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Letters to the Editor: South Lake Tahoe is on the brink. Now will politicians stop deferring to Big Oil?

Flames consume multiple homes as the Caldor fire pushes into South Lake Tahoe, Calif., on Aug. 30.
Flames consume multiple homes as the Caldor fire pushes closer to South Lake Tahoe, Calif., on Monday.
(AFP / Getty Images)

To the editor: The words of Chief Thom Porter, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, should ring clear to those focused on the vulnerability of Lake Tahoe to wildfire. He said, “For the rest of you in California: Every acre can and will burn someday in this state.” (“As Caldor fire closes in on Lake Tahoe, crews scramble to prevent worst-case scenario,” Aug. 31)

Yes, decades of fire suppression, clear-cut logging and population growth in the urban-wildland interface have increased the danger from wildfires. But not to see the figurative forest for the trees in this situation is foolish.

Climate change has made the West warmer and drier will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive beyond just our dense forests. If wildfires in places such as Lake Tahoe should teach us all anything, it is that true solutions are reached through politics and policymaking.

Both individuals and large businesses must step beyond the reactionary donations to impacted regions and put effort into climate lobbying. Policy solutions such as carbon taxes, regulations, ending subsidies and standards in renewable energy may threaten the fossil fuel industry’s status quo, but they would help slow the desiccation of the forests and other places we hold dear.

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Dillon Osleger, Truckee, Calif.

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To the editor: It is now death by a thousand cuts for the planet. The daily news consists of ceaseless fires, droughts, heat waves and floods.

I visited my sister in Minden, Nev., two weeks ago, just 20 miles from South Lake Tahoe. The Tamarack fire was still raging in nearby Alpine County, Calif. The air in Minden was a dystopian yellow, raining ashes. We huddled inside around an air filter, grieving the loss of one of my sister’s most cherished hiking trails.

What will be lost next? South Lake Tahoe? The iconic sequoia? What loss is too much for fossil fuel advocates, if any?

The rest of us are heartsick over the planet and the landmarks we loved, now charred, flooded or dead. If we don’t start lowering emissions and turning this around fast, these will be the good old days.

Wendy Blais, North Hills

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To the editor: Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps we shouldn’t be fighting Mother Nature?

Rather than spending billions of dollars pushing back fires in essentially wilderness areas, preventing rising water levels from inundating low-lying areas or tearing down bluffs overlooking the ocean, perhaps it’s humans who should retreat and regroup.

If humans were to come together and admit climate change is a real thing, we would stop treating Mother Nature as an enemy to defeat and instead live where she can be our ally.

John Snyder, Newbury Park


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