Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
Today a party is being held at Oxford to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring.
"Disturbed by the profligate use of synthetic chemical pesticides after World War II, Carson reluctantly changed her focus in order to warn the public about the long term effects of misusing pesticides. In Silent Spring (1962) she challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the government, and called for a change in the way humankind viewed the natural world."
"Carson was attacked by the chemical industry and some in government as an alarmist, but courageously spoke out to remind us that we are a vulnerable part of the natural world subject to the same damage as the rest of the ecosystem. Testifying before Congress in 1963, Carson called for new policies to protect human health and the environment. Rachel Carson died in 1964 after a long battle against breast cancer. Her witness for the beauty and integrity of life continues to inspire new generations to protect the living world and all its creatures."
Yesterday I came across a clipping from Charles Clover's Earthlog column in the Daily Telegraph in which he wrote, "Liz Rothschild, with whom I attended tutorials on English literature, has written a play celebrating the aspects of Carson's life that were largely secret at the time – she never disclosed to the chemical companies on whom she declared war in the 1950s that she was dying of cancer."