This past Earth Day at the United Nations, leaders from around the world signed what is being called a "landmark agreement" to address the climate crisis. Without a doubt, it is a positive step forward and can help create the political momentum to address what is arguably the defining issue of this century. But as Coral Davenport noted in the New York Times when the accord was hammered out in Paris in December, "The new deal will not, on its own, solve global warming."
Scientists say the greenhouse emission targets that the parties agree to will only count for about half of what is needed to stop atmospheric temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit). That's the point where many studies say the world becomes locked into a future of rising sea levels, drought, flooding, more destructive weather patterns, and shortages of food and water.