Opinion: California is on fire — in December. Congress, do something about climate change.

Smoke from the Skirball fire rises above the 405 Freeway near Bel-Air on Dec. 6.
(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: It’s official: The worst fire season in California history has arrived. Your editorial points out that our warming climate may have played an important role. (“While Southern California battles its wildfires, we have to start preparing for our hotter, drier future,” editorial, Dec. 6)

It is important not to let our fear, anger or wishful thinking lead to helpless despair. Adaptation must work alongside a greening economy. We should know there are bipartisan actions our leaders in Congress can take.

One solution: Putting a price on carbon and rebating the fees to citizens would, several groups report, reduce carbon emissions up to 50% in 20 years. By holding fossil fuel companies responsible for their damages and attaching fees to the use of their products, the economics of clean energy would improve, stimulating innovation and creating jobs. The rebates protect consumers as well.

Fires in Bel-Air, Ventura and Sylmar: No one is immune to the stark dangers from this warming climate. When you require lawmakers to support climate solutions as a way to earn your vote, you are voting for your neighbors, your pocketbook, the precious natural world and yourself.


Jan Freed, Los Angeles


To the editor: I would urge the board to also educate the people on unique dangers of fires and wildfires. There are people out there who are uneducated about this.

Many fires are caused by human activity. We have to urge people to be much more vigilant and aware of their actions. We need to raise awareness.


Lionel Mares, Sun Valley


To the editor: One of the main reasons the fires across California have been so bad is because much of the state had two wet winters in a row, which led to a profusion of growth that died and dried into the summer, fall and winter.

It is stupid to conflate climate change with weather and to make short-term predictions based on models for long-term trends. Please keep this in mind when crafting your next editorial.

David M. Marcus, Los Angeles

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