“Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” ~Rachel Carson
On this Earth Day Week a remembrance of the life and work of Rachel Carson is seems more needed than ever. If you’re looking for a film that captures her spirit and the history of the time, please tune into “A Sense of Wonder” a docudrama completed last year and now being broadcast again on PBS.
Carson wrote “A Silent Spring” the groundbreaking environmental book documenting the effects of pesticides on the environment, particularly on birds. Carson’s thesis was that the chemical DDT had been found to cause thinner egg shells and result in reproductive problems and death.
She faced grand opposition from the chemical industry when the book was finally published in 1962. In 1999 Time Magazine wrote:
“Carson was violently assailed by threats of lawsuits and derision, including suggestions that this meticulous scientist was a “hysterical woman” unqualified to write such a book. A huge counterattack was organized and led by Monsanto Company, Velsicol, American Cyanamid — indeed, the whole chemical industry — duly supported by the Agriculture Department as well as the more cautious in the media.”
Carson died in 1964 of breast cancer. She was 57.
There’s a National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine named in her honor.