If Rachel Carson were alive to mark the 50th anniversary of her book “Silent Spring,” her head would spin in both wonder and anger. The evidence of her influence literally flies all around us today, because Carson documented how pesticides were polluting the environment and harming birds and other animals. She warned that a “chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life.”
Her reporting led to the eventual ban in the United States of DDT and other compounds that were originally hailed as miracle weapons against disease-bearing or crop-eating insects. That gave us back the bald eagle and the perigrine falcon and returned vibrant aquatic life to ponds and waterways.