Letters to the Editor: Greta Thunberg should talk to drivers, not governments, about climate change

Traffic moves along the 405 Freeway in Redondo Beach in 2019.
Traffic moves along the 405 Freeway in Redondo Beach in 2019.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Climate activist Greta Thunberg is barking up the proverbial wrong tree. She’s urging leaders who have the power to make change, but they are handsomely paid by oil lobbyists not to. The problem starts with consumers, and Thunberg should be talking to them.

When a consumer buys a new gas car, the company that produced it makes another one, thanks to this clearly demonstrated demand. That car will last an average of 12 years, emitting pollution every day, and its owner will be sending the oil companies an average of $2,000 every year for the gasoline needed to run it.

That’s a gift to Big Oil of $24,000 for every new car on the road.


Thunberg should urge her followers to stop buying gas cars and accelerate the electrification of transportation. Once internal combustion engines are gone, the oil industry will be a much less powerful political force, and global leaders won’t be so easily bought.

Paul Scott, Santa Monica

The writer is co-founder of the electric vehicle advocacy group Plug In America.


To the editor: Roberto Cingolani, Italy’s minister for ecological transition, thinks we’re “moving in the right direction,” but nothing he says seems different from the past. Countries make pledges, but with no guarantees, they are not enough.

We are on track for a 3.5-degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures by 2100, a catastrophe. If the youth are going to drive the conversation, they need to add their voices to those advocating for a global price on carbon. Countries pledging individually with no authority overseeing their action will not help.

A steadily rising global price on carbon emissions would change our energy usage rapidly. An American tax on carbon emissions with a border adjustment would put all countries on notice to follow our lead or pay at our border.


This is the solution for young people and everyone else.

Carol Diven, Long Beach