Tim Flannery is a mammalogist, paleontologist, conservationist, and explorer whose books include The Future Eaters (01994), The Weather Makers (02005), and Here on Earth: A New Beginning (02011).
From Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace to James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis and our contemporary climate crisis, Flannery looks at life on the planet Earth and the life of the planet itself. Humans seen as a superorganism, one of several that have surfaced on Earth.
From Stewart Brand’s summary of this Seminar (in full here):
The first tightly connected superorganism came 100 million years ago when cockroaches invented agriculture and the division of labor and became termites, building complex skyscrapers with air-conditioning, highways, and garbage dumps. Only 10,000 years ago, humans did the same, inventing agriculture and the division of labor in cities, becoming the most potent superorganism yet.
In the end Flannery finds hope for humans acting globally to manage the global commons. And he and Stewart discuss the possibilities for De-Extinction, whether pigeon or wooly mammoth, not only to bolster biodiversity and counterbalance ecosystem decay but also as an inspiration to humankind.
The Seminars About Long-term Thinking began in 02003 and are presented each month live in San Francisco (also available as a podcast). The series is curated and hosted by Long Now’s President Stewart Brand.
Everyone can watch full video of the last 12 Long Now Seminars on our website. Only Long Now members can see the full ten years of Seminars in HD. Membership levels start at $8/month and include lots of benefits. You can join Long Now here.