Rachel Carson, we need you here now!

May 18, 2007

Couple months back, during the DC Environmental Film Festival, I saw the 1963 TV production, The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson, hosted by CBS-TV reporter Eric Sevareid. Program notes say: “…this television program was aired soon after the publication of the ground-breaking environmentalist Rachel Carson’s controversial book, Silent Spring, which examined the dangers of pesticides to the environment and human health. Featuring the rare appearance of Carson at her home in Silver Spring, Maryland and at her cottage in Maine, the program was aired by CBS despite receiving more than 1,000 letters of protest as well as the withdrawal of three major sponsors.”

This weekend we now celebrate Carson’s 100th birthday, if she were still alive. I am so looking forward to learning more about her. Here was a renaissance woman indeed: scientist, poet, writer, naturalist. Her voice still speaks to many of us, thankfully, and there are so many more who need to hear — and act upon — her wisdom. If those who share her values each would introduce one more person to her life, we can extend her legacy beyond the present generation.

Given the decade when Carson was most prolific, I can’t help but wonder if she and John H. Storer (author of The Web of Life, 1953, 1956, and Man in the Web of Life, 1968) crossed paths. As you can read elsewhere on my blog, Storer is the inspiration for my title. See also Just what John Storer was talking about more than 50 years ago (ref Free Range Graphics’ The Bio Da Versity Code). Any environmental historians out there among my readers? Any sleuths?

An Environmental Icon’s Unseen Fortitude
Rachel Carson’s Persistence and Pain in Focus 100 Years After Her Birth

Washington Post, 5/18/07

Songs for the Earth
A beautiful, haunting, touching, poignant, joyous celebration of Rachel Carson in music — compilation CD with tracks by Pete Seeger, Emma’s Revolution, Bob Zentz, Tom Paxton, Gordon Bok, Betty and the Baby Boomers (my fave), and more. From the liner notes: All the life of the planet is interrelated… each species has its own ties to others, and… all are related to the earth.

–Rachel Carson


Carson, Rachel. Retrieved photograph May 15, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/eb/art-15813


One comment

  1. recently read Carson’s bio.”Silent Spring” & “The Sea Around Us”/ were required reading before I entered private high school.With the BP oil leak & the more recent oil spill of up to 1,000,000 gallons by Enbridge into the Kalamazoo River, affecting the cities of Marshall, Battlecreek & more, my immediate thought was what would Rachel Carson think? Originally from CT[living here in Marshall 1&1/2 yrs], I am dismayed because I think a lot of people here don’t care about it unless it has directly affected them. I saw oil covered geese, ducks, turtles & a doe w/her 2 fawns. Point: it seems were going backwards.The DNR workers & other people I spoke to said rescue workers etc were “overeacting”, plus Enbridge ,the townsare downplaying it & it is not getting the national attention it should. As Rachel said[using my own words]back then & more so now people are relying on material/technoligy & land, water,air, mammals ,birds, sealife, insects etc are being affected & once they are gone they’re gone.

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