316 pages, no illustrations
Sometimes it's hard to be an optimist. In an ever more crowded and complex world, new challenges continue to confront us. It would be tempting to give up hope. Tim Flannery is here to offer us a change of perspective. And he is here to inspire us. He invites us to consider again our place on earth, what it really means to be alive. "Here on Earth" is a revolutionary dual biography of the planet and of our species. Flannery reimagines the history of earth, from its earliest origins as a chaotic ball of elemental gases to the teeming landscape we currently call home.
It is a remarkable story. How did life first emerge here? What forces have shaped it? Why did humans come to dominate? And when did we start to have an impact? More importantly, how has this changed us as a species? The awesome hand of nature has never been better portrayed than in this book. Nor, remarkably, the transformative power of ideas. From the most intense competition for survival, cooperation has emerged. The challenge we now face is to sustain our fragile hold on life. Our fate is in our own hands. But first we have to realise who we are.
How lucky we are to be alive ... Tim Flannery tells this extraordinary story ... he brings together planetary history, evolutionary biology, his own practical experience ... a triumph of interdisciplinarity ... deserves to be widely read.
- Crispin Tickell, Financial Times
"His most ambitious book so far ... a twin biography, of humanity and the planet it inhabits, but that description is inadequate. Mr Flannery's subject is the likely fate of humankind, and whether the powers granted to modern civilisation by science and technology will prove to be its downfall or its salvation ... worth reading."
- The Economist
"This is a wonderful book. It is a letter from perhaps the world's most thoughtful, and certainly most eloquent, environment scientist on how we as a species might survive as chief stewards of planet Earth ... 'Here on Earth' is a must for optimists and pessimists alike.
- Fred Pearce, New Scientist
"On all counts, we need a paradigm shift ... Flannery excellently and entertainingly explains the science that is needed to achieve this. 'Here on Earth' deserves to be widely read, and it will be good for the world if it is.
- Colin Tudge, Independent
"Flannery's writing never fails to please. His authorial voice is always engaging, and he has an eye for memorable details that help ordinary readers make models in their minds of how nature works."
- Marek Kohn, Guardian
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Tim Flannery is an internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, described by Sir David Attenborough as being 'in the league of the all-time great explorers like Dr David Livingstone'. His books include "The Future Eaters", "The Eternal Frontier", "Throwim Way Leg", "A Gap in Nature", "Country" and "The Weather Makers" ('one of the most influential books of the 20th century' Guardian).