Letters to the Editor: We already have 'carbon vacuums.' They're called trees

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TOPSHOT - View of a burnt area in the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, on August 25, 2019. - Brazil on Sunday deployed two C-130 Hercules aircraft to douse fires devouring parts of the Amazon rainforest, as hundreds of new blazes were ignited and a growing global outcry over the blazes sparks protests and threatens a huge trade deal. (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA / AFP)CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images ** OUTS - ELSENT, FPG, CM - OUTS * NM, PH, VA if sourced by CT, LA or MoD **
A portion of the Amazon rain forest that burned near Porto Velho, Brazil, on Aug. 25, 2019. (Carl de Souza / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Let's not forget that Mother Nature has already provided us with giant carbon vacuums. They're called trees. ("Clock's running out on climate change. California says it's time for giant carbon vacuums," April 19)

An article on Page 1 of the Earth Day print edition focused on the possibility of massive infrastructure expenditures to counteract the catastrophe of global warming. Meanwhile, an op-ed article in the same day's paper described the ongoing struggle of indigenous peoples losing their lives in the fight to protect tropical rain forests.

What a ridiculous disconnect — industrialized nations racing to build their way out of the problem while doing little or nothing to help save the living remedy that already exists.

Janice Blake, Manhattan Beach


To the editor: The Times talks about removing carbon from the air. We can separate carbon dioxide from air, then separate the oxygen from the carbon. The carbon can then be put in storage. The problem is that these steps take energy.

An easier choice is to get the carbon dioxide and store it in rocks. The technology for this is being developed and may allow some carbon to be stored.

A better choice is to take carbon dioxide, water and energy that is available at off-peak times, and produce a clean fuel that can be stored and transported. Work has been done on such processes, and they seem feasible, but the cost is too high to compete with fossil fuel now.

The solution is to put a price on carbon and increase it every year. Fossil fuel will quickly become less attractive than alternatives.

Jim Martin, Huntington Beach


To the editor: There is no wall around California that extends to the upper atmosphere. What is to prevent carbon dioxide from other states wafting into our airspace and being sucked up in our vacuum pumps?

Ronald A. Rosien, Los Angeles


To the editor: Carbon capture is way more expensive than reducing carbon production. It is like solving the problem of lung cancer by building more ventilators instead of convincing people to stop smoking.

Steve Harrington, Cardiff, Calif.


To the editor: Vivek Maru states that our battle with climate change is "a matter of planetary survival." I wish people who write about our existential climate threat would be accurate and honest with their language.

The Earth will continue to revolve around the sun for the next 4.5 billion years, barring a natural intergalactic disaster; however, the planet may not be habitable for humans if we do not address and resolve our climate threats.

It is not the survival of the Earth that's of concern; it will survive quite nicely. What's at stake is humanity's survival.

Matt Giorgi, Brea

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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