Letters to the Editor: Climate change isn’t your fault. Here’s what to blame and how to fix it

A forest destroyed by wildfire near Mariposa, Calif., is seen on July 25.
(David McNew / AFP via Getty Images)

To the editor: Your editorial “5 reasons for frustration — and hope — as the world prepares for another U.N. climate summit” could leave a reader thinking that the climate crisis is essentially our fault, that we “just can’t quit” fossil fuels.

But the facts are that coal, oil and gas companies are addicted to a bizarre business model that produces enormous profits while shifting responsibility for the pollution costs of their products onto the public. And, those profits have been used to spread disinformation, purchase allegiance from politicians and effectively delay the transition to a clean-energy future.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that the only obstacles to transitioning to clean energy are political. Affordable renewable energy is available. Although fossil fuel interests are powerful, citizens have political power too.


Let’s give our votes to candidates who will end fossil fuel subsidies, enact legislation to make the polluters pay for the devastation they are causing, and provide the incentives we need to quit these dirty fuels.

Robert Taylor, Santa Barbara


To the editor: Indeed it is frustrating to see that “while most nations have targets to increase renewable energy production, few have even committed to cutting fossil fuels.”

It’s understandable that this is a difficult transition to make, but it’s crucial we do it. As auto manufacturers ramp up their electric vehicles, we need to make the shift to producing the energy to run them from renewables.

The Inflation Reduction Act was a good start, but we need to move beyond that.

Here in the U.S., we can go a long way toward our goal by putting a gradually increasing price on carbon emissions at the mine or well, which has an economy-wide effect. Polluters pay for the damage they’ve done. Renewables become the less expensive option, and the market helps push us in the right direction.

I hope the upcoming COP27 U.N. climate summit is more than just greenwashing. I want to leave a livable planet for my children and grandchildren, and yours too.


Maggie Wineburgh-Freed, Los Angeles