Climate change is the most serious environmental problem the world has ever faced. For the Los Angeles Times to label the lawsuit filed by Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer against the auto manufacturers silly is irresponsible ("How Evil Are Cars?" Editorial pages, Sept. 22).
The lawsuit rightfully seeks accountability under the law on public nuisances from some of the world's largest greenhouse gas polluters, which have obstructed progress on regulating emissions for years.
The World Health Organization estimated in 2000 that more than 150,000 lives were already being lost annually because of global warming, which also threatens to eradicate one-third of all living things on Earth by 2050.
If we fail to act now to curb our emissions by 80% or more, our children will live on a very different planet.
While the state defends its efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in court and the Bush administration remains hostile to the regulation of these emissions, the attorney general is applying well-established principles of common law to recover damages for the injuries the automakers are inflicting on the public.
The attorney general should be applauded for his work on behalf of all Californians.
\o7Staff Attorney \f7
\o7Center for Biological Diversity \f7
\o7San Diego \f7
Atty. Gen. Lockyer's "nuisance" lawsuit against automakers will generate more pollution in the courtroom than it will clean up outside ("California Sues Over Vehicle Emissions," Sept. 21).
After trying to blame bad air on the people who make cars, will he next sue the millions of Californians who are guilty of turning on their cars' ignitions every day? This lawsuit is another example of wasteful litigation that drains time and money that could go into research, product development and marketing that will actually produce cleaner technologies and get them out to the public.
It is amazing that the attorney general has been telling the Legislature and governor that he needs a law, SB 1489, to force defendants to give him more money to use on lawsuits.
Lawsuits like this one? It may be election season, but give us a break.
John H. Sullivan
\o7President, Civil Justice \f7
\o7Assn. of California \f7
C'mon, Bill, show some political courage -- sue the drivers! No auto company forces consumers to buy gas guzzlers, so why should car buyers get a pass? Oh yeah, they vote.