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Opinion

Readers React: Californians can ride in cars or fight climate change. They can’t do both

LONG BEACH, CALIF. -- WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2018: A view of traffic on the 710 Freeway as viewed f
Cars and trucks move on a crowded 710 Freeway in Long Beach in February 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: So pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are rising again in California — no surprise there, what with services like Uber and Lyft contributing to the number of single-occupancy vehicles on the road.

Why do people think they are committing a social good when patronizing such services? They are another arrow in the heart of working folks and yet another way to evade public transportation.

And while I’m on the subject, what about the proliferation of sport utility vehicles in place of sedans? It is simple science — large vehicles require more energy and therefore burn more gasoline to move than smaller ones. When will we stop deluding ourselves and start making the sacrifices necessary for Earth to remain hospitable to life?

Susan Wolfson, Glendale

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To the editor: California can reduce climate-changing emissions from its biggest source of pollution —transportation — independent of President Trump’s threats to fuel economy standards. Here’s how.

Emissions from cars and trucks are on the rise. That’s because we are driving more. Zero-emission vehicles aren’t the only solution.

We have to reduce the need to drive, and we can. We can invest in high-quality bus, train and light-rail service, and build homes and jobs close to transit. We can rebuild streets to make it easier and safer to walk and bike. We can fund excellent transportation options instead of widening highways.

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We don’t need the federal government to do this for us. It’s time to invest our transportation dollars in projects that actually support our climate goals. It’s time for California to lead.

Chanell Fletcher, Oakland

The writer is director of the nonprofit advocacy group ClimatePlan.

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To the editor: Your article on rising auto emissions blames the Trump administration, low gas prices, less efficient vehicles and a slower-than-expected transition to electric vehicles as the reason for California’s increasing auto emissions.

Those of us who drive in Los Angeles know the more likely causes: the city’s failure to adequately regulate development, a lack of intelligent urban planning, and the California Department of Transportation’s complete failure to provide adequate vehicular infrastructure. We have overcrowding, gridlock and too much exhaust.

When a trip that once took 20 minutes now takes 50, is it any surprise that vehicle emissions are rising?

Richard Rothschild, Los Angeles

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