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

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

Archive