Dear Secretary Clinton —

In your husband’s years in office, the greenhouse effect was still fairly novel science; even eight years ago, when you were first running for president, climate change was not yet really a top-tier issue. In a sense, then, this summer marks the first chance most Americans have to really find out what and how you think about global warming — the challenge that more than any other will color the economic and foreign policy landscape for the years ahead. In hopes you might seize the moment, I offer a few suggestions.

So far your rhetoric has been correct but eye-glazing, dominated by phrases like “urgent” and “moral” and “grandchildren” — the words skillful politicians use to signal interest without committing themselves to actual policies. (Because policies come with opponents.)