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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: King Canute couldn’t lower the tide, and denial can’t stop climate change

Flooding in south Florida
Storm surge-related flooding in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2012.
(Susan Stocker / Sun-Sentinel)

To the editor: The article “Historic American towns have endured wars, storms. What about sea rise?” rightly laments how towns along the southeast U.S. coast are facing an “existential crisis” because of rising seas.

The apocryphal story of King Canute tells of the Scandinavian king of England centuries ago sitting at the sea’s edge, proving to his sycophantic courtiers that even his mighty commands were insufficient to stop the incoming tide. There’s a modern-day takeaway.

Research has unnervingly pointed out that some 150 million people around the globe live below what will be the high-tide level in 2050. America’s coastal communities are among them.

Maybe those who have denied climate change will now heed the scientists, acknowledging that efforts have proved insufficient to cease the advancing tides. Without intervention to protect the world’s commons, more coastal communities will submerge, causing vast disruption to our economies, lives and social order.

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Keith Tidman, Bethesda, Md.

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To the editor: This article notes, “North Carolina passed a law in 2012 preventing the state from forming coastal policies based on sea rise predictions.”

That’s vision.

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So, to our friends in North Carolina, all I can say is that the water seeping under your door is a hoax, the furniture floating away is a lie, and pay no attention to that giant wave behind the curtain.

Scott R. Denny, Santa Ana

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To the editor: Addressing climate change, now the top priority of California voters, is actually rather simple: Stop using fossil fuels to power our cars, trucks and planes, and replace all gas-operated water heaters, stoves and furnaces with appliances that use renewable energy.

Then, accelerate the development of renewable energy derived from solar, wind and geothermal sources, and improve battery storage. The technology to do this is available and getting cheaper.

To hasten this transition, citizens must help their legislators stand up to the enormous power of the fossil fuel industry, which has created a highly polluting oil and gas infrastructure operated and controlled by some of the world’s largest and most profitable multinational corporations.

Those companies are motivated by profit, not the common good or the survival of the planet.

Christle Balvin, Pasadena


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