Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change

Rice and birds of paradise

“In my naivety, I imagined when I set out on this quest that the world was fully documented, and that the great age of exploration had ended in the nineteenth century. I was envious of explorers like D’Albertis, who walked through entire undiscovered mountain ranges, and who lived for months on end on a diet of rice and newly discovered birds of paradise. My role, I thought, was more humble; to bring together the knowledge previous researchers had gathered, add some photographs and ecological notes, and place it all between the covers of one book. If I was lucky, I might discover some obscure creature such as a rat which had escaped the searching eyes of earlier explorers. My greatest discovery in New Guinea, perhaps, was finding out just how wrong I was.”

Tim Flannery on traveling in Papua New Guinea, from ‘Throwim Way Leg’.

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