Ealier this year, I chanced upon Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now by Vincent Ialenti, which describes his three-year study of Finland’s patient striving towards the world’s first deep, deep storage cave for spent nuclear fuel. I’d visited the Finnish site and know a bit about the whole thing, so I figured I didn’t need to study the book. Way too many books, too little time … I set Deep Time Reckoning aside.
Ten days ago, I read an article by Ialenti in the Guardian: “The benefits of embracing ‘deep time’ in a year like 2020.” This article cast an entirely new slant on the matter. One of the Finns’ “techniques can be particularly useful for escaping the stresses of today’s rampant short-termism,” writes Ialenti. “It involves tapping into the power of analogy to envision distant future worlds.” Of course! Finland’s long-range engineering project falls right into the type of “right” thinking we need to do, according to Roman Krznaric in The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short-Term. This is what I need to think about for this project about the fate of the Crane species in the Anthropocene era.
I have plucked Deep Time Reckoning out of the reject pit and will report back. Do you think of the distant future? Can you “future think”?