Talk:Tim Flannery

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The word "provocative" has been applied in the opening paragraph describing the subject and reverted. I do not think that the word as it is ordinarily used applies to the subject. Anyone else have a view? Albatross2147 08:25, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not about peoples "views", it is about what we can reference, what we can prove, the writers POV is not relevant. Since the word "provocative" is used as a descriptor in the very first paragraph of the very first reference it should stay. Prester John 03:20, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I for one don't like it. That reference does not read with an encyclopaedic tone. Another word in there that could equally and possibly better describe him as is "renowned". "Provocative" for me (especially in an opening sentence) is too much of a peacock term. Its interesting that you edited out the previous descriptor "well-known" with an edit summary of "NPOV" [1] before replacing it with Provocative. —Moondyne 04:18, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not only inappropriate for a lead sentence, but whether it is referenced or not makes no difference – it is a subjective term, and cannot be stated as fact. We can, however, say "X describes Flannery as provocative" if such a statement is suitably sourced and relevant.--cj | talk 20:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

As most people have commented here on Flannery's claims of this and that happening to some extent and, as this has caused controversy, it should at least be noted that he has stirred up some controversy over his actions and speeches. Therefore I think you should add a "Controversy" heading where people can add things - go to any politician or pope or personality page and you're gonna find "controversy" - from wide ranging people like Tim Blair, Pope Benedict, Charlie Sheen! (Or is Tim a Saint?) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:05, 28 December 2011 (UTC)


I've rewritten the article pretty much from scratch. One point I've made that lacks a source is that "His advocacy on two issues in particular, population levels and carbon emissions, culminated in being named Australian of the Year at a time when the environment had reached the forefront of public debate in Australia." I think it's relevant that given the high profile of climate change etc right now it is a special honour for one environmentalist to be chosen - is this valid contextual information or original research? Joestella 17:13, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the rewrite. However I do think the excerpt from The Australian editorial is unecessary. If you can find some well sourced criticism from other scientists, politicians, etc., then that's fine. But editorials are a form of opinionated comment (who wrote it, do they have any particular expertise, does it actually matter?), and its importance or relevance is debatable. Recurring dreams 21:34, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I missed this comment of yours - and I disagree. The major newspapers offer a non-partisan overview of issues that crosses the sort of boundaries that would stop a scientist from rendering comment. Flannery's status as a scientist is covered in the article, but readers need to get a sense of his activist work as well. Joestella 15:11, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I disagree that major newspapers offer a non-partisan point of view on issues. As you have noted many times on pages on newspapers, they campaign strongly on particular issues. Indeed most newspaper editorials offer strong ideological comments, even going as far as approving particular political parties. And I don't see what the editorial comment offers that isn't already covered? There is plenty in the article about his activism, to which the editorial doesn't add anything. If you want to add more, find particular instances, eg conferences, interviews, events, etc. involving his activism. Recurring dreams 15:20, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I mean partisan in the sense of parties. The newspapers offer the sort of social overview that is their job to provide. The characterisation of Flannery as extreme is I think fair (as in, you can see its a view based on research and observation rather than just partisan malice, even if one doesn't agree with the conclusion) and relevant. Joestella 16:23, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't believe newspaper editorials offer a "social overview." Their opinion is simply their own, not society's. "The characterisation of Flannery as extreme is I think fair." Well you see it is a characterisation, and the relevance or expertise of a newspaper's opinion on this issue is debatable. As you say the ultimate conclusion is not the issue: one could simply find several other editorials extolling the subjects' virtues, and it would be justifiable to put them alongside this extract. The point is, the practice of quoting from anonymous editorials on a number of issues detracts from the encyclopediac nature of these articles. Recurring dreams 02:13, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Frequently cited?[edit]

"His controversial views on population control and shutting down the coal industry are frequently cited in the media." If anyone can find me a few recent media pieces about population control and comments from Flannery, then this statement is justified. I don't seem to be able to find many? Recurring dreams 21:40, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Poor wording on my part perhaps. What I'm trying to get across is that when people think Tim Flannery, they think about those views more than say, his work on Melanesian tree kangaroos. That said, the coal stuff was all over the media in January-February of this year. Joestella 05:52, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm happy to keep the coal industry part (he is indeed often cited), but maybe get rid of the population control. I really don't see that it was much of an issue in the media besides maybe ~10 yrs ago. Recurring dreams 06:17, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

That seems fine for the opening, the population control stuff is outlined later on anyway. Joestella 08:06, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone provide additional context for this concept? It is not clear in the article why Flannery is proposing this. Euryalus 22:13, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I think it's about sea-level rises. Does it matter? Joestella 05:53, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Its inclusion in the article implies that it matters. If it represents a meaningful contribution to environmental thinking, then what is it? If it does not represent a meaningful contribution, it probably does not deserve a mention in the piece.

