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Letters: What we can do about climate change

July 06, 2012
  • The destructive power of rising sea levels will be felt first when storms hit vulnerable places such as Newport Beach, said Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. Above, the Wedge at Newport Beach.
The destructive power of rising sea levels will be felt first when storms… (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles…)

Re "Global warming in our backyard," Editorial, July 2

Thank you for your wonderful synopsis of the most recent climate science and how it pertains to Southern California. However, it is regrettable that it is still necessary to even mention climate skeptics.

No news organization feels the need to mention plate tectonics skeptics when reporting on earthquakes or flat-Earth believers when reporting on space. It is a grim tribute to the success of climate skeptics and their financial backers (the Koch brothers, the Heartland Institute and others) that the signs of climate change are this obvious, this severe, yet we have done nothing.

History may forget the flat-Earthers and tectonics skeptics, but I fear the damage we have done to the climate system will not let us forget the climate skeptics, their financial backers, the politicians who did nothing and the media, which acknowledged the truth too late.

Daniel Richter

La Jolla

Wonderful work. Funny you should mention the need for policies to reduce carbon emissions.

There is presently a bill in the House, the Save Our Climate Act, proposing to put a $10 a ton price on the carbon dioxide produced by the combustion of "any taxable fuel sold by the manufacturer, producer or importer thereof."

It has 18 cosponsors and bipartisan support, as it is a market-based solution to the problem and includes a measure to distribute the revenue back to the populace (and temporarily to the deficit), making it effectively revenue neutral.

Let's hope the cosponsors maintain their support despite the political climate.

Tristan Carland

San Diego

Thanks to The Times for taking the UCLA climate change study seriously. The good news is that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has been moving in the right direction, having adopted a rooftop solar pilot program and greatly expanded its energy efficiency budget.

The bad news: L.A. continues to receive 39% of its electricity from burning coal. In fact, most of the DWP's carbon footprint comes from coal. The two plants sending us this power emit as much carbon dioxide as nearly 6 million cars annually. The UCLA study confirms that we can't afford to continue down this dirty coal path any longer.

Political gridlock in Washington means that climate leadership is coming from cities. If Los Angeles is serious about global warming, we must tell the DWP to end its use of coal-fired electricity as soon as possible.

William Bahr

Los Angeles

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