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There’s an interesting line in Graham Richardson’s article (“Labor could do with a slice of Baird’s humble pie” 14/10). “The Premier learned that you cannot legislate a culture out of existence.” There are a whole lot of same-sex marriage advocates who think you can.

Brian Harkett, Crib Point, Vic.

Comparing politicians to used car salesmen is a bit rough (Letters, 14/10). Consumer law gives us some protection against a dodgy salesman but we have no protection from dodgy politicians. So, let’s go with the 150 used car salesmen who would be able to vote on what they believe, not as they are told.

Glenys Clift, Toowoomba, Qld

Those who believe the science has been settled on climate change are rearing their heads again. The science is far from settled; in fact there are numerous articles from learned sources that debunk the notion that climate change is man-made. We should prevent climate change becoming a new religion.

Leo Vilensky, Castle Cove, NSW

It is apparent that Donald Trump is a pioneer for the next wave of American conservatives. The Republican Party never recovered from their choice of Mitt Romney as its 2012 nominee, and allowed the Democratic Party to create an age of entitlement while neglecting, to the point of destruction, American industry.

We are witnessing the emergence of a new political direction, free of the shackles of the past. The clue is that Trump, for all his eccentricities, beat all candidates for the nomination. It may not matter if wins or not, for the US is usually first in recognising outdated systems and striking out in new directions.

Our own parliamentary system is also broken and inhabited by self-serving ambition. Witness our reluctance to admit what our previous treasurer pointed out; the age of entitlement is over. In the words of the playwright Arthur Miller, “An era ends when its illusions can no longer be sustained.” Unless that is recognised, the vortex of disaster gets steeper and faster.

Alexander Kallas, Somers, Vic.

Peter Gilet (Letters, 14/10) is correct about carbon dioxide having nothing to do with global warming. But his statement that it wouldn’t make any difference if all the world’s coal-fired power stations were closed, is hardly correct.

Closing down all coal-fired power station would also close down the world’s industry and manufacturing, which would put millions out of work, cause starvation, and throw the world back to the dark ages. But we wouldn’t have any carbon dioxide, so that would make the Greens happy.

Darryl Hennig, Southport, Qld

In his excellent article, Graham Richardson says he “believes in climate change” (“Labor could do with a slice of Baird’s humble pie”, 14/10). I’m always intrigued by the use of that word, belief, when people express their views. As a geologist, I know that climate change has happened in the past, sometime catastrophically.

I also know that, following the Industrial Revolution, man-made pollution has increased markedly and has had an affect on climate in concert with natural forces. Exactly how much, no one knows.

I do not use the word believe. I have a saying: “Belief is when someone else does your thinking for you.” The use of the word believe should be restricted to religion and politics.

Mike Young, Swanbourne, WA