Readers React: How ignoring climate change is like letting malignant cancer go untreated


To the editor: Op-ed article author Bill McKibben is a climate champion. He’s like a physician telling his patient, “I know you feel pretty good right now, but unless we treat the malignancy soon….” (“Jerry Brown’s work to seal his climate legacy is only half done,” Opinion, April 11)

The sound of one hand clapping? Depends on the other hand. Unless we are that other hand itself, using all our strength, we will let the malignancy — floods, droughts, fires, heat waves, sea level rise, scrambled ecologies, pollution and its millions of premature deaths — grow catastrophically for the entire civilization.

Five fingers, five approaches: Cap and trade, corporate fuel economy regulations strengthened, a national price on carbon, personal low-carbon choices, and limiting fossil fuel production are all necessary remedies to treat the slowly growing, easily ignored cancer of climate change.


We can choose the politicians who choose health over donor’s wealth in the next election. As McKibben says, “If we win too slowly, we lose.”

Jan Freed, Santa Monica


To the editor: McKibben extols Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to summon the world to his “last-chance” Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September.

How are the attendees from South America, Europe, Asia and Africa supposed to get to California? Battery powered canoes, perhaps?

The 2015 Paris Climate Conference attendees burned massive amounts of fuel to fly there. Wouldn’t teleconferencing suffice for the September summit and almost all future environmental conferences?

Richard Stegemeier, Anaheim


To the editor: Thanks for printing McKibben’s cogent nudge to our governor to take a step further in his protection of our planet.

McKibben suggests that Brown halt the granting of new state permits for oil and gas extraction and fossil fuel infrastructure in poor communities, which have suffered the most from the high levels of pollution. Now research out of the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, finds that whites living near those same communities also suffer increased exposure to pollution.

Clearly, we all have reason to support the movement for environmental justice as it gathers strength in Los Angeles.

Kathy Seal, Santa Monica

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