Could ‘Ecotopia’ fantasy become reality?

Ernest Callenbach’s 1975 novel “Ecotopia” described a mythical nation carved out of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States – Washington, Oregon and Northern California – on the premise of environmental stewardship.

As summarized in Wikipedia, “The book is set in 1999 . . . and consists of diary entries and reports of journalist William Weston, who is the first American mainstream media reporter to investigate Ecotopia, a small country that broke away from the United States in 1980. Prior to Weston’s reporting, most Americans had been barred from entering the new country, which is depicted as being on continual guard against revanchism.”

Wikipedia adds, “the reader learns about the Ecotopian transportation system and the preferred lifestyle that includes a wide range of gender roles, sexual freedom and acceptance of non-monogamous relationships. Liberal cannabis use is evident. Televised mass-spectacle sports are displaced due to a preference for local arts, participatory sports, and general fitness.”

Continuing, “Ecotopian society has favored decentralized and renewable energy production and green building construction. The citizens are technologically creative, while remaining involved with and sensitive to nature. Thorough-going education reform is described, along with a highly localized system of universal medical care.”

If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because California, Washington and Oregon, appear to be implementing, one piece at a time, Ecotopia’s major tenets. And that’s been particularly true in the past year, ever since Donald Trump was elected president and Republicans solidified their holds on Congress and on a strong majority of state governments.

Some have described what’s happening on the Pacific Coast as the erection of a “blue wall” – or even a “green wall” – as a barrier to unwanted political and cultural trends elsewhere in the nation.

California Gov. Jerry…

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