In his Jan. 24 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, The Climate Snow Job, Patrick J. Michaels told an incomplete and at times inaccurate story about recent climatic events and what we might take from them.

It’s no secret that last year was the hottest we’ve measured. Mr. Michaels claims that without the warming effects of the onset of El Niño, 2015 would have “been typical of the post-1998 regime.” Is that so? When scientists subtract the effect of El Niño, 2015 is still amongst the hottest of years on record—if not the record.

Regardless, there is some truth to what Michaels says. And what was typical of the following years? We saw record setting temperature in non-El Niño years, the accumulation of 15 of the hottest 16 years on record (1998 the exception), and a persistent warming trend (regardless of NOAA’s fine tuning of the temperature record). All of these are consistent with the continuing and growing effect of human activity on the climate.

It’s true that satellite data show less warming than computer models have predicted. Some, but not all, analyses of weather balloon data support that assertion. Why that is, however, is an open question. But Mr. Michaels hastily jumps to the conclusion that the temperature predictions of these models should be halved without accounting for other potential causes of this divergence, such as modeling errors, measurement uncertainty, or internal variability on the part of the climate system – all of which have been explored in the scientific literature.

Even if it is true that temperature forecasts should be revised downward, stabilizing global average temperature below the 3.6 °F benchmark set by the United Nations will require policy intervention. The weakest IPCC stabilization scenario for which that appears likely features a large carbon tax by midcentury that far exceeds any standing policy. Recent analysis from MIT suggests that current policy, including pledges made at the climate conference in Paris, is insufficient to keep warming within safe bounds by midcentury (even with downward revisions of temperature predictions).

Mr. Michaels is right that not all weather extremes we see are due to climate change. But all weather extremes now exist in a changed climate. The belief that weather will get more extreme in a changed climate is solid physics. Waiting to see that play out in financial weather damages, or any other calamity, is poor risk management. One wouldn’t tell the gambler to wait until he had devised the house advantage at craps to statistical significance before stepping away from the table. At some point, there is enough evidence to make an informed choice.