There are quite a few numbers tossed around at climate negotiations. Should world leaders agree to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) in the next decade, or 1.5 (2.7 F)? How many gigatons of carbon can the world cut in 10 years? Should they shoot for reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, or can the world deal with 450 parts per million? The numbers can be daunting, and discussions of them can get, well, heated. But they often avoid the reality that we're already on the path to …
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Kate Sheppard was previously Grist's political reporter. She now covers energy and the environment for The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter.