Britain's Guardian newspaper reported recently that the construction of many new fossil fuel-burning power plants may prevent the world from keeping global temperature increases at a safe level.
A manageable temperature rise is thought by many scientists to be an increase of 2 degrees Celsius, or about 7 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the Guardian article, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that if new international climate action isn't taken by 2017, people won't be able to keep future temperature increases at that so-called safe level. That means we have only five years left to act on a global scale to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Building new fossil fuel-burning power plants and factories, and constructing energy inefficient buildings, will lock in production of greenhouse gas emissions throughout that structure's lifetime. In five years, we'll have so many new plants online that we will have committed ourselves to a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius. Any warming above that mark would cause even more devastating climate change than what is now occurring.