Rachel Carson was a pivotal figure in the environmental movement. In fact, she pioneered it with her book Silent Spring. She forced big business and governments to acknowledge the threats of pesticides. She also shared her observations to the general public, receiving mixed feedback, mostly negative. Despite heavy criticism from these companies, she still advocated against pesticide use. After many tenures with cancer, she was determined to identify any links between pesticides and cancers. She argued that a plethora of synthetic pesticides such as DDT, were being applied without regard to animal health and the environment. In 1962, JFK, after reading Carson's book, appointed a study/research committee on pesticide use. Furthermore, more government agencies called for increased regulation of pesticides. Later in the 1960s, other events such as oil spills, chemical fires, and agent orange in Vietnam, exemplified her warnings of the detrimental effects chemicals could have; Earth Day resulted from this. On April 22nd, 1970, the first Earth Day came to be. Soon after, government agencies began banning DDT, and passing environmental acts such as the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, giving rise to the modern environmental movement.
I was always aware that she started the movement, but did not know necessarily why. Obviously, she cared for the quality of the environment and human health, but I did not know of her various battles with breast cancer. That probably really convinced her to make her life work be that of making not just the government, and big business aware of the harm chemicals could bring, but to the general public as well. I do not have much to say about her, but as I type this on Thanksgiving, I am indeed grateful for people like her that overcome personal issues to help others. After this reading, I have a new found respect for her, not that I did not have any respect for her beforehand.