Letters to the Editor: Has California crossed the tipping point into climate change hell?

El Dorado fire
Firefighters work to put out embers from the El Dorado fire in Yucaipa on Sept. 7.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The sun is glowing orange behind a layer of smoke. There is a layer of ash covering everything. The air smells like fire. (“California’s biggest fire season may worsen as powerful winds return Tuesday,” Sept. 8)

This happened before, when the Camp fire, the deadliest wildfire in California’s history, destroyed much of the city of Paradise in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Now it’s happening again as California has another record-breaking fire season.

For decades now, we have known that the planet’s climate is changing, that the consequences would be catastrophic, and that we are the cause. And for decades now, we have not been doing enough.


There are no more excuses. Ignorance is not acceptable. Greed is intolerable. Procrastination must end. We can no longer assume that there will always be a habitable planet for us — because unless we enact major changes now, there won’t be.

Henry Mantel, Los Angeles


To the editor: First there were the climate change deniers. Now that global warming has become irrefutable, there are the “oh, well, what can we do?” folks who accept it as an inconvenient truth. The climate elephant in the room has become so large that we can barely move around it.

Most of us would like to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, but when it is over, the climate crisis will still be with us. It affects everything from weather patterns to economics to racial inequality. It is the existential issue of all time.

Fifty years ago there was a largely unheeded call for action. Today this is an emergency of a magnitude that we cannot ignore.

As Oberlin College environmental scientist David Orr said, “Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause on a dying planet.” Let’s make this the very top news story every day, a litmus test for candidates, and a call to action.


Margaret Baker Davis, La Verne


To the editor: Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. It’s a lofty ambition, and as a society we should certainly continue to work toward this from a technological perspective.

However, our state’s trees are going up in flames. How are we ever going to offset this catastrophic disaster?

I was born and raised in California, and it is the only place I have ever lived and called home. It feels and looks and smells to me that our climate has crossed a line.

I’m still personally going solar, but I am pretty much speechless and sad beyond words.

Mitzi Schwarz, Los Angeles


To the editor: I recommend that every anti-science spokesman who does not believe in climate change and thinks it is a hoax be required to sit in a room without air conditioning.


Robert Schechter, Los Angeles