|Birth Day:||January 28, 1956|
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A native of coastal Victoria, Australia, he studied English at La Trobe University before earning graduate degrees in science from Monash University and the University of New South Wales.
Flannery was raised in a Catholic family in the Melbourne suburb of Sandringham, close to Port Phillip Bay, where he learned to fish and scuba dive and became aware of marine pollution and its effects on living organisms. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at La Trobe University in 1977, and then took a change of direction to complete a Master of Science degree in Earth Science at Monash University in 1981. He then left Melbourne for Sydney, enjoying its subtropical climate and species diversity. In 1984, Flannery earned a doctorate at the University of New South Wales in Palaeontology for his work on the evolution of macropods (kangaroos).
In 1980, Flannery discovered dinosaur fossils on the southern coast of Victoria and in 1985 had a role in the ground-breaking discovery of Cretaceous mammal fossils in Australia. This latter find extended the Australian mammal fossil record back 80 million years. During the 1980s, Flannery described most of the known Pleistocene megafaunal species in New Guinea as well as the fossil record of the phalangerids, a family of possums.
In 1994, Flannery published The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People.
Flannery has held various academic positions throughout his career. He spent many years in Adelaide, including a spell as professor at the University of Adelaide, and 7 years as director of the South Australian Museum. He was also principal research scientist at the Australian Museum, during which time he worked to save the bandicoot population on North Head. In 1999 he held the year-long visiting chair of Australian studies at Harvard University. In 2002, Flannery was appointed as chair of South Australia's [Environmental Sustainability Board (South Australia)].
In May 2004 Flannery said, in light of the city's water crisis, that, "I think there is a fair chance Perth will be the 21st century's first ghost metropolis"., a warning reiterated in 2007. In April 2005, he said, "water is going to be in short supply across the eastern states". In June 2005 warning that "the ongoing drought could leave Sydney's dams dry in just two years". Water security remains a major issue across eastern Australia.
The specific name of the greater monkey-faced bat (Pteralopex flanneryi), described in 2005, honours Flannery.
In September 2005 Flannery said, "There are hot rocks in South Australia that potentially have enough embedded energy in them to run Australia's economy for the best part of a century". Also for the Cooper Basin, he proposed the establishment of a fully sustainable city where, "hundreds of thousands of people would live", utilising these geothermal energy reserves. He named the city, "Geothermia". Subsequently, in 2007, an exploration company was established. The company expected to raise at least $11.5m on the Australian Stock Exchange. Flannery took up shares in the company. In 2010, the Federal Government provided the company with another $90m for the development work. In August 2016, the geothermal energy project closed as it was not financially viable.
In October 2006 Flannery quoted a US Navy study stating that, there may be, "no Arctic icecap in Summer in the next five to 15 years. He also quoted NASA's Professor James Hansen, "arguably the world authority on climate change" who said, "we have just a decade to avert a 25-metre rise of the sea". In February 2007, as he explained how increased soil evaporation impacts on runoff, he said "even the [existing amount of] rain that falls isn't actually going to fill our dams and our river systems" and in June 2007, he said that, "Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months".
The book won international acclaim. Bill Bryson concluded that "It would be hard to imagine a better or more important book." The Weather Makers was honoured in 2006 as 'Book of the Year' at the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards.
In 2006 Flannery was in support of nuclear power as a possible solution for reducing Australia's carbon emissions; however, in 2007 changed his position against it. In May 2007 he told a business gathering in Sydney that while nuclear energy does have a role elsewhere in the world, Australia's abundance of renewable resources rule out the need for nuclear power in the near term. He does, however, feel that Australia should and will have to supply its uranium to those other countries that do not have access to renewables like Australia does.
In 2007, Flannery became professor in the Climate Risk Concentration of Research Excellence at Macquarie University. He left Macquarie University in mid-2013. Flannery is also a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and a Governor of WWF-Australia. He has contributed to over 143 scientific papers.
Flannery's work in raising the profile of environmental issues was key to his being named Australian of the Year in 2007. Awarding the prize, former Prime Minister John Howard said that the scientist "has encouraged Australians into new ways of thinking about our environmental history and future ecological challenges."
In late 2007, Flannery suggested that the Japanese whaling involving the relatively common minke whale may be sustainable:
In May 2008 Flannery created controversy by suggesting that sulphur could be dispersed into the atmosphere to help block the sun leading to global dimming, in order to counteract the effects of global warming.
In 2009, Flannery joined the project "Soldiers of Peace", a move against all wars and for a global peace.
Flannery was an advisor on climate change to South Australian Premier Mike Rann, and was a member of the Queensland Climate Change Council established by the Queensland Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation Andrew McNamara. In February 2011 it was announced that Flannery had been appointed to head the Climate Change Commission established by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to explain climate change and the need for a carbon price to the public.
On 10 February 2011, Flannery was appointed as the Chief Commissioner of the Climate Commission by the Australian Government. The Commission was a panel of leading scientists and business experts whose mandate was to provide an "independent and reliable" source of information for all Australians.
On 19 September 2013, Flannery was sacked from his position as head of the Climate Commission in a phone call from new Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt. "It was a short and courteous conversation," Flannery recalls. "I'm pretty sure that cabinet hadn't been convened when they did it. My very strong recollection is that it was [the Abbott Government's] very first act in government... The website that we'd spent a lot of time building was taken down with absolutely no justification as far as I could see. It was giving basic information that was being used by many, many people—teachers and others—just to gain a better understanding of what climate science was actually about." It was also announced that the Commission would be dismantled and its remit handled by the Department of Environment.
The Future Eaters was made into a documentary series for ABC Television and was republished in late 2013.
In August 2017 Flannery hosted an episode of ABC Catalyst investigating how carefully managed seaweed growth could contribute to combating climate change via the sequestration of atmospheric carbon to the ocean floor. This explored the details of the book he published in July 2017, 'Sunlight and Seaweed: An Argument for How to Feed, Power and Clean Up the World'. In January 2018 Flannery appeared on the ABC's Science program exploring whether humans are becoming a new 'Mass Extinction Event', in addition to outlining the '5 Things You Need to Know About Climate Change'.
In July 2018 he played a role in the Kwaio Reconciliation programme in the Solomon Islands, which put an end to a 91-year-old cycle of killings that stemmed from the murders in 1927 of British Colonial officers Bell and Gillies by Kwaio leader Basiana and his followers.
Flannery has long spoken out about the impacts of climate change in Australia and internationally. In 2019 Flannery said, "Sadly, I've been aware of [the urgency to act] for a long time. We have to reduce emissions as hard and fast as possible... The speed and scale of impacts have been something that is really shocking." He contined to warn people that, "People are shocked, but they should be angry...The consequences will grow year by year, and stuff we were warning people about 20 years ago is now coming to fruition and is impossible to deny, unless you are wilfully blind."
Tim and his wife, Alexandra Szalay, co-wrote a 1998 scientific work titled Tree Kangaroos: a Curious Natural History.
Currently, Tim Flannery is 67 years, 1 months and 24 days old. Tim Flannery will celebrate 68th birthday on a Sunday 28th of January 2024. Below we countdown to Tim Flannery upcoming birthday.