Download Mobi ¸ The Eternal Frontier An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples 432 pages ✓ Randarenewables

Doc The Eternal Frontier An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples

Download Mobi ¸ The Eternal Frontier An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples 432 pages ✓ Randarenewables è In The Eternal Frontier world renowned scientist and historian Tim Flannery tells the unforgettable story of the geological aOther facets of the enormous impact of frontier settlement and the development of the industrial might of the United States Natural history on a monumental scale The Eternal Frontier contains an enormous wealth of fascinating scientific details and Flannery's accessible and dynamic writing makes the book a delight to read This is science writing at its very best a riveting page turner that is simultaneously an accessible and scholarly trove of incredible information that is already being hailed by critics as a classic Tim Flannery's account will fascinate Americans and non Americans alike Jared Diamond author of Guns Germs and Steel No one before Flannery has been brave enough to tackle the whole pageant of North America David uammen the New York Times This is an extended review of this uality book on the history of the North American continentStrolling through the museum you arrive at the newest exhibit “America 50 Million Years Ago” Visitors finds themselves looking at unfamiliar creatures things they would expect to find in a science fiction or horror movie The most feared carnivore is a flightless bird almost six feet tall with an ax like beak that can swallow most American mammals whole There are soft shelled turtles with snouts like a pig horses the size of a fox and a shrew grown to the size of a cow The early relatives of camels are hard to pick out because they are the size of hare At times it looks as though the designers of this exhibit took known animals and rearranged their features like a kind of twisted Mr Potato Head game Descriptions of these unusual creatures are only one of the attractions of Tim Flannery’s book The Eternal Frontier An Australian Flannery not to be confused with the former San Diego Padres utility infielder typically writes about ecology in his native land but in The Eternal Frontier he ventures across the Pacific to look at the long term history of the North American continent In the process he has written an engaging book full of insights into North America’s continental history that go beyond descriptions of long extinct flora and fauna to discuss climate ecology population migrations and eventually humans Flannery begins with a discussion of a North America divided into two parts with a shallow intervening sea known as the Bearpaw This description of ancient North America 75 million years ago MYA uickly leads into the most devastating known event in world history the collision of an asteroid with the earth about 65 MYA With minor exceptions this meteorite impact in the present day Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico simultaneously ended the age of the dinosaurs in the northern hemisphere because of the trajectory of the meteorite the southern hemisphere largely escaped significant damage and wiped away virtually all life from the North America landscape Before shunting the dinosaurs aside however Flannery does note that their disappearance cleared the way for a heretofore little noted group of creatures the mammals As long as dinosaurs ruled the earth mammals were unable to evolve into anything larger than a house cat despite about 100 million years of trying but that was about to change From this point Flannery follows several main themes throughout The Eternal Frontier One is the use of geologic evidence or its lack to infer important conclusions about the history of North America For example before the meteor impact physical connections existed between all the continents demonstrated by the fact that they shared many species of dinosaur and flowering plants Another of the themes Flannery brings forward is how and why some species are successful when entering new habitats because many species did from time to time when changing climate created new land connections between continents Again drawing evidence from the fossil record he shows that when North America and Europe connected via Greenland about 46 MYA the migration was definitely from North America to Europe The reason? Species from the larger continent usually prevail in such situations because continents with a greater number of species have greater competition between species and thus pressure to evolve adaptations that aid in species survival Another result is that when a bridge opened between Asia and North America about 6 MYA Asian species crossed and many established themselves in their new home meaning that roughly half of North American species were not American in origin but migrants from Asia Another of the factors contributing to successful species migrations is that those who have adapted to marginal or difficult environments stand the best chance of success The final overarching theme of The Eternal Frontier is Flannery’s conception of the continent as a “climatic trumpet” He demonstrates that due to the shape of North America wide toward the North Pole and narrow at its southern terminus with the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains creating a corridor through which most weather systems pass it creates an amplifying effect continentally on global climate changes This means that when an event effecting world climate takes place such as the cooling episode brought on by Australia separating from Antarctica 33 MYA North America magnifies the result producing new conditions that result in extinction for some species and new opportunities for others In general the big picture significance is that when the climate warms life flourishes in North America including pronounced species diversification; when things cool the reverse occurs and many species die out Eventually Flannery discusses the impact of humans on North American history He sounds off on the cause of the Clovis extinctions seeing strong evidence in support of humans being the primary cause Flannery recognizes that this event regardless of cause is rather uniue in North American history but leaves no doubt about his feelings on the matter coming up with the self titled “black hole theory” “If our current chronology is accurate and humans were indeed the cause of the extinctions of America’s megafauna it had taken just 300 years to dispatch into oblivion through the black hole that lay between Clovis nose and Clovis chin a continent full of giants” 204 Also and perhaps not surprisingly for a book titled The Eternal Frontier Flannery proves an enthusiastic supporter of Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Hypothesis of American history Flannery also sees the frontier attitude as important in another way Recognizing the costs of the reckless use of natural resources in support of the capitalist economic system pursued throughout the American frontier he points out that this attitude towards the frontier is alive and well today with an “audacity and imbecility of which leaves one gasping for breath” 302 The result is that “in the process men blind to nature would blast marvels from the face of the Earth destroying forever the best of America’s wildlife” 312 There are many strengths to The Eternal Frontier For one Flannery’s style is easy to read yet he still manages to explain evolutionary concepts clearly for the non specialist His description of how ecology climate and life interact is music to the ears of readers who appreciate a long term view of history and ecology The descriptions of the physical traits of long extinct species and how those traits connect with evolution and the surrounding environment is both interesting and informative if sometimes a bit short on detail due to the fragmentary evidence left by the fossil record Some of the stories are entertaining such as when 1870s archaeologists traveled up the Platte River under military escort to protect them from Sioux warriors their party complete with Pawnee scouts and for a time Buffalo Bill Cody himself Others are instructive such as when Flannery recalls a dramatic warming episode of 50 MYA where due to large concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere oceanic circulation changed and global temperatures rose substantially Our current industrial society may want to take note Despite the many strengths of this work it could have been better on a few fronts The most glaring issue is the endorsement of Turner’s hypothesis despite the large body of evidence pointing toward other explanations of American development In addition the description of the impacts of invasive species transported by humans lacked depth considering its current ecological importance in all regions of the continent A description of the impact of zebra mussels or the destruction of San Francisco Bay’s native ecology would have been appropriate as a representative example The final evaluation is that the first three uarters of the book are a delight to read but in the final section discussing American history the reader should proceed with caution

