Newsday’s editorial “The surging tide” [Sept. 4] suggests a grim future for coastal Long Island as a consequence of rising sea levels.

We must think realistically about the problem. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to solve a problem when a significant portion of the political establishment, and the public that supports it, continues to deny the problem’s existence, refuses to accept its manmade origins and refuses to sacrifice anything for the common good.

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Why should a President Donald Trump, for example, address the problem of climate change after he has labeled it a hoax? And why should a President Hillary Clinton do what has to be done if it might cost her a second term?

For many Americans, sacrifice has become something to applaud in others.

Consider the Village of Asharoken. The federal government is willing to spend about $50 million to rebuild the beaches washed away by storms, provided the beaches are opened to the public. The families in Asharoken want the money to restore their beaches, but not the people whose tax dollars would pay for it.

James J. McDonald, Deer Park