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Sunlight and Seaweed

Sunlight and Seaweed: An Argument for How to Feed, Power and Clean Up the World

Tim Flannery

Acclaimed scientist Tim Flannery investigates exciting new technologies currently being developed to address our most pressing environmental threats in a book that presents a positive future for us and our planet.

Climate change, food production and toxic pollution present huge challenges, but, as Flannery shows, we already have innovative, practical and inspiring solutions. Solar energy has, until now, been limited to supplying power only when the sun is shining. But new technology using concentrated sunlight to provide intense heat energy that can be effectively stored overcomes this problem, providing clean renewable power around the clock. Further, the large amounts of power produced can be used to tackle the issue of feeding the world’s growing population—by enabling energy-intense methods of purifying polluted land for agricultural production.

Drawing carbon out of the atmosphere is an essential component in limiting climate change. Flannery explores the potential of kelp, a fast-growing sea algae, to be used on a large scale to convert carbon from the air to a non-gaseous form, reducing levels of atmospheric carbon.

With accessible and engaging explanations of the fascinating science behind these technologies, as well as accounts of the systems already in operation around the world, Sunlight and Seaweed is an enlightening and uplifting view of the future.


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Watch Tim Flannery in conversation at the Wheeler Centre

Tim Flannery
About the Author

Tim Flannery is a scientist, an explorer, a conservationist and a leading writer on climate change. He has held various academic positions including visiting Professor in Evolutionary and Organismic Biology at Harvard University, Director of the South Australian Museum, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum, Professorial Fellow...

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31 July 2017
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Praise for Tim Flannery
andSunlight and Seaweed

‘This man is a national treasure, and we should heed his every word.’

‘It is difficult to overstate the importance of this concise, convincingly argued view of our world’s prospects for its survival and improvement over the next 33 years…Every one of this slim treatise’s 127 pages packs a punch, and its timely content deserves to be read by all of us.’

‘Accessible and engaging..An enlightening and uplifting view of the future.’

‘Sunlight and Seaweed is the beginning of a new way of helping the planet we live on.’

Sunlight and Seaweed also offers an excellent model for how best to communicate the challenges posed by climate change without turning readers off with unrelieved messages of doom.’ 

‘This new book is among [Flannery’s] best…Wonderfully thought provoking…Well informed and sobering.’

‘Flannery is optimistic, presenting a well-researched range of clearly explained technologies and strategies, and many of them are compelling reasons to be hopeful.’

‘A small book full of big ideas…This book doesn’t just wow the reader with nifty ideas; Flannery explains how they actually work, with his signature fluency and clarity.’

‘Tim Flannery addresses complex issues and make them clear and accessible. His compelling book both seriously informs and entertains…This is a fascinating, exciting and inspirational read.’

‘It is a joy to be guided through the science by someone who understands it and can explain it…Flannery commands his subject, but he can also be read for style alone…Flannery’s message in Sunlight and Seaweed is urgent and his spare prose reflects this.’

‘Flannery has written in easy-to-understand language and he sets out a positive path for this planet’s future.’

‘In a summer in which heat records are sure to be broken, Tim Flannery dives into the clean technologies that just might sustain the world of our children and grandchildren: giant kelp farms that can do the work of forests, taking carbon dioxide out and deacidifying seawater,and concentrated sunlight stored to power homes and cities. Flannery offers some kernel of hope for us hopeless humans.’

‘A focused, clear and optimistic read.’

‘Flannery has a great ability to distil complex subject matter into something you can wrap your head around.’

‘While global environmental challenges are immense, he [Flannery] argues here, they are not insurmountable…Flannery has a great ability to distil complex subject matter into something you can wrap your head around.’

Other editions ofSunlight and Seaweed
  • Sunlight and Seaweed
    ISBN: 9781925410907
    31 July 2017
    Buy ebook