Rachel Carson fws pub domain.jpgRachel Carson is an inspiration. She taught us that our health depends on the quality of our environment. Her extraordinary responsibility and courage wakes up the voice in me that calls for action with a sense of political urgency as pollution and illness threaten the people and places I love. 

We know that, in spite of the truth of her science, Rachel faced a deliberate campaign to discredit her. Today we must be equally resolute in confronting the ongoing attempts to bamboozle us with slick ads for natural gas, pink ribbons on carcinogenic products, or meaningless labels with false claims of safe and natural. 

We can not afford to be indifferent or passive. Rachel’s example calls us all to stand up, sign up, speak up, and team up to conserve our natural resources and to work for clean energy, clean water, clean air and safe food.

We don’t have to think of ourselves as whistle blowers or canaries in the mine, but as guardians, steadfast sentries, the defenders of our community. We can imagine ourselves to be sentinel lions, the universal symbol of protection at the entrances of cities, libraries, schools, bridges...guarding the treasures of community.

Join voices with Green Decade and other advocates such as Clean Water Action, the Conservation Law Foundation, Food and Water Watch, Toxics Action Center, Mass Breast Cancer Coalition, the Union of Concerned Scientists and 350.org. 

Tell your friends and tell our policy makers that we want divestment from fossil fuels and investment in safe renewable energy. We want a meaningful carbon tax. We want to affirm that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. 

We want to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, to stop the cruelty of factory farming, to stop fracking, to stop Tar Sands, to eliminate plastic bags, plastic bottles and Styrofoam, and to plug the gas pipeline leaks in our streets. Let’s claim our right to be safe from products and packaging with hormone disrupting plasticizers, useless but carcinogenic flame retardants, herbicides (especially RoundUP), microbeads, and genetically engineered organisms.

May 27 is Rachel Carson’s birthday. On that day, take a moment to remember Rachel, especially her book Silent Spring and its message, “prevention is the imperative.”  Rachel was right. Now the future is up to us​.​

-- Ellie Goldberg, www.healthy-kids.info

We tolerate cancer-causing agents in our environment at our peril…For those in whom cancer is already a hidden or a visible presence, efforts to find cures must of course continue.  But for those not yet touched by the disease and certainly for the generation as yet unborn, prevention is the imperative need.” — Rachel Carson, Silent Spring