America's dangerous weather: Happy now, climate-change skeptics?

It would have been insensitive for the President when he visited Joplin, or Memphis before that, or Tuscaloosa before that, to have turned the conversation to climate change. Grieving relatives and displaced families aren’t the right audience for a discussion of energy policy. It should be noted, too, that tornadoes are very tough to predict, and no one yet knows whether this year’s unusually deadly season is the start of a new pattern, or just an aberration.

But, now that the immediate crisis has passed, the President needs to stop asking the kind of questions that can’t be answered and start addressing those that can. Obama knows—and, indeed, has stated as much—that if we continue along our present path we’ll guarantee our children a much more dangerous future. Taking the steps that would reduce the risks of climate change is not going to be politically popular, which is why it is the President’s obligation to press for them. It may be beyond our power to control the climate, but we can determine it. This is precisely what we’re doing right now, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.