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

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1900322485
ISBN-10: 190032248X
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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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: UIT Cambridge Ltd. (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190032248X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900322485
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,232,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Bryant on January 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Farnish's little diagnosis and manual will help organize one's thoughts on the why and how of the coming collapse. It is simple, contains much needed facts, and some very not-needed musings.

The first part is a great scale-based breakdown of the web of life, from viruses to trees. This web is shown to change as the global climate changes. We're changing it, he says, and this kills, sickens, and endangers us. Everything here he furnishes with evidence magnificently.

Part three's last chapter, to the end (part four), was an excellent primer on how to start thinking about the future. He includes ten ways that we are being disconnected from natural reality, by industrial civilization. Then he provides some fourteen or so ways to practically combat this and live an alternative life to the industrial modern norm. For my own uses as a writer (, the part about undermining the "Tools of Disconnection" was quite helpful. I simplified and modified it to four steps: "Reveal the deceit and corruption happening *now*, show how this culture not only rewards and punishes the completely wrong things but excludes too much, compare this culture with better ones, and offer practical options."

With all this said, there was a stretch in the middle, from the last chapter of part one, to the last chapter of part three, where it is of mixed quality. There is some great cultural critique, and again the references and notes pile up just as before. But it is also interspersed with some very disappointing attacks on an essential part of the humanities, philosophy, namely in pg. 101 he says he "gave up reading philosophy." Basically because he considers it navel-gazing. Then in the very next page he does philosophy about happiness and cites a philosopher himself.
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21 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Gaspar S. Martins on March 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Howard Skillington on September 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
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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20 of 33 people found the following review helpful By OldRoses on November 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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