Andri Snaer Magnason is likely correct in advancing the hypothesis that we, as human beings, simply lack an intellectual and affective predisposition to facilitate a grasp of the enormous change that is befalling us. Bureaucratese doesn't mobilise and neither do the logarithmic scales that underpin the scientific messaging on climate-related shifts. A 0.1 unit change in acidity of our oceans seems innocuous but hides a massive impact on marine biota. So we need new language, imagery and narratives to pierce through the numbing abstraction of the long-term, the non-linear and the colossal.
In Time and Water Magnason attempts to shake us from our mass apathy through a form of storytelling that weaves together five elements: brute facts, reverence for the abundance that is still left, transgenerational affective relations, cross-cultural myths, and spiritual leadership.
On Time and Water
by Andri Snær Magnason
Profile Books Ltd, 225p, 2020