You heard it first in mid-October when the leading climate scientists of the world said that the earth has only about a dozen years left to slow global warming or suffer drastic and deadly consequences.

You heard it again on Black Friday when scientists from the United States warned that continued warming would be not only deadly but costly as well, with estimates of lost labor and damages to crops and communities amounting to more than $500 billion a year.

As with previous warnings, however, the main question is not what our government is going to do. We already know that Donald Trump plans to do nothing. We also do not have to wonder how the press will treat these documented threats. Cable news will continue to have a few who understand the dire nature of the threat matched with a few talking heads who assert with no evidence that scientists are in it for the money.

But there are things we can do at home, especially with the state government committed to getting more of our energy from less polluting sources. The first opportunity following this latest warning comes Tuesday when a local group, Residents Against Pilgrim Pipelines, plans to meet at 1 p.m. in the parking area of the Danskammer power plant on River Road in the Town of Newburgh.

The immediate concern is the enormous pile of coal ash stored by the plant already. The questions are clear and simple. What are the plans for removing that pile and who will be responsible?

But the questions regarding the Danskammer plant are more far-reaching and very closely tied to the reports coming from both the United Nations and the United States.

If we are going to slow the trend of global warming as we must to avoid damage and expense, we need to accelerate the trend toward generating more of our power with non-polluting sources, most notably solar and wind. That means resources need to be directed toward those sources and the state needs to stop any further investment in energy production coming from fossil fuels, including both the infrastructure to supply that fuel such as pipelines and the plants themselves.

The most visible example is the Competitive Power Ventures plant near Middletown, which has already been built but faces several court and regulatory challenges. The Danskammer plant is now used to provide periodic peak power but the owners would like to refurbish it and turn it into a plant that would provide power all the time.

The sentiments about global warming are not lost on those plant owners. Already they are talking about using natural gas, which is less polluting than coal, and about minimizing the need to draw water from the Hudson River. But make no mistake about it, an investment in Danskammer is a move in the wrong direction, the one that increases pollution and global warming.

When we are racing toward the edge of a cliff, as the two reports show we are, we cannot take any comfort that we might be able to move a bit more slowly. We need to stop and change direction.