To the editor: The federal government’s National Climate Assessment does not merely remind us of the threats to our society posed by climate change. It states unequivocally that the effects of our consumption of carbon-bearing fuels are upon us today and paints a dire picture of the future if we continue this profligacy.
Although this paper and the equally alarming recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been glibly dismissed by the White House, we should respond with renewed resolve to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
The new Congress provides a great opportunity. Let’s demand that our representatives reach across the aisle and use climate change as a bridge, not a wedge. A unified Congress can reinstate the environmental regulations lifted by the Trump administration and pass legislation leading to drastic reductions in our consumption of fossil fuels.
Michael Werner, Pasadena
To the editor: A new federal study tells us that we can expect, among other things, “widespread and growing devastation” if we don’t move decisively to get off fossil fuels.
If space aliens were causing climate change, Americans would demand that we use some of the greater than half-trillion dollars we spend annually on defense to defend ourselves from this existential threat. But since climate change is a byproduct of our own economy, we seem incapable of confronting it realistically.
Switching our civilization to clean energy is a huge enterprise that will require both human ingenuity and a lot of money. A tax on fossil fuels would be a good start, reflecting the damage carbon consumption causes and incentivizing the use of alternatives.
Whatever we do, we must get serious and move fast.
Grace Bertalot, Anaheim
To the editor: “It's bad. It's getting worse. But our choices can and do make a difference. So: act now,” tweeted Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.
Act now. That’s something all of us can do, beginning with the holidays. We can make choices to reduce our carbon footprint and generate a sustainable economy.
Buy less, buy differently, and buy smarter. Give fewer presents and spend more on quality and durability. Pay attention to packaging and recycle as much of it as you can.
Give the gift of time, like an outing to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, where admission is free for kids. Everyone gets in for free at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, where the National Geographic Photo Ark is spectacular.
By our choices we will generate new and better jobs — jobs that add value to our lives and protect the planet.
Mary Bomba, Los Angeles