If you’ve ever been around someone who is dying, it may have struck you how strong a person’s lifeforce really is. When my dad was gravely ill, an invisible point of no return was gradually crossed, then suddenly death was in plain sight. We stood back helplessly, knowing that nothing more could be done, that something vital had slipped away. All we could do is watch as life extinguished itself in agonising fits and starts.
As a climate scientist watching the most destructive bushfires in Australian history unfold, I felt the same stomach-turning recognition of witnessing an irreversible loss .Recovering the diversity and complexity of Australia’s unique ecosystems now lies beyond the scale of human lifetimes. What we witnessed was inter-generational damage: a fundamental transformation of our country.