Policy needed to protect future generations from climate change

As a conservative, I found John E. Sununu’s Dec. 10 op-ed “Best energy policy? None” objectionable, given what an overwhelming consensus of leading climate scientists now know about climate change. I agree that government has no business picking winners and losers, but saddling future generations with potential runaway climate change would be immoral.

Environmentalists have a conservative desire: that our children and grandchildren live in a world with a climate similar to the one that Sununu and I were born into. This climate has persisted for the last 11,500 years, and supports life on earth as we know it.

We need a national energy policy that puts a price on carbon emissions to account for the costs imposed on society for using them — as measured in global warming, environmental damage, and human health costs — and facilitates a timely transition to carbon-free energy sources, such as alternative and nuclear energy. This can be done in a manner that harnesses market mechanisms such as fee and dividend or cap and trade, and that fosters innovation and limits the role of government.

David Flannery