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Time's Up!: An Uncivilized Solution to a Global Crisis [Paperback]

by Keith Farnish
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1, 2009 190032248X 978-1900322485

This is not an environmental book, even though it is concerned with the environment, nor is it a book to save the world, even though the world is clearly in trouble. Ultimately, Time's Up! is a book about survival and about ensuring that every individual human has the means to save herself or himself from the global crisis that is unfolding. People know that the climate is changing, species are being removed from the Earth at a rapidly increasing rate, and entire ecosystems are becoming shadows of their former richness; they know, but they do not understand. The global environmental crisis is closing in on humanity from all directions, yet the crisis barely registers on this culture's list of problems. As we stand, humanity is doomed to a collapse that will leave only a few nomads, and a toxic, barely survivable Earth in its wake. So why is nothing being done beyond changing light bulbs, recycling and buying organic food? It's certainly not for a lack of good reasons. Humans have no motivation stronger than survival, yet the culture that dominates "the culture we call Industrial Civilization" has created a set of priorities that value financial wealth, the possession of superfluous goods and short, cheap thrills, above that most basic need. In short, we are prepared to die in order to live a life that is killing us. Time's Up! is all about changing this. It describes what our actions are doing to the very things on Earth that we depend on for survival, at scales that we rarely contemplate. It arms us with the tools to free us from the culture that has blinded us for centuries, and which will allow us to live lives that will give the Earth, and ourselves, a future. This call-to-action proposes something radical, fundamental, frightening, longterm, exhilarating, and absolutely necessary—something totally uncivilized.

Editorial Reviews


"I think we are beginning to see mounting awareness of the gravity and scope of the crisis afflicting life on earth. Keith's Time's Up is a huge contribution to understanding the extremity of our situation and providing ideas for facing up to ending a fundamentally false and devouring technoculture."--John Zerzan, author of Running on Emptiness: The Pathology of Civilization, Twilight of the Machines, and others

"I have read no clearer exposition of the interconnectivity of life. Nor have I come across a more reasoned explanation for our selfishness. If you read it, and I exhort you to read it, you will see that there is no other solution but the wholesale deconstruction of industrial society."--Jon Hughes, Fourth World Review

"Keith Farnish has it right: time has practically run out, and the 'system' is the problem"--Professor James Hansen, Columbia University

"In Time's Up! Keith Farnish has taken that [late night conversation] process a step further and crafted the raw material of these intense, personal polemics into a thorough and well-argued book."--Dan Grace, Resurgence Magazine

This is the book I wanted to read. Monbiot and Lynas are good but they don't go far enough. [Time's Up] is diagnostic and remedial not just at the level of behaviour but at the level of impulse. It's the most subversive book I've ever read.... It's also unexpectedly entertaining and a page turner."--Ana Salote, author of Tree Talk

"Keith's book is a progress report from one man's search for ... meaning [in the context of the] unfolding drama of wrenching change.... I encourage you to join efforts with him, and to work on discovering a future in which you and your children might find a place."--Dmitry Orlov, author of Reinventing Collapse

About the Author

Keith Farnish is an environmental writer, philosopher, and activist. He founded The Earth Blog, and writes the Unsuitablog. He is also a guest author on the Sietch Blog.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: UIT Cambridge Ltd. (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190032248X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900322485
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Times Up! is a carefully documented narrative of collapses in nature caused by disastrous interventions caused by human beings not aware of the importance of keeping ecosystems balanced. Moreover it provides a radical solution to our predicament, unthinkable to those in power. It is not just a book with warnings, it's also a book with answers

A compelling book you start reading and can't stop. Just like Jim Lovelock, an iconic figure in British science, Keith Farnish's warnings target mismanagement of Earth's resources and the lack of understanding of the dramatic changes happening to the environment of the planet. The earth as we know it is vanishing. It is moving inexorably to a new degraded state. The idea that we can "save the planet" by reducing carbon emissions is only one action among a coordinated set of attitudes to be adopted immediately.

As members of a technologically advanced society we bear a special obligation towards protecting the natural environment and raising ecological awareness. On a global level we must adopt a prophetic and redemptive voice towards the end of a cycle that's doomed to affect us globally as we already bear witness to it. The many ecological initiatives from around the world are just a uncoordinated effort so far in order to address growing environmental concerns affecting the environment.

