October 16, 2013

Michael Gerson’s Oct. 11 op-ed column, “A difficult climate,” was one of the best articulations of the core problem with climate policy that I have encountered. He clearly established that the root of the problem lies not with the uncertainty of the data on climate change but with the unwillingness of politicians to address risks when such risks are unequally distributed and when policies show results only in the very long term. 

Even the straightforward climate problem of reducing the ozone hole,which was relatively easy to fix, ended up in a protracted political struggle when opponents either could not understand the risks involved or were unwilling, on ideological grounds, to act.

At present, the least that can be said is that we are conducting a large-scale climate experiment by infusing the atmosphere with huge quantities of greenhouse gases. The results of this experiment are difficult to predict with great accuracy, but to simply ignore the risks is not enlightened policy.

Paul Hundley, Batesville, Va.