Author and visionary of a future we'd all like to manifest. His Ecotopia (1975) and Ecotopia Emerging embody a permaculture way of thinking in constructing an entire society where the earth and community come before profit.
Ernest Callenbach’s novel Ecotopia (1975), a portrait of a future ecologically sustainable society, was initially rejected by virtually every publisher in New York. Callenbach then self-published the book. It went on to become an underground classic, was ultimately issued in mass-market paperback by Bantam, and is still used in classrooms from Washington State to Florida. It has sold almost a million copies, has been translated into nine languages, including Japanese, and was influential in Germany at the time the Green Party appeared.
In 1981, Callenbach published a "prequel," Ecotopia Emerging, which tells how Ecotopia comes into being. Bring Back the Buffalo! A Sustainable Future for the Great Plains appeared in 1996, applying the Ecotopian logic of sustainability to a little-known area of the country. This book was published in paperback by the University of California Press.
His most recent book is Ecology: A Pocket Guide, published by the University of California Press. It’s a handy, compact guide to 60 fundamental ecological terms, arranged from A to Z, aimed at citizens, business people, political leaders, and students down to about the 17-year-old level.
A Citizen Legislature Stretching Our Thinking about How We Govern Ourselves by Ernest Callenbach & Michael Phillips
Ernest Callenbach and Michael Phillips (author of The Seven Laws Of Money, Honest Business, and Simple Living Investments) have done us all a great service by seriously exploring the possibility of a truly representative legislature. Whether the idea appeals to you or appalls you, it is bound to stretch your thinking about how we govern ourselves.
With his wife Christine Leefeldt, Callenbach wrote The Art of Friendship and a well-known children's book, Humphrey the Wayward Whale. Callenbach's Living Cheaply with Style (Ronin Books) is a guide to living lightly. He also co-authored EcoManagement: The Elmwood Guide to Ecological Auditing and Sustainable Business. "Earth's Ten Commandments," a poster, was done in collaboration with artist David Lance Goines.
Recently Callenbach helped edit an anthology, Steering Business Toward Sustainability (UN University Press). From 1955 to 1991 he was on the staff of the University of California Press—as the founder and editor of the internationally known critical journal, "Film Quarterly", and as editor of film books and the California Natural History Guides series. He now devotes full time to writing and lecturing. He lives in Berkeley, gardens ardently, has three compost bins, and walks a lot.
Callenbach lectures on environmental topics all over the globe.