In which we explain what the heck the IPCC is, and why it matters

Chances are you’re not going to be able to turn around today without bumping into some reference to the new IPCC climate report. We’re not just saying that because we’re navel-gazing greens: try 1,624 news stories on Google, and counting. (OK, we’re Google-gazing greens. But it’s still a big deal.) Because we want to arm you with the most current scientific information — and make sure you’re not embarrassed at cocktail parties — we’ve prepared a quick rundown on what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is and how this new report fits into the big picture. Also, if you’re feeling helpless and alone, check out our list of 11 things you can do to help fight climate change. Sex, pubs, and compact fluorescents — it’s all in there!