After my return from Australia in May, I picked up a copy of The Future Eaters, An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People (Buy Now: Amazon.ca; Amazon.com) on the recommendation of a friend. It is quite a book, chronically the peopling of Australia as long as 80,000 years ago. It describes how these people adapted to and modified their environment, adjusting to an environment that largely demanded a nomadic hunter/gatherer lifestyle. Flannery contrasts this development with that of people colonizing New Zealand and Indonesia. He then contrasts these colonizations with that of Europeans in the last 200 years, where the people tried to adapt the Australasian environment to a European lifestyle–largely a failed experiment. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about where we humans are going as a species.
I have since purchased Fannery’s subsequent books, The Eternal Frontier, an Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples and The Weather Makers, How We are Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth. I will report on these as I read them.