Tim Flannery’s books include Chasing Kangaroos: A Continent, a Scientist, and a Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Creature and, most recently, Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis. (April 2017)

IN THE REVIEW

Can We Bring Back the Passenger Pigeon?

Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-Extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things

by M.R. O’Connor
Until recently it seemed that once a species went extinct, there was little we could do. Extinction truly was forever. But recent developments in genetics have given researchers some hope that extinct species might be brought back to life.

Extravagant, Aggressive Birds Down Under

A cassowary chick following its father along a beach in Etty Bay, Queensland, Australia

Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World

by Tim Low
Toward the end of his highly enjoyable book Where Song Began, Tim Low informs us that “it might be said that the world has one hemisphere weighted towards mammals and one towards birds.” The hemisphere weighted toward mammals is the northern one. And Low makes a convincing case that, in …

Fury Over Fracking

A flare used to burn off excess natural gas produced by oil wells, McKenzie County, North Dakota, 2014; photograph by Andrew Moore from Dirt Meridian, his collection of images made along the hundredth meridian, from North Dakota to Texas. The book includes texts by Kent Haruf, Toby Jurovics, and Inara Verzemnieks and is published by Damiani. An exhibition is on view at Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, February 5–April 16.

Exxon: The Road Not Taken

by Neela Banerjee, John H. Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer, and Lisa Song

The Green and the Black: The Complete Story of the Shale Revolution, the Fight Over Fracking, and the Future of Energy

by Gary Sernovitz
What should we think of a corporation that undertakes research on one of its products only to discover that its use could be damaging—and then tries to conceal the potential dangers of that product’s use? An investigation underway by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman promises to shed light on one such alleged case—concerning ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, and the possibility that it misled investors and the public about the dangers of climate change.

The Amazing Inner Lives of Animals

Elephant herds crossing a lake bed in the sun, Amboseli, Kenya, 2008; photograph by Nick Brandt

Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

by Carl Safina

The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins

by Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendell
The discovery of nonhuman societies composed of highly intelligent, social, empathetic individuals possessing sophisticated communication systems will force us to reformulate many questions. We have long asked whether we are alone in the universe. But clearly we are not alone on earth. The evolution of intelligence, of empathy and complex societies, is surely more likely than we have hitherto considered. And what is it, exactly, that sets our species apart?

NYR DAILY

Lilliput Under the Sea

Pacific Giant Octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini, 0.6 inches long without arms, 2014

Susan Middleton’s Spineless reveals a world where hermit crabs resemble wizards carrying their own magic mountains on their backs, and where worms are transformed into exquisite, pearly necklaces. Marine invertebrates—from octopuses to hermit crabs and creatures like the bizarre holothurians—are the focus of this photography book.

Copenhagen, and After

On April 5, 2009, Denmark got a new Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen. He was the third Danish Prime Minister in a row to bear that surname, replacing Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who had been named the new Secretary-General of NATO. A capable local politician in his forties, Lars Rasmussen had, in contrast to his predecessor, almost no experience in international politics. His appointment received little media coverage outside Denmark. But just eight months later, with Denmark the host of the Copenhagen climate summit (officially the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP-15), Lars Rasmussen’s—and Denmark’s—lack of experience in international politics would have a global impact.

Copenhagen Crisis: Why the US Needs Cap and Trade

It is often argued that cap and trade legislation requires too many compromises with—and give-aways to—polluting corporations to pass the House and Senate, and that consequently it is ineffective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While environmentalists are failing to support cap and trade, those opposing action on climate change are fiercely attacking it. Yet such a system is essential when it comes to getting global action on climate change—not least at the increasingly imperilled climate summit in Copenhagen in December—for it delivers a transparent benchmark by which nations can judge each other’s commitment.