Yes, Earth Day approaches again. We first celebrated it in 1970, when enthusiasm for ecology was at its peak. I hope April 22, 2017 finds you ready to meet the challenges we face this year.
I believe we can trace that enthusiasm back to Rachel Carson’s book, “The Silent Spring,” and its challenge to the belief that we could conquer the earth with chemicals. I just read that book again. It’s still good, 55 years later. I was an ecologist at Oak Ridge National Lab in 1962. After “the book,” everyone knew what ecology was all about.
Of course there was a backlash from big chemical companies. Carson was vilified. I experienced some of that. I came to the University of Georgia to teach the ecology of insects. My course got a mixed reception. Students of insect control were pretty sure I didn’t know what I was talking about.
Well, they had a point. I had much to learn.
Now, there’s a pretty general awareness that our planet is in trouble. And again we hear the denials. The most pernicious denial is “needs more study.” No, it doesn’t. We need a plan “B”.
Celebrate Earth Day by reading “The Silent Spring.” Again.
April 11, 2017
“If a lie be believed only for an hour, it hath done its work.” – Jonathan Swift.