Tim Flannery’s first major book since The Weather Makers charts the history of life on our planet. Here on Earth, which draws its points of departure from Darwin and Wallace, Lovelock and Dawkins, is an extraordinary exploration of evolution and sustainability. Our success as a species has had disastrous effects on many of the Earth’s ecosystems and could lead to our downfall. But equally, Flannery argues, we are now equipped as never before to explore our true relationship with the planet on which our biological, economic and cultural futures depend. Here on Earth is not just a dazzling account of life on our planet. It will change the way you live.
©2010 Tim Flannery (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"This book is a twin biography of our species and our planet. At its heart lies an investigation of sustainability -- not how we achieve it, but what it is. I've written it at a time when hope that humanity might save itself from a climatic catastrophe seems to be draining away. Yet I'm not without hope. For I believe that as we come to know ourselves and our planet, we'll be moved to act."
Flannery fulfills brilliantly (and poignantly) on his promise. Surely, he is the next Jared Diamond -- but with far more literary flair. My only criticism of the audiobook format is that Flannery (who ably narrates the story himself) keeps a brisk pace that is unmodulated by the kinds of pauses (following climactic ideas or exceptionally artistic passages) that I would enforce were I reading the book in hand.
As with Jared Diamond, Tim Flannery brings to his interdisciplinary, big-picture thinking a full scientific understanding of Earth history. In so doing, he helps the reader see through (what I like to call) "deep-time eyes" -- and what songwriter Peter Mayer calls a "million year mind."
Highlights of the book include: (1) a riveting half-hour walk through the peopling of Earth and the extinction catastrophe that first-wave humans caused when naive megafauna were confronted by spear-and-fire wielders; (2) how indigenous cultures evolved lifeways balanced with the creatures that survived the frontier onslaught; (3) why a big-picture, deep-time understanding is vital for entering the future with realistic hope; and (4) how and why some life forms now depend on continuing human intervention in their behalf -- and would likely perish if our species suddenly vanished from Earth.
Overall, a splendid and transformative listen!
Our planet Earth. This book clearly explains our need to think about the future for ALL. We live like politicians, only care while I can be recognised for what I've done. Unfortunately many 'man' thinks next generation doesn't count, it won't effect me. It's not true. Next election/ generation who cares.
When the honey eater led the humans to the beehive and was thus rewarded with some honey =)
The Hobits in Indonesia.
I read the paper back but because I needed to know it really well for uni, I also DLed the audio. I loved it. Listened to it in a couple of days.
This book has so much interesting info that you'll keep talking about it to everyone for a long time.
It has become one of may favourite books. It is very interesting and easy to understand and the arguments are backed up with internationally recognized scientific reports and studies.
This is not a character driven book but if you believe in Gaia, then she is my favourite character
I most enjoyed:
- the tracing of the history of our species, we are often referred to as the upright apes in the book. I found it fascinating to learn about the other species of the genus Homo that came before us and how the different migrations around the planet formed our predecessors and us.
- the outlining of the positive things that are being done and can be done to ensure our future and that of our planet
Are we smart enough to save ourselves and our planet?
I like this book so much I bought it twice: first as a paperback when it first came out then I decided to buy it again as an audio book so that I could enjoy it again on a recent 10 hour interstate drive. The author has a pleasant voice and I got so much more from the book the second time round - enjoy.
It's hard to hold out hope for the human herd to change direction and become more thoughtful toward the nature of the fundamental things - life on earth and the critical systems that support it. We spend so much time working against them that it's almost given we will lose the abundance and diversity that came before us. Tim Flannery's book is a gentle reminder of how we do that at our absolute peril.
Yes - This book is passionate and well-thought-out plea for a new direction in human development, culturally and economically. Flannery makes the case, in precise but emphatic language, that our cultural and economic systems need to be fundamentally rewired if we have any hope of passing on a habitable planet.
His amusing Australian accent, and the passion of the arguments he makes.
Flannery spoke of the idea that environmental degredation needs to be elevated to the same level of social intolerance as genocide, because environmental degredation will, in an increasingly crowded and ecologically stressed world, become one and the same as genocide.
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