We humans base our activities on the stories we tell ourselves. The story we have related for the past century has seen humanity slide into ever deeper trouble. We have created a world of acute inequality, where the opulence of the few contrasts sharply with the desperate poverty of the many. Our air and water have been poisoned, making city smog unbreathable, rivers and lakes toxic and oceans acidified and awash with plastic. What scientists call the sixth extinction is accelerating as thousands of species, from butterflies to rhinos, vanish from the Earth. Our way of life is overheat- ing the planet, melting icecaps, triggering droughts and wildfires and making storms more frequent and destructive.

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