Silent Spring 50 years on

tony leather By tony leather, 30th May 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/19iwfq_w/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Environment

50 years after publication, , the questions asked in Silent Spring have acquired a new and urgent relevance, but do we have the will to properly address them?

Silent Spring 50 years on


I wish to celebrate the Fiftieth anniversary of the publication of what has to be the MOST important book ever published about environmentalism - Silent Spring - by the iconic FIRST champion of everything green, Rachel Carson.

Rachel Louise Carson was born in the river town of Springdale, Pennsylvania in 1907, youngest of three children. Inheriting her abiding love of nature from intelligent and forceful mother, Maria, Rachel studied at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and later Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, biology and the environment her undying passion.

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Proving to be both a first-rate scientist and a gifted writer, Rachel began writing for the Baltimore Sun - 1936 becoming editor-in-chief for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Throughout her scientific career, Rachel had concerns about human impact on the environment, writing the hard-hitting, award-winning bestseller The Sea Around Us in 1951, roundly condemning many practices.

In that same year, she resigned from the Fish and Wildlife Service to devote herself to her writing, becoming increasingly worried about indiscriminate use of DDT and other synthetic chemical pesticides. The end result was that, locked away in her Colesville, Maryland cottage, she wrote her book Silent Spring.

This astonishing volume provided unequivocal proof that powerful synthetic insecticides were poisoning food chains, from insects upwards.
Published in September 1962, Silent Spring remains one of the most effective denunciations of industrial malpractice ever written. This iconic work is widely credited with being the initial trigger of popular ecological awareness, both in the USA and Europe.

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Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace trace their origins directly to this incredibly revealing text, which had, incredibly, by the time of her death in 1964 sold well over a million copies. Despite a savage mauling from critics, Carson never wavered in her stance, her courage in sounding the alarm - her ecological vision of the oneness of all life and her fierce determination helped to indelibly shape the environmental movement, fully anticipating the 21st century global crisis.

Even the US Environmental Protection Agency can trace its existence to Carson's work, and the extended shadow cast by Silent Spring, Carson in 1980 posthumously awarded the highest US civilian honour of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Jimmy Carter.


Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace trace their origins directly to this incredibly revealing text, which had, incredibly, by the time of her death in 1964 sold well over a million copies. Despite a savage mauling from critics, Carson never wavered in her stance, her courage in sounding the alarm - her ecological vision of the oneness of all life and her fierce determination helped to indelibly shape the environmental movement, fully anticipating the 21st century global crisis.

Even the US Environmental Protection Agency can trace its existence to Carson's work, and the extended shadow cast by Silent Spring, Carson in 1980 posthumously awarded the highest US civilian honour of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Jimmy Carter.

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Rachel Carson was blessed with a rare combination of gifts, in that she was both a brilliant marine biologist and a superb writer - her prose exquisite in its precision and lyricism - We have much to thank her for, in that today we are acutely aware of the fragility of nature's food chain. 50 years after publication, , the questions asked in Silent Spring have acquired a new and urgent relevance, but do we have the will to properly address them? That still remains to be seen.

Tags

Environmentalism, Pioneer, Rachel Carson, Scientist, Silent Spring, Writer

Meet the author

author avatar tony leather
mainly non-fiction articles, though I do write short stories, poetry and descriptive prose as well. Have been writing for over ten years now

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