Our planet, and all beings living on it, are in the midst of a climate emergency. This is the headline of a new report authored by 11,258 scientists of varying backgrounds from 153 countries. There is no doubt that we humans are the cause of our terrible predicament. But now that we are in it, how do we get out?

The report lays out six steps world citizens must take to give all children a chance at a livable world. The steps are in no particular order:

• Quickly implement massive energy efficiency and conservation practices and replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables. Keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground.

• Promptly reduce the emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, such as methane.

• Protect and restore Earth’s ecosystems.

• Reduce the global consumption of animal products.

• Quickly curtail the excessive extraction of materials and overexploitation of ecosystems; move from growth-based economic systems to sustainable ones.

• Stabilize population growth.

Our actions must be quick and meaningful. For United States citizens, I add a seventh action: Sweep away our science-denying president, his utterly corrupt administration and any politician who supports him through cult-like subservience.

We know what we must do. But do we have the will to work together for positive change?

Mark Weakland


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