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Letters to the Editor: Hey, climate-denying politicians, was destroying the planet worth the money?

A house burns in the Bobcat Fire on Sept. 6.
A house burns in the Bobcat fire in Juniper Hills on the north slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains on Sept. 6.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The forests don’t need to be raked. But it might be best to rake up dishonest politicians and carefully recycle them. (“Biden climate envoy demands global action after devastating U.N. climate change report,” Aug. 9)

Many of those who impede taking action to address global climate change have a singular focus — scooping up personal power, wealth and fame. Although we are experiencing fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, coastal flooding, mass migrations and pandemics, imagine what the generations right behind us will face.

It’s best not to imagine, but we cannot keep our heads in the sand.

Ronald Paulinski, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: During the 1960s, there were televised games where contestants were sealed in a glass box and told to grab as much money as possible as cash swirled around them. From the viewers’ standpoint it looked simple — just start grabbing the bills. The contestants, however, discovered that as they reached for additional bills, they often let go of money already in their hands.

The recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on accelerating global warming reminded me of these games. The difference is that the current contestants (governments, corporations and individuals) are standing with their hands figuratively in their pockets. I do not see any party lunging at any and all opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I look forward to the time when we are all responding to climate change with the energy and determination of the game show contestants. Stay tuned.

Todd Collart, Ventura

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To the editor: I recently read about one call to change the American flag colors to red, white and brown, the argument being that our flag should be representative of our country.

I made a connection to this issue with Doyle McManus’ column on Canada’s forests burning along with those in the U.S.

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As I write this letter near Lake Tahoe under skies darkened by wildfire smoke and read of fires in Canada causing brown skies elsewhere, I realize one way in which brown is representative of our country.

It’s impressive that Canada did something about the issues they face. They passed a carbon fee and dividend plan, which is the solution that takes the biggest step forward to solving climate change with principles that appeal to moderate Republicans as well as Democrats.

I bring up the polarizing issue of changing the flag so Americans can summon the political will and patriotism to act on climate change. I suggest that everyone call their senators and representatives and tell them to enact a carbon fee.

Bruce Tierney, Irvine

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To the editor: Articles on the IPCC report emphasize the need to reduce emissions to slow climate change. I haven’t read of many concrete examples that describe what individuals can do to help.

I have a battery-electric car that my husband drives to work, but if we were to take it on longer trips we would have to spend an hour or more charging, possibly in a dark and unfamiliar area. So what do we do? We use our gas car.

Is it better to grow my own food and use all that water, or go to the farmers market? Are paper plates better in a drought? Which is worse, using trees for paper plates or using water to wash plates?

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We need concrete steps we can take in our everyday life to do our part on climate change.

Christine Beirne, Ojai

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To the editor: It cannot be denied that all those people who fought to stop nuclear power are complicit in the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere.

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The U.S. should have built 50 nuclear power stations 40 years ago and encouraged other nations to do the same. Regrettably, emotion won over science.

Richard Jackson, Arroyo Grande

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To the editor: As proof that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” I submit your photograph by Robert Gauthier captioned, “Siblings view the Bobcat fire from their backyard in September.”

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Paired with your editorial on the most recent and dire IPCC assessment, the silhouette of a young brother and sister staring helplessly at a sea of fire captures both the moment at hand and the very essence of climate change’s dreaded wrath.

I can’t help wondering if these questions flashed through their minds: How did this happen? Why? Couldn’t anyone do something about it? What will happen to us?

William P. Bekkala, West Hollywood


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