S3 E12: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Sarah shares her thoughts on “Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

Silent Spring inspired the modern environmental movement, which began in earnest a decade later. It is recognized as the environmental text that “changed the world.” She aimed at igniting a democratic activist movement that would not only question the direction of science and technology but would also demand answers and accountability. Rachel Carson was a prophetic voice and her “witness for nature” is even more relevant and needed if our planet is to survive into a 22nd century.” RachelCarson.org

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

““We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Books, Movies and Perceptions The Book Dialogue

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

18 thoughts on “S3 E12: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

  1. Hi Rebecca, Hi Sarah, thank you for this fascinating discussion. The concepts embedded in this book are well understood by me and many others, but, once again, those in pursuit of money at any cost, ignore the damning evidence and predictions of the cost to humanity as a whole. We are currently just starting to reap what we’ve sown and it is scary. My own work in progress poetry book, Lion Scream, is about the horrific consequences of mankind’s poor curatorship of our planet. Thank you for a thought provoking discussion. I am so grateful there are people like you in the world.

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      1. You must keep me informed of your adventures, Robbie. This is VERY exciting news. You will be able to gather a great deal of information/research for your writing. I am so very pleased for you. Jumping up and down excited.

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    1. Many many thanks for your encouragement and support of these important conversations. These are very challenging times that demand our highest participation in seeking decarbonized solutions for energy to heat our homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, power our transportation, and bring light to our cities. Thank you for your poetry book, Lion Scream. I will be the first on in line to download it. By the way, will it be coming in paperback form as well? Sending hugs across the world.

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  2. VERY informative discussion about the admirable/pioneering Rachel Carson, her iconic book, and the environment, Sarah and Rebecca. A real bonus was hearing about the good-for-the-ecology things you do, Sarah — which also makes us as listeners think of what we’re doing and can do.

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    1. Thank you Dave for listening in. Sarah and I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I thought that you would enjoy reading Rachel Carson’s letter to her dear friend, Dorothy Freeman about watching a migration of monarch butterflies.

      Here is an excerpt: “But it occurred to me this afternoon, remembering, that it had been a happy spectacle, that we had felt no sadness when we spoke of the fact that there would be no return. And rightly—for when any living thing has come to the end of its life cycle we accept that end as natural.”

      The full letter can be found here: https://news.lettersofnote.com/p/most-of-all-i-shall-remember-the

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  3. Thank you for reminding us of this seminal work by a very brave woman. Wow, it’s been 62 years since its publication! I was fortunate enough to pull it from my foster parents’ bookshelf way back then, when I was newly immersed in the natural world. Robbie is right. The chemical industry has been allowed to get away with murder.

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    1. I confess that I have never read Silent Spring but it is now on my reading list. Sarah told me this is a pivotal book for her. I just placed a hold on Silent Spring at the Vancouver Public Library and am in a 7 week holding queue., a confirmation that it is as popular now as it was in the 1970’s. I have just located “Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, – 1952 – 1964, which is another to add to my overflowing TBR stack of books. Many thanks for adding to this conversation, Mary Jo. Very much appreciated.

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    1. As I noted in my comment to Mary Jo, I am in a waiting queue for Silent at the Vancouver Public Library. It continues to inspire a more holistic way of living. I was prompted me to explore how the chemical industry has changed based on the research of Rachel Carson. I found this article from the website: ACE Chemistry for Life, which is a testament that change does happen. I am heartened!

      “Carson’s book promoted a paradigm shift in how chemists practice their discipline and helped to establish a new role for chemists in investigating the impact of human activity on the environment. The legacy of Silent Spring continues today in the chemistry community’s increased focus on green chemistry practices and the public’s heightened support for sustainability in all areas of our lives.”

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  4. This us a very important subject to discuss now, thank you for encouraging us to be very careful about how we treat the environment! This is a “must read” book!! Actually, in my recent reading, although limited, I have found more and more writers are becoming alarmed with the sad state of our farm land, the harm that is being done to our trees and vegetation and the general lack of personal responsibility. Thank you for introducing this book, very well done! !

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    1. Sarah has a best ways to communicate the importance of a book. We are living is a pivotal time of decision to the world – as individuals and as a global community. Thanks you for your support and encouragement, Frances. So very much appreciated.

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