Letters to the Editor

Climate change, fire, Jerry Brown, UC, etc.

Fire crews ran night operations and controlled burnings to contain the Butte Fire in Sheep Ranch on Sept. 12.
Fire crews ran night operations and controlled burnings to contain the Butte Fire in Sheep Ranch on Sept. 12. aseng@sacbee.com

Bold action needed on climate change

Re “Incinerated” (Page 1A, Sept. 14): Unusually devastating wildfires are raging across California. The Bee reports the fires have grown exponentially, been more explosive and grown faster than forecast. The “mass destruction” is so much worse because of the drought. The Kings Canyon area is described as “bone dry” with “dry, dead, super-flammable fuel.”

Recently, The Bee reported that scientists have begun to measure the impact of climate change on the drought across California and state that it’s about 15 to 20 percent. Our hearts go out to the thousands who had to flee their homes, those who lost their homes, the firefighters who were injured and the disabled woman who was killed in the fire.

Pope Francis has urged us to show compassion to those who will be affected by climate change. He will speak to Congress next week. I hope our representatives there can listen with an open heart to what he has to say and take bold climate action as soon as possible. Our lives and our health depend on it.

Eileen Heinrich,


This is the ‘Fire Next Time’

For me the Valley fire was the “Fire Next Time.” That moment when you pass from intellectually understanding the reality of climate change to feeling its existence on a visceral level.

I had always believed it would be massive flooding that would penetrate our indifference to or denial of the reality of climate change. I now believe it will be the “Fire Next Time” that does the job.

To those legislators who helped sabotage Senate Bill 350, the day you identify with Valley fire survivors – the day you accept this could be you next time – that is the day when no amount of oil company campaign contributions will sway your determination to fight climate change.

Harold Ferber, Elk Grove

Is Gov. Brown really that green?

Re “Analysis: Jerry Brown puts happy face on climate change, road improvement defeats” (Sacbee.com, Capitol Alert, Sept. 10): It was not surprising to see Gov. Jerry Brown put on a happy face following the defeat last week of legislation to reduce petroleum use in California. He may have played to his environmental constituency by talking up an ambitious goal, but his actions to increase oil production have loudly betrayed his words.

As we learned in The Bee on Sept. 4, Brown fired state regulators who warned that California was putting its aquifers at risk by issuing improper permits to inject the chemicals that boost petroleum production. The administration helped oil companies produce more oil and profit after they contributed big money to pass the governor’s income tax increase. Now the EPA says California has violated the Safe Drinking Water Act.

We don’t have enough water for our farms or our fish, and now we learn the governor’s actions to reward the oil industry threaten the water we drink. But at least gasoline is cheap. Just like talk.

Doug Thompson,


Divestment calls to respect humans

Re “Jewish groups blast UC creed” (Page 13A, Sept. 11): The divestment resolution passed at UC Davis called upon the UC regents to stop investing in three specific companies that are complicit in ongoing human rights violations of Palestinians. These companies are Caterpillar, Raytheon and Veolia.

This call has been issued by seven UC campuses, each urging the regents to make more responsible and ethical investments that do not directly inflict suffering on the Palestinian people.

Jewish Voice for Peace at UC Davis emerged during the divestment campaign after feeling that their voices as “pro-peace, anti-occupation” Jewish students were not heard by Jewish organizations on campus. This chapter is closely allied with Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Davis.

Marcelle Obeid,


author of Senate Resolution 17, former president of

Students for Justice in

Palestine at UC Davis

Crying ‘wolf’ on UC anti-Semitism

The same Likud lobby that tried falsely to say most American Jews prefer war to diplomacy with Iran is back at it, crying “Wolf!” about allegedly rampant anti-Semitism at UC campuses.

It’s not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of a government. It is, though, to assume all Jews align with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. As more students and faculty, including many Jews, stand up to oppose U.S. support of killing civilians, stealing land, home demolitions, anti-democratic legislation and impunity for racist acts and deadly violence by vigilantes, the “Israel can do no wrong” crowd lashes out in irresponsible incitement.

Meanwhile, the first to speak out against occasional truly anti-Jewish comments or graffiti have been Palestinian students themselves.

Jewish Voice for Peace, the UC graduate students union and others welcome the regents’ proposed policy statement against campus intolerance that includes all groups and firmly upholds free speech and academic freedom.

David L. Mandel,


Hiding those lying eyes

Re “Trump hit with criticism after insulting Fiorina” (Page 10A, Sept. 11): Donald Trump has taken to wearing a baseball cap for outdoor public appearances. Is this a presidential look? Can you imagine a President Trump standing next to German President Angela Merkel or Russian President Vladimir Putin looking like a trucker, from the neck up?

Of course, Trump isn’t focused on appearances, unless he’s referring to Carly Fiorina’s face. Fortunately, he clarified later that he was actually referring to her personae.

Using his own twisted logic, we can deduce this about Trump: the baseball cap isn’t really about preventing the wind from messing his hair; rather, it prevents his hair from being mussed by the gusts of hot air that blows from below. More importantly, the cap shades our view from the lying eyes that seek the presidency.

Chris Fenstermaker, Sacramento


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