the Unmanageable & Managing the Unavoidable
must act collectively and urgently to change course through
at all levels of society. There is no more time for delay.
Human activities have changed the
climate of the Earth, with significant impacts on ecosystems and human
society, and the pace of change is increasing.
The challenge now is to keep climate
change from becoming a catastrophe. There is still a good chance of
succeeding in this, and of doing so by means that create economic
opportunities that are greater than the costs and that advance rather
than impede other societal goals. But seizing this chance requires an
immediate and major acceleration of efforts on two fronts: mitigation
measures (such as reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases and black
soot) to prevent the degree of climate change from becoming
unmanageable; and adaptation measures (such as building dikes and
adjusting agricultural practices) to reduce the harm from climate
change that proves unavoidable.
Governments, corporations, and individuals must act now to forge a new
path to a sustainable future with a stable climate and a robust
There are many opportunities for taking effective early
action at little or no cost. Many of these opportunities also have
other environmental or societal benefits. Even if some of the
subsequent steps required are more difficult and expensive, their costs
are virtually certain to be smaller than the costs of the
damages these measures would avert.
Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable"
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