The next time you lament the private summers brought about by changing hormones, spare a thought for Mother Earth. Instead of hormones, greenhouse gases (or GHGs)are changing the way the global climate system works and causing higher temperatures and heatwaves across the planet, as well as other changes When we were kids, my brother draped a blanket over some chairs to make a cubby, inadvertently (or so I believed) trapping our body heat – and other gases – inside. In a similar way, the high concentrations of GHGs in our atmosphere today act like my brother’s blanket, holding heat and energy around our planet and changing global patterns of temperature, rainfall and extreme weather.

Mother Earth will endure through climate change, but life on earth will be dramatically changed, including for humans. No matter where we live or what we do for work, humans depend on a healthy natural environment, obviously to supply food, clean air and freshwater, as well as for processes like pollination and for the mental and emotional benefits of being in nature.

But we can’t expect Mother Earth to continue to nurture and protect life on our planet while heatwaves send the mercury soaring, uncontrollable bushfires blacken vast areas of land and changing rain patterns mean that some regions are drying out, while others are flooded time and again. How can the mother of all life shield us as polar ice melts and sea levels rise, flooding coastal areas and contaminating freshwater with salt? Can we really bemoan the moody, unpredictable behaviour of nature in these changing conditions?

It’s not only humans feeling the heat. First Nations Peoples notice plants fruiting……..

Catherine Moran