Michael Gerson: Politics is poorly suited to respond to climate change - The Washington Post
The intersection of science and policy, of climate and politics, has become a bloody crossroads. Blog-based arguments over ocean temperatures and the thickness of the Greenland ice sheet are as shrill and personal as any tea-party primary challenge.
Environmental advocates have done their side no favors. The most eager have been caught in a sleight of hand. In the past, they used relatively brief periods of warming and short-term weather patterns to bolster their arguments about climate disruption — a tactic that has come back to bite them in the El Niño. Recent warming has been slower than the long-term trend — what has been called a “pause” or “hiatus.” Time scales that environmental advocates once touted as significant are now dismissed as irrelevant. Skeptics have cried gotcha.
...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 seas would rise.