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Jerry Brown's satellite won't be enough to slow climate change

Jerry Brown's satellite won't be enough to slow climate change
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on Thursday. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Steps taken by California and some corporations are encouraging, but they are not sufficient to a crisis of the magnitude and nature of climate change. To escape most of the worst effects requires a level of speed, planning and coordination — in other words, mobilization — that only national governments can pull off.

World War II, apparently a moment of greatness in the eyes of both left and right, contains some crucial examples of the kind of leadership and social cooperation that we need now. When war was declared, it was necessary that American industry — makers of cars and lipstick and baseball gloves — convert to producing tanks and planes and bullets. Did corporations convert at their own pace, according to their own needs? No, they were all required to convert immediately.

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This wasn’t too much of a sacrifice, because the U.S. government conducted war production on a “cost-plus” basis. The government guaranteed a profit to everything a corporation did and produced.

A great challenge like World War II could not be met without government control — in some areas, to whatever degree was necessary for a time. The same applies to the greatest crisis humankind has ever faced.

Steven Schechter, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: What a great idea: Our state is going to get into the satellite-launching business so it can monitor pollution from space. I thought Gov. Jerry Brown might have few last-minute fantasies before the leaves.

I have only one suggestion: Wait until his train to nowhere is built and paid for before he burdens us good citizens with something else we cannot afford.

Skip Bowling, Studio City

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To the editor: Thanks so much to the Los Angeles Times for covering the leadership role California is playing in fighting climate change. It makes me proud to be a Californian and gives me hope that we might prevail in the battle against the greatest threat to humanity.

Your coverage of the summit was stellar, and it was so impressive that the countries represented accounted for 43% of the global economy, according to the organizers. As the fifth-largest economy on the planet, California can make a difference and lead in many beneficial ways.

Robert Kalayjian, Long Beach

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