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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Why climate change activists aren’t hypocrites for driving cars

Climate change
A group of teenage protesters participates in a “Fridays for Future” demonstration against climate change in Washington on May 24.
(Eric Baradat / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: One letter writer attempts to paint young environmental activists as hypocrites, noting that the protesters probably traveled using fossil fuel-powered transportation and use phones made mostly of plastic, a petroleum product.

What the writer ignores is that our entire society is structured in such a way that avoiding fossil fuels or petroleum-based products is nearly impossible. Any resident of California is well aware that our poorly planned cities make us car dependent, whether we like it or not. The food we purchase at the market is often packaged with plastic, whether we like it or not.

Fighting climate change is a massive undertaking that governments must lead. It is time to transition to renewable energy and to redevelop our cities with a focus on people, not cars. It is time to drastically reduce the amount of meat we consume. Production of goods needs to become decentralized and ethically and environmentally responsible.

Individual choices matter but are not enough. Laws must be passed to prevent such profound damage to the planet from ever occurring again. The human species must change its lifestyle and relationship with Earth.

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Peter Johnson, Camarillo


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