Keith Farnish points out very accurately "if we...include unpredictable factors like the incidence of catastrophic flooding and storms, the outbreak of war or civil unrest, the sudden unavailability of energy supplies that feed every system in Industrial Civilization, or any other factor that can increase the sensitivity of a population, and you can be hurtling straight into the drop zone quicker than you can say, 'I want to get off '.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The content is useful but the writing is terrible. September 3, 2013
The subject matter with which Farnish concerns himself is important and his ideas are worth readers' consideration, but his prose is atrocious. Few of his sentences would escape the red pen of a conscientious middle school English teacher. If your interests and worldview attract you to this book then you will probably be willing to excuse the writing, but it isn't likely to create many converts.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read to Understand the Watermelon Agenda November 3, 2013
We are at war. One vital tactic in fighting it is to understand our opponents; as the sage adage goes, "Keep your friends close, your enemies closer." Think I'm kidding? None other than Professor James Hansen who uses his positions with NASA and Columbia University to promote the most extreme Global Warming/Climate Change views promotes this book in Amazon's Product Review. Ponder that as you peruse the following excerpts from the online version of this manifesto (url at end):

Page 229-230
"(H)ow do you decide whether (sabotage) the right thing to do?... (T)he reward is the extent to which Industrial Civilization and its ability to desecrate the Earth, has been weakened. When it comes to Risk, you must go into things with a clear mind - you may have a rabid hatred for some part of the system, but you still need to take responsibility for your actions: will anyone die or be seriously harmed as a direct result of what you do, and are you prepared to take on the responsibility for the harm you may cause?... If you do encounter difficult choices... reward can play a part.

Reward is a measure of the net improvement in the long-term survival of humanity... Few, if any, people are qualified to judge whether an act of sabotage has sufficient reward to justify a high degree of collateral damage; the best advice I can give is that for all acts of sabotage - large or small, morally-complex or not - always abide by Rule One: Ask yourself, "Is it worth it?"

Page 224:
"(T)he greatest immediate risk to the population living in the conditions created by Industrial Civilization is the population itself... That is one reason for there to be fewer people.
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16 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time's Up! An uncivilized solution to a global crisis November 3, 2009
Almost everyone today agrees that Global Warming is real and is happening even faster than originally estimated. We can see the effects already in the melting of glaciers and sea ice, storms of increasing frequency and intensity and devastating droughts. Added to the ongoing degradation of the environment caused by industrial farming and fishing, the pollution from the burning of coal and gas to produce electricity and fuel our cars and you have the makings of an environmental catastrophe.

Just how devastating this catastrophe will be if we continue on our current course comprises the first half of Keith Farnish's excellent book, "time's up!". His explanation of the complex food web and the adverse effects of climate change and pollution is the best I have ever read. It is detailed but easily grasped. Most amazing is that he makes what is normally a dry, academic subject, interesting.
The second half of his book is about what he calls "Industrial Civilization", how it is holding us in thrall to consumerism while destroying the planet and how he thinks we can and should break free. I heartily agree with him about the ill effects of the so-called Industrial Civilization, but Mr. Farnish and I part company on the solution to our woes.

He advocates the complete destruction of Industrial Civilization. Much like Communism, this is an idea that sounds good on paper, but doesn't work in real life. We have already had a taste of what total destruction of Industrial Civilization would be like in the ongoing global recession. Academically, it seems like a great idea to rid the world of greedy corporations, but as we have so painfully experienced, in the real world that means throwing millions of people out of work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Bad
The only way this book could be worse is to be longer. If you take the money you would have spent on this book and burn it at least you wont waste your time reading it.
Published on August 11, 2010 by Fair N. Balanced
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly timed
A poorly timed book for impressionable, normally depressed teenagers looking for a cheap Goth experience to fill a few days with before losing interest and moving on. Read more
Published on April 8, 2010 by Roger Gay
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not terrorism - it's saving humanity.
Unlike the two people who posted 1* reviews of Farnish's book, no doubt as a result of the recent spate of bloggers calling him a "terrorist", I have read Time's Up! Read more
Published on January 27, 2010 by Graham Hilson
1.0 out of 5 stars Alarmist Piffle
Looks like The Great Global Warming Hoax is here to stay, sigh. When will people wake up and realize that this is an attempt to enslave mankind? Read more
Published on January 23, 2010 by Edmund Blackadder
1.0 out of 5 stars Says nothing that you don't already know
I had high hopes, judging by the title and a cover blurb review. But it doesn't say anything, really. Read more
Published on January 18, 2010 by Judith
5.0 out of 5 stars calculatingly critical
"Never forget that you have time to laugh - it really helps when contemplating annihilation."
- Keith Farnish, from Time's Up! Read more
Published on November 24, 2009 by Brian Heagney
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opener
"The only acceptable outcome for humanity is one in which humans reduce their impact on the planet, such that they are able to continue to remain part of the global ecosystem. Read more
Published on November 4, 2009 by Sara R. Houston
5.0 out of 5 stars Withdrawing together with Keith Farnish

In his Time's Up! An Uncivilized Solution to a Global Crisis,[1] Keith Farnish likens our civilization to a... Read more
Published on September 20, 2009 by Ranko Bon
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