Timefulness: how thinking like a geologist can help save the world

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Princeton University Press,
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Why an awareness of Earth’s temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survival

Few of us have any conception of the enormous timescales in our planet’s long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating for ourselves. The passage of nine days, which is how long a drop of water typically stays in Earth’s atmosphere, is something we can easily grasp. But spans of hundreds of years—the time a molecule of carbon dioxide resides in the atmosphere—approach the limits of our comprehension. Our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations. Timefulness reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth’s deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future.

Marcia Bjornerud shows how geologists chart the planet’s past, explaining how we can determine the pace of solid Earth processes such as mountain building and erosion and comparing them with the more unstable rhythms of the oceans and atmosphere. These overlapping rates of change in the Earth system—some fast, some slow—demand a poly-temporal worldview, one that Bjornerud calls “timefulness.” She explains why timefulness is vital in the Anthropocene, this human epoch of accelerating planetary change, and proposes sensible solutions for building a more time-literate society.

This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales. The lifespan of Earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth’s history—and the magnitude of our effects on the planet.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 0321b9d9-428c-d6d6-51ea-be30ddae5a19
Grouping Title timefulness how thinking like a geologist can help save the world
Grouping Author bjornerud marcia
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-07-21 04:48:39AM
Last Indexed 2019-07-21 04:52:29AM

Solr Details

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record_details ils:.b20548151|Book|Books||English|Princeton University Press,|[2018]|208 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
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subject_facet Geological time, Geology, Stratigraphic -- Anthropocene, Human ecology, Nature -- Effect of human beings on, Sustainability, Time perception
title_display Timefulness : how thinking like a geologist can help save the world
title_full Timefulness : how thinking like a geologist can help save the world / Marcia Bjornerud
title_short Timefulness :
title_sub how thinking like a geologist can help save the world