Deep Time Reckoning

By Vincent Ialenti,

Book cover of Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now

Book description

A guide to long-term thinking: how to envision the far future of Earth.

We live on a planet careening toward environmental collapse that will be largely brought about by our own actions. And yet we struggle to grasp the scale of the crisis, barely able to imagine the effects of…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Deep Time Reckoning as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Vincent is a social anthropologist who spent a number of years in Finland completing a truly fascinating piece of fieldwork: he studied the people involved in planning the spent nuclear waste depository at Onkala.

This is a huge undertaking and responsibility, requiring its architects to project their minds tens of thousands of years into the future. Through his fieldwork, Vincent drew out various broader lessons for how to think longer-term.

What’s striking about Onkala is that the people involved in the planning are simply normal Finnish people tasked with an extraordinary job. To me that shows that deep time can…

From Richard's list on to take a longer view of time.

Pro-nuclear advocates often dodge the nuclear waste problem, claiming that the fuel waste is small in volume and easy to store underground. Unfortunately, nuclear waste remains radioactive for millions of years, causing a long-term toxic liability for generations to come. For perspective, homo sapiens have been around for 300,000 years and agriculture for 12,000 years. How will we communicate with future earthlings to protect them from accessing this harmful radioactive waste?

I like this book because it broadened my sense of time. In this book, the author interviews Finland’s nuclear waste team who are tasked with predicting geological events over…

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