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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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Many Years of Thought????

Posted by Richard Conniff on February 23, 2012

I can’t quite get over this pair of emails I received yesterday from a publicist, especially the idea that someone claiming to have spent “many years of thought and a decade of researching and writing”  would somehow end up putting his byline on someone else’s work.  (Update:  The publicist now claims it was entirely her fault.  More at end of article) :

On Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 4:04 PM, Liz Mensching <>  wrote:

>     Please disregard the message below, sent earlier today. It contains a copyrighted article by Michael Shermer from the Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2008. I’m sorry for any inconvenience.
>     The following article is ready to run as is or with edits. The author, Oliver Deehan, is available for interview opportunities and copies of his book, To Find the Way of Love, are available upon request.
>     Thanks for your time,
>     Liz Mensching
> | 317.602.7137
>     Becoming a Type 1 Civilization
>     By Oliver Deehan
>     Our civilization is fast approaching a tipping point. Humans will have to make the transition from nonrenewable fossil fuels as the primary source of energy to renewable sources that will allow us to flourish in the future. Failure to make that transformation will doom us to the endless political machinations and economic conflicts that have plagued civilization for the last half-millennium.
>     We need new technologies to be sure, but without evolved political and economic systems, we cannot become what we must. And what is that? A Type 1 civilization. Let me explain.
>     In a 1964 article on searching for extraterrestrial civilizations, the Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardeshev suggested using radio telescopes to detect energy signals from other solar systems in which there might be three levels of advancement. Type 1 civilizations can harness all of the energy of its home planet. Type 2 can harness all of the power of its sun, and Type 3 can master the energy from its entire galaxy.
>     Based on our energy efficiency at the time, in 1973 the astronomer Carl Sagan estimated that Earth represented a Type 0.7, although more current estimations put us at 0.72. As the Kardashevian scale is logarithmic, where any increase in power consumption requires a huge leap in power production, we have a ways to go before reaching the desirable 1.0.
>     Here a few characteristics of a true Type 1 society:
>         * Improved energy efficiency by making the transition from nonrenewable fossil fuels to renewable energy sources
>         * Worldwide wireless Internet access. All knowledge is digitized and available to everyone
>         * A completely global economy, where anyone can trade without interference from states or governments
>     We have a proven track record of achieving remarkable scientific solutions to problems that threaten our survival. We now have the opportunity to live in a win-win world and become a Type 1 civilization by spreading liberal democracy and free trade. That is change we can believe in.
>     About the author
>     Oliver Deehan was a Navy fighter pilot, sailor, skier, and executive who built and administered hospitals. For the last twenty years, his concerns have been about human relationships and how the importance given to the individual has superseded the importance of relationships, with self-love trumping our love of others. This resulted in many years of thought and a decade of researching and writing the book, To Find the Way of Love.

Here is the link to Michael Shermer’s original article in the L.A. Times.
UPDATE Friday 8:36 a.m.:  I have received this email from Liz Mensching:

Hi Richard,

I saw your post about Oliver Deehan and just wanted to clarify what happened. I unknowingly pulled an excerpt from Oliver’s book that was cited with permission from the original writer, Michael Shermer. I take full responsibility for this.
Thanks for listening,
Bottom line:  Publicist shoots author in heart.



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