Who Was the Mother of Environmentalism?

If John Muir was the father of the conservation movement in our country, who was the mother of the environmental and sustainability movement?

Here are a few hints:

  • She was born in 1907, and grew up in with no indoor plumbing or heating in Pennsylvania.
  • From a very young age, she wanted to be a writer and had her first story published at the age of 10.
  • Nature and the outdoors was an ongoing “classroom” when she was growing up, which was modeled by her mother, an educated woman who insisted her youngest daughter would attend college.
  • She loved books, being a student, and observing the natural world.
  • In college she majored in English, but surprised herself when she changed it to Biology.
  • Her first job after college was with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
  • During her lifetime, DDT (a synthetic pesticide) was initially considered a medical miracle in preventing diseases such as typhus and malaria.
  • With her years of scientific research and observation she determined that pesticides were not safe for the environment or for humans, and advised using caution before using them.
  • She wrote a seminal book, published in 1962, that kick started the environmental movement, and in turn the sustainability movement.

If you would like to learn more about Rachel Carson, please join us for the next Moveable Feast Book Group at Tequila’s Grill & Cantina, in North Chelmsford, on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

  • From 2pm – 3pm we will be discussing William Souder’s On a Farther Shore:  The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson (you can pick up copies of this biography at our Circulation Desk).
  • From 3pm – 4pm we will be discussing possible nonfiction titles, perhaps with another theme (this past year was Women and Science), e.g., biographies, social justice, animals and/or nature to read starting in Fall of 2018.
  • If you have suggestions please bring them along to our last meeting of the 2017-2018 year.

If you do not have time to read the book, consider watching the PBS documentary American Experience: Rachel Carson, and joining us for our discussion.  Here’s the beginning of the documentary to pique your interest!