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A major work of environmental history, providing crucial lessons for today, Flannery, the renowned mammalogist, explores the way in which the human societies have, over time, consumed the very resources they have needed for their own future, and dramatically altered the native flora and fauna - in this case - Australasia's. This is a narrative of how generation after generation has consumed more than it needed. Only by reducing our present worldwide consumption patterns to fit our environment, argues Flannery, can we hope to salvage lands such as Australia.