Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World By Marcia Bjornerud Cover Image
On our shelves now:
Lake Forest Park (order processing takes 24 hours)
2 on hand, as of May 21 8:35am
Ravenna (order processing takes 24 hours)
2 on hand, as of May 21 8:45am
Seward Park (order processing takes 24 hours)
1 on hand, as of May 21 8:45am

Staff Reviews

Timefulness includes a feeling for distances and proximities in the geography of deep time. Focusing simply on the age of the Earth is like describing a symphony in terms of its total measure count. Without time, a symphony is a heap of sounds; the duration of notes and re-occurrence of themes gives it shape. Similarly, the grandeur of Earth’s story lies in the gradually unfolding, interwoven, rhythms of its many movements, with short motifs scampering over tones that resonate across the entire span of the planet’s history.' (Marcia Bjornerud)

This is the book that solidified my obsessive interest in geology. Marcia Bjornerud's book is a gift to the amateur, a blessing for anyone in the philosophical and scientific study of our 4.6 billion year old planet. Existential, accessible, and framed within deep time and climate change, this book changed my life and opened my days to a new preoccupation (rocks).

— From Spencer R.


Why an awareness of Earth's temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survival

Few of us have any conception of the enormous timescales of our planet's long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating. The lifespan of Earth can 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. 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. Featuring illustrations by Haley Hagerman, this compelling book offers a new way of thinking about our place in time, showing how our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and how our actions today will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations.

This edition includes discussion questions for reading groups.

About the Author

Marcia Bjornerud is professor of geology and environmental studies at Lawrence University. She is the author of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth and a contributing writer for Elements, the New Yorker's science and technology blog.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780691202631
ISBN-10: 069120263X
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: February 11th, 2020
Pages: 224
Language: English