Here On Earth: A New Beginning
Beginning at the moment of creation with the Big Bang, Here on Earth explores the evolution of Earth from a galactic cloud of dust and gas to a planet with a metallic core and early signs of life within a billion years of being created. In a compelling narrative, Flannery describes the formation of the Earth’s crust and atmosphere, as well as the transformation of the plan...more
The book turns around a key social and political problem – the tension (or contradiction) in human social organ ...more
here on earth's (american edition) su ...more
Flannery covers the evolution of the Earth from two perspectives: Charles Darwin, and his lesser known compatriot, Alfred Russell Wallace. Darwin is, of course, known for his painstakingly derived theory of evolution of species through natural selection, but Wallace came to the same conclusion through a more holistic approach (he could be called the originat ...more
The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.
It's a controversial theory that critics deride as pseudoscience, and there is certainly a spiritualistic component at least to how it's pro ...more
If one gets through the rather boring and convoluted first few chapters, Flannery presents a wealth of fascinating information from disparate disciplines to make his case. Describing co-evolution, symbiotic relationships and even creating ant/civilization analogi ...more
Yet in this very short period, it's a bit depressing knowing that "we've eaten our way through one resource after the other as we've spread around the planet....to the point of our own destruction". Every part of this planet we have colonized over the last 50,000 years included the disappea ...more
Tim Flannery has developed a philosophy of ecology that is clearly inspired by James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis and refreshingly unimpressed by the ideas of Richard Dawkins. Asking the fundamental question, ‘what ...more
The battle to avert an impending apocalype is to resuscitate Gaia– derived from John Lovelock’s theory that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex sys ...more
This book has received high praise from the standard reviewers, even enjoying a listing as A Globe and Mail – Best Book of the Year. But I can’t say I agree with them. I don’t necessarily disagree with the science of Here on Earth, but I wasn’t impressed with the manner in which that science was presented ...more
As a primer it is quite sweeping but provides many intriguing vignettes along the way and plenty of endnotes for those who want to dig deeper.
It's overall well balanced but gets more personal towards the end as Flannery leaves the theories of the ...more
This book is a combination of what to me was light-weight philosophy accompanied by lighter-weight science or even pseudoscience in the form of a focus on Lovelock's late 1970s Gaia Hypothesis. I mean heavyweight scientists ...more
Tim Flannery has an optimistic vision for the future of Earth and its ecology, including humanity. This is in spite of the damage we have already inflicted on the earth, air, water and life of our planet.
However he also offers a warning.
After presenting a very readable ecological history of humanity on Earth, Tim Flannery says "If our civilization can just survive this century, I believe its future prospects will be profoundly enhanced, for ...more
An internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, he has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers and many books. His books include the landmark works The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers, which has been translated into more than 20 languages and in 2006 won the NSW Premiers Literary Prizes for B ...more