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Letters to the Editor: Climate change is a short-term problem — as in, fix it now

Charred homes and cars.
Charred homes and cars are seen in Greeneville, Calif., after the Dixie fire passed through the area.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: I applaud Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) recommendation to increase the salaries of federal firefighters. Of course, they should be paid amply for their extraordinary mission.

However, I take issue with the prevailing idea of a “long-term solution to reduce wildfires” by confronting climate change. We have now only short-term solutions. The “long term” vanished before our eyes.

In merely five years between 1941 and 1945, we mustered a navy, an air force and an army; built ships, planes and tanks; and defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. With climate change, the time frame is the same, and the effort needed to start yesterday.

Those electricity transmission wires through our forests should have been buried by now. We should have solar panels on all government buildings, schools, military installations and warehouses by now. We should be able to capture all winter rainwater runoff in our watershed. Where are all the groundwater capture and recharging stations?

The technology is here, and the solutions are obvious. Let’s get moving. There’s nothing “long-term” about it.

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Sarah Starr, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Fighting fire with fire, like an eye for an eye, is mostly meant as a rhetorical metaphor. But it does take trained and committed firefighters to battle fire.

Kudos to Feinstein for pointing out the pay discrepancies between federal U.S. Forest Service fire warriors who earn “barely 40% of the $66,336 entry-level salary Cal Fire pays.”

Is the risk any less for the courageous blaze conquistadors at the federal level than at the state level? Thankfully President Biden is supportive of the notion that firefighting is an equal-opportunity endangerment at whatever agency the firefighter is employed.

These bold public servants deserve equal pay for an equally dangerous duty. Next, let’s advocate for justice on behalf of incarcerated people fighting fire for mere dollars a day.

Ben Miles, Huntington Beach


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