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"Saint" Rachel Carson?

Story ID:8367
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
Year:2012
Person:Rachel Carson
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Even though I'm not much of a Cleveland Brown's fan, I do watch
their games - though often clicking intermittingly inbetween
breaks to other sites and back again. Today we were playing
the Colts, and it would be a "battle" between two young
quarterbacks - the Brown's Weeden and the Colt's Luck.

I was glad that my clicking inbetween views led me to "A Sense
of Wonder" - the wonderful live documentary interview of Rachel
Carson before she died. This was the second time I had seen
it, and both times I was just so taken by this "beautiful" woman
whose concerns re how we were systematically destroying so
much of nature with the use of harmful pesticides were
expounded in her book "Silent Spring."

But now, the outcome of the Brown's game would have to wait because
I was unable to turn away from this wonderful woman's reflections
re the struggles she endured to make her environmental studies known.

She had only intended to publish an article on this topic for
magazines where she described the harmful and detrimental effects of
the pesticides like DDT which was being used at the time. DDT and
other pesticides were killing harmful insects but they also killed
innocent birds and fish at the same time.

One time she wrote that over one million fish were killed in Florida
after their use of a pesticide intended to kill the Sand Fly. I
believe she said the Sand fly survived but the fish did not.

No magazine would publish her article because they feared loss
of advertising from entities which used these harmful pesticides
and the companies who made them. She realized then that she would
have to write a book which she hoped would be done in seven months.
It took more like 4 years because of all the research she did in
search of the truth.

In writing the book, she noted that she did not turn to this subject
matter but that the subect matter turned to her. I have never read
"Silent Spring" but truth be told, I don't think I need to. This
hour documentary told me all I needed to know about how we are
systematically poisoning the environment and ourselves as well.

Did you know that you can find a list of "dirty" fruits on the
internet? When I mentioned to a friend that strawberries are
a dirty fruit, he innocently said he would wash them. No, I told
him it was not that kind of dirt. It was the pesticide film which
is not washable.

Most of the scientific community was dismissing her ideas, but I
was so happy to learn that President Kennedy did not. The recognition
of her work by him and his scientific advisors led to the establishment
of The Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act and other environmental Acts.
Sadly, some of them have been watered down considerably by a Congress
with vested interests.

I have to admit that for a long time I had ambivalent feelings about
President Kennedy, but reading this, I view him now in a more favorable
light because of his contribution to the environment. I believe that
his nephew, Bobby Kennedy continues this legacy.

By the time this hour long documentary was over, I was in tears -
tears of sadness because she died too soon and tears of gladness
because she was such a wonderful inspiration to anyone who appreciates
God's environment. I could not help thinking - why isn't she considered
for sainthood? Obviously, she was not a Catholic. But then I laughed
heartily when I looked up "A Sense of Wonder" on the internet and the
first sentence read -"Rachel Carson has been called the patron saint
of the modern environmental movement." So much for my original ideas.

No, she really doesn't have to be canonized by the Catholic Church
because she is already "canonized" by people like me who appreciate
her valiant efforts to protect our environment. Sadly though, we
are still using harmful pesticides and herbicides. Will we ever
learn?

Finally - the actress who portrayed her did a great job.

(I learned later that the Browns lost the battle of the two young
quarterbacks.)