Letters to the Editor: Stop saying we don’t care about climate change. That blames voters, not leaders

Two siblings look at flames from the Bobcat fire from their backyard in Monrovia on Sept. 15, 2020.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I’m beginning to think that think tanks exist to gaslight voters. “People don’t care about climate change” is a perfect example of this. (“Americans don’t care about climate change. Here’s how to wake them up,” Opinion, Sept. 22)

This is just like pricing fast food to target people below the poverty line, and then saying that they don’t care about their health. People care about the things they can control.

If you want them engaged in decarbonizing our economy, then price it into their actual lives. If the cost of carbon pollution is built into the price of everything, then people participate at every price point within their economic influence.


For decades policymakers have been proposing a steadily rising, border-adjusted price on greenhouse gas emissions at the point of production that would realize the cost of fossil fuels and put the onus where it belongs: with polluters.

Policymaking is power that most people don’t functionally have. They don’t need to be gaslit and victim blamed to boot.

Pam Brennan, Newport Beach


To the editor: Public relations expert David Fenton is spot on with his contention that efforts to sway public opinion to address climate change that emphasize its impact on animals or “climate justice” are doomed to failure. Marketers know that most of us will only be sold on a product or idea if it benefits us in a personal and immediate way.

Similarly, efforts to promote “Medicare for all” fail when they appeal to Americans’ sympathies toward those with inadequate access to healthcare. Instead, activists need to hammer home the fact that we are all being ripped off by insurance companies and would pay less for the same level of care with a single-payer system.

Unfortunately, many of us care even less about our fellow citizens who are struggling than we do about polar bears.


Gerald Gollin, Solana Beach


To the editor: In listing possible consequences of climate change, columnist Nicholas Goldberg left out perhaps the most important one — possible extinction.

Perhaps not entirely, but if the middle of the Earth, say from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn, becomes uninhabitable, how many people will the remainder of the planet support?

The only difference between us and the dinosaurs is we can see it coming.

John Snyder, Newbury Park