Rachel Carson – Environmentalist and Author

Read: Rachel Carson Biography. In today’s article, we will read important information related to the life of famous author and ecologist Rachel Carson.

Rachel Carson – Environmentalist and Author

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In Springdale, Pennsylvania, Rachel Carson was born on May 27, 1907.  Rachels father, Robert Carson, was a salesman who invested in local land.  He purchased twenty-six hectares of land to make a home for his family.  The area was surrounded by fields, trees and streaMiss  The Carson family enjoyed living in the beautiful, country environment.

Rachel’s mother, Maria Carson, was a teacher.  Books were her passion.  Nature was also a favorite of hers.  Her siblings included two brothers and a sister.  The sisters and brother she was born to had already started school.  Rachel received so much attention from Mrs. Carson.  Nature was shown to Rachel by her.  Rachel’s love of books was also fostered by her.  Rachel’s life was greatly influenced by Mrs. Carson.

Rachel had a quiet personality.  In addition to reading and writing, she enjoyed watching movies and listening to music.  Her intelligence made her stand out.  She knew very early that she wanted to be a writer one day. At the age of ten, she had her first story published in a children’s magazine.

She attended a women’s college in Pennsylvania.  As a professional writer, she studied English. Even so, she did not feel she had the imagination to create stories.  Following a biology course that she enjoyed, she switched from English to science.  She was advised not to study science by her professors.  Science was deemed unsuitable for women.

Rachel graduated with honors from college in 1929.  Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, awarded her a scholarship so that she could study there.  As a result of her studies in zoology, she received a master’s degree in 1932.  The University of Maryland hired her to teach zoology for several years.  The summers were spent studying at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts.  During that time, she became fascinated with the ocean’s mysteries.

The middle 1930s were a time of great change in Rachel’s life.  The death of her father in 1935 was a sudden one.  Rachel’s mother received a very limited amount of money from him.   At the time, the United States was experiencing the Great Depression.  In addition to supporting her mother, Rachel was now on her own.  Her teaching job could not provide the money she needed.  Washington, D.C.-based Bureau of Fisheries hired her part-time.

The sister of Rachel died one year after Rachel’s death.  Two young girls were raised by her sister.  The girls were cared for by Rachel and her mother.  Her mother and two nieces, as well as herself, had to be supported by Rachel.  The woman wanted a better paying job again.

The United States Bureau of Fisheries has an opening for a full-time biologist.  The only woman who applied for the position was Rachel Carson.  All candidates competing for the position scored higher than she did.

The position was offered to Miss Carson in August 1936.  The chief of the biology division selected her to work in his office.

Rachel Carson – Environmentalist and Author

During her first job, she wrote a radio series called “Romance Under the Waters.” The series aired for a year. For many years, she wrote and edited publications for the Bureau of Fisheries.  Having a scientist with phenomenal writing skills was a welcome addition to the bureau.  Information provided by Rachel Carson was clear and interesting.

Fisheries and Biological Survey were combined in 1940 to form the Fish and Wildlife Service.  The only female scientist employed there was Miss Carson.  Another woman served as an office assistant.

Miss Carson wrote in the evenings and on weekends while working for the government.  Her report on sea life was published in 1937.  Undersea was the name of the show.  Atlantic Monthly published it.  She was told by an editor at a publishing house that she should write a book for the general public about the sea.  Her response was to do so.  “Under the Sea Wind,” her first book, was published in 1941.

“The Sea Around Us,” Miss Carson’s first bestseller, was completed in 1948.

Before writing, Rachel Carson conducted thorough research.  She wrote a book called “The Sea Around Us” after gathering information from more than a thousand places.  She also wrote letters to experts all over the world.

1951 was the year of publication for “The Sea Around Us.”.  For more than a year, the book was at the top of the best-seller list.  Award-winning novel.  It was Rachel Carson’s “The Sea Around Us” that made her famous. Since the book earned money, she had more time to focus on her family.

In 1952, Miss Carson quit her job as a wildlife biologist so that she could devote time to writing.  Having moved to Maine, Miss Carson now lives there.  Studying marine ecology there was her passion.  She followed up her next book with “The Edge of the Sea,” which was published in 1955.  All of the creatures living on land and in the ocean are connected by this story.

In 1962, Rachel Carson released her most famous book, The Silent Spring.  A friend suggested the book idea.  Rachels friend owned a protected area for birds.  An airplane had flown over the area where the birds were kept and spread a powerful chemical called DDT.  It was part of a project to control mosquitoes.  Many songbirds and harmless insects were killed by the DDT.

Scientists were concerned about a number of insecticides that kill insects, including DDT.  The use of poisonous chemicals to control insects increased after World War Two.  Agricultural fields and communities were sprayed with pesticides almost everywhere.  DDT and other pesticides had become popular with the public and the government because they were so effective. Manufacturing these chemicals had become a huge industry.

Many magazines expressed interest in publishing Rachel Carson’s article on this subject.  Nevertheless, no one would be willing to publish anything on such a controversial subject.  People do not want to hear that industrial entities could damage the environment.

Rachel Carson Biography

Public awareness of this issue is important, according to Miss Carson.  Her book is based on this experience.  She collected facts from experts from all over the world.  She gathered studies that showed the harmful effects of DDT, including declining bird populations and increased human cancers.

Miss Carson questioned industrial pollution in her book “Silent Spring” without considering the environmental consequences.  As a result of this pollution, Miss Carson argued that birds and other wildlife would suffer.  She said this would lead to the loss of the wonderful sounds of nature.  The chemical poisoning of the environment, she said, would cause a silent spring.

There was a sense of threat in the chemical industry. Others have criticized the book for being non-scientific and emotional.  The message of the book was misunderstood by them.  There is no suggestion that all pesticides should be banned by Miss Carson.  Biologists should be allowed to determine the level of risk associated with these substances, recommended she.

There was a rise in support for the book. Pesticide control legislation had been proposed in over forty states by the end of 1962.  DDT was finally banned by the United States government in November, 1969.

The impact of Rachel Carson’s book on the government’s decision to ban DDT was not seen by Carson.  She died of breast cancer in 1964.  She was 56 years old.

There are two ways to memorialize Rachel Carson.  Maine has the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, Rachel Carson’s childhood home in Springdale, Pennsylvania, can be visited.  Education programs are offered there that teach children and adults about her environmental values.

She captures the wonder and beauty of nature through her writings that express her voice.  By promoting environmental protection, she has continued to influence the world.

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