I read the book Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach many years ago. In the book, the Pacific Northwest secedes from the nation. I’ve been a bioregionalist ever since.
Now I see in “Sunday Styles” that the bookâ€”which sold over 400,000 copies in the 1970sâ€”has caught on with new audiences in churches and classrooms around the nation. A fact which has led Bantam to reissue the title this month.
Scott Slovic, a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, said, â€œYou hear people talking about the idea of Ecotopia, or about the Northwest as Ecotopia. But a lot of them donâ€™t know where the term came from.â€
The green movementâ€™s focus on local foods and products, and its emphasis on energy reduction also have roots in â€œEcotopia,â€ he said. In fact, much of Portland, Ore., with its public transport, slow-growth planning and eat-local restaurants, can seem like Ecotopia made reality.
Which must be why the copy editor of this section titled the article, “The Novel That Predicted Portland.”