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Ernest Callenbach Visit: August 16, 2007, Carbondale Economic Localization, Colorado /USA.
Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, he attended the University of Chicago, where he was drawn into the then ‘new wave’ of serious attention to film as an art form.
After six months in Paris at the Sorbonne, watching four films a day, he returned to Chicago and earned a Master’s degree in English and Communications … Recently, Callenbach has introduced the story of a real-world community movement in Japan that is reminiscent, in its aims and practices, of his Ecotopian society. He visited Japan and investigated the Yamagishi movement. It encompasses some three dozen intentional communities founded on the same underlying principles: living an ecologically based integration of people with agriculture (pig, cattle, and chicken livestock rasing, and organic-vegetable and fruit farming), and living a social life based on principles of democracy, mutual understanding, support, and health. Each individual settlement is referred to as jikkenji (‘demonstration community for the world’). (full text).
Ernest Callenbach – USA
He says: “It is time to think of the Plains in new ways. As Native Americans are demonstrating by their reintroduction of bison on many reservations, bison can again become part of the natural Plains landscape–and, for Indian people, not only a source of self-sufficiency in food production but also a powerful spiritual and religious presence. For whites, bringing back the bison and their companion grazers on a large scale in Plains parks and on other public lands will provide us the opportunity to see what a sustainable ecosystem in the Plains is like. And growing numbers of bison on private ranch lands will help us learn what a permanently viable agricultural system could be. Moreover, because the Plains are also very windy, they could become producers of a significant amount of wind-generated electrical energy, making the region self-reliant in energy. (full text).
Read: Earth’s Ten Commandments.
He says: “In a way, not thinking about the future is an American disease. Other countries don’t seem to have nearly the problem we do. In Europe governments are making plans for 20 or 50 years ahead. They’re adopting green policies. The Canadians are a good deal better than we are. I think there’s something about the ideology of American life, the emphasis on the capitalist bottom line, which is defined by quarters, not even whole years, that sort of “unfits” people to think in longer perspectives. It discourages them from thinking…. In architecture, for example, in Europe they still build buildings for a long time. They assume a building might be around for a hundred years or so. In America, because cost accounting and MBA thinking has penetrated architecture, you don’t dare think in more than about 20 year terms, because after that it may be torn down. And this seems reasonable to us. Of course, it has very heavy economic and ecological costs, but that doesn’t cut any ice”. (full interview text).
Interview with Ernest “Chick” Callenbach, Conducted by Lee Amazonas, Berkeley, CA, August 12, 2006.
Read: The Green Triangle, Environment, health, and money – help one, help them all.
In Conversation with Environmentalists Ernest Callenbach and Joseph Petulla.