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The anti-Obama pettiness that could scuttle a climate deal

To the editor: John Bolton's and John Yoo's piece on the ongoing United Nations climate-change conference in Paris is a depressing example of the toxic level of partisanship in politics today. ("Paris climate conference: Without Congress' support, Obama's dealmaking powers are limited," Opinion, Dec. 1)

Bolton and Yoo simply recite the truth when they write, "Administration officials surely realize that any climate-change treaty would be dead on arrival in the Senate."

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It does not matter what substantive progress might be achieved; if it is in treaty form, it is "dead on arrival." The childish commitment to preventing any kind of accomplishment by President Obama is despicable.

The complexity of this issue and the dire consequences of a changing climate should engage the best and highest spirit of intellectual cooperation from all of us. To stand on the sidelines and catcall is not useful.

We need to set aside differences, which in this context are really petty, and try to find a common way forward for the sake of our children's children.

Jim Lashly, Ojai

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To the editor: Bolton and Yoo fail to mention that sometimes treaties just take a while to pass in Congress. That does not mean they are not worthwhile.

After all, we are only a series of environmental catastrophes away from a more universal appreciation of our dire straits. Let's talk about a treaty on limiting climate change after the effects of El Niño are felt, shall we?

Globally, major meteorological events (which include major storms) have doubled since 1980. Major hydrological events have tripled since then. These include floods, landslides and avalanches. Major climatological events have quadrupled since 1980. These include extreme temperatures, droughts and forest fires.

Welcome to the future. The path is nonlinear.

Siegfried Othmer, Woodland Hills

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