Frank Vanderwal, in the office of Presidential science advisor, finds something reassuring about the world being so messed up. It makes his own life look like part of a trend. He's been homeless for a year, the ex-husband of the love of his life did permanent injury to his nose - probably his brain - with a punch, and the love of his life has had to go into hiding from the secret service, which has Frank under surveillance, too ... but meanwhile there's the world to save. Frank's a scientist. He has to save the world so that science can proceed, obviously. This has become known as the Frank Principle.
China is close to meltdown, the security agencies are in overdrive, carbon figures are close to cooking the world ... and the team has sixty days to establish a new reality.