Today is the birthday of biologist Rachel Carson (1907-1964). Carson’s book Silent Spring, published in 1962, is credited with launching the environmental movement. Carson became concerned with the increased use of pesticides, especially D.D.T., after World War II. Her book brought to light the harmful effects of these chemicals on the chain of life.
Carson’s book was not without its critics, but it did lead to a heightened public awareness of conservation issues, and it also lead to Congressional hearings into the impact of pesticides on the environment and human health. Within 10 years of the publication of Silent Spring, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was founded, Earth Day was established, and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts had become law (1).
The words below are examples of words that emerged in the 20th Century to describe issues related to the environment. For example, Greenpeace, an international organization that campaigns for the protection of the environment, was founded in 1971. Its activities contributed a new definition to the adjective green: “relating to or supporting environmentalism, especially as a political issue.”
global warming (1977)
eco-friendly (1989) (2)
Today’s Challenge: It’s Easy Being Green
How many words or phrases (expressions, idioms, titles, names, quotations, etc.) can you think of that contain the word “green”? Brainstorm at least ten words or phrases that contain “green.” Then, use one of your words or expressions as a title and a launching pad for an original composition of at least 250 words.
The following are some green words and expression:
The Green Mile, The Green Berets, The Green Door, How Green Was My Valley, Mr. Green Jeans, The Green, Green Grass of Home, Green Eggs and Ham, The grass is always greener, green room, greenback, greenhorn, green about the gills, green-eyed jealous, green with envy, green thumb, green light, Green Eyed Lady, Greensleeves, Greenback Dollar, Bowling Green, The Ballad of the Green Berets, Little Green Apples, Anne of Green Gables, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Big Green Monster, Soylent Green, Greenpeace, greenbelt
Quotation of the Day: When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot. –Ray Kroc
1 – Raftery, Miriam. 100 Books that Shaped World History. San Mateo, California: Bluewood Books, 2002.