Earth Day/Rachel Carson

sandandsun(9a FL)March 17, 2014

Earth Day is approaching; it is officially celebrated on April 22nd, and I find myself pondering what I have mostly taken for granted for decades.

Unlike young folks, I remember public trucks spraying our neighborhood with a fine mist of what was very likely DDT.

I also remember that practice came to an abrupt halt within a year of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.

In the last year or so, I've wondered how would I answer if a child should ask me: "Who is (are) your hero(es)?"

Is it possible to have a hero in the late 20th/21st century with all I've seen?

I have realized that Rachel Carson is one of my heroes. Ms. Carson is probably my number 1 hero. And I'll go further; I think Rachel Carson is one of the most important people of the 20th century - yes, to me, one of the greatest Americans ever.

I have been able to take most environmental issues for granted for decades now because she lived, understood, wrote, and brought about change for all of us.

Similarly, Earth Day which in no small way was Senator Gaylord Nelson's way of celebrating, and I think more importantly, of reminding us to be ever vigilant of the need to protect our environment, our Earth, has become something mostly taken for granted as well. It's a children's day now - a plant a tree day like Arbor Day.

Earth Day isn't Arbor Day.

I have decided that this year, I will remember that. I will remember Rachel Carson's work and remember that I must remain vigilant.

Please join me.

If you don't know who Rachel Carson is, then please research and learn about her. And if you do, then please remember and be thankful with me for the changes she inspired a generation to make. And let us not forget.

Thank you.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Wonderful tribute and timely reminder.

She's one of my heroes also.

Kate

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:00AM
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vasue(7A Charlottesville)

Also remember in childhood jumping up in the middle of a Summer night to close the windows against the gagging smell of the spray trucks. We had one of those whole house attic fans that would drag the mist well into the house by the time we shut it off. Actually made me sick the rest of the night. Came upon Silent Spring in high school & took it to heart at a time when a better life through chemicals was widely embraced & no one else I knew paid her any mind. Her book was a huge wake up call that rippled out in many directions over time. Consider her a founder & trigger of the environmental movement. She's a heroine of mine, too.

As is Adelle Davis for her books on how to nourish the body. Those helped me rebuild after years of toxic onslaught found me chemically hypersensitive. J.I. Rodale, founder of The Rodale Institute for organic farming & gardening, became a hero to me when I realized in my early 20's that I needed to grow my own veggies to have good food. He was considered a crackpot for many years.

When Carson & Davis both died of cancer, their critics sought to use the circumstances to discredit their work. To me, it only strengthened their works' significance.

These three pioneers are all giants.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:41PM
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alameda/zone 8

I too recall the mosquito trucks spraying our neighborhood and my mother yanking me inside. The decimation of the South American rain forest is frightening. I love my roses and daylilies but cherish the trees. In the terrible drought of 2011, I dragged soaker hoses to my big oaks - the water bill was horrendous but I don't miss a penny of it. The trees still stand. For those of you interested in holistic medicine, peruse the website of Walter Last. Very interesting reading. I look forward to Arbor Day and Earth Day - I truly enjoy tending and planting trees and watching them grow and mature yearly and plan to teach my grandchildren to love and respect them as well. Happy spring to all - noticed my wisteria buds swelling and there are tiny buds on the bridal wreath - thought the later freezes had zapped them - hoping winter is done with us here in east Texas.

Judith

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:29PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Happy Earth Day!

Almost weekly, it seems, there is a headline about another Earthlike planet, but to our knowledge Earth is the only life in the universe.

And here's the BIG PICTURE:

The Voyager 1 spacecraft was launched in 1977.

After 36 years, Voyager 1 left our solar system (aka the heliosphere) - about 7 months ago.

36 years just to get out of the solar system! Link below.

Our Earth is EXTREMELY precious.

And we know how beautiful it is too, don't we?

Happy Earth Day!

Here is a link that might be useful: Voyager 1

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:00AM
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kittymoonbeam

Happy Earth Day

I am grateful for any little thing anyone is willing to do to make it a cleaner planet.

A little while back when the canneries were around the bay in CA, the coastline lost it's beautiful creatures and was declared almost dead. The fish were finally gone and the canneries closed. The area was cleaned and now it's protected with the return of all the plants and animals. I know that if we work on these things we can have beauty return to areas that were written off as lost. I don't think it's too late. We have to say that we want it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:11AM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

You are so very correct, Ms. Moonbeam.

The subtle problem is that which we take for granted is often lost.

"We have to say that we want it."

Indeed.

And also in deed.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:22PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Cancer was mentioned earlier.

The link below at the national institute of health indicates that young women - under 20 years old while DDT was widely used and that were exposed were five (5) times more likely to get breast cancer.

Back in the day there were commercials with pretty women being sprayed directly with the fog.

I know there are a lot of pink ribbons in this country. The study indicates that there could have been a whole lot more of them. Just one of the ways that Rachel Carson is a hero.

Here is a link that might be useful: DDT and Breast Cancer in Young Women: New Data on the Significance of Age at Exposure

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:19PM
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