Climate change is complex. Despite Dr. Teller's and Hansen's and countless other warnings there are still deniers, and the surveys are not very convincing because of the information on which I believe the average citizen bases his or her opinion.
Ultimately there has to be a challenge and the challenge will be about money. And the richer you are the bigger the challenge. If you have ten billion dollars you may be forced to buy five billion dollars of War bonds. A problem such as this is a one-of-a-kind situation and even with very good educations people do not take it very seriously.
I have monitored climate change for about 15 years and worked on this web site for a year and a half. I am an engineer by training (MIT 63, 65, 67) and am accustomed to dealing with a wide range of projects and evaluating risk. I have spoken 3 times to the annual meeting of the Thoreau Society and to many bright engineers, scientists and other well educated people and all I can come up with is they just don't "get it." This is too far removed from what people are accustomed to dealing with. The time scale is long and most people do not experience the fury of weather events. Those that are in government do not get it either and so keep postponing dealing with it.
Worst of all:
The Policy Makers Don't Realize Warming is Speeding Up, so Time Is Running Out, if it Hasn't Run Out Already.
All analysis that I read put a high priority of getting emissions to zero as soon as possible. The IPCC keeps scheduling more meetings because bad news keeps coming and the necessary action is not happening.
The absolute worst part of the situation is President Trump. He doesn't know anything and doesn't know that he doesn't know anything.
The only hope I have is Elizabeth Warren as our next president bringing her full personal force and intellect to bear on the problem. I suspect she has not dealt with it since it is still controversial and it would be a distraction for her campaign. Additional two hugely controversial technologies would have to be put into a crash R&D phase and that is nuclear power and negative emissions.
It strikes me as an impossible situation. We can only hope for her to win with a strong Democratic congress.
HOW ARE WE DOING?
Below: Baseline=how we were doing
Current policy=Our Plans
Violet-1.5°C Our promises and what we need.
Blue 2°C Lots of Trouble.
WE WILL MAKE THE EARTH IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WE HAVE.
YOU WON'T WANT TO BE HERE.