From Plesiosaurs to People: 100 Million Years of Environmental History

Australia: State of the Environment Technical Paper Series (Portrait of Australia), Series 1
Michael Archer, Ian Burnley, John Dodson, Ronnie Harding, Lesley Head and Peter Murphy
Department of the Environment, 1998
ISBN 0 642 54531 6

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About the Technical Paper

The most critical challenge imaginable faces Australians as the twenty-first century races to meet us: we must shift our economic systems to an ecologically sustainable basis or prepare for an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions. The regional, national and even global consequences of our present modes of production and consumption guarantee that if we do not rapidly refocus our goals, future welfare will decline as our environments degenerate. Economic, social, political and technological factors that frustrate the achievement of sustainability must be identified and disempowered. We need to understand the geological, climatic and biological processes that interacted to shape this land and its inhabitants before we can disentangle the factors that threaten our future from among those that make up our complex societies. Only with this understanding will we find Australia's unique identity, the real nature of the land that underpins and sustains us.