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Letters to the Editor: California leads on climate policy. We need to get tougher

A person in athletic wear jump roping with a view of downtown L.A. shrouded in smoke
Smokey air caused by wildfires partly obscures the view of downtown Los Angeles from Griffith Park in 2020.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: Most Californians are wise to realize we are in trouble, but will we take enough action with policy to prevent a dangerous future? (“Majority of Californians fear worsening weather swings due to climate change, poll finds,” June 1, and “Earth is ‘really quite sick now’ and in danger zone in nearly all ecological ways, study says,” May 31)

Having grown up in the South, where environmental policy is not even a bump in the road to prevent the bulldozing of nature, I am so thankful to be an environmental attorney in California, where we can make progressive policies that set the standard for our nation.

Our vehicle emission standards and fuel efficiency requirements, which the Trump and George W. Bush administrations both fought, have moved America forward. We are the fifth-largest economy in the world, and car manufacturers have to contend with California standards.

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But California still has a long way to go to ensure a livable future. Although our air quality has improved, despite huge population growth and more vehicles on the road, our air pollution is still the worst in the nation.

We have one planet. Let’s agree to keep it habitable and invest in more solutions, not more pollution.

Lisa Boyle, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: Your side-by-side articles are scary, but they only hint at our predicament.

In 40 years there may be 2 billion more people on Earth. Our already hot world (with 1 degree Celsius of warming) will be hotter (with 2 degrees of warming). The poles are warming much faster.

Water will be more valuable than oil as the glaciers melt and water tables are depleted. Fertile soil will be harder to find, and fertilizer run-offs will create more dead zones along the coasts.

Droughts, floods and wildfires will increase. Rainforests and coral reefs will be lost, along with their biological diversity. The rice-producing Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam will be poisoned by saltwater intrusion. Equatorial regions will be too hot for people to live, forcing a tsunami of migrating people, along with migrating infectious diseases.

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Our scary problems will become our children’s and grandchildren’s terrifying problems. What we do now decides their future.

Phil Beauchamp, Chino Hills

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