The die appears to be cast

One thing that deciding to "turn and face" the issue of climate change has done for me is reveal the sheer number of groups, organisations and individuals involved in what has become a climate change industry of itself - websites, activist organisations, books, sustainable products, government departments, academic degrees, journals, arts organisations, food suppliers,  caterers (even festivals!) - you name it, there's a body out there engaging with the issue.

And there's a lot of good news to be had. Jeremy Leggett's The Winning of the Carbon War is a particularly useful source to follow, as its feed captures news - good and bad, but of late much to be positive about - as it happens.

To take just one example, this is the headline for the post of 18 October, 2015: US government blocks Arctic exploration, Congressmen call for federal enquiry on Exxon’s climate change denial, 10 oil companies pledge to support Paris – not Exxon: Week 41, 2015.

This has prompted a thought - that whether you "believe" in climate change or not, whether you are willing to buy in to any of the proposed solutions, even whether the scientists' models turn out to be "true" - in one sense these no longer matter. One way or another, we all WILL be profoundly affected by climate change in our lifetimes. It might be through local, national or international legislation, or through economic impacts of actions taken by agencies who are convinced, or it might be (I think will be) through the actual impacts of climate change over the next century and beyond. And it might be all of the above.

For those in the most vulnerable areas of the earth, it almost certainly will be.

Whether we like it or not, our generation - that is, those of us alive now - are responsible for making the decisions that will impact on the planet for generations to come.

But how can we make those decisions? The problem is too gigantic, the solutions too diverse, unconnected, and untested.

I'd like to propose a first step. As individuals, and as a society, and ultimately, as a species, we have to rethink our values. We need to develop a set of principals - a kind of new ten commandments - by which we will manage our resources and live our lives. And at the top of that list, we need to put stewardship of the planet and all its diversity.

Every time a new decision is called for, whether on local transport, government contracts, or holiday plans, we need to think, how will this impact on our planet? How can we protect, nurture and restore its natural balance?

Some people will think this is arrogant. Who are we, puny humans, to put ourselves in the position of protectors of the entire globe? I'm reminded of my days as a young mum, looking after my son at the co-operatively run Playcentre in Wellington, NZ. I noticed that some mums didn't take action when kids not their own did something unsafe or uncivilised. I mentioned it at a meeting.

"I wasn't comfortable taking the responsiblity for telling off another person's child," another mum said.

"Well,  you're the one that's here," I replied. "For now, it's your job."

This post by Michelle Golder