As the BBC notes, almost from the first moment that people realized that the human-caused climate crisis is real, there’s been an effort to determine how quickly action needed to be taken to stave off the worst outcomes. Could we wait 50 years? What about 30? What about 20? The answers are no, no, and no. Recent studies had indicated that avoiding severe changes and keeping our already-warming world within 1.5° C (2.7°F) of where it was just a few years ago required action to be taken within the next 12 years.

That model hasn’t really changed. What has changed is the realization that we can’t get to Jan. 1, 2030, and throw a global switch to drastically reduce greenhouse gases. If the world is going to be where it needs to be in 2030 to stave off absolute catastrophe, the solution has to begin now. And now means within the next 18 months, when a series of decisions are likely to determine if we are going to save the planet for ourselves and our children, or throw it utterly away.

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