Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

COUNTDOWN

Louise Erdrich - Tuesday, November 05, 2013

As long into the night I read Alan Weisman's urgent, eloquent, harrowing and yet hopeful, story-packed COUNTDOWN, I paused often.  How did he do this?  He trekked the globe in an all-consuming effort to see if we, humanity, will survive the twin knock out clobbers of population explosion and climate change.  He writes of saints, heroes, and the self-consuming madness of greed.  Everywhere, he finds the most fascinating person in a thousand miles, and makes a story out of what they tell us. 

Somehow, after writing The World Without Us, an elegant thought experiment that imagined how earth would look without humanity, he has written an even better book.

Weisman poses questions upon which the survival of our species hinges:  How many people can our planet reasonably support?  Since we've already passed that number, how do we humanely reduce our numbers?  Because we can't reduce our numbers quickly enough to stop eradicating other species, what species can't we absolutely live without?  And lastly, how do we design a stable world and economy for a shrinking population?

COUNTDOWN answers these questions with whirling energy.  We meet mountain gorilla stewards and a San Diego teacher who teaches the answers to the questions above by describing an Iranian carpet.  We meet the great Indian poet Sugathakumari, who despairs of the rampant development of India's model state, Kerala.  Most important of all, Weisman comes up with a single thoughtful answer to all four of the questions he poses.

The fate of our species depends on how quickly and thoroughly women become educated.  Period.  Knock out answer.  Read the book and find out why.

Spoiler alert -- the book ends at Lake of the Isles, only blocks from Birchbark Books.

Yours for Alan Weisman's world changing outlook.  Please read this book.  Take your time.  You will weep and yet be cheered.  As Alan said when he was here in Minneapolis, "there are saints out there" so let's support what they are doing and gain a little grace, each one of us.

 Louise


Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

peculiar touches of green and gold Rare Books Emily Johnson north dakota Let's Take the Long Way Home Hilary Mantel 350.org The Round House Native People Love cafe closing local economy President Obama post holiday reads ependent language revitalization thanks anniversary Milkweed Press Brown Dog birchbark house series Jim Harrison Birchbark Books Alice Munro Zombies Chitra Divakaruni Ha Jin Ice italy The Blue Sky Wendy Makoons Geniusz Native Arts gratitude Dogs customers ireland Botany Makoons The Birchbark House Green Team Magers and Quinn knowledge Michael Jackson Mohamed's Ghosts Unnatural Disasters gardens thank you friends The Transition Handbook The Wealth of Nature Up Late Again support Bohumil Hrabal bill mckibben Minnesota twins france spring Afghanistan Catalyst photography Kate DiCamillo friends Canada William Trevor Hillary Clinton Gryphon Press Remarkable Trees Guthrie Theater Chickadee sweden fresh water Tar Sands tree books Master Butchers Singing Club Book Review 2666 trees leaves and snow Philip Roth Mankato Powwow World on the Edge Stephen Salisbury graphix Interview favorite dog This Green World Nemesis Aza book and dinner club Education Keepers of the Trees Too Much Happiness Victory Gardens The Porcupine Year The Resilient Gardener Nero Aubrey/Maturin School Gardens neighborhood coyote H2Oil solstice, Thomas King Keystone XL Minneapolis the most romantic city in the world The Farmer's Daughter Collective Denial Small Bookstores as Commons aquifer Climate Change Easter Island Wastepaper Wolf Hall The Royal Prussian Library Light in August Population The Game of Silence Roberto Bolano Women and Trees Ojibwemowin show your love Poetry Beth Dooley pilgrims Pembina Peak Water germany china State Troopers Dartmouth Kenwood Gardens Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive Ojibwe post holiday Anishinabemowin incarnation how good looking you are Anishinabe National Book Award Vic Glover Anton Treuer The Ojibwe Czech Writer monkey in a dryer Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge More Remarkable Trees health care reform favorite book Fireworks euphoria city of books Crushing Books Patrick O'Brian Kabul Greenland favorite tree japan devoted customers Empire of the Summer Moon Video NACDI:All My Relations S.C. Gwynne E.L. Doctorow Bill Moyers Journal adventure British Navy Gary Clement buffalo Islam Peak Oil Alan Weisman Gail Caldwell cafe Bleak House joy green Too Loud A Solitude Louise ptsd Tree Houses plants mississippi boarding school

Archive