Very few regrets, I thought, except this one: that we had not done justice to this huge, overshadowing, overwhelming issue of how climate change will probably, within the lifetime of our children, cause untold havoc and stress to our species.
So, in the time left to me as editor, I thought I would try to harness the Guardian’s best resources to describe what is happening and what – if we do nothing – is almost certain to occur, a future that one distinguished scientist has termed as “incompatible with any reasonable characterisation of an organised, equitable and civilised global community”.
It is not that the Guardian has not ploughed considerable time, effort, knowledge, talent and money into reporting this story over many years. Four million unique visitors a month now come to the Guardian for our environmental coverage – provided, at its peak, by a team including seven environmental correspondents and editors as well as a team of 28 external specialists.
They, along with our science team, have done a wonderful job of writing about the changes to our atmosphere, oceans, ice caps, forests, food, coral reefs and species.
For the purposes of our coming coverage, we will assume that the scientific consensus about man-made climate change and its likely effects is overwhelming. We will leave the skeptics and deniers to waste their time challenging the science. The mainstream argument has moved on to the politics and economics.
a tip of the hat to David and Jay