Use the Defense Production Act to fight climate change


About the editor: Kudos to the Times editorial board for confirming that President Biden’s best response to Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s murderous aggression is to accelerate renewable energy and end our reliance on fossil fuels.

as described my organization, Biden can address the Ukraine crisis and energy price spikes by using his powers under the Defense Production Act. That would allow him not only to deploy energy-efficient heat pumps for European allies, but also to increase domestic production and deployment of solar, wind, and energy-efficiency technologies on a war base in the US and around the world.

This plan would alleviate the atlas of human suffering caused by the climate crisis, create jobs, help people save money on energy, and undermine the power of petro-states like Russia. In fact more than 200 organizations have urged Biden to do just thatwith a focus on climate-vulnerable communities.

We hope the President will listen.

Maya Golden-Krasner, Los Angeles

The author is associate director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity.


About the editor: Their editorial page rightly argues that we “need to accelerate renewable energy and accelerate the end of fossil fuels.” Efforts to tackle climate change, however, must include a strong component of public engagement.

Check out the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines were being developed at warp speed; The problem was that large numbers of people refused to get vaccinated and refused to do the other things that would stop the virus from spreading, like wearing a mask or social distancing.

Unscrupulous politicians took advantage of the public’s uneasiness by politicizing the state’s response to the virus: They said Sacramento was the problem, not the virus. This led to countless unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths.

We need to raise the level of public comfort with the drastic changes needed to combat climate change. People need to be convinced that a future in which they live sustainably and run their cars, homes and lawn mowers with electricity will not mean a loss of quality of life.

Otherwise, there will be a political backlash that will undo this vital policy.

Fred Smoller, Orange

The author is Associate Professor of Political Science at Chapman University and co-founder of the Sustainability Decathlon in Orange County.


About the editor: Americans are exposed to a variety of media that throws before our eyes the sights and sounds of wars, genocides, students being murdered in classrooms, terrorism, pandemics and more.

To calm down and adjust, some turn to substance abuse, some shout at family gatherings, some organize and attend protests, some plead with government leaders, and some pray. Most try to shield their children.

Many turn away because they are unwilling to speak or reflect on the tragic events that are not on their doorstep.

If you look out your door and don’t see, feel, or hear it, you could be downplaying or denying climate change’s connection to the prolonged droughts, famines, severe storms, disappearing coastlines, and devastating fires that are killing life on Earth.

But what are you willing to do when the consequences of an Earth warmed by burning fossil fuels and aggravated by your own consumption of oil and gas are there when you open that door?

Kathleen Brown, Santa Clarita


About the editor: It seems to me that I read a similar editorial about the pitfalls of our dependence on fossil fuels almost 50 years ago during the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo.

The circumstances and actors are different, but the bottom line is essentially the same, and now more than ever we can add the threat of climate change.

We have the necessary technology. We now need our politicians to look beyond politics as usual and come together to put us on a fast track to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. As the editorial aptly states, “Everything should be on the table in pursuit of that goal.”

Joe Grauman, Los Angeles


About the editor: Oil prices are rising. Energy is a national security issue. The United States subsidizes oil companies that make huge profits.

These are all facts that do not fit into any reasonable plan. Add in the massive threat that climate change poses and this business-as-usual plan is outrageously stupid.

As the war in Ukraine aptly showed us, we must have energy in abundance without being beholden to anti-democratic despots.

The clean energy transition is upon us, and we must fully and quickly embrace this reality. Many tools are necessary to adapt. Putting a price on carbon would be an excellent mechanism to encourage the use of fewer fossil fuels and continue to innovate the devices we need to ensure clean energy is always available.

Drilling and building more pipelines takes time and will bring us back. Oil helped us get into the mess we are in; it’s not the answer to get us out.

Melissa Waters, Laguna Niguel Use the Defense Production Act to fight climate change

Caroline Bleakley

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