How a Book started the world's first Modern Environmental Movement?
Silent Spring, published in 1962, galvanized a whole nation, started the environmental revolution and brought upon the ban of one of the most valuable chemical ever, DDT. Once nicknamed as a "miracle weapon" against insect-borne diseases, in the 1950's DDT was extensively promoted by the US government and industry for use as an agricultural and household pesticide.
In 1957, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sprayed the northeastern forests with a mixture of DDT and oil to eradicate an insect pest – the gypsy moth. A month after spraying, residents on Long Island filed suit in federal court charging that the DDT was killing fish, birds, farm and garden crops. It was then that the Audubon Naturalist Society, a non-profit dedicated to conservation and education, actively opposed to such spraying programs, and recruited Carson to help make public the government's exact spraying practices and the related research. Carson began the four-year project of what would become Silent Spring by gathering examples of environmental damage attributed to DDT.
This groundbreaking book was published in 1962 and raised enough concern from her testimony before Congress to trigger the establishment of the US's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As per a New York Times article, the deep-pocketed pesticide industry responded with an expensive negative P.R. campaign, which included circulating “The Desolate Year,” a parody of “A Fable for Tomorrow” that mocked its woeful tone.
The EPA banned the use DDT in the US in 1972.
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source: wiki Silent Spring