Letters to the Editor: If Californians want cleaner cars on the road, they shouldn’t buy dirty ones

Thanksgiving traffic in L.A.
Los Angeles traffic.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Kudos to the Times for an editorial whose argument is irrefutable. (“To save the planet from climate change, gas guzzlers have to die,” March, 3) Virtually all credible sources stand behind its conclusion.

That conclusion would have been bolstered even more by mentioning the fact that with our state having the nation’s worst air quality, respiratory health alone would justify getting gasoline-powered vehicles off the road as soon as possible. Perusing the website of the California Air Resources Board would give still unconvinced readers instantly accessible information on the numerous studies conducted on childhood asthma and related illnesses that hospitalize and sometimes kill Californians prematurely.

Until we price carbon seriously, gas-guzzling vehicles may kill us even before global warming takes us off the proverbial cliff. We need Congress to act now.


Tom Osborne, Laguna Beach


To the editor: You make the case that “we” have to kill the internal combustion engine. But you write that “manufacturers are still making, and consumers are still buying …” these polluting vehicles. It’s the second part of this sentence that “we” have control over.

While we continue to push for policies to transition away from dirty energy, those interested in making sure no more gas-burning vehicles are ever made again should exercise their right not to buy a new gas car. If you want to see traditional carmakers switch to only making electric vehicles, you need to stop buying their gas cars. If they don’t make an EV you like, tell them you’ll wait. In the meantime, keep your current vehicle, or get a used EV or hybrid.

Paul Scott, Santa Monica


To the editor: There’s too much talk about the importance of our personal automobiles in relation to climate change. It’s understandable. We all drive, and by doing so we know we’re contributing to the problem. But focusing on any one segment of our economy to address climate change is a mistake.

Emissions are in everything we buy. Yet the price of goods does not reflect this danger, and so we have no understanding. So long as fossil fuels are cheap, we’ll continue to rely on them, unwittingly, a lot more than we should.

To get off fossil fuels globally we need to put a price on carbon as it enters the economy — and we need to ramp that price up as rapidly as possible. America can do this and can get the world to do the same.

Mark Tabbert, Costa Mesa


To the editor: The recent editorial on gas guzzlers notes that “at least a dozen nations and a handful of cities and regional governments — including California’s — have pledged to ban sales of conventional gas-powered vehicles, eight of them by 2030 and the rest by 2040.”

California must continue to be a leader in fighting climate change. In particular, I hope purple districts such as Orange County can exemplify how to find commonsense, bipartisan solutions that result in meaningful legislation to fight climate change. Let’s show the rest of the nation how to put partisan bickering aside to pass real-world solutions that unite us in the fight against climate change.

Shani Murray, Placentia


To the editor: Electric cars are tremendous, but they cost a lot of money. Regular people are not buying electric cars — because they cost too much.

John Boyde, Sierra Madre