This year, Rachel Carson would have turned 100. Had she lived, the “mother of the environmental movement” might have been pleased with how popular environmental causes have become. On the other hand, she might not have liked current shades of green.
The great lesson of Silent Spring, Carson’s brilliant critique of the pesticide industry, is that technology requires wisdom more than faith. In recent years, however, discussion about global warming has focused almost exclusively on high-tech hopes, as President Bush’s much-repeated remarks from last year’s State of the Union address make clear: “America is addicted to oil. The best way to break this addiction is through technology.”
Yet our addiction isn’t to oil but to consumption, so this view confuses food with appetite. By contrast, Janet Welsh Brown of the World Resources Institute describes a more internal task, writing that “the greatest accomplishment of the environmental movement” is a “revolution in awareness and understanding.̶... Read more