Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston is a seminal utopian novel by Ernest Callenbach, published in 1975. The society described in the book is one of the first ecological utopias and was influential on the counterculture and the green movement in the 1970s and thereafter.
Ecotopia embodies in concrete, practical form the new biology-conscious philosophy that has been evolving in recent years, especially on the West Coast. The setting is the early 21st century. Ecotopia, made up of what was once Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, has been independent for several decades. At last, an official visitor from New York is admitted: Will Weston, top investigative reporter. Like a modern Gulliver, Weston is sometimes horrified sometimes impressed despite himself, and sometimes touched by the strange practices he encounters–which include ritual war games, collective ownership and operation of farms and factories, and an attention to trees and reforestation which borders on tree-worship.
Wall-E is a 2008 American computer animated science fiction film produced by Pixar Amination Studios. The story follows a robot named Wall-E, who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future. He falls in love with another robot named Eve, who also has a programmed task, and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of both his kind and humanity.
Both selections are part of our 48 Good Books and 48 Good Films initiatives; titles on these lists were chosen by UB faculty and staff members of the Undergraduate Academies Council to reflect the themes of the five Academies: Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Global Perspectives, Research Exploration and Sustainability. Think of them as “unrequired” reading and viewing suggestions.