We are faced with two crises on a planetary scale — climate change and species extinction. Our current modes of production and consumption, which started during the Industrial Revolution and grew worse with the advent of industrial agriculture, have contributed to both. If no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gases, we could experience a catastrophic temperature increase of four degrees Celsius by the end of the century. But climate change is not just about global warming. It’s also about the intensification of droughts, floods, cyclones, and other extreme weather events. Climate extremes are already costing lives, as we witnessed in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, where more than 200 people lost their lives due to flooding in 2014, and in the nearby state of Uttarakhand, where floods in 2013 took nearly 6,000 lives.

Over the course of human history, levels...

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