We know what's required to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, including super droughts, mass extinctions and underwater coastal cities: We need to ditch fossil fuels by 2050.
That may sound like a distant target, but think about what a world without fossil fuels would look like: No coal, no natural gas, no oil. Or very little of these things, which now are staples of the global economy (even if a salmon is worth more than a barrel of oil these days). Mid-century is only 34 years away, which is one Beyonce-in-2016-sized lifetime from now. That's enough time for enormous transformation and progress to take place (witness: Beyonce) but not enough that we can let ourselves doddle in the dirty-energy status quo.