My question also represents a passing interest in what Flannery is advocating.

I cannot find a copy of The Weathermakers or I would be able to answer this myself. Can anyone who has read the book shed some light on this? Euryalus 08:52, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Having read the section from The Weathermakers, I have added a sentence clarifying the Geothermia concept. It is related to energy sources at the proposed location, which Flannery suggests would allow such a settlement to be energy self-sufficient and also support a rail and electricity grid to enable connections to major ports and coastal cities. Euryalus 04:05, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Tipping point[edit]

Tim Flannery wrote about the tipping point (2015), turning point, deadline. Why don't we an article about it? This is another article: Tipping point. --Tamás Kádár 01:13, 7 July 2007 (UTC)


Is the Bibliography section in this article a list of books that Flannery is involved with, or a list of sources used for this article.

If the former it should be considered for removal, as wikipedia is not indiscriminate nor promotional information.

If the latter it should definitely be cleaned up and possibly integrated with footnotes into a more easily tracked references/footnotes section.--ZayZayEM (talk) 03:10, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Missing punctuation in paragraph 6[edit]

These two are missing: "In the 1990s, Flannery published The Mammals Of New Guinea (Cornell Press)<insert space>and Prehistoric Mammals Of Australia and New<insert space>(Johns Hopkins Press), the most comprehensive reference works on the subjects."

I don't have an account so I can't edit.

Thanks for pointing this out. I've fixed the spacing as suggested. I'd also poit out that anyone can edit - you don'tneed an account, just go to the page you want to make a change to , click on "Edit this page" at the top, and jump right in. There's more detail if you want it at Wikipedia:How to edit a page.
Feel free to fix spelling or punctuation wherever you find it but just remember any new facts will need a source for it. And welcome to Wikipedia! Euryalus (talk) 22:56, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

NPOV/Weasel words[edit]

"However, it is considered a rash claim considering such mega-fauna were adapted to previous climate cycles..." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 3:08, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Non-neutral POV, innacurate and misleading content[edit]

I removed the following section from the article on multiple grounds as explained bellow, primarily as it does not follow Wikipedia's first fundamental principle.

==Criticisms== ===Position on nuclear power in Australia=== In 2006, Flannery said: : ''Over the next two decades, Australians could use nuclear power to replace all our coal-fired power plants. We would then have a power infrastructure like that of France, and in doing so we would have done something great for the world, for whatever risks go with a domestic nuclear power industry are local, while greenhouse gas pollution is global in its impact.''<ref></ref> In 2010, Flannery denied ever supporting nuclear power in Australia.<ref></ref> ===Conflicts of interests=== Flannery is an investor in geothermal technology. Flannery's company, Geodynamics, received a $90 million grant from the Australian Government;<ref></ref> the same government to which Flannery is an advisor on climate change.

The issues are:

  • Position on nuclear power in Australia: The claim is made, by presenting an excerpt from an article, that there would be an inconsistency in Flannery's advocacy regarding nuclear power. Flannery's response regarding the overall meaning of the article is interpreted as a denial. However, Flannery's position on nuclear power is not presented at all. This section is misleading and non-neutral.
  • "Flannery's company, Geodynamics" is simply nonsense, and another element of non-neutrality. He is not among the top 20 shareholders [2] which means his holdings must be below 0.25% of the company - that barely makes the company "his".
  • "Conflicts of interests" - Unclear reason for using plural. No evidence of him having an advisory role to the federal government is presented. Conflict of interest is inferred however Flannery disclosed his shareholding in Geodynamics at least as long ago as 2006 [3].
  • The whole section is based on a blog by an author on record for "abusing science" [4].

