In Response: The Right Way to Remember Rachel Carson

The Product Stewardship Institute’s Scott Cassel responds to the New Yorker’s March 26th article, The Right Way to Remember Rachel Carson

Jill Lepore’s The Shorebird speaks volumes about Rachel Carson’s love of the Maine intertidal. It also covers her scientific expertise in biology that she parlayed into a job at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, her full body of nature writing (rejections included), and her secret relationship with Dorothy Freeman from whom she got tremendous support for her methodical, sound, and truth to power Silent Spring ode to chemical companies. Lepore paints a picture of Carson as persistent, politically savvy, and a rock solid caregiver for family members whose lives fell into her lap. Carson’s keen observations and love of nature enabled her to amass knowledge she could not disown about DDT and its impact on the ecological chain of life. It is much clearer to me now how Carson’s robust life experiences enabled her to be the one to set the environmental movement on its way. Thanks to The New Yorker for publishing excerpts of Silent Spring when others would not, and for keeping her spirit alive with Lepore’s piece, as the Trump Administration drains beauty from the intertidal swamp.

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One thought on “In Response: The Right Way to Remember Rachel Carson

  1. galvind says:

    I cried when I read Lepore’s article, with a flood of memories from my childhood of summers spent on the intertidal coast as well as beginning to learn about birds. I recall reading Silent Spring as a precocious 10-year-old bird-watcher in 1963, and being stunned by her message about the peril faced by the birds I loved as well as nature in general. It turned me into a nascent environmentalist before the word was coined! Thanks to Scott for his eloquent response to the New Yorker article, and thanks to all of you involved in PSI for your ongoing good work. — Dave Galvin, Seattle

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