A Matter of Scale

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This is not an environmental book, even though it is concerned with the environment. It is not a book to save the world, even though the world is clearly in trouble. Ultimately, A Matter Of Scale is a book about survival; about ensuring that every individual human has the means to save herself or himself from the crisis that is unfolding.

And there most certainly is a crisis; like the waves of a surging river; small and irregular at first, but growing larger, creating whirlpools, rising in treacherous white water, and eventually inundating everything in its path.

People know that the climate is changing, that species are being removed from the Earth at a rapidly increasing rate, that entire ecosystems are becoming shadows of their former richness; they know, but they do not understand. The 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 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.

A Matter Of Scale is all about changing this. It describes, in crystalline detail, what our actions are doing to the very things on Earth that we depend on for survival, at scales that we rarely contemplate. It shows, unequivocally, that the primary motivation for being human is to ensure our survival. It provides the keys to unlock the lost connections between our most basic instincts, and the impending waves that threaten to engulf us. 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.

Environmental authors rarely manage to take that final leap into providing unequivocal, long-term solutions, preferring instead to leave readers with even more questions. A Matter Of Scale proposes something far more: something radical, fundamental and frightening; something long-term, exhilarating and absolutely necessary.

This book is not for the faint-hearted, but no other problem has ever been in such a critical need of a solution.

To get the most out of this book, the first time you read A Matter Of Scale it is very important that you read it in chapter order. Once you have read it through once, then it can be used as a reference book.

Enjoy it, but don’t get too comfortable…


The entire book is available to download in Adobe PDF format by clicking on the link below. If you want to save the file rather than open it within your browser, use the right-click button and select “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”.

(Archive.org Download, USA)(PDF, 6MB)

The page on Archive.org for on site reading, with formats enabled for eReaders and a range of other media is at https://archive.org/details/AMatterOfScale


Praise for A Matter Of Scale

“Monbiot and Lynas are good but they don’t go far enough. This is the book I wanted to read – full of ‘fancy that’ moments, it’s unexpectedly entertaining and a page turner. It’s also the most subversive book I’ve ever read.”
(Ana Salote, Author of Tree Talk.)

“Keith Farnish skilfully joins his natural science training to his gifts in narrative writing. If ‘utopia’ is an imaginative reconstruction of one of many preferable societies, the concluding part is utopian. On the cusp of the Apocalypse, enjoy it.”
(Robert E. Lane, Professor of political science Emeritus, Yale University.)

“A Matter of Scale is a powerful read. One can sense the author’s own expressive burst in the feverish love with which he forms his ideas.”
(Caroline Savery, Sustainablog.)

“This is a great, great work. I send to you great thanks in humble appreciation for your efforts.”
(Kevin Walsh, Chicago Peak Oil.)

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