In Beautiful Lies Tim Flannery launches an attack on the various lies that we tell ourselves about our resources, our past and our future. The lie of terra nullius that made us ignore the Aborigines' knowledge of the environment. The lie of the Snowy Mountains Scheme that did untold damage to our river system for the sake of white immigration. The lie that rushing to preserve wilderness will save endangered species.
Tim Flannery is also skeptical about the myths of multiculturalism, and he argues that we cannot sustain a larger population given our resources. In his conclusion, he asks how we can discharge our responsibility to the refugees who are the victims of American policies we collude with.