Changing The World

Sep 28, 2021 | Books that inform

There was a time when a book could change the world.
Rachel Carson’s ’’Silent Spring’’ set in motion a movement that produced Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency, a domestic ban on DDT and a transformation of how Americans see the world they inhabit.

Her early works about the ocean were besotted with life.
But her fourth book, Silent Spring, was a searing indictment of synthetic ­pesticides—grim nerve agents for insects like DDT that she called “elixirs of death.”

Published in September 1962, it likened the danger from pesticides to the threat from nuclear-weapons testing. Chemicals “are the sinister and little-recognized partners of radiation in changing the very nature of the world—the very nature of its life,” Carson told the nation in April 1963, in a CBS Reports television documentary.
An investigation President Kennedy had ordered soon confirmed Carson’s claims.

As an editor for the Fish and Wildlife Service, Carson had lived a quiet life with her adopted son, her mother and a few cats. By the time of her death from breast cancer in 1964, at 56, she had set in motion a movement that produced Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency, a domestic ban on DDT and a transformation of how Americans see the world they inhabit.

For more about this game-changing writer read Fire-Starter as well as Igniting Environmentalism

Credit —William Souder

 

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