Ernest Callenbach (April 3, 1929 – April 16, 2012) was an American author, film critic, editor, and simple living adherent.
Born into a farming family in Williamsport, Pennsylvania,Callenbach attended the University of Chicago, where he was drawn into the then 'new wave' of serious attention to film as an art form. After six months in Paris at the Sorbonne, watching four films a day, he returned to Chicago and earned a Master’s degree in English and Communications.
Callenbach then moved to California. From 1955 to 1991, he was on the staff of the University of California Press (Berkeley). A general copywriter for a number of years, he edited the Press's Film Quarterly from 1958 until 1991. He also occasionally taught film courses at U.C. and at San Francisco State University.
For many years Callenbach edited the Natural History Guides at the U.C. Press. He began to take environmental issues and their connections to human value systems, social patterns, and lifestyles just as seriously as he had taken film. He was heavily influenced by Edward Abbey. Callenbach talked publicly about being influenced, during work on his novel Ecotopia, by numerous streams of thought: The scientific discoveries in the fields of ecology and conservation biology. The urban-ecology planning movement, concerned with an approach to urban planning. The soft-energy movement, championed by Amory Lovins and others.
Callenbach is known as an author of green books, namely as author of the ecological utopias Ecotopia (1975) and Ecotopia Emerging (1981), and also The Ecotopian Encyclopedia (1981), Bring Back the Buffalo! (1995), andEcology: A Pocket Guide (1998). (While his first novel popularized the term "ecotopia," the term was actually coined by the ethnographer E. N. Anderson.)