Letters to the Editor: Pace yourselves, young climate activists. Denialist forces can outlast you

Greta Thunberg stands among other young activists at a 2020 march.
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg marches in Davos, Switzerland, in 2020.
(AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: As countries and companies make long-term pledges on emissions that defy credibility by stretching out into the decades ahead — net zero by 2050, 2060 or even 2070! — they drive home the point made in the final line of your article on young climate change activists.

There, you note that activist Manisha Dhinde “is not fighting a distant abstraction but rather an altered world whose climate dangers will be with her until she dies.”

Fight hard, young activists — but pace yourselves too. The forces resisting science and common sense are not fading away. Rather, as shown by the rise of the anti-vaccine and anti-mask movement, they are growing stronger.


Fighting climate change is truly a struggle that will take the rest of our lives and beyond.

David Sims, Long Beach


To the editor: I am so grateful to the millions of young people around the world who are devoting their lives to preserving and restoring the environment. But we all have to put our shoulders to the wheel to effect tangible change.

Right now, as Congress considers the reconciliation bill that includes climate provisions, we need to ask our representatives to involve other countries by ensuring a carbon border adjustment and a national carbon fee and dividend. This will steeply and quickly reduce emissions by making clean energy options economically feasible.

The onus is on this generation. There is no time to wait for the next.

Mary Clumeck, Santa Ana


To the editor: President Biden promised to be the climate president and wants to establish the U.S. as an international leader on global warming.

But leadership starts at home. Biden can’t talk a big game at the climate talks while approving fossil fuel projects in Indigenous, Black and low-wealth communities. The most important thing he can do to show U.S. leadership is to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Biden can use his existing executive authority to stop fossil fuel projects, just like he did with Keystone XL. From drilling on public lands, to pipelines, refineries, petrochemicals and exports, he can direct his agencies to reject permits for fossil fuel projects today with a stroke of a pen.

We deserve a world beyond fossil fuels. And Biden can deliver it with executive action to not just build back better, but build back fossil-free.

Jeanette Allen, Laguna Beach


To the editor: Politicians and scientists are having difficulty agreeing on what to do. Is there anything we, the average people, can do to reduce climate change?

Yes, there is.

One of the most potent greenhouse gases is methane, and a significant portion of methane emissions comes from beef cattle.

Eat other forms of meat and consume plant-based products. We can make a big difference by eating less beef.

Sidney Rubinstein, Shadow Hills