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Another Australian Politician and the realities of climate change

Okay so the Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack reckons Pacific islanders have to become fruit pickers in Australia in order to survive climate change.Yep problem solved. Why worry about climate change mitigation and adaptation in the region? The Australian Deputy P.M. has got it all figured out.“I also get a little bit annoyed when we have people in those sorts of countries pointing the finger at Australia and say we should be shutting down all our resources sector so that, you know, they will continue to survive,” he said in an exclusive by The Guardian newspaper.“They will continue to survive, there’s no question they’ll continue to survive and they’ll continue to survive on large aid assistance from Australia.“They’ll continue to survive because many of their workers come here and pick our fruit, pick our fruit grown with hard Australian enterprise and endeavour and we welcome them and we always will.“But the fact is we’re not going to be hijacked into doing something that will shut down an industry that provides tens of thousands of jobs, that provides two-thirds of our energy needs ... and I’m only talking coal, let alone all of our other resources.”Pacific island nations have got used to that arrogance and insensitivity from Australia’s political leadership in recent years, as the plea for action by the region’s low-lying coral atoll and island communities become more desperate. Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton did it in 2015 and then environment minister Melissa Price in 2018. Even Scott Morrison has come under scrutiny, with outspoken Fiji P.M. Frank Bainimarama saying he found his Australia colleague’s position on climate change, at the recent Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit in Tuvalu “very insulting and condescending”.Folks in Canberra should realise that a lot more is at stake for communities in the Pacific affected by climate change. Members of the affected communities are on the verge of losing their culture, their identity, their knowledge passed down through generations and an island that they called home for thousands of years. No amount of foreign aid or job intervention schemes such Australia’s seasonal workers program can compensate for their loss.For thousands of years these Pacific communities did not trouble themselves with who or what was beyond their traditional boundaries. They worked their gardens, went fishing, held feasts to mark the big occasions and were generally content with the life they lived. Most of them maintained a subsistence lifestyle, even after their nations’ independence. But when the weather patterns began to change in recent years to expose these communities to rising sea levels, increasing frequency in violent storms, and hotter and drier weather triggered by El Niño – they felt compelled to seek answers from their governments and the international community.That obligation to those affected communities has over the years compelled regional leaders like Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, his Fijian colleague Mr Bainimarama and Tuvalu’s Enele Sopoaga to voice concern with Australia’s carbon footprint, with Mr Sopoaga recently threatening to pull his country out from Australia’s seasonal worker program.It is tragic that the debate on climate change in the Pacific Islands – and its impact on low-lying island communities – has somewhat being overtaken and is now being driven by the geostrategic interests of the United States of America (USA) and its allies such as Australia on one side, and China on the other. Truth be told. Climate change-affected communities in the region do not really care about the geopolitical interests of the USA and China. They would welcome assistance of any form and kind from ‘friends’, and would shudder at any suggestions that they take sides in this Pacific-wide diplomatic wrestle. Prime Minister Tuilaepa put it succinctly in a recent interview with TVNZ.“(The Pacific’s) only interest is to provide the kind of modern living, decent kind of modern living, of our people,” he said.“And all those complicated issues impacting on the geopolitical relationship between the past, that is far beyond our concern.“That is why I have often mentioned this — our friends and their friends are our friends. But their enemies are not our enemies.”Communities in the region and their leaders are not pushing for Australians currently employed in the resource sector to be made redundant, as the Australian Deputy P.M. makes it out to be. The region just want an acknowledgement that climate change is already having an effect on thousands of Australian families – just like in the Pacific islands – and Canberra needs to make a commitment to work towards reducing its carbon emissions for the good of the planet.Have a lovely Tuesday Samoa and God bless.  

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Street Talk

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What does Manu Samoa need to do to prepare for the Rugby World Cup?

To me the Manu Samoa is good right now, but every game I watch they are doing great, and they should know know that in the Rugby World Cup competition they are going against the number one team of every country around the world. Well, from my observation of the game against Fiji, the thing that Manu Samoa need to improve is their fitness of players; the team should have a great fitness but the players have good skills in playing but they lack fitness. My view is Manu Samoa players are still not ready for the Rugby World Cup competition because they will go against Australia, South African, New Zealand and more. In terms of improving, the team should focus on the players' fitness of the back line players. I watched the game Manu Samoa vs Fiji on Saturday night. One thing I picked up  was lack of communication between the players, like the half-back and the first-five-eighth, but I hope when it's time for the Rugby World Cup our Manu Samoa team will be ready.  Watching the game on T.V., the players' fitness is lacking. [It seems they are] not being honest with their training. The coach are doing a great job but the players are the problem. I am a big fan of the Manu Samoa rugby team [and so is] my family. The main thing that they are missing out is discipline of the players. The Manu Samoa should work hard on the fitness of their players because that is the problem and also the discipline of the team. In the game against Fiji team they had lots of errors.For me, the Manu Samoa rugby team is doing good so far. And I support the team win or lose. Things like this happen in every team just like the All Blacks rugby team. But the one thing they should know is that a Samoan person plays from the heart. They should have known how the other teams play. The important thing is the heart of a Samoan because every Samoan represents the country with their hearts.There is a difference within our team's [makeup] and I know that the coach is still looking for some other players [not available for the Pacific Nations Cup]. In the game with Fiji they should have won by many points, but they did not. Improvements should [come from] the skills of the players  such as forwards and the back-line. And they should also work on the errors from the game against the Fiji team. My personal view of our Manu Samoa rugby team: they have not yet reached the level of other teams like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and more. For teams such as Japan, U.S.A, and other teams Manu Samoa [usually] always wins against them. But now they lose. Communication between players is lacking, for example between the second- five-eighth and the half-back. 

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Letter to Editor

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Fair play for women please

Dear Editor,There is an outcry in the ongoing South Pacific Games, unfair play.We have sports catered for male and female how is it that there is a third gender destroying women sports. Where is the fair play that we so proudly claim that our sports uphold?! For a transgender to be allowed to compete with women is beyond outrageous, only a fool will believe that a man who has undergone surgery for a sex change will fully become woman in bone structure and muscle mass. The truth is there is a huge disadvantage to women, men are stronger they have greater muscle mass; they have denser, stronger bones, tendons and ligaments. The hormones that transgender take to reduce testosterone levels does nothing to reduce their strength advantage over women.For New Zealand to push their transgender athletes into the South Pacific Games arena is foul play. Have the rules been changed? Have the South Pacific Games committee put into place rules that allow transgender to compete in the women’s category? I doubt it. We should put forward a protest to this unfair practice before it becomes the norm. Just because the outside world claim it is right does not mean that the Pacific should go along with this stupidity. If they want to compete then they can have their own transgender competitions.For so long we have fought for women’s rights and now we are witnessing the eroding of those rights. If we do not act now, there will no longer be any women’s sport in the future it will be dominated by transgenders. God created male and female, two genders not three.Leutogitupaitea

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