The miracle arrived. She is called Noni and, at three months, she has already changed the world: She has changed sleeping patterns and priorities. Above all, though, she has changed my attitude to time. The immediate and short term takes on a whole new significance as a parent. You live for the next feed, the next nappy change, the next time she sleeps. You wonder what the next night will be like (and sometimes bore friends with accounts of the last.) Being smiled at by my child gives me instant satisfaction. Hearing her make noises makes my heart jump. But none of this ever lasts more than seconds. And the switch to her crying can be just as fast. The short term, therefore, has new significance. Every moment has a new intensity. But at the same time, the truly long term is also more urgent than ever. The future has become tangible, visible: I can touch her. Of course, I always cared about the planet in 2050 or 2100. But now, our - and the planet´s - long term future stares me in the face every day. Looks inquisitive. Seems to wonder what world will await her. - In 2050, Noni will be barely older than I am now. In 2100, she may just still be alive. Will she live in a world that is 4-5 degrees warmer? Will she witness the (far too realistic) horror scenarios climate science provides? Will the welfare state be a history lesson for her and the idea that we could beat back genetic engineering seem quaint? Will she curse us, because we talked the good talk - and then got on the next flight? I don´t know. But the task of preventing a world I do not want Noni to witness has taken on new urgency over the last three months. You may call it the "parent paradox". I care even more about the long term future. But the short term also has a new urgency. Indeed, often, before I can get around to doing anything about the long term, one of the new short term tasks intervene. I have to walk around with her on my shoulder. I have to sing her to sleep. I cannot make this post any more eloquent (or wise), because, well, I have to change her nappy ... This ain´t a complaint, though. Life is richer this way; I have a smile on my face. But our collective task of treating us (and the planet we depend on) with basic decency has become ever more urgent! P.S. I should have known, of course . My friend Red told me all along: "Having children makes politics truly personal." As so often, he was right.