Rachel Carson was a trail-blazing biologist and ecologist who awakened the world to what we were doing to our environment with her landmark 1962 book, Silent Spring. At that time it seemed hard to realize that humans could affect the world other than at the margins, but the Cold War and nuclear weapons forced new thinking about our future. She sought to open us to the wonder and awe of nature and yet alert us that nature might be at risk, because too often we promote ourselves and our interests at the expense of the larger natural world. She hoped to move us from our private vexations to appreciate and care for the grandeur of our natural surroundings, both small and large, from ghost crabs on the beach to mighty redwoods in the hills, “to be receptive to what lies all around us”. She wanted to help us reorient our thinking to reflect how our manmade problems—small in the grand scheme of things—would seem in the scope of geologic time.
A Native American professor asks us to imagine how our worldview might change if we shifted from thinking that we live in a world rich in resources to be used, and start thinking about living in a world where we are only one of—and related to—many of the living things on this planet.
What we can do:
- Check out some library books to broaden our perspective on the natural world.
- Consider the longer-term consequences of our actions today—magnified several billion times if other people were to do the same.
- Join us this Sunday at our Adult Forum, featuring Dr. Robert Musil of the Rachel Carson Council.