climate change is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges now facing humanity. It threatens not just the environment and our way of life, but our very existence. But given the way we are responding, you wouldn't know it.

Scientists have warned us that we must keep warming below 2°C in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Many think this estimate is too high. And yet if we continue on our current path, we are set to exceed it. Drastic cuts in emissions will be required if we are to have any hope of remaining below this point.

Powerless to act?

Unfortunately, too many of us - especially politicians - act as if there's no point in even trying. People often trot out the line that renewables are not reliable enough to replace Fossil Fuels. The implication seems to be that since there's nothing we can do, we might as well just carry on as we are - never mind the fact that several countries are already running wholly or mostly on renewables.

We act as if ruining the Earth is preferable to changing the way we do things. Of course, the reality is that we will have to change anyway when the fossil fuels run out. But if we wait until then, our fate will be sealed.

I find it extremely hard to believe that with all our advanced scientific knowledge and technology, we are powerless to stop climate change.

Whenever I hear someone say that we can't meet our energy demands with renewables, I think about how we managed to send people to the moon with computers less powerful than a modern mobile phone. This was possible because the will and the motivation were there, and so we were prepared to invest time, money and manpower in it.

Can’t or won’t?

If we can accomplish something as huge as going to the moon, then given enough funding and resources, we could channel that same passion into tackling climate change. The problem is, the people who have the power to make a difference don't have the inclination to do so. Many politicians receive money from fossil fuel companies, for example.

And powerful corporations lobby against even the most moderate climate change legislation.

It's not that we can't tackle climate change - it’s that we won't. And though some of the blame certainly does lie with corrupt politicians and unethical corporations, we ourselves must accept some of it too. We make environmental destruction profitable, because we fund it with our purchases. Though very few of us are able to live completely sustainably, most of us could be doing more than we are. For one thing, we could stop supporting animal agriculture, the leading cause of climate change.

It was our drive to grow and develop at all costs which got us into this mess in the first place. Now, we must use that same determination and innovation to get us out of it. Climate change already kills an estimated 400,000 people every year. We can't afford to bury our heads in the sand any longer.