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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: This octogenarian rides his bike to save the planet. You can too

Biking
A cyclist rides along the Los Angeles River near Atwater Village.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As Peter Kalmus writes, there are many ways an individual can reduce his carbon footprint. Not at all intending to pat myself on the back, I’d like to provide some of my own examples to show what an ordinary person can do to help mitigate climate change.

Years ago I installed solar heating for my swimming pool, and five years ago I put up solar panels for my home’s electricity. I purchased a plug-in hybrid car, which is powered most of the time only by electricity. My lawn has been removed and replaced with native plants.

I ride a bicycle for minor errands (I am more than 80 years old). I also planted a garden, and most of my food waste is either composted or fed to a worm bed. Leaves and plant trimmings are composted for mulch. Two rain barrels collect water for irrigation, and I keep a bucket in my shower also to collect water for my plants. I have reusable bags for shopping.

None of these is difficult to do or reduces my quality of life. On the contrary, I believe they enhance it.

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Larry Kramer, San Juan Capistrano

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To the editor: Kalmus makes some good suggestions about personally reducing our carbon footprint. However, I don’t share his optimism about the climate’s future due to the clear-cutting and burning of the world’s precious rain forests.

At the same time we are pouring carbon into the atmosphere, we are destroying nature’s way of filtering out carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Mankind needs to confront this disastrous double whammy before it’s too late.

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Mark McIntyre, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Can we hope that the attack in Saudi Arabia may have an unintended consequence and deal a death blow to our fossil fuel addiction? Perhaps now minds will move from rationalizing our dependence on carbon to understanding that green energy is not susceptible to drones, hijacking or international cartels.

We have ignored the catastrophic effects of oil, coal and gas -- despite rising seas, deaths from pollution, and the billowing clouds of war -- because we think of climate change as the next generation’s costly problem, and we cannot muster the courage to rise above our indifference to make this planet habitable for our children.

We have much to gain by taking these strikes in Saudi Arabia as a trumpet call to move as quickly as possible from an economy that relies on planet-wide suicide to one that can insure a clean and productive future.

Carl Selkin, Pasadena


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