S. Dunham: Protect the environment

Rachel Carson’s Washington Post letter to the editor in 1953, nearly 60 years ago, challenged us and our leaders to protect, not destroy, our natural environment, writing: “ ... The real wealth of the Nation lies in the resources of the earth — soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife. To utilize them for present needs while insuring their preservation for future generations requires a delicately balanced and continuing program, based on the most extensive research. Their administration is not properly, and cannot be, a matter of politics ... ”

Her 1962 book, “Silent Spring,” was a more dire appeal to stop the devastating effects of insecticides, especially DDT, on wildlife and humans, causing disease and death.

Sixty years since Carson sounded the alarm, and we are still fighting large chemical companies, such as Monsanto, to put safety first rather than greed. Instead, new, more insidious and powerful chemicals emerged, such as “round-up ready” seeds and genetically modified organisms, banned in many countries, but not in the U.S.

New generations of chemicals span the entire growth cycle — seed to table — with the yet-to-be-fully-understood residues found deep in human tissue, and killing pollinators such as honeybees.

Earth Day is April 22. We can honor Carson’s legacy by recommitting to her vision of protecting the environment. We can buy local, organic foods, or grow our own. We can tell the chemical companies and politicians that we will not tolerate unsafe products and practices. Our collective voices work.

Will our songbirds be silenced? What then?

Suzanne Dunham, Greenwood

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Comments

 's picture

Horrible Corporations?

Such horrible, terrible! profit-driven companies like Monsanto, scourges of the world! These companies that have made it possible to feed every person in this country and a good part of the world -- disgusting Capitalist Beasts! Much better would be the old Soviet system of Collective Farms. Sure, it caused millions upon millions of people to starve to death in the 1930s, and again in the 1950s and 1960s (most especially in Mao's China), but that's a small price to pay -- isn't it? -- for the destruction of these evil companies like Monsanto.

Look, I get that there's a powerful population of left-over and wannabe hippies. I get that they think anything with a profit-motive is bad, no matter how much good it does. I get that these people want to go back to world of squalor and hopelessness, and they're welcome to it. I get that its a religion for them, and they preach that religion with all the fervor of an old-time revivalist Puritan preacher. But spare me. I don't buy your religion, and I resent the use of the Government to push your religious agenda. Keep in your own Church and stop trying to run my life!

JOANNE MOORE's picture

You don't read much do you, Mr Hall.

A simple Google search will tell you Monsanto is the cause of mass suicides in India - upwards of 200,000. You see, genetically modified seeds cost 1,000 times more than conventional seeds but the farmers have been told there would be massive crops from these "magic" seeds. Farmers go into debt to buy these seeds and when the crops fail the farmers commit suicide by drinking insecticide. This is a terrible way to die.

So, you can rant all you want, but corporations like Monsanto are indeed horrible. They are selling death.

 's picture

I did as you suggested and

I did as you suggested and did a basic Google search using "Monsanto India". There was only one article from a reasonably ubiased source, the Daily Mail from the UK. There were plenty of articles from Monsanto itself and websites with ideological axes to grind on both sides of the equation. Google "Famine Socialism" and see what you get. Then you'll get an idea of what you're in for if we use the power of the government to enforce 19th century farming methods on a world population of 6 billion. 125,000 suicides (Daily Mail's stat) will seem like just another day's ho-hum news.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Plenty of articles from Monsanto...

...and you buy into their propaganda. Ha!

No one is asking for the government's "power" to enforce 19th century farming. There are plenty of modern ways to grow crops that do not poison the soil, the pollinators, and the animals who eat genetically modified organisms, including us.

How easily you diminish the agonizing deaths of India's farmers. Decent family men who only wanted to improve their harvests. Men who bought the seeds and the lies of Monsanto. This is not ho-hum news. This is a national tragedy for India. Anyone who sides with the corporations is despicable.

 's picture

Indeed there might well be

Indeed there might well be methods of organic farming that work to feed the world, but we've not seen them yet. How many stories of successful Indian farmers who've doubled or trebled harvests are buried away because those stories don't fit the Western elite's environmental paradigm? We'll never know as long as the environmental intelligentsia dictate what's a tragedy and what isn't What IS a world-wide tragedy are the millions of people in this world who starve to death every year because of the refusal to use proven methods of successful, high yield agriculture that offend the sensibilities of angst-ridden, wealthy westerners.

 's picture

Indeed there might well be

Indeed there might well be methods of organic farming that work to feed the world, but we've not seen them yet. How many stories of successful Indian farmers who've doubled or trebled harvests are buried away because those stories don't fit the Western elite's environmental paradigm? We'll never know as long as the environmental intelligentsia dictate what's a tragedy and what isn't What IS a world-wide tragedy are the millions of people in this world who starve to death every year because of the refusal to use proven methods of successful, high yield agriculture that offend the sensibilities of angst-ridden, wealthy westerners.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Thank you, Suzanne

We all need to be reminded that without a clean environment we have nothing and our children and grandchildren and those that come after us will live in misery, if at all.

This goes beyond politics. We all breath the same air and drink the same water and eat the same food, basically. We cannot separate ourselves from Nature. We are part of it.

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