Opinion

What's causing the catastrophic flooding in Texas is not a hoax, Mr. President

To the editor: Thanks to the Los Angeles Times for once again exposing the link between human-caused climate change and extreme weather events. Indeed, climate experts have understood this connection for many years. (“Harvey should be a warning to Trump that climate change is a global threat,” editorial, Aug. 30)

Some folks publicly denied the threat of climate change for profit reasons, like Exxon Mobil Corp., also reported by The Times. Others chose not to see it, as though global warming was a slow-moving asteroid that would not hit the Earth in the foreseeable future.

The noisy voices of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and others should not obscure the warnings of nearly all climatologists, many military strategists and environmentalists who know the Earth is in danger and time is not on our side.

Let us listen to and join forward-thinking folks like the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group of more than 50 members of Congress. Let’s pay attention to Democrats and Republicans alike, like Al Gore and George Shultz, who work toward a safer planet. Let’s support real answers to this global problem.

The lesson from hurricanes Sandy, Katrina and Harvey is that the future is here.

Margaret Davis, La Verne

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To the editor: Calls for President Trump to adopt enlightened climate change policies will fall on deaf ears.

He’s too concerned with maintaining high approval ratings among his benighted backers; they champion economic expansion at any environmental cost. Why worry about one's descendants suffering extensive environmental degradation when the immediate cost for burning fossil fuels is a bit lower than using renewable resources?

So Trump will keep tuning out the 97% of climate scientists who concur that reducing fossil fuel consumption would decrease the likelihood of extreme weather events. It won’t matter if that percentage increases to 99.9% — there’s no countering the Trump administration’s willful ignorance.

That is, unless the president suddenly becomes concerned with how history will rate him.

David Schaffer, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Has anyone connected the immense complex of oil refineries in and around Houston and the catastrophic floods? It looks like the monsters of fossil fuel coming home to haunt the people.

I ask Trump: Can we can find a better way than homelessness and death to wake us up? I say rev up our alternative energy sector while we rescue and provide homes for people. If we do nothing about the causes of these extreme events, we are fated to increase the waves of desperate climate refugees across the world.

Exxon Mobil knows that humans extracting fossil fuels has exacerbated this. Is it too much to ask it, along with our leaders, to find a way out?

Roselva Ungar, Santa Clarita

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To the editor: Reversing Obama administration policies designed to adapt to the catastrophic effects of global warming amounts to negligence, and most certainly to economic devastation, as we all must pay for the reckless ignorance of the federal government under Trump.

I would only add to your fine editorial that we also must mitigate the causes of these disasters. Harvey screams to us: “Put a price on carbon now!”

If we do not hear and heed that demand, we will be listening to our own pleas for help soon enough.

Sharon Markenson, Woodland Hills

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