Prophet for the Environment
Rachel Carson was an American marine biologist who began her career at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s, most known for Silent Spring, published in 1962. Alarmed by the damage done to the environment by synthetic pesticides, Carson wrote passionately, and effectively, about the need for developing a culture and ethic of conservation. Meeting fierce opposition by chemical companies, Carson became more even more emboldened. Ultimately, Carson’s vision proved highly influential, spurring a reversal in national policy on pesticides, and inspiring a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Few books in the history of the twentieth century can be said to have exercised such an impact as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. What was it about this woman’s vision and conviction that allowed it to bring about such revolutionary results? What was it about her times? This contribution seeks to provide answers to these and other questions.
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