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The climate talks in Paris deserve the attention of every person on earth [“Bill Gates lays out his vision for clean energy,” Page One, Dec. 1]. Here are some questions for which the participants will seek answers:

What does heating up 1.7 degrees mean? It’s the same as the heat that would be generated by 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs exploding daily. If that continues another 30 years, it could be the end for several billion earthlings.

How much trouble are we in? Big time. There will be waves of refugees and the seas will flood coastal cities. Yes, mass extinction — the sixth in Earth’s history.

What can we do? Fly less, drive less and waste less. Check your insulation, install a smart thermostat, switch to efficient light bulbs, use public transit, waste less food and eat less meat.

Why do people question climate change? Ideology. The measures to stop it fail the test of free-market principles. That position is supported by fossil-fuel interests that fund the undermining of science.

What’s missing are the voices of ordinary citizens. Politicians think only of the next election. They don’t tackle the tough stuff until the public demands it.

C.F. Baumgartner, Mercer Island