Letters to the Editor: This isn't a drought or a heat wave — this is normal

·3 min read
LAKE MEAD, NEV. - JUNE 11, 2021. A motorhome travels across the Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nev. A white "bathtub ring" above the dam hows how far below capacity Lake Mead - the nation's largest reservoir - currently is. Water levels at Lake Mead have hit their lowest points in history amid an ongoing megadrought, creating uncertainty about the water supply for millions of people in the western United States. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
The white "bathtub ring" shows how far below capacity Lake Mead — the nation's largest reservoir — currently is because of a devastating drought in the Western U.S. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Worsening drought, triple-digit heat waves, diminishing water supplies, strained energy grids, bone-dry vegetation ripe for wildfires, receding beaches — these are the results of burning coal, oil and gas. Their heat-trapping emissions have now reached the highest level in human history, yet we continue to burn them. ("California's biggest heat wave of the year heightens drought and fire fears," June 12)

Are we insane?

Scientists have warned of this runaway catastrophe for decades, but fossil fuel interests and their political lackeys have obfuscated the facts, sown doubt and lulled us into believing that we can continue burning without consequences.

What more will it take before we break our addiction to fossil fuels and transition to a clean-energy economy? Two simple actions would jump-start the transition: Stop subsidizing dirty energy, and make make fossil fuel companies pay an increasing fee on their carbon pollution.

Bob Taylor, Laguna Niguel

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To the editor: California is not experiencing a drought.

A "drought" is when there is much less precipitation than what is considered normal. Four of the last 10 years of what was once considered normal rainfall should be a clue the current conditions are the "norm."

Getting that message out and developing ways to cope with this reality should be the focus rather than standing around crying, "They sky is falling, the sky is falling!" (And yes, I do think perhaps it should be, "The sky is not falling.")

John Snyder, Newbury Park

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To the editor: It is unfathomable that we in San Diego County are not on water restrictions. Clearly, the situation is dire, but because we receive our water from the Colorado River, we are considered to have ample supply for the time being.

This is madness. With all we know about climate change, and with hot, dry weather coming earlier in the year and lasting longer, we should all be required to start conserving immediately.

We might still have the anomalous wet and snowy winter that will temporarily beef up the snow pack, but we must face the fact that many of us live in a desert and can no longer pretend that our water bounties will continue.

Nancy Kreile, Bonsall, Calif.

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To the editor: In November 1913, William Mulholland famously stood over the southern terminus of the Los Angeles Aqueduct as water from the Owens Valley flowed through it for the first time and said, "There it is, take it!"

This aqueduct it is undoubtedly a reason we are the city that we are today. The question for us now is this: Is there a person of Mulholland's vision out there?

California could be awash in water from the Columbia River, which runs from Canada through Washington state and on much of the Washington-Oregon border. To the skeptics, I say if that the oil industry can try to build a pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, we can build one from Oregon to California.

Chuck Heinz, West Hills

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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