Skip to main content


Highlights of a conversation with Frank H.T. Rhodes

Cornell President Emeritus Frank H.T. Rhodes has just published "Earth: A Tenant's Manual" (Cornell University Press), a 384-page exploration of planet Earth, from its place in the universe to the evolution of life on its land and in its seas. Looking at Earth's past, present and future, Rhodes asks whether humanity's continued existence on this planet is sustainable – and what changes will need to be made if we want to extend our lease on Earth. "We're tenants here, not owners," Rhodes states in this frank book that reflects the scientist's sober gaze and his own innate optimism. Rhodes chatted recently about the book with Joe Wilensky, managing editor of Ezra. Read the Q&A on the story page; audio clips from the interview are below.

Cornell President Emeritus Frank H.T. Rhodes

Cornell President Emeritus Frank H.T. Rhodes See larger image

On the origins of "Earth: A Tenant's Manual" and planetary resources
alt: images/RhodesAudio/

On Cornell's potential role in finding solutions
alt: images/RhodesAudio/Rhodes..02.only.solution.mp3

On his involvement with the Lower Swansea Valley reclamation project in South Wales
alt: images/RhodesAudio/

On his belief in humans' capacity to adapt and to do good
alt: images/RhodesAudio/

On how humans are short-term tenants, not owners, of the planet
alt: images/RhodesAudio/Rhodes.05.very.easy.mp3

On human nature and the difference between knowledge and wisdom
alt: images/RhodesAudio/Rhodes.06.human.nature.mp3

Back to top