Friday, September 21, 2007
Revisiting Rachel Carson, Bill Moyers Tonight(Updated)
This year is the centennial anniversary of the birth of the pioneering environmentalist, Rachel Carson. She was born in May of 1907, and died of cancer only 56 years later. Carson was both a scientist and a poet, someone who loved the natural world intensely, and whose science sprang from this love of the beauty and wonder she experienced in that world, as she tells us in this quote: "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe around us, the less taste we shall have for destruction."
It's hard to imagine anyone who cares about the environment today being unfamiliar with her seminal work on the damage caused by pesticides on the environment, Silent Spring; but during her all-too-short life she also produced three other books which are beautiful meditations on the wonders of this amazing planet. I must admit to being influenced by Carson at a very early age, reading Silent Spring as a university freshman the year it was published. Her meditations on the land, and especially the sea, have been an important part of my life's guiding philosophy, and I return to them frequently when I need to renew my sense of wonder.
Tonight Bill Moyers Journal (PBS) will focus on the life and work of Rachel Carson, Revisiting Rachel Carson, Environmental Pioneer. Bill's guest will be another controversial member of the scientifc sommunity, E.O. Wilson, father of the field of sociobiology. And be advised that Carson's work was as controversial in its time as global warming is today. The chemical industry fought against the ramifications of her theories as hard and as ferociously as the petrochemical industry is fighting the ramifications of global warming now. If you are interested in the life and work of Carson, please check out the program site as linked above. The site has a ton of information, many links to follow, on both Carson and Wilson. But also, watch Moyers' program tonight and let your PBS station know how important this weekly dose of truth and reality is to you and to the entire progressive community. I live in constant fear of having it disappear from the horizon, and I'll be left with only Gwen Ifill and her talking heads on my Friday nights.
Update: Hmmm, how misleading was THAT? No E.O. Wilson at all, but I swear to you that earlier today the Journal website said he would be, links and all kindsa stuff. Anyhow, Kaiulani Lee, the REAL guest on the show tonight, was pretty darn kickass in her stage portrayal of Carson. There were several times during her performance when I actually found myself thinking it was Rachel Carson herself that I was seeing.
Technorati Tags: Bill Moyers, E O Wilson, environmental science, pesticides, Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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