Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Apr 5, 2011 - Science - 288 pages
5 Reviews
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 planet’s oceans from toxic brews of metals (such as iron, copper, and lead) to life-sustaining bodies covering 70 percent of the planet’s surface. Life, Flannery shows, first appeared in these oceans in the form of microscopic plants and bacteria, and these metals served as catalysts for the earliest biological processes known to exist. From this starting point, Flannery tells the fascinating story of the evolution of our own species, exploring several early human species—from the diminutive creatures (the famed hobbits) who lived in Africa around two million years ago to Homo erectus—before turning his attention to Homo sapiens. Drawing on Charles Darwin’s and Alfred Russell Wallace’s theories of evolution and Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis, Here on Earth is a dazzling account of life on our planet.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jacoombs - LibraryThing

When he sticks to the subject matter suggested by his subtitle he is quite good. A convincing and entertaining writer on our natural world but an agenda that leads him too far astray. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KateWa20 - LibraryThing

Attempt to pull back and make sense of the world and humanity's place in it. Compares approaches of Darwin, and Wallace. Instead of Dawkin's concept of the selfish gene, he focuses more on the positive and intricate cooperation within ecosystems. Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER
3
SECTION
5
CHAPTER
16
a workingclass evolutionist with a social
26
A Fresh Look at Earth
40
CHAPTER 5
54
homeostasiscan Gaia control herself? The faint young Sun paradox
71
CHAPTER 7
80
The Eleventh Hour?
174
Tentative signs of progresswith weapons and POPs But PFSs
203
CHAPTER 17
211
A selfish and greedy brainbut still it works Business or crime?
217
CHAPTER 19
229
CHAPTER 20
236
theory An evolutionary approach to understanding foolish behaviour
241
CHAPTER 22
257

CHAPTER 8
98
CHAPTER 9
111
CHAPTER 10
120
Ascent of the Ultimate Superorganism
136
CHAPTER 12
153
CHAPTER 13
161
From Forma Urbis Romae to Google Earth Intelligent cars and other
265
CHAPTER 23
271
Acknowledgments
283
Index
299
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About the author (2011)

Tim Flannery is one of Australia’s leading thinkers and writers.

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 Premier’s Literary Prizes for Best Critical Writing and Book of the Year.

He received a Centenary of Federation Medal for his services to Australian science and in 2002 delivered the Australia Day address. In 2005 he was named Australian Humanist of the Year, and in 2007 honoured as Australian of the Year.

He spent a year teaching at Harvard, and is a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and the National Geographic Society’s representative in Australasia. He serves on the board of WWF International (London and Gland) and on the sustainability advisory councils of Siemens (Munich) and Tata Power (Mumbai).

In 2007 he co-founded and was appointed Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council, a coalition of community, business, and political leaders who came together to confront climate change.

Tim Flannery is currently Professor of Science at Maquarie University, Sydney.

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