Ebook ↠ The Eternal Frontier An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples é Tim Flannery

In The Eternal Frontier world renowned scientist and historian Tim Flannery tells the unforgettable story of the geological and biological evolution of the North American continent from the time of the asteroid strike that ended the age of dinosaurs 65 million years ago to the present day Flannery describes the development of North America's deciduous forests and other flora and tracks the immigration and emigration of various animals to and from Europe Asia and South America showing how plant and animal species have either adapted or become extinct The story takes in the massive changes wrought by the ice ages and the coming of the Indians and continues right up to the present covering the deforestation of the Northeast the decimation of the buffalo and I am conflicted about this book the first 23 when Flannery discusses the ecological history of North America up until 1492 gets 5 stars in my book while all the politically charged clap trap in the final third would get 2 stars and even there I am probably being generousFlannery introduced a couple of interesting notions that I'd never really thought aboutNorth America's inverted wedge exaggerates global temperature shifts impacting the ecological history of this otherwise fertile continent for at least the last 65 million years; and the driving force behind human exploration for at least 13000 years has been to sate our virtually unlimited lust as a carnivorous primate to kill other creatures Flannery got me to think a bit deeply about the middle American landscape and that has made me love it all the deeplyIt is when Flannery starts talking about human societies that he loses me Besides his selective use of facts to push all the obvious buttons about the evils of American capitalism that the well kept show ponies in academia like himself love to push Flannery's biological determinism may be trendy but it is intellectually weak Flannery's own oratory refutes his larger point in a single sentence the most powerful force in literate societies is language because words especially written words bind us in a way nothing else can Thus our ideas can override our biology Hey dude you just refuted your own argument Game set match Next subject But I still give this 4 stars because the first part of the book actually got me to look at the world in a new way Which is no small thing

Tim Flannery é The Eternal Frontier An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples Kindle

The Eternal Frontier An Ecological History of North America and Its PeoplesBook Review Tim Flannery's book will forever change your perspective on the North American continent Exhilarating John Terborgh The New York Review of Books Full of engaging and attention catching information about North America's geology climate and paleontology Patricia Nelson Limerick the Washington Post Book World Natural history par excellence Kirkus Reviews starred review This gutsy Aussie may have read our landscape and ecological history with greater clarity than any native son David A Burney Natural History A fascinating current and insightful look at our familiar history from a larger perspective David Bezanson Austin American Statesman The scope of Flannery's story is huge and his research exhaustive Lauren Gravitz The Christian Science Monito An interesting overview of the continent I found that the information was most interesting in the beginning and became less and less compelling towards the end as the author's opinions became and entangled with the facts This of course is unavoidable Another unavoidable thing is that the book is starting to show its age and this trend will only continue I read this book in anticipation of reading Europe by the same author and I am hoping to find some updates in thereAlso I first decided to read Tim Flannery's books because I read a well written review by him in the New York Review of Books This book is not as well written as the review but decent for a full length tome of general nonfictionHis final ideas on rewilding are not something I espouse to the extend that he does but I think they were at the forefront of something that is a tiny bit mainstream nowFinally perhaps because he is Australian and writing slightly in the past the author's way to approach Native Americans is a bit cavalier Overall it's a book worth reading but not remarkable