Letters to the Editor: Will we let fossil fuels destroy California’s giant sequoia?

A helicopter drops water on the Windy fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in the Sequoia National Forest
A helicopter drops water on the Windy fFire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in the Sequoia National Forest on Sept. 19.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Imagine 5% of the Egyptian pyramids destroyed in 14 months. Or 5% of the Great Wall of China. Or 5% of the Taj Mahal. Gone and irreplaceable. (“Wildfires killed thousands of sequoias in southern Sierra Nevada,” Nov. 19)

The headline for your article on the destruction of California’s giant sequoias could have been, “Fossil fuels take heavy toll on world’s unique treasures.” What will it take for the average American to become motivated to demand that their representatives take the climate emergency seriously and cut carbon emissions?

If it means a lifetime pension for every oil rig worker and coal miner put out of work, fine. If it means a tax of $100 or $200 per ton on carbon, fine. People cannot continue to allow an infinitesimal percentage of the world’s inhabitants to ruin the Earth for everyone else, for profit, while we watch. Whatever the cost, it’s more than worth it.


You cannot wrap the Amazon rainforest or the Russian permafrost in aluminum foil.

Gary Stewart, Laguna Beach


To the editor: I am a fourth-generation Californian. I’m proud of a great deal about my home state, but its giant sequoia trees are the crown jewel.

My family has long believed that to walk among the sequoias is to be in the presence of a higher power. The oldest of these trees was born during the rise of the Roman Empire. They have known fire — but nothing has ever known this sort of fire, the sort exacerbated by human-caused climate change.

To lose even more giant sequoias would be an incalculable loss to us all. We have shirked our duty to protect them in favor of the temporary profits of fossil fuel companies. But the bill is due.

Each of us must demand, today, that our leaders take the drastic action that we know is necessary: an immediate fee on carbon emissions at their source, which will hasten the phase-out of all fossil fuels. Our history and our future absolutely depend on it.

Kevin Oeser, Burbank