Michael Gerson: Battle over climate change is more divisive than government shutdown
This does not mean that restricting greenhouse gas emissions is useless, just that it is politically thankless. Inaction may have terrible results. Even vigorous action, however, would only start limiting the terrible results at some point in the middle of the century. And it would never undo them. We could leave most of the vast reserves of fossil fuels in the ground — a political and economic impossibility — and still the ice would melt and the sea would rise. It is no wonder that politicians — even politicians who believe in warming — tend to have other priorities.
This leads to a fully justified form of skepticism, not about a scientific consensus but about the ability of political institutions — incapable of dealing with current crises or predictable fiscal challenges — to respond prudently to scientific risk when there is little political reward.
Michael Gerson's email address is email@example.com.
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