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"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!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful