Everyday around the world people bravely defy even the biggest conventions, trying to progress toward a better life. But rarely is someone able to successfully alter the course of history for the better.
Over 50 years ago, a 50 year old marine biologist named Rachel Carson embarked on a 4 year journey documenting and writing a book about the damages done by man made chemicals to the natural environment.
The book titled “Silent Spring” not only exposed the reality that despite organizational and technological advances mankind was increasingly degrading the quality of life on our planet by poisoning of the earth with chemicals. It also promoted the then unconventional philosophy of Ecology, Interrelationship and Interdependence.
Despite being attacked with slander campaigns by many American chemical companies, to the point where she concealed that she was suffering from cancer for fear of being accused of being conditioned by here illness. Her alarming book was to encourage President Kennedy to set up a special panel of his Science Advisory Committee to study the problem of pesticides, creating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and new environmental legislation at every level of government.
And years on Rachel Louise Carson’s legacy continues, not only through less aggressive farming practices, but also in showing that its never to late and you’re never too old to promote change.
Today May 27th is the birthday of Rachel Louise Carson.
From the book Silent Spring by Rachel Louise Carson :-
“It took hundreds of millions of years to produce the life that now inhabits the earth—eons of time in which that developing and evolving and diversifying life reached a state of adjustment and balance with its surroundings. The environment, rigorously shaping and directing the life it supported, contained elements that were hostile as well as supporting. Certain rocks gave out dangerous radiation; even within the light of the sun, from which all life draws its energy, there were short-wave radiations with power to injure. Given time—time not in years but in millennia—life adjusts, and a balance has been reached. For time is the essential ingredient; but in the modern world there is no time.
The rapidity of change and the speed with which new situations are created follow the impetuous and heedless pace of man rather than the deliberate pace of nature. Radiation is no longer merely the background radiation of rocks, the bombardment of cosmic rays, the ultraviolet of the sun that have existed before there was any life on earth; radiation is now the unnatural creation of man’s tampering with the atom. The chemicals to which life is asked to make its adjustment are no longer merely the calcium and silica and copper and all the rest of the minerals washed out of the rocks and carried in rivers to the sea; they are the synthetic creations of man’s inventive mind, brewed in his laboratories, and having no counterparts in nature.
To adjust to these chemicals would require time on the scale that is nature’s; it would require not merely the years of a man’s life but the life of generations. And even this, were it by some miracle possible, would be futile, for the new chemicals come from our laboratories in an endless stream; almost five hundred annually find their way into actual use in the United States alone. The figure is staggering and its implications are not easily grasped—500 new chemicals to which the bodies of men and animals are required somehow to adapt each year, chemicals totally outside the limits of biologic experience.”
For further reading check out the interesting article titled “Rachel Carson and JFK, an Environmental Tag Team” HERE