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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet


Opinion | A Climate Change Skeptic’s Change of Heart – The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Yes, Greenland’s Ice Is Melting, But … ,” by Bret Stephens (column, Oct. 30):

Mr. Stephens’s piece is right on point — had it been written 20 years ago. Regrettably the environment did not wait for him or others “to be brought around” about “the need for action.” Rather, with scientific consensus building around an expected rise of two to three degrees Celsius by 2100, the partial solutions Mr. Stephens champions will leave us facing extreme climate impacts.

Better that we adopt a more radical approach in the hope that we can stem the coming tide. Indeed, as Mr. Stephens suggests, we should focus on fixing the environment for our great-grandchildren, and need to consider family planning policies that reduce the size of future generations to help achieve a better balance between humanity and nature.

Scott Mortman
Manalapan, N.J.
The writer is an environmental lawyer and an adviser to the Fair Start Movement, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing child welfare and family planning.

To the Editor:

Bret Stephens wisely recommends that a lack of self-righteousness and an open mind would do a lot to advance public thinking about climate change, using his own evolution on the subject as Exhibit A. However, his fears about government playing a big role in addressing rising temperatures ignores some important recent history.

Mr. Stephens points out that nuclear power will have to play a role in a less carbon-intensive future but fails to mention that its very existence was brought about by a massive program of government-funded and -directed research and development. He also points out that cheap natural gas produced by fracking has helped reduce our carbon footprint, and ignores the fact that both public and private funding played an important role in funding the research and development for that technology.

And, perhaps most significant, he doesn’t mention the pivotal role played by German and Chinese government subsidies in driving down the price of solar panels by bringing their production up to scale.

Fighting climate change is a very complex matter and will require carefully intertwining public and private initiatives. To see the marketplace as the sole possible agent of change fails to acknowledge how progress has occurred.

Joshua Markel

To the Editor:

Letting market forces drive the consumption of goods and services might work for much of our economy, but it clearly hasn’t worked when it comes to protecting the health and well-being of our planet and its inhabitants from global warming. It takes too long.

In 1888, the first U.S. wind turbine produced electricity. In 1900, more than a third of vehicles on our roads were electric. In 1954, Bell Labs developed solar energy. American clean energy science and innovation were there all along, but the oil and gas lobby was a powerful headwind to its usage.

Our government needs to push against the destructive effects of global warming. We are running out of time.

Fred Egan
York Harbor, Maine

To the Editor:

For the better part of 10 years, I have tried to convince my father of the seriousness of climate change and, for the most part, those conversations have not been fruitful. But after sending Bret Stephens’s article to him, we had a very thoughtful discussion about the importance of addressing it.

I appreciate Mr. Stephens’s vulnerability and willingness to admit that his views have changed as he has learned more. In doing so, he gives conservatives an avenue not just to engage with the issue, but potentially to lead.

I would like to hear more from Mr. Stephens about how climate activists could be more persuasive to climate skeptics. As he pointed out, climate change should not be just a left-of-center concern. We must be able to persuade everyone that we need to address global warming.

Brendan Hastings

To the Editor:

Re “The Way Los Angeles Is Trying to Solve Homelessness Is ‘Absolutely Insane,’” by Ezra Klein (column,, Oct. 23):

Mr. Klein is absolutely right: It is insane to try to solve Los Angeles’s housing crisis without a radically innovative approach. Fortunately, Los Angeles voters will be able to vote for one on the same ballot as their new mayor. Measure ULA would raise more than $900 million annually to prevent homelessness and create housing. It replaces politics as usual with the urgency and innovation we need.

Written by housing providers and homelessness experts, Measure ULA dedicates 70 percent of revenues to affordable housing, the majority to support fast-moving, less expensive and other kinds of affordable housing that Mr. Klein wants to see.

Sophisticated construction methods can bring down housing costs, as can the purchase of existing apartments and hotels for long-term housing. The measure also encourages community land trusts, single-family homes, residential hotels, accessory dwelling units and cooperative living models.

Prevention is by far the cheapest solution to homelessness, and Measure ULA also funds rental assistance and legal services for tenants facing eviction.

L.A.’s housing and homelessness crises are persistent and challenging, but they are not insoluble. Measure ULA attacks the problems at the root, and that is why it is the best hope in a generation for making meaningful progress toward housing every Angeleno with dignity.

Stephanie Klasky-Gamer
North Hollywood, Calif.
The writer is the president and C.E.O. of LA Family Housing, an affordable housing developer and homeless services provider.

To the Editor:

I remember that back during the primary season the Democrats were not only wishing that extreme Republican candidates would win, but in some cases they were actually helping them get the nomination because “they would be so easy to defeat!” At the time that practice seemed ill advised and downright insane.

And sure enough, now there are extreme, election-denying Republican candidates poised to win office around the country. What the Democrats failed to recognize is that during the general election campaign, fringe candidates gain legitimacy.

In the primary they’re the loony among several candidates who usually split the vote. Then the extremist voters coalesce around the extreme candidate and, presto chango, they’re the legitimate Republican nominee. Then established Republicans, for fear of any Democrat ever winning anything, endorse the extremist.

The Democrats should have been more mindful of that old saw “Be careful what you wish for”!

Ozzie Sattler

To the Editor:

As a man who has experienced the slow deterioration that leads to a divorce, I have wondered why I didn’t do more to stop the process. I think the answer is that my pride allowed many small irritations, over many years, to fester and grow past a breaking point. Once that happens, reason leaves, anger replaces it and the end point becomes almost inevitable.

The political situation we are now in, as a country, feels very much like the downward spiral that ends in a divorce. Things that, at one time, could and needed to be discussed and debated to reach compromise have become weapons to attack the other side. Anger and hate grow, and it seems that the breaking point is in sight.

But, unlike a divorce, we can’t just split the assets and go our separate ways, keeping the tears and pain within the family and friends. And whatever the outcome, there will be no do-overs when we look back. So I pray that we come to our senses and realize the incredible risks we are taking by letting pride and anger replace patriotism and respect for all.

Mike Wroblewski


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