A Woman Who Made a Difference…


Recognize this lady? Some of you may…many will not, which is a shame, because Rachel Carson , who has a big Maryland connection by the way, changed the world in which we live…changed it for the better.
Ever read Silent Spring? It was the book that singlehandedly took on the powerful petrochemical industry, which was in the 1950s and 60s, very very big on spraying everything in sight, preferably with the new wonder pesticide DDT. Mosquitoes? Spray ’em everywhere….Crop bugs?
Spray ’em with planes! Spray, spray, spray!! It won’t hurt you…just the bad bugs.
Silent Spring, published in 1962, warned of the dangers of misusing pesticides. Carson challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the government, which they didn’t like very much. Carson was attacked as an alarmist(sound familiar?), after reminding the world we are all part of the same delicate ecosystem, and upsetting the balance is dangerous business, for all of earth’s creatures. I wish I could say I knew all about Carson and the impact she had, but, not true. Visiting Cape Cod, we stumbled on the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, which has an incredible exhibit celebrating Carson’s centennial year. Wow.

Rachel Carson actually wrote four books, although a fifth, The Sense of Wonder, was published after her death from breast cancer in 1964. All of them are still in print, which speaks volumes, and Silent Spring has a 40th Anniversary edition.
Carson testified before Congress in 1963, calling for policy changes to protect humans and the environment. She died the following year at the age of 56, at her home in Silver Spring MD, but the legacy she left behind….is as strong as ever.

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