Last week, a book that sparked the grass-roots movement and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) turned 50! Salley O’Malley is 50! 5-0.
She kicks, shimmies and shakes
The book is Silent Spring, and the author was Rachel Carson. Carson was an unsuspecting fighter, and was the first to write about disproportionate use of pesticides in communities. The Natural Resources Defense Council commented that the fight on pesticides is ongoing till this day and that Silent Spring brought an incredible awareness to the issue. Carson was born a gifted writer, and had a passion for writing at an early age. She attended the Pennsylvania College for Women and earned a master’s degree in zoology from Johns Hopkins (she did not start Spinach, that was us).
Carson never intended for Silent Spring to be the political punch that it was. She only lightly recommended that the pesticide DDT be banned, but did not call on political figures to take action. Instead, Silent Spring sparked research on the chemical while the chemical industry condoned her, and even J.Edgar Hoover performed a private investigation on her. Many criticized Silent Spring for its unsettling tone; USA Today reported (great video at this site too!) that Carson developed breast cancer while writing Silent Spring and that led to some of the dark and strong language in the book. Carson passed away only 18 months after the book was published. Her intention for Silent Spring was to show people that if they harm nature, nature could harm them back. I think we’ve all seen this time after time, disaster after disaster across the world.
My favorite Rachel Carson quote:
“Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
Have a great weekend, and get outdoors to appreciate the fall foliage. Cheers.