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Tim Flannery : biography

28 January 1956 -

Timothy Fridtjof Flannery, (born 28 January 1956) is an Australian mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist and global warming activist. He is the Chief Commissioner of the Australian Climate Commission, a Federal Government body providing information on climate change to the Australian public.

Flannery was named Australian of the Year in 2007 and is currently a professor and holds the Panasonic Chair in Environmental SustainabilityMacquarie University (2013). "". Retrieved 23 Jume 2013. at Macquarie University. He is also the chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, an international climate change awareness group.Copenhagen Climate Council (2008). "". Retrieved 17 May 2008. His sometimes controversial views on shutting down conventional coal fired power stations for electricity generation in the medium term are frequently cited in the media.

Views on environmental issues

Species acclimatisation

In The Future Eaters, Flannery was critical of the European settlers introducing non-native wild animals into Australia's ecosystem. At the same time, he suggested that if one wanted to reproduce, in some parts of Australia, the ecosystems that existed there ca. 60,000 years ago (before the arrival of the humans on the continent), it may be necessary to introduce into Australia, in a thoughtful and careful way, some non-native species that would be the closest substitutes to the continent's lost megafauna. In particular, the Komodo dragon can be brought into Australia as a replacement for its extinct relative, Megalania, "the largest goanna of all time". The Tasmanian devil could also be allowed to re-settle the mainland Australia from its Tasmanian refuge area.Tim Flannery, The Future Eaters, pp. 384–385. ISBN 0-8021-3943-4

In The Eternal Frontier, Tim Flannery made a proposal for what later became nicknamed "Pleistocene Rewilding": restoring the ecosystems that existed in North America before the arrival of the Clovis people and the concomitant disappearance of the North American Pleistocene megafauna ca. 13,000. He wonders if, in addition to the wolves that have been already re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park, ambush predators, such as jaguars and lions should be reintroduced there as well, in order to bring the number of elks under control. Furthermore, the closest extant relatives of the species that went extinct around the Clovis period could be introduced to North America's nature reserves as well. In particular, the Indian and African elephants could substitute, respectively, for the mammoth and the mastodon; the Chacoan Peccary, for its extinct flat-headed cousin (Platygonus compressus). Llamas and panthers, who still survive outside of the USA, should too be brought back to that country.Flannery, The Eternal Frontier, ISBN 1-876485-72-8, pp. 345–346. On the peccary, p. 158

Carbon emissions

In The Weather Makers: The History & Future Impact of Climate Change, Flannery outlined the science behind anthropogenic climate change. "With great scientific advances being made every month, this book is necessarily incomplete," Flannery writes, but "That should not, however, be used as an excuse for inaction. We know enough to act wisely."

Concepts outlined in the book include:

  • That a failure to act on climate change may eventually force the creation of a global carbon dictatorship, which he calls the "Earth Commission for Thermostatic Control", to regulate carbon use across all industries and nations – a level of governmental intrusion that Flannery describes as "very undesirable"; and
  • the establishment of "Geothermia" – a new city at the NSW-South Australia-Queensland border – to take advantage of the location's abundance of natural gas reserves, geothermal and solar energy. Flannery argues that such a city could be completely energy self-sufficient, and would be a model for future city development worldwide. Of the city project, Flannery told The Bulletin that "I know it's radical but we have no choice".
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine