Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rachel Carson's Birthday


“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find
reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature— the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

— Rachel Carson


Rachel Carson was born May 27, 1907 and died on April 14, 1964— at age 57— of breast cancer. She wrote Silent Spring, credited with starting the current environmental movement. Ms. Carson was alarmed by the hundreds of new chemicals, particularly synthetic pesticides, that were being introduced into the environment each year. The effects of these chemicals on human health and the environment was not known, but even in the course of her lifetime, Ms. Carson observed the "silencing" of spring—fewer birds, bees, butterflies and other life.

She was villified by chemical manufacturers, not accustomed to being challenged, especially by a woman. She continued to speak out, even when ill with breast cancer. Her illness was not publicized at her request, which was not an unusual approach in the 1960s.

Today we continue her battle—trying to protect ourselves from the even greater number of toxins being released into the environment. And we continue to gather strength from the beauty of nature.

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