Letters to the Editor: Humans have spent decades ruining forests. ‘Managing’ them won’t help much

Smoke rises in the distance from the Bobcat fire
The Bobcat fire, seen from the 105/605 freeway interchange in Norwalk on Sept. 20, continues to burn, becoming one of the largest fires in L.A. County history.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: When you hear people talk about forest management and wildfires, it gives the impression that humans can manage nature. It is arrogant to think nature can be managed. (“Bobcat fire grows to 103,000 acres, making it one of L.A. County’s largest blazes ever,” Sept. 20)

We have destroyed the biodiversity of our forests, which thrived before humans decided they could impose their will on nature. Yes, fires occur naturally, but the forest also had a wide variety of plants and animals. For decades they have been cut and then replanted with little regard to biodiversity.

Now climate change threatens the very existence of our forests. It is sad that we have learned nothing from the past and still believe we can manage nature.

We elect people who don’t believe in science and watch year after year as the fires get worse. We need to elect serious people who believe in science, and we need to start working with nature and not against it. No matter what you believe, the natural world doesn’t care.


Linda Shabsin, Diamond Bar


To the editor: Steve Lopez’s column showed how not only wildfires but also a cascade of other devastating effects testify to the threat of climate change. However, I must disagree with the print headline, “Nature’s dire warnings on climate are impossible to ignore.”

The fossil-fuel industry, along with its customers who rely on its artificially low-cost energy enabled by billions in government subsidies, have clearly done the impossible. It is far past time to keep waiting for these parties and their enablers to pay attention to science or “do the right thing.”

National legislation must be passed, immediately, to end subsidies of fossil fuel, to tax carbon emissions appropriately, and to prove on an economic level that clean energy is the only choice for the future — because money is the only language science-deniers speak, and limiting the discussion to wildfires gives them another easy out.

Kevin Oeser, Burbank