Opinion | Let’s Get Started on Fighting Climate Change

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To the Editor:

Re “Our Planet Is Out of Options” (Op-Ed, Oct. 21):

Margaret Renkl has put into eloquent essay form what the news of wildfires, droughts and floods tells us every day: that our fight for racial, social and economic justice will be rendered meaningless if we don’t have a healthy planet on which to live.

We have squandered decades debating whether climate change is real. Thank you for speaking the truth, Ms. Renkl. It may be that it’s too late, but it’s time we started listening.

Page Ulrey
Seattle

To the Editor:

Margaret Renkl’s essay was heart-wrenching and clearly true. The summer birdsong cacophony of 20 years ago is gone here in Silicon Valley as well. She missed the point, though. We can restore the climate; we can get carbon dioxide emissions back down to the safe levels that gave us agriculture and civilization for thousands of years, below 300 parts per million.

It seems impossible only because we haven’t tried. We’ve never had to try before. Until now we were told that reducing our damage, reducing emissions was enough. It isn’t. Pope Francis started this new chapter in September, saying for the first time, “Climate restoration is of utmost importance.”

What made the moonshot successful was a specific time-bound goal. Tomorrow’s earthshot must also have a meaningful goal: Restore carbon dioxide to proven safe levels below 300 parts per million, and do it by 2050. We can do it because we’re starting to try.

Peter Fiekowsky
Los Altos, Calif.
The writer is founder and chairman emeritus of the Foundation for Climate Restoration.

To the Editor:

Margaret Renkl complains that Joe Biden is “not an environmentalist’s dream candidate” because he will not call for a ban on fracking. It is pretty obvious why he is reluctant. The moment he issues a statement saying fracking should be banned, he will lose western Pennsylvania. That may cause him to lose Pennsylvania and possibly the election.

Then what will happen to his $2 trillion plan to address climate change? Nothing. Politics is the art of the possible, not the ideal.

William J. Oehlkers
Barrington, R.I.

To the Editor:

Margaret Renkl doesn’t address two major points: population control and personal sacrifice.

My wife and I have no children, drive a 1994 Land Cruiser and do not turn on the air-conditioner even in the middle of summer, and we live in New Jersey. The fresh ambient air is wonderful and can go a long way in reducing greenhouse gases. We keep our house at 53 degrees at night and no more than 65 during the day.

How about starting to address some of the choices we as human beings can make to save our planet?

Leslie Herzog
Denville, N.J.

‘Not Voting Is a Decision, Too’

To the Editor:

Re “They Passed Up Voting in 2016, and Will Again” (front page, Oct. 27):

Not voting is a decision, too. In years when an incumbent is running, it’s a vote for stasis.

Those who suggest that their votes have no effect or won’t benefit themselves directly should remember that the very air they breathe, not to mention the water they drink, the roads they travel, the free education they and their families receive, the public hospital they will receive emergency service from and so on, are all reliant on the government.

If these services don’t meet their needs, all the more reason to get involved. It’s a sad commentary on civic engagement in this country.

Anne Squire
Walnut Creek, Calif.

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