Tim Flannery is one of the country's leading thinkers and writers...an internationally-acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, not to mention former Australian of the Year. Here on Earth is Flannery's first major book since The Weather Makers.
In it, he takes a big-picture look at where we are as a species, and what we need to do in order to survive into the future. Flannery draws on Darwin, Wallace and Lovelock to discuss evolution, co-evolution and the issue of sustainability, in the broadest sense.
And, as he tells the National Press Club, it's ultimately a message of hope.
In this address, Flannery expounds on why he won't vote Labor, how London fixed its sewerage pollution problem in the 1880s, how the Chinese are ahead of the curve on major sustainable technology infrastructure, and how they helped derail the Copenhagen climate agreement.
Tim Flannery has written such books as the definitive ecological histories of Australia (The Future Eaters) and North America (The Eternal Frontier). He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers.
As a field zoologist he has discovered and named more than thirty new species of mammals (including two tree-kangaroos) and at 34 he was awarded the Edgeworth David Medal for Outstanding Research.
He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement and has edited and introduced many historical works, including The Birth of Sydney, The Diaries of William Buckley and The Explorers. He received a Centenary of Federation Medal for his service to science and in 2002 he became the first environmentalist to deliver the Australia Day address to the nation.
Tim Flannery spent a year as professor of Australian studies at Harvard, where he taught in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. In Australia he is a leading member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, which reports independently to government on sustainability issues.
Tim Flannery was named Australian of the Year the day before Australia Day on 25th January 2007.
Paleontologist Tim Flannery reminds listeners that while evolution functions as a competitive mechanism, the mutually dependent relationships that it produces should not be taken for granted. "The mechanism is pretty nasty and brutish," he says. "The legacy -- the thing it gives rise to -- is an enormously cooperative world."
Global warming activist Tim Flannery responds to fears that human nature is not suited for the massive action that is required to combat climate change. Despite recent setbacks in reaching a global climate accord, he explains, individual countries have taken it upon themselves to reduce emissions and move toward a more sustainable future.