Over the year so many tributes, commentaries, and wild-hare critiques keep pushing Rachel Carson‘s Silent Spring back into our memories, and relevance. Too many to list and comment on, but I’ll make a list of those I found most informative or useful, and of a couple I found most repugnant.
I’ll update this list from time to time. I’m using this as a file for my writing as well, but some of this stuff needs to be shared more broadly — and of course, I appreciate corrections and pointers to other good sources.
Good stuff on Carson and Silent Spring:
- The Atlantic, June 2012: 50 years later, Carson’s books is as relevant as ever
- CBS News video, “The Legacy of Silent Spring“ with text and clips from 1962 programs on the book
- Minnesota Public Radio, The Daily Circuit, “How did Silent Spring shape America?;” direct link to audio in Flash format is available at that site
- New York Times Magazine, “How Silent Spring ignited the environmental movement”
- New York Times business section, “50 years after Silent Spring”
- Michigan State University schedules appreciations, CityPulse; exhibit coming to the Michigan State U museum; some of the books about Carson highlighted in the exhibit
- Dick Dorworth with an appreciation, “The Legacy of Rachel Carson, Idaho Mountain Express and Guide(Sun Valley), October 10, 2012;
- While the ongoing evisceration of the EPA under the current and previous administrations is scary, the EPA is the (last?) best hope for tempering our willingness to use technology to destroy the environment and damage the health (and kill) humans in the interests of industrial profits. The EPA and public awareness (some of the public) of the value of conservation, fragility of the natural environment and the effects of chemical and radioactive contamination on that environment are just a part of the legacy of Rachel Carson. Eleven days after John Kennedy was assassinated, Carson said in a speech at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, “Conservation is a cause that has no end. There is no point at which we will say ‘our work is finished.’”Rachel Carson’s legacy is a cause that has no end.
- Use of Pesticides: Report of the President’s Science Advisory Committee, May 15, 1963 (the report to President Kennedy which found Carson’s book to be scientifically accurate, and which recommended federal action to study pesticides and study tighter regulation of pesticides; largely out of print since 1963, and tough to find in libraries)
People who don’t get it, are blinded by bias, or never had their mouths washed out with soap:
- “DDT blamed in chimney swift decline,” Charleston, West Virginia Saturday Gazette-Mail, January 19, 2013
More, not categorized:
- Margaret Atwood: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, 50 years on (guardian.co.uk)
- New Rachel Carson Biography (Book Acquired, 11.13.2012) (biblioklept.org)
- From Calm Leadership, Lasting Change (nytimes.com)
- 50th Anniversary of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ (abc.net.au)
- Rachel Carson | From Calm Leadership, Lasting Change (seniorpanache.com)
- Update, November 25, 2013: Silent Spring at 50, Borderbend Arts Collective