were more legal walls, wouldn't there be an impetus for artists to outdo each other in terms of skill, given that they would be able to take their time to do so?

Zane Alcorn
Waratah, NSW

Young people — seen but not heard?

Does Peter Bosma (Write On GLW #820) want us to go back to the old-fashioned days when young people were "seen and not heard"? His idea of "a healthy dose of the importance of respect" implies the opinions, ideas and creative expression of young people just can't fit in with an ideal, straight and narrow society.

"With every right goes a responsibility", he says. What rights? Rights at work? Youth wages, casualised labour and individual contracts mean young workers make up a super-exploited part of the workforce — and that's when we can even get a job, proportionately carrying the highest rate of unemployment in Australia.

Apparently it would also be beneficial to limit our money and free time. The federal government is already doing us the courtesy: the May budget outlined an "earn or learn" policy, in which young people not enrolled in education or employed in any old job will be denied youth allowance. On top of this, compulsory military service is another option.

Young people are the least interested in respecting "the way things are" and often openly and loudly criticise a system that does not act in our interests but instead seeks to control us. For this, our opinions are patronised and our rights curtailed, to the point of jail time for simply carrying a spray can.

Is it any wonder young people get angry or crave some creative outlet for their undeniable alienation?

Jay Fletcher & Lauren Mather,
Wollongong NSW