Letters to the editor, January 10, 2016

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 January, 2016, 10:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 January, 2016, 6:33pm

Carbon trading schemes are a scam

With reference to Lee Faulkner’s letter, “Climate models are imperfect tools, but they can’t be ignored” (December 31), I would like to know which models Mr Faulkner thinks we should use?

The model advocated at UN climate change summit in Paris is based only on carbon dioxide driving climate change. It does not take account the sun and volcanic activity, which more than 1,000 genuine scientists point to as the real drivers of long-term climate change.

Mr Faulkner, which models should we refer to and what factors are included in these models? And over 4.5 billion years, what percentage of climate change is driven by the sun and volcanoes compared with that driven by carbon dioxide? Please be specific.

To date, the Paris model for predicting climate change has not been close to reality. Unless it is shown that a model is accurate in its predictions, it is a waste of precious resources fighting things like carbon dioxide, which does not drive but rather respond to climate change.

Many writers and columnists have wrongly referred to carbon emissions as affecting air quality. Carbon emissions are odourless and invisible and are not part of the air quality index. People are being hoodwinked into supporting carbon trading schemes thinking that they will improve air quality when, in reality, they won’t.

These are the same people – the bankers – who continually plunge the world into chaos by printing money to bail themselves out.

It is time to take a stand against carbon trading schemes as they are nothing more than a private tax on every product we buy. This private tax will go straight into the pockets of bankers, who will then spend our money on highly polluting cars and jet around the world.

Rather than engaging in carbon trading scams, it is better to spend this money on tackling air quality directly.

Ordinary people need to take a stand against these “banksters” and politicians with ambitions to control the world by creating false fear in people.

We need to wake up to the fact that carbon emissions are not part of the factors affecting our air quality, as many green groups try to make us believe. Otherwise, we will once again be paying private taxes to fund the jet-setting lifestyle of bankers.

If the bankers and green groups were really green, they would not be trading carbon dioxide but spending money on directly reducing pollutants and toxins in products.

Luke Chan, Wan Chai

Most children benefit from strict parenting

There’s been some talk about the different styles of parenting. I think many teenagers today lose their temper easily and are rude to their parents. I believe this is down to the change in parenting style.

In the past, parents discipline their children very strictly, including by smacking them when they misbehave. Although in some cases this can affect a child’s growing up and psychological development, for many it is an effective way to teach.

Today, however, many parents are permissive and indulge their children. They don’t punish them when they behave badly; they forgive them.

I think forgiveness cannot help teach a child properly as this would encourage extreme behaviour in children.

Authoritative parenting is the best way to teach children. Let children feel the love from parents, but they must learn the right lessons too, as long as the punishment is appropriate and suitable.

This is the only way to produce a person with good manners.

Katie Lo, Tseung Kwan O

Taxes must increase to fund pension

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has given a clear picture of the issues Hong Kong faces in order to introduce retirement protection (“War of words: Carrie Lam says Hong Kong government adviser on retirement protection doesn’t fully understand public financing”, December 23).

Money won’t grow on trees and an upward revision of taxes is a must to ensure the scheme is funded.

Those fascinated by radicals’ retirement security illusions should now wake up to reality.

Peter Wei, Kwun Tong

Best to develop the habit of exercise early

There has been much discussion recently that the Hong Kong government should encourage children to do more exercise, so as to tackle childhood obesity.

With the convenience of mobile devices and the ease of public transport, it is no surprise that our children are not getting enough exercise today.

In the past, in the weekends when the parents were not working, they would bring their children out to play; however, today, most children are glued to the screen playing computer games. More are playing virtual games than playing games out in the field.

But there are ways to encourage children to develop the habit of exercise. For instance, parents can involve their children in daily chores around the house, such as gardening, washing the car, vacuuming (for much older children) and cleaning.

They can also encourage their children to exercise together, such as by walking together with them to school or kindergarten. Alternatively, when taking public transport such as the bus, parents and their children can get off several stops earlier so that they can walk to their destination together.

Most importantly, parents themselves must set a good example. There is no use in telling their children the benefits of exercise while they themselves are couch potatoes.

Despite their busy work schedule, parents should still spare one weekend to take their children outdoors. Going on a hike together may also be an option, if the children are old enough.

Parents should also try their best to participate in their children’s school Sports Day event. When children know that their parents are interested in the physical activities held in school, they are more likely to play an active role as well.

Eunice Li Dan-Yue, Singapore

Disabled car owners given short shrift

You recently published a letter from a disabled car driver who complained that parking spaces designated for disabled drivers were sometimes occupied by cars not displaying the appropriate permit (“Misuse of parking space for disabled”, January 4). I can empathise with him. I am disabled and confined to a wheelchair. I am tempted to complain when I have to wait five to 10 minutes for an able-bodied female to vacate a toilet designated for disabled persons.

However, I hope your correspondent may have some sympathy for a disabled car owner as distinct from a disabled car driver.

As a disabled car driver, your correspondent is entitled to the following privileges:

Remission of first registration tax on a new car conforming to specified criteria

Remission of tax on petrol consumed by his car

Reduction in tunnel tolls

Reduction in fees in government car parks

Use of designated car parking spaces

As a disabled car owner who is not permitted to drive, I am not entitled to any of those privileges. Recently, a friend took me to lunch at a shopping centre in Tseung Kwan O. He rang the building administration and obtained permission to park my car in a space designated for disabled drivers.

During lunch, he received a telephone call asking him to move my car because a disabled driver had complained. My friend had to leave his lunch and move my car a considerable distance away.

Colin Campbell, Mid-Levels

Zero tolerance on abuse of disabled bays

I refer to Gordon Loch’s letter regarding able-bodied drivers using disabled bays (“Misuse of parking space for disabled”, January 4). It is the ultimate in arrogance when this happens. There should be zero tolerance on this issue.

In the Pacific Place car park, it is often abused and I have no qualms in positioning the movable disabled sign right beside the driver’s door to remind the selfish person of their thoughtless behaviour.

This, however, is mild when compared to an incident I observed last year in London. A disabled car driver was incandescent with rage when an able-bodied person refused to move their car to allow him to park and unload his disabled daughter; after a terse exchange of words, the driver of the disabled vehicle picked up a metal chair from an outside cafe and smashed it through the windscreen of the able-bodied persons car.

Perhaps that was not the correct course of action but one completely understandable to any of us who have to deal with people who park in disabled bays.

Mark Peaker, The Peak