CLIMATE change and the challenges it poses for all of us - in Cumbria, the UK and the world - is not a game of point-scoring or platforming.

It is deadly serious and, as such, involves a serious engagement with a number of well-documented facts:

- Fact 1: climate change is an existential reality; it is happening now.

- Fact 2: human activity has contributed to climate change since at least the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and continuing through into the post-industrial era.

- Fact 3: all of us, although not individually responsible for the history of climate change, can contribute to the mitigation of its destructive effects through our lifestyle choices; we don't have to feel guilty, we just have to do something.

- Fact 4: sustainable change requires political will, governmental initiative and international cooperation; it requires, in other words, systemic change.

If we could start the debate from these incontrovertible premises, then we might begin to have a serious debate about how to create sustainable and fair societies within our region and across the world.

There are no easy answers, but there are discoverable and hard answers. And it is these that we must now learn to make and share.

Jon Nixon