Professor Richard Pancosts inaugural lecture as Director of the Cabot Institute in Bristol. An excellent insight into how biogeochemical cycles effect and regulate global climate, both present and in the past. He provides an excellent description of how we can use information, particularly through analysing organic biomarkers, garnered from the past geological record (millions of years) to extend our knowledge of climate conditions and change over Earth’s history. This helps us to verify and improve climate models for predicting the effects of future climate change. It also enhances our understanding of how we as humans are changing our environment and how we can mitigate these deleterious changes for our sustainable development.