Given his notability in advocacy for action on climate change, his position on nuclear power, geothermal power and other forms of energy (coal, wind, etc.) are relevant, however these need to be presented from a neutral point of view, in an encyclopedic manner and properly sourced. --Elekhh (talk) 00:15, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Removed section[edit]

I removed following section, before attempting to re-add it again please discuss it here.

On the 25th March 2011, in a radio interview with Steve Price and Andrew Bolt on MTR1377, Tim Flannery said "If we cut emissions today global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years" and "If the world as a whole cut ALL emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly." Tim Flannery on climate change MTR1377 Audio Clip

The reasons for the removal are (1) lack of relevance (global warming is not Flannery's personal opinion, carbon reduction targets are aimed to limit warming, not to produce cooling), (2) non-encyclopedic style (random quotations from a radio interview are not a good way to summarise his position on climate change, see WP:OR and WP:NPOV), (3) potentially misleading (per intention of the non-neutral radio interviewer). --Elekhh (talk) 06:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

As a previous editor of this article, Elekhh requested my opinion on this addition. While I haven't listened to the interview, I find it believable that Flannery would have said this, but the relevance to this WP:BLP is what is really in question. The other concern is the context.
In my opinion the current quote is being taken out of context, i.e., as in dozens of other interviews and reports I have seen, Flannery would have been confirming the need for immediate action; this reads as though he's saying that there's no point acting, as it won't make any difference.
However, taking it in the way that he would have said it, the question then arises as to what it adds to the article. In short Flannery is just restating the current state of climate change science with his typical personal flourish; but the article would seem to already make his position as a supporter of the scientific view of climate change clear. So this piece is adding no new information. Now if he had have been changing his position, saying he now disagreed with widely accepted climate change science, that would be worthy of addition.
It could perhaps be reworded to say he reaffirmed his position on climate change in this interview, but if we added to the article every time he did that the article would be a million words long, always saying the same thing. Please refer to WP:NOTNEWS for a short summary policy regarding this point. --jjron (talk) 03:11, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Please note that continually re-adding this piece, whether under a user account, or while not logged in, will make the users liable for blocking under the WP:3RR rule, as I noted in my reversion edit summary. Please refer further discussion here first in order to reach a consensus decision. Thanks. --jjron (talk) 03:18, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Sentence removed[edit]

I've removed

A homepage address of this publication is available at, which provides more information, as well as critical analysis from Flannery’s peers on this work.

since it really doesn't fit or belong in a BIO, it would on a personal website but just not here. The article should be about facts, not what a web page elsewhere has, reason why we have an "External link" section. Bidgee (talk) 12:45, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Outrageous Claims (Corkers)[edit]

Tim's outrageous claims should not have been deleted from the page. It is not "talk" or "gossip" but is very relevant given his role.

His claimed that Perth would be the world's first metropolitan ghost town by 2008 and that Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide would all be out of water by 2008 should all be mentioned because HE IS the Climate Commissioner! Such wild claims (which have been.....obviously untrue)by the Head of 'Climate Science' are extremely relevant. [[5]]

He also claims the oceans will rise by some ridiculous amount which is completley incongruous with the IPCC estimates of 2-3cm.

He also claimed there'd be no arctic ice by 2013. [[6]]

He also believes in something (fringe dweller) called Gaia - shouldn't this be mentioned as most pages on people will tell you what "faith" they belong to.[[7]]

All of this is the Climate Commissioner's opinion on Climate; it is VERIFIABLE and REAL. If you don't want to include it because it embarrasses him, you're then being political and not proper. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:16, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Middle Name[edit]

In 2006 I added Tim Flannery's middle name to this page and it was deleted by an editor the same day yet 6 years later I noticed his middle name has been added by someone else and has been kept on the page. How times have changed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mirrabooka (talkcontribs) 12:30, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Chair in Environmental Sustainability[edit]

He currently holds the important position of Chair in Environmental Sustainability. I think this should be mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:01, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

add notable review[edit] (talk) 03:32, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Why add the non-notable review? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:53, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Climate commission does comment on policy[edit]

Where does the backing for the statement "The Commission is an independent body which does not comment on government policy." come from? I question its validity, for example during public forums the commissioners have commented on policy impacts. Follow this link below for an example: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:31, 28 July 2012 (UTC)