Readers React: The U.N.'s grim climate change report gives Democrats the chance to save humanity

Electricity-generating wind turbines on a wind farm in the San Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs.
(David McNew / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: The United Nations report on the existential impacts of climate change is nightmarish, and I’m sure I’m not the only millennial terrified for my babies’ future. It’s so easy to feel helpless because of the Republicans’ refusal to right the course and create a healthier, carbon-neutral society. I am desperate to hear the voices of true leadership tell me that they are going to save humanity from this disaster.

So I’m begging the Democrats in Congress: Hold a nationally televised news conference and have your most dynamic members declare that our future is safe and that the Democrats have a blueprint to get us to a carbon-neutral future. Tell us about your plans for high-speed commuter and freight rail. Tell us about your plans to expand renewable energy and storage technologies. Tell us about your incentive programs to put an electric vehicle in every driveway in the country. Tell us about how you will conserve and repair our forests.

Tell us about how you will team together with the other leaders on the planet to pay the oil and coal companies to keep fossil fuels in the ground because after all, it’s just money and the future of humanity is at stake. The opportunities are endless.

The young people of this country need to sleep peacefully again knowing that our future is safe. Do not waste another minute, Democrats — get those cameras rolling.


Shira E. Norman, Los Angeles


To the editor: It’s sadly fitting that your editorial on the approaching climate disaster should appear on the same day that Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with a force that hadn’t been seen there in almost 100 years.

One of the suspected reasons is that global warming has caused the ocean temperatures in that area to rise two degrees above normal for this time of year, making it a breeding ground for a storm of this magnitude.


Climate change deniers (including our president) are certainly entitled to their opinions, but wouldn’t it be more sensible for them to at least listen to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the vast majority of scientists who are warning us that the point of no return is rapidly approaching?

Climate deniers may be convinced that they’re right, but if they’re wrong, the alternative is downright catastrophic.

Darrell S. Breckenfeld, Corona


To the editor: So experts agree that global climate change, though gradual, will be catastrophic unless we take steps to stop it — but the political will to do so is lacking.

Here’s something that’s perhaps relevant and hopeful in this context: Research has shown that, contrary to the oft-repeated platitude, frogs in slowly heating water do jump out in time to save themselves. Perhaps these frogs’ example can help us humans muster more political will.

Eric Mankin, Los Angeles



To the editor: Sadly, the wide-ranging lack of political will to address climate change only portends a more calamitous and pestilential existence for the generations that follow us.

It lends credence, however, to one of the hypothetical explanations for the Fermi paradox (or, “Why do we see no signs of intelligent life in the universe even though there’s a high probability for it?”): It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself.

I hope we, as a species, can rally to meet this existential threat.

Scott McCarty, Ventura

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