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

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

Archive