Steven Bingler and Martin C. Pedersen wrote in their Feb. 18 Tuesday Opinion essay, “On climate, work for the best. But prepare for the worst,” that it is time to “get real” about planning for climate disruption, including relocation from vulnerable coastal areas. They called on the federal government to help ensure that “unavoidable disruptions are anticipated and managed as humanely and fairly as possible.” Sadly, the federal government is not providing the support states and communities need to get ahead of climate change risks — from wildfires to coastal storms and rising seas.

What should the federal government be doing? Some first steps include improving disclosure of climate-related risks when property is sold, updating the federal flood insurance program to recognize changing storm patterns and rising seas, and shifting some disaster relief spending into upfront prevention. New efforts are needed to steer development from risky places, such as land expected to be inundated by rising seas. Importantly, the federal government needs to put its resources behind long-range planning that accounts for climate change impacts and then support implementation of response actions.

Jeff Peterson, Falls Church

The writer is a retired senior policy adviser at the Environmental Protection Agency and the author
of “A New Coast: Strategies for Responding
to Devastating Storms and Rising Seas.”