In September of 1962 a book entitled Silent Spring was published. The author was Rachel Carson. Her talent was to combine the gift of prose and knowledge of science to awaken the public to the horrors of pesticides.
Silent Spring is hailed by many as the book that began the environmental movement. Rachel Carson died in 1964 from breast cancer, but her beautifully written work propelled millions to become attentive to the world around them, the air we breathe, and the substances that we consume, knowingly or unknowingly.
Those who believe that Silent Spring was the ‘green’ manifesto were moved to outlaw DDT, a pesticide that, at the time was used to spray down farm fields and control insects and vermin. It was also found, through complete study on Carson’s part that it was becoming embedded in the foods we ate, and the air around us.
Could any book move the world like Silent Spring did in the 1960s? I doubt it. It would seem that no book or movement is that powerful today. Because as we sit in one of the greatest economic crisis of our time, many small things are being left undone in Waynedale, Fort Wayne, and throughout our great country.
The chapter in Silent Spring that has always spoken to me most intensely is Fable of Tomorrow. In it, Carson describes a city where there had once been wonderful birds, flourishing farms, and healthy families. She then goes on to describe the coming of an “evil spell” that seemed to rob the city of all that was beautiful. No longer were the birds singing, no longer did the farms flourish, and no longer were the families filled with the joy of healthy living.
Fable of Tomorrow brought home to those who read it the power of what the negligence of our environment can bring.
Frankly, I believe that Waynedale is trying in ways unnoticed to find ways to confront our energy challenges, natural habitat conservation, and food born illnesses. But, there is still so much to do.
The Waynedale Green Alliance will be holding a series of lectures and films starting in March at the Waynedale Library. The WGA will announce dates and times in the next column. We hope to see you there. We also ask that you send your questions and concerns to us so that we can address them at the lectures or even bring a speaker in to discuss ways in which Waynedale can become a sustainable and even more wonderful place to live, work, and play.
April Brewster Smythe is the Executive Director of the Waynedale Green Alliance. She and her son, Christopher F. Langschied, a United States Air Force certified meterologist, have developed a series of lectures open to the public and to in-house corporate use.
The mission of the Waynedale Green Alliance is to bring the green vocabulary to Waynedale, and everywhere in order to promote those individuals, organizations and businesses that contribute to a sustainable way of life.
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