“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” -Rachel Carson
Today is Earth Day, and I thought I’d celebrate by remembering Rachel Carson, the mother of modern environmentalism. Her book, “Silent Spring”, published in 1962 (over 50 years ago!), was groundbreaking in so many ways. It forever changed our collective attitude about noxious chemicals in our food, air, and water. It woke up an entire generation to the need to protect, clean up, and conserve our natural resources. As a result of her writings there was a radical shift in public opinion. We no longer trusted big business and government to look out for our best interests and safety. The role of profit in decisions made by manufacturing and agribusiness (but affecting all of us) was unmasked. Over time, policies were changed. The Environmental Protection Agency was born, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed.
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and 45 years later, our present day environmental concerns are of greater urgency than ever, and we are just as divided on the issues as we have ever been.,
So whatever your current opinion about about genetically modified crops, global warming, greenhouse gasses, and the regulatory power of the EPA, you’ve got to admit that Miss Carson’s words got the dialogue started, and that’s a good thing.
To quote another wise man who is close to my heart, Henry David Thoreau:
“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”