Readers React: This is what climate change looks like. It’s time to make some unpopular changes now

The Woolsey fire burns above Malibu on Saturday.
(Kyle Grillot / For the Washington Post)

To the editor: Sometimes our actions seek to freeze time and keep things as they are, but the world keeps turning regardless. (“California is on fire. It won’t be the last time. Let’s get ready,” editorial, Nov. 10)

The effects of climate change are increasing, requiring unpopular adjustments to existing policies. The heightened risk of fires in wildland-urban interface zones will require the creation of special assessment districts in these areas. Residents will protest being burdened with the costs of protecting them, but we need to discourage living in these increasingly hazardous areas.

Similarly, coastal property owners will soon be affected by rising sea levels and increased storm events, and limits on reconstruction in coastal zones should be considered.

Ed Salisbury, Santa Monica



To the editor: Great editorial on the devastating fires in California. I agree that in the short term, building codes need to be revised and some limits need to be placed on where people can build. Building in wilderness areas with a high propensity for fires is asking for trouble.

In the long term, we need to take action to limit climate change, or the fires will only get worse as the years go by. Whatever we are doing now needs to be accelerated before it is too late.

My heart goes out to those who have lost everything.


Larry Kramer, San Juan Capistrano


To the editor: The growing fire menace in California and several other states makes it obvious that more needs to be done to combat this threat. Lives, property and natural resources are at stake.

I propose that we allocate a significant portion of our massive military budget to improving early detection of fires. We must also build up resources to fight these fires once they are detected. And, it should go without saying that much more needs to be done to confront global warming.

Can we have a national discussion on this issue?

David Atwood, Houston


To the editor: To all the persons complaining about the high pay earned by firefighters, now is the time to volunteer. Go to Malibu, relieve some of the guys who have been there for days and reduce the “unwarranted” overtime pay.


I’m sure you will find the experience eye-opening.

M.J. Johnston, Costa Mesa

The writer is a retired Los Angeles County Fire Department captain.

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